Monday, June 1, 2009


Such a weighty subject for a Monday, but it's on my mind. My friends, April and Perry, had to make "the" decision regarding their cat, Jenny. After a couple months of weight loss, dehydration, diarrhea and general lethargy, their vet found a tumor today in her abdomen. This would be the source of the troubles. It was inoperable and Jenny probably would not have survived surgery had it been easily removed. She was at 4 pounds. Cats start to lose muscle mass when they get below 5 pounds and toxins build up in their livers.
I know this because, since February, I've been battling to keep Betsy alive. Her weight has somewhat stabilized at just under 6 pounds but she needs every other day fluids and I just don't have the money for that. So, on Wednesday, I will go have our favorite technician, Val, help me again to learn to give her fluids on my own, at home, in the bathroom.
For April and Perry, the choice wasn't really a choice. Jenny was suffering and as much as we miss them, it's unfair of us not to want what's best for them, even if it means letting them go where we cannot follow. Having had to do that twice myself, the pain of loss isn't eased by knowing you're doing the right thing. They went to say, "Goodbye" and, as they were doing just that, she passed away.
This comes on the heels of my friend, Jon, having to end his cat, Oreo's, suffering. Oreo had "Fip". Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a progressive and ultimately fatal disease of cats caused by a mutated coronavirus. Fluid builds up in the chest and abdomen and the cat suffers before succumbing to heart failure.
And last night, my Rascal became very ill. Rascal hasn't been the medical headache her mother has. But she has gradually, over the course of 6 months, lost half her body weight. She doesn't look bad at all and the vet said she has a wonderfully soft and elegant coat. She probably has a bladder or urinary tract infection because I found bloody urine on the floor where Rascal had just been. They took blood and will call me tomorrow with results.
And, yes, I went to the doctor today. His verdict is that my allergies have taken over but the length of time that I've had this laryngitis is cause for alarms. I have an antibiotic to kill anything that might be messing up my sinuses, which aren't full, and a nasal spray to help stop the drainage down the back of my throat.
So I find myself, dear reader, contemplating the ending of life, not necessarily my own, although I find myself hoping that when it's my turn to cross over the rainbow bridge that I can be allowed to do so as comfortably and surrounded by people who love me as the four of us have given to our pets who have passed over. Everything, everything has a beginning and an end, from the microbe causing my illness to the vastness of the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. All end. Nothing is forever.
As I prepare for bed in a few minutes, I have to figure out how to pill Rascal. She's in the middle of the bed. Betsy is sleeping at the upper left side. How am I to fit into this? But, in reality, that's a minor irritation to loving them both and doing what's right for and by them. If you've ever been unconditionally loved by something with four legs and a tail you know that we will fit ourselves into their bed because of the huge intangibles they give back to us.

Beverage: cold English Breakfast tea


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