I’m down to my last cat.
His name is Shup. It’s short for Shupiluliumiash, a Hittite King.
He’s 18 years old, and he has a growth on his face. It’s about the size of a golf ball and it hangs from his lower lip near his face (as opposed to near his snout.)
It’s red and scabby, leaks blood occasionally, is covered with drool, and stinks.
Shup has diabetes, thyroid problems, and a heart murmur. But his readings on his last blood panel were pretty good. He eats well and seems happy enough.
I’ve been to my vet’s four times about this thing on his face. Each time, my vet was extremely reluctant to remove the growth, easily done though it would be.
(Honestly, snip, snip, snip, and it would be off.)
It’s the anaesthetic that she worries about. Shuppie is 18 years old after all, and there’s that heart murmur to think of. But the growth has gotten bigger since I’ve started bringing him in to show her, and she agrees that it probably should eventually be removed, or it might interfere with his eating. Or maybe it won’t, there’s no telling.
Since the results of the last blood test that was pretty good were told to me yesterday, I said I would call Monday about whether to schedule an appointment to have the growth removed.
I’ve mostly decided, yes, I want the thing taken off his face.
I mean, proportionately, if it were me, I would have a baseball-sized tumor hanging off my lower lip. Definitely, I would want it to come off.
I know it’s different for a cat. The cat doesn’t care about how he looks or smells.
But it can’t be pleasant eating with his face in the dish with this thing swinging around, splashing in the gravy, and in the water, and in the milk. He has no problems eating or drinking so far though.
It does get in the way of his grooming though. He doesn’t really try anymore, and it shows.
So, yes, I’ve mostly decided that on Monday, I will schedule the operation.
But if I’ve chosen wrong, and he dies from the anaesthetic, how will I feel? Will I really believe that I did it for his benefit? Or will part of me remember how gross the damn thing was, and how much I wanted that thing off his cute little face?
I can’t tell at this point. Yeah, he’d be better off without the thing on his face, but to risk dying for it?
With all my other cats, when the time came to put them to sleep, I knew it was time to let go. This, I’m not so sure. He isn’t sick. He isn’t miserable. If he dies because of this, I’ll feel guilty.
Sure, he’s old, and he’s got problems. But with medication, he’s normal.
I’ve mostly decided to go ahead, and have it taken off. But Monday is a long ways off yet. And I’m still thinking.