spookyevilone: (Default)
1. If I ever have to move again, I'll have more options because finding places with one cat is easier than places that allow two.
2. Cat litter will last twice as long. (I fully expect that $Oldest_Cat will start peeing more just to spite me.)
3. There will be half as much cat hair cluttering up my house. Or: I can procrastinate longer between vacuuming.
4. I can go back to buying the good, healthy cat food instead of the garbage that was all $Stupid_Cat would eat.
5. I won't have to yell at the boys to stop fighting anymore, because the 3am spats will no longer be waking me up.
6. No longer have to play 'Ok, what $!@$^ impossible space has he found to hide in today?' or panic that he's somehow escaped into the Big Blue Room without me noticing.
7. No more being woken up by the Worst Kitty Halitosis In The World.
8. No more "KITTY! Don't eat that! That is not food!" ($Oldest_Cat, not being a little kitty retard, doesn't try to eat things like kleenex and q-tips.)
9. Half as many claws to clip, ears to clean, puddles of hairball to clean up after.
10. Half as many vet bills.

I keep telling myself these things and more, trying to see light through the dark. I'm alternating between the anger and acceptance stages of grief. I keep trying and failing to find something funny to say. About as close as I can get is "I'm thinking about replacing him with a Naked Mole Rat, since they are immune to cancer and can live up to 30 years." but nobody seems to find that funny except me.

Anger, because over four years and thousands of dollars of vet bills (multiple vets as well), "there's nothing wrong with your cat", "If I saw the test results, I'd think you had a perfectly healthy cat, because his numbers are perfect. But I've seen him. I don't know what to tell you, other than it might be a food sensitivity." There was clearly something wrong with my cat. He'd go in cycles where he'd lose most of his body weight, I'd play Musical Foods until I found one he'd eat again, he'd gain the weight back and then two years later do it all over again. This last time was the third cycle, and it was the worst, where he was down to literally skin and bone. My own internet sleuthing told me it was either hyperthyroidism (and his thyroid was "fine" on ultrasounds), or chronic kidney disease (and his numbers were also "perfect").

For anyone else who has a cat that suddenly starts looking like a model for anorexia, I highly recommend this site. It not only gives more specific examples of symptoms, but lists pretty much every test to have and things to do to maintain a cat with CKD. CKD is almost impossible to diagnose until a good chunk of the kidneys have *already failed*. In the case of $Stupid_Cat, it was never diagnosed, but I treated him as if he had been, and watched his food and fluid intake, added baking soda to his food to stave off metabolic acidosis, gave him gushy food - anything to keep him eating and drinking. In the end, I was right, but that's not really comfort. I'm trying not to be angry. I'm trying to acknowledge that it's just a stage of grief, this anger. It's hard. It's hard not to start the blame game, and it's impossible to not blame myself, even though there's nothing I could/would have done differently even if I had received an official diagnosis.

$Stupid_Cat went into acute renal failure two days ago. He died yesterday morning. He went peacefully, at home, which is about all one can ask for a 14 year old cat. That's where the acceptance part comes in. This long, frustrating fight is finally over. He didn't suffer. He wasn't in pain. He just.. stopped. He was planted in the back yard of my sister's house - the house I grew up in - yesterday, in a spot chosen because there was a random catnip plant growing there. The serendipity of that appealed to me.

The night before $Stupid_Cat died, $That_Guy called and asked to speak to him. I put the phone to $Stupid_Cat's ear. $Stupid_Cat heard his name and turned to look at the phone, and when $That_Guy started talking, $Stupid_Cat started purring really loudly. That, and the way he and $Oldest_Cat touched noses and purred at each other the final time, are the two memories I am choosing to keep from this death.

$Stupid_Cat
August 8, 1999 - June 20, 2013
Went out of my world the same way he joined it, curled up in my arms and purring.


$That_Guy and $Stupid_Cat head-booping, during cycle #2 of "why the hell is my cat wasting away". $Stupid_Cat did not have stegosaurus spines, those are the ears of $Oldest_Cat, who is far too dignified to head-boop.


"Rainbow Bridge" comments not accepted or appreciated. Seriously, keep that glurgey fucking nonsense as far away from me as possible.
spookyevilone: (Default)
$Oldest_Cat went to the vet today to have a potentially cancerous ass lump removed. He had an anal sac explosion on the other side in July, so I thought this was another anal sac abscess but it couldn't be expressed.

