I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. After a lovely trip East to see family several weeks ago, my holiday at home was relatively quiet—even with the nightly displays of fireworks from across the valley on the opposite ridge from my little mountain. It’s quite a show. I love fireworks! And, for some reason, although many pets are traumatized by them, my cat doesn’t seem to mind the noise.
Which brings me to Daisy again. A few months ago I blogged about her near-brush with death after taking medication that didn’t agree with her. Since then, she has been feeling much better—except for some disturbing tremors and quick seizures. An MRI showed nothing abnormal. More blood work was done too. Daisy’s first lab work a few months ago had returned negative for a common parasite. But this time the test came back positive for toxoplasmosis.
This is where the old saying “art imitates life” gets turned around. I’m writing a new miniseries for Heartwarming called Kansas Cowboys, and I recently delivered the first book to my editor. In The Reluctant Rancher, when my pregnant heroine befriends an abandoned kitten—wait for it—someone warns her that she and her baby are at risk of getting the same parasite that now, in real life, has infected my Daisy. The tremors can be part of that.
In my first draft of the book, I’d forgotten that pregnant women shouldn’t clean a litter box; but they can also pick up the parasite from, among other things, infected garden soil. Of course there’s a planting flowers scene in my book so I had to adjust that too. Maybe the information from my research—an added feature—will alert someone else to the dangers of toxoplasmosis.
In the meantime, Daisy is on a month-long course of antibiotics, which I hope will take care of the problem. Whether she will still have those tremors and brief seizures remains to be seen but they’re already less frequent.
Was this all a coincidence? Or, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” I can’t say but I’m feeling a bit spooked. From now on, I’m going to be more careful about the troubles I give my fictional characters. I don’t want that entering my real life! I think Daisy agrees. See her now enjoying a sunbath.
Have you ever experienced a “coincidence” that was just too close for comfort?
The Reluctant Rancher will be released in October. I’ll give a signed copy, either paperback or e-book of my current title, Lost and Found Family, to someone who leaves a comment here. Enjoy the rest of your summer!