(apologies to Dopers who have actual human members of their families touched by cancer…I know it isn’t the same)
When people meet Ozzie they always comment on how muscular he is. His sleek black and white coat clings tightly to his lean, muscular form. Then I tell them to check out his feet. He has 7 toes on his left from paw and 8 on his left. People think that is pretty cool.
My daughter is 3 and “loves” on him a bit aggresively. But when he has 35 pounds of little girl crushing him on the sofa, he never yelps, scratches or bites. He just patiently waits for her to get off of him. In fact he has never swatted anyone in anger, even when they deserved it.
I was playing with him yesterday and he just didn’t seem into it. I went to pick him up and it was like picking up a bag of bones. He had wasted away in just a few days. I had been out of town on business and my wife said he had been really finicky about eating and had thrown up twice. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but maybe I should have paid more attention to it.
I felt the hollow space where his belly used to be and felt a knot the size of a golf ball.
I took him to the vet today and they first thought it was feline leukenia, but that tested negative. It turns out the mass is actually his kidneys…both of them are huge. He did some tests to rule out kidney stones and said he is confident with the shape and texture of the kidneys that it is cancer. He gave him some subcutaneous fluids and a prednazone shot. He said to try to feed him baby food meats.
There isn’t much we can do. Realistically we cannot afford to pay for “heroic measures” that ultimately will fail anyway. We will work with the vet to make Ozzie as comfortable as possible, and eventually I will have to make the decision to take him for the last trip to the vet…I dread it.
Ozzie you have been so kind and mild mannered. You are funny and my young family has enjoyed sharing our home with you. I just want you to know that I love you. I love it when you sleep on my feet. I love when you sit on the arm of the chair I am sitting in. I love the fact that you never scratched my daughter whn she pulled your ears or laid on you. You are a good cat. the best. I know you cannot possibly understand any of what I am feeling, but I want you to be well. You should be around for 10 or more years. But most of all I hope the bond we share allows you to know how much you have meant to me.
My cat has cancer.
newcrasher, we lost our wonderful, beloved dog to lymphoma on September 30, 2002. Beaver was 11 and absolutely one of the happiest and truly joyous creatures ever to grace the face of this earth (he used to wag his tail in big thumping swooshes in his sleep, I guess he even dreamed happy stuff). As painful as the whole process was emotionally, he taught me so much about sincere appreciation for the really important things in this world. Ozzie knows how dear he is to you and your family and he really does understand, that’s what makes the bond between us and our non-human companions so strong and so special.
My heart goes out to all of you. If there is one piece of advice I can offer it is this, remember that this is about Ozzie; don’t delay the hardest decision until he is in real pain; allow him the dignity, respect and love in dying that he deserves. It is both the hardest and most selfless determination you may ever have to make.
Please feel free to PM me if you want to. Oh, and let Ozzie know there’s a family in SC who loves him too.
newcrasher, you have my absolute sympathy and good wishes here. I lost a cat to cancer when I was twelve - he was the first cat who was mine and I loved him so much. He died while I was away from home visiting a friend and I came home devastated - I felt so guilty that I hadn’t been with him. But he died knowing he was loved - my parents were with him. And he was very loved - I still miss him. And I’m dealing with two very old, very sick cats right now, and am facing the prospect of losing both of them in a very short time, so I know exactly how you’re feeling.
Ozzie knows he’s loved. He knows you’re doing everything in the world possible for him and that you’ll make the right decisions for him. Give him a hug and kitty kisses from me and my babies. And for yourself…allow yourself to cry - it’s the best thing I’ve allowed myself to do lately. I can tell Ozzie is like our kitty family members - he’s not just a cat, he IS part of the family.
We’ve lost two cats to cancer. About eight years ago one of our males, Agate, suddenly got listless and wouldn’t eat; we took him to the vet and tests showed he had cancer. We were told that we could take him to a specialist who would run the same tests but charge us more and most likely recommend an operation which would only prolong his agony. I took him back to the vet and held him while they gave him the shots. Last year Muffin developed mammary cancer; this was supposedly operable but as it turned out it had progressed further than they thought, and she developed infections. We tried to treat her at home but she had a seizure and was DOA by the time we could get her to the vet. Thinking back, I wish we had just let her go instead of trying to extend a life that was already lost.
It isn’t easy, but sometimes the hardest choices are the right ones. And don’t be ashamed to cry.
We lost a Boxer to mast cell cancer in February. We tried chemo on her for a while, and I think it truly bought her some time, but the crap she went through wasn’t worth it. In true VunderBob fashion, I carried her out of the house so she could go to the crematory after the vet did his thing.
Give your cat hugs, but don’t prolong his life by going into denial that the end is near. Set a point ahead of time where enough is enough, and have him euthanized.
