Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bloody pets

Pets.  Who'd have 'em?

Little furry bastards worm their way into your hearts, stick their claws in and don't let go.

I'm currently a quarter of a bottle of red wine down and have more to go, I reckon.

I had to take Sylvester Bean to the vets today.  He hates going but I hate it even more because I'm more aware of it.

About 3 weeks ago, he was getting underfoot, lying on his back, sprawling on the floor of my studio.  I reach down to rub his belly and found a bulge.  Or a lump.  Or a lumpy bulge/bulgy lump.  You get the idea.  In his abdomen towards his back legs.

Oh god.  It's obviously cancer, isn't it?  I can't deal.  I ignore it.  I'm a bad, bad cat mother.

But he is 17 years 3 months old.  That's about 85 human years.  He'd old.  He's arthritic.  He has hyperthyroidism for which he has daily medication.  A major operation is going to be horrendous for him - general anaesthetic for several hours, stomach incision, the 'cone of shame' (perhaps - he can't really reach his stomach easily so that may not be necessary), the weeks of recovery - is it worth it for a cat that old?  Something's going to get him some day.  Oh god - I'm a bad cat mother.

He showed no signs of discomfort from it.  He was eating, drinking and pooping just the same as always.  Getting up and down the stairs as best as he could, as usual.  No vomiting.  Absolutely normal.

I mentioned the lump to TLH and we decided to leave it to see if it went away.

It didn't.

Last night TLH rubbed Sylvester's belly and was alarmed at how much bigger the bulge had got.

I'm now at that menopausal age that seems to have flipped my emotion switch.  I lost it.  I ended up sobbing for far too much of the evening.  He's been such a central part of our little family for the last 17 years that the thought of losing him was just more than I could deal with. But I knew I had to take him to the vet.  It might not be a tumour, it could, for instance, be a hernia, or an abscess, but we wouldn't know until a vet had had a look.

I made an appointment today and got him in for 5.10pm.  I'd rung in the morning, got the appointment and was pretty much useless for the rest of the day as I couldn't concentrate on anything much.  As the time for the appointment approached, I sought out my very small bottle of Rescue Remedy to try and still my anxiety.

I got him to the vet without any stress on his part.  He was a very good boy in the car and didn't complain once.  The very nice lady vet starting feeling his belly and said 'Ooh', which didn't really bode well.  She asked prurient questions, listened to his heart, took his temperature - all were normal.  She said she'd never felt a lump like it.  It was the full thickness of the muscle in his abdomen.  It was hard.  Abscesses are hard.  The 'front' end of it wasn't seemingly bothering him, but the smaller, 'back' end was.

She said that she couldn't tell what it was without a needle biopsy which would ascertain if it was an abscess or a cyst (not entirely sure of the difference) and, if enough cells could be extracted, if it wasn't a cyst, if it was a cancerous tumour.  Then we'd have to contemplate surgery, perhaps, with all that that entails for a cat of his age.  Alternatively, an abscess/cyst could be treated with antibiotics.

I decided to go for that.  If antibiotics worked, then, obviously, surgery would not be necessary.  The nice vet lady said she could give him an injection that would last for 2 weeks thereby obviating the need for giving him yet another pill of an evening (along with his Vidalta for hyperthyroidism).

So he got his £50 injection.  And we're hoping for major mojo from the universe that his lump responds to the antibiotics - she said that, if it was going to respond, she would hope to see results within a week and, hopefully, definitely within 2.

So that's it for the moment.  Bloody cats.  I've already decided that he's going to be our last pet (at least for the moment).  I get too emotionally invested in them - they are my fur children.  And it tears me apart when they come to the end of their too-short lives.

But at least we have Sylvester for another fortnight and I'm accepting of all the mojo anyone is willing to give.


Pennie said...

Leaving you happy thoughts and best wishes for a good outcome

Anonymous said...

It's so awful when something happens to a beloved pet - they're so loving and trusting of their humans, but we know that even when we give them the best care we know how to give, bad stuff can happen. I hope, I hope, I hope the antibiotics work for Sylvester! xoxo

OmegaMom said...

Good thoughts headed towards you and Sylvester...

jenny said...

Thinking of you and Sylvester.He's a very handsome chap.

libby said...

Sending good thoughts and wishes..and hopes for everything being well.
That is a cute cat.