"It seems like an infection, but it could be heart disease or a systemic cancer. Or possibly a blood clot."
"There are abnormalities but she's an unusual case - we aren't sure what to think."
"At this point, we recommend further blood work, some ultrasounds, an MRI and a spinal tap."
"We can insert a feeding tube next week."
"I think we've spent enough money on this girl and we're getting nowhere. All we can do is make her comfy and hope for the best."
Nope, not me this time. My brother's cat.
Fat Bones skipped a meal last week which was evidence of catastrophic illness. I was suspicious enough to stay up with her that night, only to see her collapse at 2:30 AM, then start dragging her fat hind end around like a clubbed seal, yowling in pain.
Off to the emergency vet. Then the animal hospital. Then the cat neurologist*.
We cried the first two days.
It's been a week and it's been thousands of dollars and I've mastered the art of taking rectal temps in a cat. We are stuffing pills down her throat and hoping she bounces back, and I can't help but realize how much we take for granted.
Two weeks ago, I texted my brother upstairs to complain that Fat Bones was smothering me with her love. She had parked herself on my face (first pic), purring happily and I pushed her away. Repeatedly. It was hot. She made me itchy. She was annoying.
Now she doesn't have the energy to cuddle that vigorously and my bro just hopes she begins to eat and drink again.
She's ten years old and she's family and our hearts heart.
Yet in the short time she's been sick, here's what's life has dealt my friends and theirs:
- A young family in a car crash is dealing with a paralyzed toddler
- A mother's teenage son drowned
- An old classmate died in a motorcycle wreck, leaving a wife and two boys behind
Nuzzle your pet even when it makes you itchy.
Hug your brother when he needs to cry.
Kiss that toddler who is slathered in refried beans.
Embrace your friends even if you feel sweaty and gross.
Tomorrow doesn't come for everybody and that itchy, stinky, sticky, sweaty hug might be the last.
Enjoy your weekend cuddles. I have a date with a thermometer, a cat butt and a prayer.
*Seriously. A feline neurologist is a thing. So is a thing called End of the Monetary Line in the Resurrection of a Beloved Pet, and it sometimes comes after the cat neurologist.