I’m a horrible person. My poor cat has been through absolute hell the past few months – HELL I tell you. So how did I react when I saw her poor blind self walk right into the ottoman, bounce off, and hiss? I laughed. Loudly. Yup, no wonder I was afflicted with the creeping death. I’m just not nice.
What else am I to do? This former force of nature now weighs six pounds. For reference, Lucy’s fat ass weighs three times that. It’s a good thing she’s too dumb to realize she could totally dethrone Simone as alpha kitty or we’d have a nasty coup on our hands.
After I found her disoriented and unable to find her way out from behind the bedroom door, we took a trip to the Hoboken Animal Hospital. Her eyes were so dilated she looked like that freakish Hamster from Bedtime Stories. It weren’t no kind of easy to look at that sweet terrified face while the big bad vet tech coated the thermometer with Vaseline.
Based on her symptoms, the possible diagnoses were brain cancer, intestinal cancer, or high blood pressure. Hoping for the later, they took her diva-ness to the back for a little shaving and testing. (Yes Thom, it’s your dream come true. BOTH of my cats are shaved.)
I sat in the waiting room next to an older woman with thick reading glasses. I noticed her glasses only because they looked so terribly heavy as she tried to lift them while frantically wiping at the tears streaming down her face. In her lap, on an embroidered green silk pillow lay the tiniest white dog I’ve ever seen. His milky eyes followed the movements of other people in the waiting room, but otherwise the dog was motionless.
My heart trembled as a rotund tech clad in inappropriately cheerful scrubs sat next to the woman. Placing a hand on her shuddering shoulder, the tech asked in a thin, quiet voice, “Are you ready?” My heart broke right in two as I watched the distraught woman chew her bottom lip and nod with defeat.
She lowered her shiny fingers to stroke the scruffy bridge of her dog’s nose. Releasing her bottom lip, she took a deep breath and folded the pillow close to her chest. Shakily she rose to her feet and the tech helped her down the long sterile hall.
I turned away to watch the kittens playing in the window. Simone is thirteen. She was the runt of her litter and had all kinds of health issues as a kitten. Her little kidneys were damaged from contaminated Iams food a few years ago. She’s been on the verge of death more times than I care to count, but she’s so stubborn she somehow manages to stick around. Even my delusional ass knows that can’t go on indefinitely.
I turned back to see my tech working his way down the hall. His right hand held Simone’s green carrier. His left bore a new band aid. He broke into a huge grin as the bag emitted a low growl and hiss. “She still feels well enough to tell me just what she thinks of me.”
How could I not grin back? Of course, smiling made my welled-up eyes spill over down my cheeks. I sat back down, my hand in the carrier to stroke Simone’s head as we waited for results.
Would you believe her blood pressure was 240? The vet could hardly believe it either. Apparently 180 is considered quite high. Clearly she takes after me – we don’t do anything half ass. Her vision loss in the result of the blood vessels in her eyes literally bursting from the pressure.
She’s adapting to blindness rather well and she seems fine with my openly mocking her. When Rocco leaves his boots in the middle of the living room, she makes a cheerful little chirping noise as her nose bounces off the leather. She’s even daring enough to leap up and down from my ridiculously tall bed…something even my Mom is too scared to do.
They assure me she’s not in pain. They can’t assure me these drugs will work. It’s very possible she has one or both of those cancers previously mentioned. At thirteen, I have no intention of putting her through kitty chemo or any invasive treatments. I think I have a pretty good idea of when cost (quality of life) outweighs the benefit (length of life). I damn sure wouldn’t do chemo again to eek out another year or even five. I’m banking that mess scored me another thirty (fingers crossed).
They’re giving Simone another 6 months to a year, assuming these meds work and we can get her BP down to a livable level. Delusional or not, I’m banking she surprises us all and continues to grace me with her wet stinky hairballs at the foot of our bed for several years to come. If she doesn’t, I’ll be ok…eventually. Every extra evening I get to lay with her purring on my chest and demanding some sweet lovin’ is a gift.
Ain’t nothing sweeter than that tuna fish yawn.