Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's not a good sign

When the vet tech looks briefly at your cat's test results, then ushers you to an exam room. I was expecting this, I really was but how prepared can one really be when a cat that holds your heart in his tiny paw is fatally ill.

My beloved Elliott has the effusive form of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). From the moment he came to our home as a foster, May 29th 2005 this little ragamuffin stole my heart. Elliott was a little sick as young one, briefly very ill and we needed to give him subcutaneous injections of fluids, he often ran hot appearing to have a fever. As an adolescent cat he was gangly, reminiscent of a young Henry Fonda.

He grew into a long and elegant cat, I adored every
phase. Elliott is the loner of the group, only bonding with Orion who was in his foursome (TGF brought home Elliott {nee Achilles}, Orion, Caliopee, and Atticus {nee Lycus} while I was attending a birth.).

Though it was my heart that was smitten he would have nothing to do with me. He regularly begs to sit on TGF's chest while she sits on the couch surfing the web, or stands on her chest when she is in bed. Of course I suppose it's only fair as Atticus stole her heart and soul but he pines for me when I go out of town.

(I just lost everything I wrote after this, so I will try to recreate it. Once was friggin hard enough!)

Tonight after telling TGF (which sucked, a LOT) I gathered up the skinny, pot-bellied cat my boy has become and we sat together while I surfed, thought, and whispered sweet things in his ear. He sat with me for an hour which is a clear sign that he is not well.

Over dinner, I glimpsed at Elliott and his belly looked smaller. I swear it did, so I thought, "Maybe he will be that one in a million that spontaneously goes into remission and will live for years more." Wishful thinking. Wishing very hard.

Now we are left with deciding how much is enough. It is a fine line between not allowing him to suffer and how much are we sparing ourselves. I have never had to do this with a member of my family. I know I'’ve been lucky. All my cats have done off to die. My family dog was put down after I left home and without my prior knowledge. I think I would before to have a vet come to our home to put my boy love down. Afterwards, I'm not sure. Jennie was a sweetheart and sent me the link to the place she used. They sprinkled the ashes at a pet garden. I don't know if the site wasn'’t clear or I just could not feel it, but I could not see using them. Maybe it's too soon to think clearly about this. I never understood keeping a box of ashes, but I am beginning to see the draw. The desire to hold on can be so intense.


Barbara said...

Oh Dharma, I am so sorry to hear this about your cat. I know that there is very little comfort in the words of strangers, but please know that I am thinking of you and your boy in this time of sorrow.


wen said...

hi dharma--as someone who just lost a beloved kitty one week ago today, i understand totally.

my advice: hug him and love him and talk to him lots while you have the time. and don't give up hope on him just yet. you never know. he may have more time left than you think.

it's not easy to decide how much is enough. i still think about the fact that tl wanted to interact and snuggle even after "the decision" was made.

that said, i believe i did (and you will do) the right thing for the kitty (whether or not it's hard for you).

i'll send you both a big dose of reiki and good vibes...

heather said...

ack. sending good vibes that elliott's the one in a million who gets better!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry...I'll be thinking of all of you.