A Few Days at Home
The Flying Nuns are swooping around, splashing in their water bowl, and eating like hungry jackals. When we visit the villa, they climb on us and purr. So I hadn't been planning to post an entry today. I'd been planning to spend the day working on my second novel (no, the first one isn't published yet, but you can read it as an ebook by clicking the ad on the right.) But an adult cat named Po-Boy that was transferred to Homeward Trails from a rural shelter on Saturday needed a ride to his vet appointment this morning.
Po-Boy was staying at HT's "Kitty City", a warehouse-style room where he had a floor-to-ceiling chicken-wire-enclosed cage with plenty of space, a cat tree, a bed, toys, etc., and was allowed out to wander the premises once in a while. He had been assigned a foster home but needed to see a vet first about a blood-spot in his eye. He's also quite skinny, FIV positive (feline AIDS), and has a slight tear in his ear. He'd been brought to the King George animal shelter by someone who found him outside, cold and hungry.
Po-Boy's vet appointment was at a clinic just across the river in Maryland, about 20 miles away from Kitty City. He needed to go today, because he'd thrown up recently and his coordinator had noticed that the vomit was tinged with blood. We live 10 minutes from Kitty City, so I volunteered to take him.
The doctor said his temperature was OK and his heart and lungs sounded normal. The blood-spot on his eye was a small ulcer, probably the result of trauma. And he only weighed 7 lbs, which to me was worrisome. My apprehension was confirmed when the doctor found a hard mass in his lower abdomen. She x-rayed him and pointed out the tennis-ball sized abdominal mass on the films. She said that a definitive diagnosis would require a biopsy, but his x-rays, weight loss, and blood-tinged vomit were consistent with advanced gastrointestinal cancer.
I asked her if she would advise me to put Po-Boy down if he were my cat. She nodded, and said probably sooner rather than later. I asked if she thought he was suffering now and she said no, pointing out that he'd been purring when she checked his heartbeat.
I took Po-Boy back to Kitty City and he seemed reluctant to go back in his cage. I'd found a single pellet of firm poop and a small wet spot on the towel when I cleaned out his carrier, so I guessed that he hasn't been eating much. The long car rides couldn't have been much fun, but maybe he felt depressed being alone on the floor of his cage.
I relayed the diagnosis to his coordinator and prospective fosterer, and after zapping a few sad e-mails around, we all agreed that I should go get him and bring him back to 50K for a day or two… or a little longer, if he stabilizes or rebounds. When we see signs that he's suffering, we'll take him to the vet to be put down.
The 50K felines won't mind giving up the bunkhouse and playground for a few days, and we have a sunny spot that moves across the bed during the afternoon. Po-Boy deserves a home and some TLC during the few days he has left especially since it may be the first time in his life he's had any.
I brought him back from Kitty City and showed him around the playground. He explored a little but doesn't seem to have much energy. When I started petting him, I was struck by how prominent his spine felt. Still, he was purring.
filed by: TS