I’m so sorry, Newcrasher. There’s nothing I can think of to say that will make this loss right. Fuzzerheadlovehug
I don’t know if you’re doing this, but don’t blame yourself for not noticing his weight loss. I’ve had three cats become seriously ill, and they drop weight at an incredible rate. It can be very difficult for even the most loving, attentive cat family to notice right when a cat starts acting sick.
I lost my beloved 18-year-old cat to kidney failure a month ago. I hope you can enjoy what time you have left with Ozzie and that you can be comforted in some small way by knowing you’ve done your best to make his life a happy one and his death easier than it might have been.
I do feel a little guilty about not noticing the weight loss. It happened so fast and I had been out of town. But I know there is nothing I could have done to prevent the “C” from moving in…
Thanks for all your encouraging words. Dopers are the best…
Ugh, that’s awful, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say other then I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Newcrasher, when Mittens died, it was so fast that my parents felt guilty. I noticed he was losing weight and wasn’t eating the week before I left to visit my friend - he died the next week. I’m one of those people who is extremely in tune with my pets, so it’s very easy for these things to not manifest completely until it’s very noticeable. You have no reason to feel guilty - especially since you’re doing everything you can for Ozzie now.
I have a cat at home that had a cancer scare. My husband I noticed that he was losing weight and would not move from our bed. I was rubbing his chest and noticed a marble sized hard lump between his front legs. My first thought was he had cancer. We both had decided that if it turned out to be cancer we would have him out down. We could not bare to watch him suffer. We took him to the vet the next day and the vet looked grim about it. He said that more than likely it was cancer and the type it could have been could not be cured. He noticed a small wound near the lump and said it was a small possibility it was an infection. He decided to try an antibiodic to if that would help, otherwise the next step would have been a biopsy. Thankfully a week later the lump was gone and he was back to him old self. Turned out to be an infection from a puncture wound. I cant imgine what it would be like without my little buddy.
Keep him comfortable and let him die with dignity. I’m so sorry for this bad news.
We had “Charlie” for 9 years and he lost a ton of weight and was peeing on everything in sight. Before I could take him to the vet he disappeared. We have no idea what happened to him. But we had already decided if he had a disease and was uncomfortable we would put him down for the sake of the cat.
You will miss your cat and one day things will get better.
You will never find another cat to replace this one but I bet there is room to try and love another one.
My sincere sympathies. I lost my guy to sarcoma back in January and still miss him very much. But I’m the better for having known him while he was here.
I am so sorry. I know what you’re going through and there is no good thing I can say to make you feel better, just that I understand and I wish it wasn’t so.
I had to go out of town. Talk about more guilt! I rarely have to be out of town, like once a year for business and I had to go out again this week. My wife and kids have been looking after Ozzie.
I just got back today and he actually looked ok. He is still thin, but he seems to be “stable”. I put down a plate of tuna and he tore it up! I was glad to see his appetite so hearty. He is sitting next to me know and I am hoping his meal stays down.
What does this mean? He is still sick, but could go on much longer than I anticipated. He does not seem to be in any pain. I am aware that it could turn sour at any time though. I just pray for him.
While I was travelling I saw a sign on a bank (of all places) that simply said “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”.
Well Ozzie was put to sleep this afternoon. He had gotten progressively worse and lost more weight. His kidneys were huge and he was having trouble making it up the stairs.
I took him to the vet and I held him while the vet shaved his forearm. He snuggled up into my chest as if to hide his eyes, but didn’t struggle. He looked up at me as the injection started and I talked to him, telling him I loved him and he was God’s cat now, as his eyes went slack. It was over in 10 seconds.
I buried him a little while ago.
God love ya Ozzie. You were a good cat. I miss you so much and I am sorry we couldn’t make you better.
I will never forget you…
I’m sorry for your loss, newcrasher. Ozzie sounds like he was a good cat.
My sympathies. I cried while I read your posts. Whatever the species, cancer is a horrible disease.
At least Ozzie was blessed to have a loving family. Many animals aren’t that fortunate. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Awww. My sympathies.
My cat has cancer, too. He is an old-timer that we rescued from the street 14 years ago at the age of a couple of weeks and a weight of less than a pound. He developed a tumor between his shoulder blades last year, and we had it removed, but the vet said there was no guarantee it had not spread. He told us about a vet who will do chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cats, but we decided that was tough enough for people to go through, and it would be cruel to inflict it on a poor animal who wouldn’t understand why he was being taken and tortured so.
Now it appears that it obviously has spread. He is gaunt, but not in any obvious pain, and enjoys the treats we give him since we no longer have to worry about the health of his teeth, or his becoming overweight. He still enjoys getting petted, brushed and cuddled. When this is no longer the case he will join his predecessors in the wild roses at the edge of our property. We will know that we gave him 14 good years that he would otherwise never have had at all, and when enough time has passed, we will go and rescue another cat in his memory.
It still hurts though, even when you know it’s inevitable that you will outlive your furry friends.