What The Cat and I Did Today

The morning started off with an exasperating car ride. I tried to take one set of back roads, but it was completely backed up for no visible reason. I wonder if the 8:00 segment of rush hour is just that bad. I wouldn't know! Then, as I'm turning around to take the main road, the traffic reporter on the radio says that there's an accident at the intersection of the main road and the road on which the veterinary hospital is (where I'd planned to turn). So I wound up coming around the other side of the first set of back roads, and that worked out.

Now, imagine trying to figure out which way to drive. . . with an infinite loop of plaintive meowing (because
somebody (A) hates the car and (B) wasn't allowed any breakfast) in the background. Not easy to hear oneself think in that situation.

Not long after we arrived, a nice vet tech took T
he Cat back in her carrier. As much as I would've liked to have seen the department of her interior, it's probably for the best that she didn't associate me with the procedure. The weird thing is, the tech said, "Now she's going to go back to get shaved, if you haven't done that already." If I haven't already!? What, you think I would willingly take a Norelco to my cat? (What about my pink t-shirt, blue jeans, and flip-flops suggests that I'm a cat-shaving freak?)

Presenting her shorn belly!
I still can't believe they shaved off her
fluff.
(You know, the part in front of their hind legs
that looks like a fluffy tutu? On tubby cats, it swings
or drags on the floor when they walk?)
Hey, it turns out she's calico
under her fur, too.


I kept myself occupied with back issues of Cat Fancy and watched a parade of dogs come through the waiting area, including a bulldog-type who was wheeled in on a little red wagon. I don't think he could walk. It was a little sad but he seemed not to mind it and was happy to be with his owners.

It took less time than they said it would; it's nice when stuff like this isn't all drawn out. A di
fferent tech brought The Cat back out in her carrier. The only thing that bugged me was that she looked at me and said, "Are you [The Cat]'s mommy?" No, I am not her mommy. In cat-to-people years she's old enough to be my mommy. Sure, I call her "Baby" every once in a while, but just as an affectionate nickname and not like a parent thing.

Well, long story short, they walked me, carrier in hand, back to an open exam room, and a few minutes later the doctor came in. She was very nice, and I appreciated that she spoke in a straightforward fashion as she described what she saw on the ultrasound: the intestinal wall was twice as thick as it normally should be, and there were some slightly enlarged (she made it a point to say slightly) lymph nodes. All signs basically pointed to lymphoma in her opinion, but she made it clear I should wait to hear from The Cat's vet after he reads her report.


I was prepared, but nobody's ever really prepared to hear that--hear it for sure. I sniffled a bit, and she was kind and talked a little about treatment. She signed the insurance form for me without my even asking (she just noticed it in my hand).

I took The Cat home and fed her two plates of breakfast, and made sure she drank some water as I tried to get this stupid overheated apartment to cool down.
It was hard to do much of anything while I waited for the vet's office to call. I got the air conditioner in the bedroom unwrapped and working. The Cat started on her progressive levels of serious bathing the rest of the day, because multiple strangers touched her.
She's taking yet another bath right now as I'm typing.

I had a little bit of leftover Easter ham for lunch. Actually, I got out two saucers and cut up some for me and some for the Cat. (And I said what the hell, enjoy it, glad you're eating, Cat.)


I managed to miss the phone call from the vet at 2:00 (didn't hear it over the AC) and didn't see the message waiting until I got back from dropping my car off to get inspected at 4. I called him back and he explained more about the lymphoma business. It does not appear to be very aggressive, which is a good thing. I get to pick up some steroids after school tomorrow, and the pharmacy they use would be calling me about payment and delivery for the chemo-type meds that she has to take twice a week. (Missed that call first time around, too. Arrrgh!) The prognosis is, well, tentative at best, and maybe I'll have a couple more years with her if I'm lucky.

To some degree, having had another cat before her, I knew I wouldn't have her forever. I think it's hard to deal with the first real awareness of how limited my time with her--her time with me--is.


Whatever the remainder of that time is, I really want it to be the best for her.

Comments

ccr in MA said…
Oh, rats.

I suppose it wasn't realistic to hope that the answer was going to be, "Nothing's wrong! All fine! Go one home now." I wish you all the best in handling this unhappy situation.

And I remember when Pan had to have a patch shaved on his belly. As it grew in, it had a lovely soft stubble on it, and I loved to pet it. Hope yours goes as well!
Rob said…
She's lucky to have you, Kate.
Dave E. said…
Shoot. I'm sorry you didn't get better news, Kate. Hopefully the meds will do more than expected, but like Rob said, no matter what she is lucky to have you watching over her.
Red Stethoscope said…
Aww, you're such a good cat momma! (But yes, weird that the vets did actually refer to you as "Mommy.") Sorry the news wasn't better! :(
Kate P said…
CCR--Aw, thanks. Yeah, deep down, I knew that even with the thyroid taken care of, things were not improving, so I owed it to her to get it done, as much as I hated to subject her to it. (I do agree, it's the nicest little peach fuzz on her belly. . . my sister says she looks tattooed!)

Rob--very sweet of you to say. Thank you. I think we're lucky to have each other!

Dave--thanks so much. I wish she didn't have to go through all this, but I'm relieved to have figured it out.

R.S.--thanks and yeah, it was just weird. . . I think I'd rather be called a crazy cat lady than a cat mommy. I'm all about the proper "maiden aunt" terminology, you see.
Pammy pam said…
awww poor kitty. wow when you get a pet you think they're going to last forever, right? its not fair and all that.

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