Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Inevitable

My big baby, Ophelia, is not doing well. She will be 16 this month. She was running a fever on Saturday, but bloodtests came back good - except for one marker. The marker could mean she has cancer. It could mean she's had a muscle trauma or accident. The vet leans toward cancer. Further testing is expensive and we can't afford it. Even if we find out she has cancer, she's too old and it's too expensive to treat it.

Or she might just be old and diabetic and strained a muscle. She's not the most coordinated cat anymore and has slid down the stairs and fallen off of cat perches. We just don't know.

So, for now, we keep her comfortable and watch her. She's been eating very little, but she's always eager to try some food. She had potty problems but has recovered if she's helped into the box. She drinks lots of water, sleeps sprawled out, cleans herself (more or less) and snores when she sleeps. She purrs when we are near her, and makes the most horrible cry when she wants us. When she wants to be somewhere, she will tromp her way to the spot, be it up or downstairs, or she will meow until I take her somewhere (It's very odd, but I nearly always know what her meows mean and have since she was a kitten. I'm a very, very crazy cat lady, but damn it, I understand my cat.)

We have to make some decisions, somehow, some time. Have her put down now? Wait to see if she gets better or worse? She might have weeks, she might have months, she might have a good year or so left. I just don't know. I want to do right by her, and I don't want to lose my baby cat, my little hard luck case who has slept on my pillow nearly every night for 16 years. I bottle fed her and hauled her with me on vacation and tended her and fussed over her. She's much loved.

Still, she's growing old. And she's diabetic. How much do I put her through because I don't want to live without her? It's not like she -- or any of us -- will live forever. It's going to happen, and all I can control is the when and the how.

Yeah, I can go from zero to bawling mess in 10 seconds or less.

No comments: