Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cat Who Lived

My cat has cancer.

Large cell stomach cancer. Had it been small cell, he'd have a good chance of recovery, they said. But this is large cell.

Stop talking about What You Could Have Done If It Were Different and TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH THE REALITY I HAVE, I thought.

This was the beginning of December. They said I could start him on chemotherapy, but it would be more a Quality of Life thing than a fix. Especially as he also has a thyroid problem. And arthritis. They hinted I might consider euthanasia. They said he would be dead by the end of January.

My cat is still alive.

Through the first couple chemo doses, I stayed up with him all night. Making sure he had fluids. Making sure he ate a little every few hours. Making sure he kept the food down and giving anti-nausea pills if he could not.

He has a cream for his thyroid and I give him shots for his arthritis, and vitamin B12 shots as well.

He tolerates this as well as can be expected. Some days he's more annoyed than others. But he's still plugging away. His brain is still sharp as ever.

You have to understand, he was my first cat. I found him at a shelter. He'd had bad experiences with humans so it took some time for him to trust me. Since my previous pet experience was my family's pug (a very cat-like dog), I inadvertently approached him as such. I taught him words.

This cat has as large a command vocabulary as my pug had. At feeding time, I'd tell him to go sit and he'd go to the kitchen and hit the specific mark where he's supposed to sit. If he's not precisely on the mark, I can repeat the command and he will scoot over the inch or two to be precisely on his mark.

He knows how to heel without a leash when we go on walks. I can allow him to get ahead of me to explore and then call him back and he'll come. He'll complain at me ("Meow, meow, meow!"), but he'll come.

He also likes to play games on tablets and phones. But only if he can win. He doesn't like games that go on forever, he wants a Decisive Victory. It's pretty funny.

The vet techs at the cancer center are constantly amazed by him, his good nature, his chill personality. We go in without a carrier and hang out. He purrs.

Now we are approaching the end of his chemo. He gets an ultrasound next Monday. I am hoping for Full Remission. If it's not gone, he'll have to undergo a second round of chemotherapy treatments.

And yes, I've already decided that's what we're doing. If we have to, we're going down fighting.

I was told by one disapproving person that they would have euthanized the cat at the beginning rather than spend the money on chemo. So I knifed them.

No I didn't.

Bloodstains are sooo difficult to get out.

But they are correct, it is expensive. So.... if you've been on the fence about purchasing my writing, or ever even vaguely considered maybe buying one of my books, I would encourage you that now would be the time to do so. You could think of it as a donation, with the book as your free gift. Most of my ebooks are the same price as one cup of coffee. You'd buy me a coffee, right?

In any case, please keep us in your thoughts.