What was I thinking?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

All is right with the world -- at least today

I took our old girl, Tigga, to the vet on Monday. My intent was a checkup and to have a vet give her a once over to see if she has arthritis, and also to determine how well she sees.

I told the doctor that Tigga's urine had a bit of a sweet smell (not at all like your normal cat urine monster smell), and was concerned about diabetes. When they weighed her, Tigga was at only 15½ lbs. That's 3 lbs. less than 3 months ago. That's a LOT of weight for a cat to lose. That's equivalent to me losing 25 lbs. in 3 months.

So, they decided to run a series of blood tests and took her away into the treatment room. The vet came back into the room shortly afterward and told me that they wanted to keep her so they could get a urine sample -- apparently she'd gone just before I picked her up for her appointment, since her bladder was empty. Figures. They also wanted to test her thyroid, as they usually do in cat's Tigga's age.

The vet also expressed some concern about the lumps we've felt on Tigga's backside. I figured they may well be calcium deposits like we humans get around our joints when we get arthritis. The vet uttered the "C" word, and kept referring to them as "tumors."

So, I left without Tigga, wondering how I was going to tell Lisa.

As I knew would happen, Lisa cried when I gave her the news. I made her sit down and confront the possibility that Tigga's time was nearing an end and told her that we needed to talk about what we wanted to do if, in fact, the tests showed cancer.

I told Lisa that, if the decision was left up to me completely and alone, I would opt to give Tigga a few more months of quality life rather than put her through the misery of cancer treatment that would only, in the end, prolong the inevitable. As much as she didn't want to think about making the decision to put Tigga down, Lisa agreed. And so, we waited for the next day's news.

At 9:00, per my instructions, the vet called me at work (I told them that, under no circumstances were they to call Lisa -- if there was any bad news to be delivered, it should come from me). They'd gotten their urine specimen, and it tested negative for diabets AND cancer, and all the blood work came back normal too. The thyroid results are expected in today but, if they show any problems, that's a whole lot better than the worse case scenario we were looking at two nights ago.

I picked Tigga up at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and brought her home, got out my knitting, and we sat on the couch together, like always. When those knitting needles come out, Tigga plops beside me and we hang out together. I figured it was a nice way to get her home and calmed from her overnight experience. She purred in the car, instead of "bitching" like she normally does. She knew she was going home, I think.

I called Lisa and gave her the news. Obviously she was relieved. But last night we realized that our time with Tigga is nearing an end and I told Lisa that each return from the vet's office should be looked at as a gift. Tigga is 16½ years old, which equates to about 82 in human years.

Based on the table at the left, she's an octagenarian. What really hit us is that my cat, Cedar is middle-aged at 7 years, and our baby, Simba, is nearing middle age at 5 years. I told Lisa that maybe we should consider giving them ALL the glucosamine/joint supplement that we've been giving Tigga. We can use it as a preventive for the two younger cats.

And so, last night as we sat and watched American Idol, Tigga sat between the two of us, as usual, and all was right with the world.

Glad to have our old girl back home.


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