Tuesday, November 18, 2008

back on the roundabout

I can be a boring nag of a not-girlfriend.

Ok, I am a know-it-all pain in the bum sometimes.

But I know the cats and can pick up when something is not right. For the last couple of months I’ve been saying, “there is something wrong with BFHO*”.

We are a blended family – I was a “lovely lady…bringing up one very lovely…cat and he was a man named Brady who was busy with three cats of his own…

Since we’ve lived together, one of his beautiful cats has succumbed to feline HIV and I’ve been a good eye on the others. They are all geriatric pussies but generally healthy and happy. Then a month or three ago I noticed one of his girls had developed a bit of dribble. She’d had some teeth go rotten and taken out earlier in the year. I was worried there were some further dental probs. The NB disagreed and said she was fine. I persisted.

Finally three days before he flies off on a long holiday he gave into my nagging and takes her to a vet.

This gorgeous ball of fluff…

…has bone cancer in her jaw.

Do we want to operate, do the rounds of the veterinarian oncologists and surgeons?

She’s 14 years old. She’s still eating, purrs and apart from a lump and mucky dribble.

Where do we draw the line at life extension? How painful with surgery be (removing part of the jaw and some teeth), how will she cope with the anaesthetic and recovery? Will she stop eating and loose weight, which is never good for cancer? How painful would the treatment be?

I give her cuddles everyday, she nestles with her front paws on my shoulder and purrs loudly. She’s enjoying her food. She likes sitting in the sun and naps on the bed.

I opt for short term quality of life versus surgery. Painkillers when necessary. The lovely vet Emma for a humane end of life at home when the time comes.

It’s not my decision, though if she is to go through the whole shaboodle it will be left to me to manage it.

What would you do?

* she is affectionately referred to as the big fat hairy ho, fat hairy ho…or just ho. Believe me, its actually makes more sense than her ‘real’ name.

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Blogger jo_blue said...

How sad. I would opt for shorter quality of life, spent lovingly with my owners vs painful surgery and trauma.

Hugs and pats to the hairy ho.

5:29 pm  
Blogger Zoe said...

What a grand looking animal. I say keep her at home without mucking her about.

It won't be long until my 14 year old kelpie needs an Emma.

6:43 pm  
Blogger docwitch said...

Oh no.

Well, I feel the same on that issue: quality of life, if shorter, rather than an extended existence spent in pain.

It sounds as though you're giving her all that she needs right now. Cuddles. Lots of cuddles, for that most magnificent of fat furry ho's.

10:55 pm  
Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

oh a longhair tabby - she's lovely.
I am so sad for you.
I had a gorgeous big fluffy rabbit which got jawbone cancer and the vet wept too when he euthanased him.

I agree with everyone above - 14 is a good age and don't put her through the surgery trauma.

If she is purring then leave her alone. They go under the bed when they have given up on life - my 17-year-old cat did that.

A little drool is not too much to tolerate from her.

much love

11:47 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and virtual hugs. The Ho is enjoying extended bed privileges at the moment, still purring and eating, taking her pain meds with little complaint. Will keep you updated.

1:49 pm  
Blogger Melba said...

i've just come by, haven't been for awhile, sorry love. and sorry to read of this latest. i agree with what the others have said. i wouldn't be mucking around with operations etc. it draws it out, sometimes nature has to take its course, and can be helped at the end with our furry friends. it seems the right, kind thing to do.


2:56 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Ho update: a couple of weeks post doom and gloom diagnosis her appetite and personality seem unchanged. She is obediently taking the painkillers each night before dinner, got a good Pavlovian response happening. Doesn't seem to be obviously in pain, though she attacks the meat (still happy to eat big chunks of raw stuff) chewing on the 'good' side of her mouth. If the plate is empty in the morning she is the first cat to complain about it.

I know she won't stay this well forever but its a relief to see her still happy, especially with her real owner away.

10:54 am  

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