Monday, September 14, 2009

More Bad News

There's something about that damned exam room. It's cursed. The last time I had a cat examined there a couple of years ago, I was told euthanasia was the only humane option. Sheena died a few weeks later despite my best efforts to make her well, to keep her alive.

A few minutes ago I took Barb's cat to the same veterinarian and in the same examination room I was told by the doctor that our cat Sweetie in all likelihood has an aggressive cancer that's affecting her breathing. Even with invasive surgery and radiation therapy (not that we can even begin to afford it. I could barely afford the $69 for the office visit and antibiotics), the doc said most cats with this kind of cancerous tumor don't last for much more than 6-12 months.

I thought we were dealing with a mere sinus infection. Two months ago, the vet in Florida diagnosed her with an upper respiratory infection and prescribed a week's worth of antibiotics that did little if anything for her. How they could miss this is anyone's guess.

The most we can do at this point is to make her as comfortable as possible and then put her to sleep when she can't breathe, anymore. I had to call my fiancee and give her bad news that made her cry, even though it ruined the rest of her day (and maybe the rest of the year), but she was waiting for the call. She's been with Barb for five years, having been a rescue in Connecticut where she had to hunt for her food to survive.

She put up with a trip to Florida and an even more brutal, 1355 mile trip to Massachusetts wheezing in a sweltering car with no air conditioner or working windows and cooped up in a pet taxi. Yet leaving her behind wasn't an option. Barb's certain she would've been thrown out into the street the moment she left.

And throughout it all, she put up with such adversity with the patience and sweetness of a saint. Hence the name Sweetie. She's no more than 6-7. At least Sheena led a long life. Not too long ago I lost a beloved cat and an equally beloved dog to cancer. This is so Goddamned unfair in so many ways and on so many levels.

So include Sweetie in your prayers if you're praying folks, pray that she doesn't suffer too much before that dark day comes when we have to say goodbye.


At September 14, 2009 at 1:17 PM, Blogger KathyG said...

Robert I feel for all of you, as you know I lost a very loved cat a few months ago, at least you have your new found cat to help with the pain of losing a loved pet. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

At September 14, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Blogger No Blood for Hubris said...

So sorry to hear this.

At September 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM, Blogger Utah Savage said...

I'm so sorry for you all. There is no pain like losing a beloved pet.

At September 14, 2009 at 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of us who have (or have had) pets understand. So sorry for everybody's suffering.

At September 14, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

Poor kitty!

A spiritualist once told me that saving a cat from the street might extend it's life longer than it wold have lived on it's own, in the end, it is very rare for that cat to live a full and long life. They almost always die within a few years anyway, from one thing or another.

We found a kitten by the side of a road here, flea-bitten to anemia. We tended it and healed it, and it was great with our small children. But that cat was dumb and had no fear of the wildlife in our backyard. One day it just never came home, we eel pretty sure it was eaten by the ermine was saw around the edges of our yard about that time. We still haven't gotten another cat, we simply can't afford them anymore.

Your poor kitty...

At September 14, 2009 at 4:39 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

JP -

Courage, you are making the right decision for all the right reasons. She is a lucky little cat to have two humans that love her so.



At September 15, 2009 at 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turbo was a flea-ridden cat I rescued from dumpster-diving at about 8 weeks. He lasted 17 years and kicked ass and took names for about 16 of them. Of course, you don't really "own" a cat. If you're lucky, they decide you're OK to hang out with.

Sorry to hear about this.


At September 15, 2009 at 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to read this. You all, cat very much included, are in my thoughts.

At September 15, 2009 at 1:33 AM, Blogger Beau said...

This is tough for Sweetie and for Barb. So sorry.

This is maybe timely....
I read a comment on the weekend from a vet assistant who said that when people euthanize their pets at the vet the staff always wish they would stay as the pets look for them when they leave.

I've been fortunate in that all my pets have died at home while being comforted, but if I had taken them to the vet to be put down I may have left too soon because I was upset. I am glad to know this, even though it makes sense.

Best wishes.

At September 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Barb said this morning that if she continues losing weight (she's down to 7.06 pounds and hasn't been eating much, lately), we may be looking at making the final trip to the vet's by the end of the month, which is much sooner than I was prepared for.

We're both going to be devastated when that day comes. In the meantime, I keep praying and hoping I don't get ignored again this time.

At September 16, 2009 at 4:19 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

I'm so sorry - that really sucks!! I'm going through the same thing currently with several of the feral kitties I've rescued, and it never gets easier. Not even a little.
Regarding what Beau said, I concur: I would never just drop an animal off to be euthanized. I think it's important to be with them, talking to them and soothing them, letting them know that they're very loved. That way the last thing they feel is the warmth of your hands and the comfort of your love surrounding them.
I will be going through that tomorrow, with a much-loved kitty who looks very much like yours. Right now it's almost more than I can bear.

At September 16, 2009 at 5:49 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Jesus Christ, Anna, I'm so sorry. I'll be here for you if you need to email me about this.

At September 18, 2009 at 6:26 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

I couldn't go through with it. Not yesterday, nor today.

At September 18, 2009 at 11:32 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I can perfectly sympathize, Anna. But you also to think about what's best for the animal. It's a tough balancing act, I know. I dread that day, too. But Barb would be giving me the moral courage to do that. I don't know if you have anyone in your life to do that but I can perfectly understand why it would be impossible to go through with something like that alone.


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