Recently I wrote an article on Katzenworld about how to tempt older cats to eat. I was inspired to do this because I’m going through my own struggles with a 13 year old cat who has recently stopped acting kittenish, turned her calico nose up at food, and decided to open account at the local veterinary clinic.
Her blood test just acme back and the good news is that her kidneys, liver and thyroid are operating just fine. According to the last visit she is also not feverish or dehydrated. Eyes, ears, teeth and elimination habits fine. But she’s also just under 7 pounds when she should be at least 10.
Anyway, the vet found a mass in her intestinal area, they think it’s likely lymphoma. I think it’s likely a slow growing form of lymphoma, quite pragmatically because she’s still here, and though her decline has taken a few months, she’s still bright eyed and with us. They started her on metoclopramide to help with her digestion and tomorrow I’ll fill her first prescription of prednisolone topical, something to rub on her ear flap, to help shrink the mass. I’m glad about that one, she hates taking anything by mouth.
The pharmacist was amusing, by the way, when I went to pick up her medicine. It’s a liquid, vanilla flavored if Nezumi cares about that, and I had to tell them I didn’t know her birth date because she’s a cat! They understood but there was a slightly awkward pause when the older, white coated gentleman would have normally started to launch into a litany of possible side effects.
“Well, I suppose there could be drowsiness,” he said.
“It’s okay, I’ll be checking the usual veterinary databases,” I said, and wished him a good day.
It’s easier to think of it as a mass… rather than cancer, which is what it really is, even if it’s a slow growing one… and I hope it doesn’t grow in a direction that would block anything important. There’s lots of hope here, partly because I need to stay functional, but also because she picks up on my every mood. So does my spouse, and I don’t want to add to her already great burden of worry. She has her own health issues, after all, the wages of doing hard and toxic jobs when she was younger. Non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis isn’t fun, and neither is rheumatoid arthritis. She and our slightly arthritic little feline understand each other quite well.
So I talk to Nezumi and I pet her and I protect her waifish nibbling self from the sturdy scoffer who is a proud 17 years of age and is used to eating very rapidly. And I tell her she’s going to feel better soon, and I brush her and tell her she’s beautiful. One way or another, it’s all absolutely true.