Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Chapter 23: Tigger

By the time that Kelly reached the hospital most of the lights on the third floor had been lowered to help patients sleep and only Nancy remained at the third floor nursing station.

Hugging her friend, Kelly tipped her head towards the Kent boy’s room and asked if there had been any change.

“Not on the monitors, but he looks worse to me.”

“Well,” Kelly said as she hefted her bag of cookies onto the counter, “Let’s see what we can do about that.”

From out of nowhere, Little Tigger scrambled up her arm and perched on her shoulder staring at Nancy mawkishly as she grinned and reached up to pet the small obstinate cat. The small rusty-spotted cat was, to Kelly’s thinking, a natural healer—having an instinctive ability to recognize depressed and emotionally troubled people—and an almost deliberated approach toward raising their spirits.

When Kelly first got permission to bring Tigger in to visit a terminally-ill child, some of the more finicky doctors complained until they noticed how much the child’s mood improved and how much better young boy slept… without additional doses of pain medication. It didn’t hurt when they noticed that Tigger seemed to have an avid disdain for all medical equipment and carefully avoided any spot connecting a patient to monitors or IV’s. By the time that Chapen arrived, Tigger was such an accepted fixture in the hospital’s treatment of children and depressed patients that both returning patients and doctors requested her: yet another factor that irked Chapen, who had no control over the Doctors’ choice of treatments.

“Well, Tiggy, ready to meet your next patient,” Nancy asked, to which Tigger responded with an appropriately affirmative “Meh” and looked down at Kelly.

“Yes, ma’am,” Kelly laughed and picked up her bag of cookies.

“Think you brought enough?” Nancy asked before Kelly left the counter.

“Yep, just enough, I think to make sure he doesn’t feel guilty about sharing a few cookies with the children’s ward.”

“But, we don’t have any kids in tonight.” Nancy answered perplexed then realized that Kelly had accounted for the fact that as a teenager, even a sick teen, Clark would probably be too proud to let someone intentionally put him to bed.

Shaking her head admiringly at Kelly, she continued with a grin, “You think of everything.”

“Nope, but what I miss, Tigger remembers. Right, Tig?” But Tigger was distracted, already looking down the hall for her next patient.


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