Cat death not necessarily imminent
September 2, 2010
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Right. This is going to take a while to process.
Nipped up to the vet’s earlier to pay off some outstanding bills and had a chat with the senior, excellently named, vet about Elgar. I told him about the weight loss which he was surprised about, and also about his spectacular liveliness (if you follow me on Twitter you may have picked up that for Elgar, losing his massive bulk has given him a new lease of life: he’s off exploring the neighbour’s gardens, playing pouncing games with the bedclothes and chasing his toys).
‘Hmm,’ said the vet. ‘Well, bring him in in a month and we’ll take a look at him.’
I gaped. ‘A month?’ I said. ‘You think he’ll last another month?’
‘I don’t see why not,’ he said.
So here I am with a wealth of conflicting information. Lymphoma always kills: no cat survives more than 18 months even with chemo. But some animals go years with lumps that don’t seem to affect them. The vet nurse’s 19 year old cat has had a lump in his chest and been a bag of bones for two years. They assumed Elgar’s cancer had spread around his body from the – well, you know, from the science – but maybe it hasn’t spread as quickly, or maybe it’s stalled. Or maybe this is just a cruel second wind and he’ll be snuffed out next week. From the sound of it, the next month is the key. If he survives, it’ll just be a case of carry-on-as-normal until one day he starts puking and it’s goodbye kitty.
This is an odd situation to be in. It’s one thing waiting for imminent cat death and preparing for it. But I’m not living like this – all rugs rolled up, duvet stashed away, outings curtailed – for the next year. That’s fucking mental. And nobody would expect me to live like that. At what point do I restore normality? I have no idea. I guess it just creeps back. One slightly awkward point: I’ve accidentaly taught him how to beg (didn’t seem any reason not to let him lick ice cream from the bowl on the sofa) and now I can’t eat anything remotely dairy in the living room without being accosted. Oh, and I’ve been giving him treats to try to bulk him back up, and now he looks affronted if his bowl has anything other than ham in it. Bugger.
(This all said; I bet he dies next week now.)