Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't I Make A Cute Vampire??

Gremlin, trying to fit in with the current vampire craze. He turned 11 years old last month, and he's scheduled for a vet appointment soon.

Since June of 2009, we lost 6 of our cats, and our Golden Retriever, Dusty. Two of the cats we lost just to old age, 17 and 18 years old, but Dusty and the other four cats were lost to cancer. My sweet hand-raised 9 year old kitty, Megan, was diagnosed and died of a brain tumor on one horrible weekend in June 2009. Had no idea anything was wrong with her, until she jumped off the desk one Friday night, landed on her face on the floor, and then just could not get up - her front legs didn't work. Bundled her up in a carrier, and made the 70 mile round trip to an emergency vet. At that point, no one knew what was wrong with her; by that time, everything was in working order. On Saturday, she seemed a bit better, but by Sunday morning, it was apparent that something was terribly wrong. Her eyes were not focused, and her front paws were crossed. Back to the carrier and the emergency vet. She was failing before my eyes, and I had to say goodbye to her, which was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I got her when she was 3 days old, along with a brother and two sisters. The other two girls didn't make it, but Meg and her brother Cal survived. Cal had surgery for a cancerous eye nearly six years ago, but is still going strong.

In September, we noticed that our beautiful big Tuxedo cat had a swelling in his back leg. Diagnosis: sarcoma. Surgery the next day; survived the surgery, died from shock shortly after. He was 8; a wonderful cat, the official family "greeter". Always had to say hello to anyone who came in the house. And, if that wasn't bad enough, Jon's 17-year old kitty died 24 hours later.

We lost one of the other cats in January, and in March we lost our 18 year old kitty, Fuzzybuns. He had been deaf and blind for a few years, but was still going strong until the beginning of March. He became very frail very quickly, and I knew it was time to say goodbye to him.

IN early April, Dusty took a turn for the worse. He had started having seizures in the late fall, just occasionally. Even with meds, they became stronger and more often , until it was a daily occurence. Dusty was living with my son Dave for the last six months, so I spent a Sunday with them, just hanging out with Dusty. He was on his dog bed, and I was laying next to him petting him, and talking to him. He was breathing so hard, and it was hard for him to get up and move around. Again, we knew it was time for him to go, just a month before his 10th birthday.

In May, I got another nasty surprise. My sweetie cowkitty, Alex, suddenly started losing weight and refusing to eat. He'd had surgery in January for a large nasal polyp, but had recovered nicely and gained weight, and the lab reports indicated it was non-cancerous. A trip to the vet revealed he had a desperately low red cell count, beyond anything that could be done, and I lost him a week later.

It's been such a rough year for us. Our pet s are such an important part of our lives. The only bright spot in this is Murdoch, one of our other cowkitties. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his mouth in January, and given 3-5 months to live. So far, so good. We're seven months past diagnosis, he's still eating well and doing well; no weight loss or loss of energy, and I have not seen any more episodes of bleeding. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him.



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