Hudson has two older brothers: Baloo and Nigel. Nigel is the sweet, fat one who's always looking for love. If somethings is yours, he'll sit on it and keep it warm for you. In particular if its something you need or are trying to read. He'll jump in your lap, bake biscuits on your belly, and literally wrap his arms around your neck to give you a hug and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Baloo on the other hand is the one that's bad news bears. He jumps, scratches, nips at your heals, escapes from the house every chance he gets, takes huge bites of your freshly baked cake when you're not looking... the list goes on and on. While I was pregnant, I would have nightmares about Baloo jumping into the baby's crib at night.
Oh, did I mention they're cats?
Turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. While Nigel was relatively indifferent to Hudson, Baloo took it upon himself to be his guardian angel.
For a while I think Hudson thought the cat's name was actually "NOBALOO!" since that's what we yell at him 90% of the time. As he got older, he'd mimic us shaking a finger at Baloo telling him to stop whatever bad thing he was doing at the time—most often, laying all over Hudson's Thomas the Train tracks just as he was trying to squeeze his engines around the bend. Nowadays, they're peas in a pod, and we're the ones getting dirty looks for scolding either of them.
Most of the time, it's hard to remember why we love him so much, especially since he's always getting into trouble. It's not infrequent that Logan's complaining about the wretched smell of Baloo's poop (he has the totally-not-endearing habit of leaving his twosies uncovered in the litter box... like he's trying to show the world who's boss) or I'm yelling things like, "Why is he so bad!?!? Why don't we just let him run away!?"
The answer is simple: Because just like our human kid, we love him unconditionally.
And so, as he headed to the emergency vet a few mornings ago with a hugely swollen face, and we were told there's a possibility it's a tumor, all of the bad thoughts we'd ever had about Baloo flew from our minds and we buckled down to take care of our sick boy. After undergoing surgery, he came home with a drainage tube sticking out of his face and a cone around his neck (which, evidently, is not used to help deaf animals hear.)
Tomorrow, our oldest son will go back to the vet to have the tube removed and to undergo some additional tests. Despite everything, I just want him to be OK, to come back home, and to tear up the place just like old times.
Huddy's been extra careful with him since this whole thing started. Petting him gently on the head, saying "Baloo sick. I love you, Baloo."
Well, I love you, too, Baloo. Just like the Wooz does. (Maybe more.)