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The joys of cat ownership (It’s the apocolypse edition)

Last year, our smaller cat started throwing up, infrequently at first, but then accelerating to at least once a day. Around the time it reached once a day, we started to take her to the vet, first a local vet, and then after that didn't do much, to a vet that was a little bit further away. Eventually we found the right combination of drugs that stopped her from throwing up, but by then she'd started to lose weight, and even though she kept eating, her weight dropped from ~7 pounds, down to 6, then 5, then down into the fours. This last weekend, she took a noticable turn for the worse; she's a cat, so she's not the most energetic creature, but this weekend she stopped running and started walking around, then she stopped sleeping anywhere, but instead started sleeping close to warm radiators. Yesterday, we took her to the vet to have her weighed, and she weighed a whopping 3 pounds, 12 oz, so we immediately made arrangements to have me come home from work early today so we could both go to the vet while the little cat was examined much more thoroughly.

We'd figured the feline jig was up, and I'd been warning the bears that Suzzy was very very sick and might die soon, but we were still unpleasantly surprised when the vet reported a whole list of things that were very wrong, ranging from fluid in the abdomen to possible anemia to "there's a large" -- and here the vet drew with her hands an outline approximately the width of the cat -- "solid mass in her abdomen".


That would be what educated professionals call bad news.

Worse news yet was when the vet said "we're closed tonight, but if she should take a turn for the worse there's an emergency clinic in Tigard that we work with, and they won't take heroic measures if you have to bring her in." Umm, okay. So what you're saying is "don't be surprised if your cat dies tonight"?

Sigh. Poor little kitty. I think we might have to have her killed tomorrow; she's really weak and wobbly, and the only indication that she might still be happy is that she still purrs like mad when we pet her.

I've now outlived 3 cats; my childhood cat Kitty died of kidney failure when I was away at university, I lost my little black cat Madeline to cat diabetes, and our cat Socket died at the cat dentist just before we moved from That Paradise That Is California to Oregon. And it doesn't get any easier outliving the little cute furry parasites.

I'm sorry you're sick, little cat. I can still remember going to the Oregon Humane Society and having you jump up on my lap and purr and purr and purr like there was no tomorrow. It's a pity there isn't some all-powerful G-d out there who can waive the laws of nature and make you all better, but there isn't, so all we can hope for is that when it's time, you'll die quietly in your sleep. And I will miss you, even though you're an useless parasite.


I'm sorry. I still miss the cats of my earlier days. We're getting a little old now and I think our present cat will be our last pet; her name is Prieta, and she's 18.

Dandelion Tue Nov 15 19:52:22 2005

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