Though I’ve been vegetarian for five years, there’s meat mashed in my hair and a few teaspoons worth embedded in my t-shirt. At some point in the last twenty-four hours, I’ve taken to painting the bathroom with it too, and using it as a pre-laundry treatment for every towel in the house.
Why the protein-fest? That would be on account of:
a. My general lack of coordination as I attempt syringe feeding, and
b. The image on your screen to the left. That’s my Pepper, a seven-year-old rescue of ours, and if it weren’t against Mom Rules to announce it, the cat of my heart. (Woops. Guess I typed that with my outside fingers.)
She’s sick, peeps, and it’s been going on for a week now. I don’t think she’s going to make it.
We thought at first she had a hairball. She’s a medium-haired cat, verging into long-hair territory, and it’s shedding season. No matter how much I brush, around this time of year, it’s almost inevitable that one of our four creatures will be leaving vomit spots around the house, and Pep’s lush coat means she’s often a sufferer.
But while she’s no longer vomiting, she’s not turning the corner, either, despite subcutaneous fluid administration, us providing any and every tempting food we can think of, hand feeding and all manner of general cosseting.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and took her to the vet, who found an abdominal mass. They took blood and booked an ultrasound for today, and I’m taking in a urine sample as well. By this evening we’ll have some idea what we’re dealing with.
If Pepper has a definitive condition that requires one-time treatment, like a foreign body, we’ll put her through whatever intervention’s required. If it’s cancer, I might not bring my baby home. I realize that’s not what everyone would decide for their pets, but I’ve had a lot of experience with end-of-life care and will not put her through a lingering illness because I’d like to hang onto her longer. Thankfully, on this my family is united.
I’m posting about this for a few reasons:
1. Some of you already know part of what’s going on and have expressed interest in knowing about Pepper’s progress. I thought it easiest to make one, centralized location for an update.
2. To say a huge thank you for your support and advice! Human beings have tremendous capacity for acts of kindness and generosity, and that never seems more obvious to me than when I’m dealing with issues about children or pets. I know if Pep could speak, she’s thank you for your concern. I know I’m touched.
3. Can we talk? A lot of you have faced these kinds of decisions with your furry family members. I’d love to know how things worked out for you. Do you have any decisions you’d make differently, given the benefit of hindsight? If your pet faced long-term medical conditions and you went with treatment, any regrets?