Nothing says "You are the most important thing in my life" like trying to squeeze rotten stenchy ass-pus from a cat's anal sac for half an hour. And then the vet responded to my "Where do I lance this safely? I don't want my cat losing control of his ass sphincter and dripping shit all over my apartment for the rest of his life. Which will be short, because dripping shit is not to be tolerated, no matter how much I love him." with "Hey, probably a hideously aggressive form of ass cancer. Bring him in."

That phonecall established (as if it was in any doubt) that Bad Shit Happening To $Oldest_Cat is my emotional Kryptonite.

So today he went under the knife. Well, first he went under an ultrasound and so many needles that his cream and white fur was polkadotted red all over, which was actually pretty cool as a fashion but not so cool that it meant my cat had just had tiny bits of him ripped out with an aspiration needle. I may have to recreate the fashion with something slightly more hygienic, like a Sharpie. Or catsup. Because it has the word 'cat' in it, and it is red, and I can totally find a way that it's beneficial to his fur on some granola hippy blog somewhere. AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS KIDDING! But first he'd need chlorine damage. I can justify that. He's going to need a bath before he comes home, and there's chlorine in city water, and he's used to bathing in his own spit so tap water is probably pretty harsh on his fur. Thus, catsup. Totally.

My vet is awesome. She let me watch the surgery. I don't think she wanted to leave me alone in her waiting room when I was this hopped up on caffeine and anxiety. Leaving me unattended in this state often has interesting results, so she put me where she could see me. And also possibly knock my ass out with a surprise hit of Ketamine if she felt it necessary. Apparently I wasn't that obnoxious. Must try harder! So I got to pet my beloved cat's head while the vet removed a tumor the size of a shooter marble.

So that's what cancer looks like. Fuckin' ugly little bastard. That was the only thing I could think. I expected it to look like a water balloon made of glistening innard tissue, but it looked more like some sort of fucked up cauliflower floret made of skin.

Yes, of course I came home and aggressively ate a huge bowl of steamed cauliflower and pretended I was masticating the everlovin' hell out of potential ass-cancer. It's like you people don't even know me! Or maybe you do, because at least one of you imagined I would do something like this. And I did!

The vet would not let me keep the tumor. I begged, I pleaded, I offered to preserve it myself if she would only turn it over to me because hey, all those biology classes on dissection had to pay off somehow. I tried to argue that since it had come out of my cat, it was kind of like a kitten, only made of tumor, and that the little tumor-kitten belonged to me. She countered with things like "biohazard" and "proper disposal of medical waste". I think she just wanted to keep it for herself. I called it Terrible John the Bastard King of Assholery.* Except I shortened it to "Fuckin' ugly little bastard". I hope she keeps the name, at least.

I said we needed to cut it open to see if there was a hideous symbiotic twin hiding inside, and she did. Because my vet is made of awesome. Also, she needed a slice of it for the lab. But she totally did a dissection on the thing and let me watch. Sadly, nothing as neat as a wrinkled little face belligerently swearing vengeance was inside. That made this whole ass-cancer thing a lot less interesting than it could've been. Probably a good thing - if it'd opened eyes and started swearing at me, she'd have had to let me keep it.

The cat is staying at the vet overnight, because he is not waking up from the anesthesia as quickly as the vet would like, which wasn't really unexpected. She says 13 is geriatric for a cat. I told her I fully expect him to live forever, so that's like, zygote stage in the grand scheme of things. She then said something about his prognosis looking good but we won't know for certain until the biopsies come back and blah blah blah. It's like she didn't even hear the 'I expect him to be immortal and never die. It was in the contract!" part.

On the way home, I decided it would be a good idea to have a crappaccino. It was possibly not such a good idea. My soul is vibrating like a tuning fork, my speech has gone nearly Codeine-level incomprehensible, and I can't sit still. Synapses are firing so fast that it's very hard to construct a full sentence of text without chasing all the pretty lights of other subjects that are littering my head.

This is a preferable state of being to the sobbing wreck I was yesterday. Trust me.

Stupid cat. Stupid potential ass-cancer.





* The Bloggess. Read her.

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spookyevilone

February 2014

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