Will This Really Mean Goodbye?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | 0 Comments

I am having a very sad day today. I just found out that I might be losing a very old, wonderful friend. I was told today that my beautiful kitty cat most likely has bone cancer. The vet said that there was a very slim chance that he might have a rare bone infection instead, so we are getting a biopsy done Thursday to find out for sure. An infection, although still very serious, could mean that he has a chance to recover. Cancer almost certainly will mean his death.

He has been the best cat that a person could ever have. We would always joke that he is more like a dog than a cat. He runs to meet us at the door when we come home. He loves to cuddle with us and just has to be touching us. He even drools (which is really ironic since neither of our dogs do!)

He knows the rules of the house very well. He doesn't jump up on the counters. He generally stays out of the garbage (unless there is fried chicken in there - how can I expect him to resist that temptation?).

He loves to purr and often startles people by how much and loudly he purrs. He also likes to talk and often holds conversations with us. We say something to him and he meows back. We get a big kick out of it. And he always has to have the last word.

He knows when we aren't feeling good and insists on keeping us company. It's so nice to have a fluffy, warm kitty nuzzling you and talking to you, telling you that he's there for you and that everything is going to be alright.

He's such a good cat. I hate to think about not having him around anymore. There is a chance that he might be saved or at least that his life might be extended a year or two, but it all depends on how the biopsy comes out. If it is an infection, which the vet already told us is highly unlikely, we could put him on antibiotics and shunt the affected area until the infection clears up. If it is one form of cancer, we might be able to save him through amputation of the affected area (a back leg). But if it is the other form of cancer, it is a death sentence.

Everything is exasperated by his age (15-18), his slight heart murmur, and the fact that he already has hyperthyroid. I feel awful when I think of it, but part of me says that he has lived a long life and this just might be his time. But then I see him fighting to ignore the fact that about a third of the back leg joint has already deteriorated and I hear how happy he still is to cuddle and be near us, and I just have to think that we should do something to try and make him better.

I am not a cat person, but I really love this cat. He just feels like part of the family. He IS part of the family. I am really hoping that it turns out to be an infection. But I'm not getting my hopes up that high.

Here is Zen, our cat, lounging on my favorite pair of sandals.


Close this window Jump to comment form
Blogger "AG" said...

Pets are family, and it sounds like he has a good one taking care of him.

December 13, 2005 8:02 AM

Blogger pastamasta said...

I'll be crossing everything crossable on behalf of your lovely moggy. He sounds like a gorgeous cat. Can you pass this good-luck message on to Zen for me: Miaow miaow, purr miaooww purr purr screeeetch purrrr. Thanks.

December 13, 2005 8:31 AM

Blogger Rae Ann said...

Aw, poor kitty. That's so sad. This summer I had to take my dad's 15 year old cat to be put down because he was so sick with cat bone cancer. It was so sad.

December 13, 2005 8:32 AM

Blogger nope said...

What a lovely testament to your beastie.

I had to make a similar decision with my 17 year old T.A. - he made it very hard, but his kidneys were failing and it was obvious. He seemed to be telling me that he wasn't going to leave me, no matter what, so he didn't make the decision any easier; but looking at his failing body, no matter how much he purred, convinced me that it was time to let him go. I could not go in the room where he would pass with him, but I did take him to the vet's and say goodbye. It was, hands down, the hardest thing I've ever done. I had to look very closely at his quality of life, and realize that the decision wasn't for me but for him.

I had him cremated, and his ashes interred in a lovely clay cat that was made by a local artist. He sits behind me on a shelf behind my desk, and I occasionally tell him how much lovelier he is now, without all that fur - he was a long-haired cat who never seemed to be able to clean his tail-feathers appropriately. It's really nice to still "have him around." And no, I don't talk to him that often. (grin) It's just nice to have a solid reminder.

May you have the strength to make the best decision for him.

December 13, 2005 9:22 AM

Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, how sad, how sad. I also lost my dear cat, uh, well it seems like yesterday but I guess it's been a year. :-( You have my full sympathy. What a beautiful cat. Poor, poor baby.

December 13, 2005 9:25 AM

Blogger Astoria said...

Sorry to hear about Zen, I love him too!! He is a great cat with so many wonderful qualities, I hope this isn't the end of dear old Zen, please know that I love him too!!

December 13, 2005 11:09 AM

Blogger Scott said...

Oh, that's so sad... All these sick kitty stories are killing me. I'm crossing my fingers for Zen.

December 13, 2005 6:10 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

I must be really stressing out. I had spent quite a bit of time leaving replies earlier today, and I see that I didn't actually post it!!

So I'll just say, thanks for all the love and good wishes! I'll relay them all to my kitty!

December 13, 2005 8:21 PM

Blogger Derek Knight said...

Best of luck. I lost my cat to liver cancer a couple of years back and still miss her.

Hopefully your kitty can stay around longer.

December 14, 2005 2:37 PM

Blogger sands of time said...

Im so sorry about your Kitty.i love my kitty and i know i'd be so upset if i found out anything was wrong with her.
Lots of Hugs

December 14, 2005 2:44 PM

Blogger Irb said...

Aw, Syl. I'm so sorry to hear about your Zen :( I'll be thinking good thoughts and sending out waves of happy kitty vibes...

December 14, 2005 5:40 PM

Blogger Courtney said...

My heart goes out to you! I have two felines of my own...and also have never considered myself a "cat person."

We are sending Zen happy, healing thoughts...

December 15, 2005 8:23 AM

Blogger DrMax said...

Good luck Zen. Here's hoping it's not too serious and you are back to your sandals in no time.

December 15, 2005 3:28 PM

Blogger OldRoses said...

Wow! Zen looks just like Sneakers, our cat that we lost to kidney cancer three years ago. I didn't realize how much I loved him until he got sick. I still find it hard to talk about him. I hope Zen has only an infection or a treatable form of cancer. Both for his sake and for yours.

December 16, 2005 12:45 AM

Blogger Aimee said...

Sy--I'm referred to you by Evil Science Chick.

First of all, what was the prognosis on the kitty, is he going to be ok?

Secondly, forgive me for commenting way down here, but since I know you'll get it by email, it allows me to sort of "hide" from your regulars so I can ask my real question, which is:

Third, I was talking to ESC today about an issue I'm having with a "best friend". She mentioned that you'd very gracefully handled something similar in the last few weeks, so I thought I'd come look.

I didn't find anything in your December archives, so I'm wondering if you could point me in the right direction--assuming you know what I'm talking about...

Thanks so much, I know this is a weird intrusion, but I appreciate your help. :)


December 20, 2005 5:02 PM