Friday, August 10, 2012


Doesn't seem like I'm around here much these days. I guess I'm busy elsewhere. Funny how central the blog used to be to my life. I hardly stepped outside without coming back here to record it. Now it's just things get real.

Max, my grey and white male cat, has cancer. They're virtually sure of it. I knew something was off with him, though he's been largely normal. He's been losing weight and unenthusiastic about food. This morning even tuna didn't jazz him so I figured time to take him in. I was hoping it was just a bad tooth. Turns out it's a tumor in the back of his mouth. There's really nothing they can do. The doctor says two months.

I got Max just about ten years ago. It was two months after Jenny died, just about ten years ago right now. By their reckoning, he was two at the time, which makes him about 12 now. While I've been reminding myself that he and Bonnie are getting on, still, 12 seems too early by three or four years to me. Jenny, for all the trouble she had with her thyroid, made it to 13.

Max has for a long time been "my little wee fella". He's never been sick. He was never the cat to pee on furniture. I don't think he's ever gotten mad at me and lashed out, not ever. He was fairly quiet, calm, tolerant of being held and cuddled, gentle, and a lap cat... something I'm sorry now I rarely indulged him in. He's been far more like an old dog than he ever was a young (or old) cat. It's strange to think that soon he won't be bothering me if I make the mistake of waking up briefly during the night, wanting to purr at me, drool on me, sit on me and knead me. Even now, with the tumor, he's largely the same guy he's always been. Still gets around, jumps up on things, still interested in some kinds of food, still calm and happy to swap blinks with me. How can it be that soon, all that will be gone?

But, at least for now, he's still here, isn't in discomfort, and seems to be just riding it out. That's his right and his due, like anyone else. I'll have to watch and if there's just no more interest in food, or he's clearly in pain, well, that'll be when I'll have to put my feelings aside in favour of his. I dread having to make that call. I've never had to. Jenny passed away one morning before I woke. Twinkle, well, died very suddenly on me while we were fighting to bring her back to health. I don't think Max has any real hope. And that means, sometime in the next couple of months, deciding to take him out of this suite and not bring him home. Except, later on, in a third urn to sit beside Jenny's and Twinkle's.

But not just yet, thankfully. I can still look over at him in that chair and just for a minute, pretend it's all normal, and everything's alright.


jim said...

LP, everything is all right at this moment. So relax and enjoy Max until things are clearly not all right.

barefoot hiker said...

Jim, it's always meant a lot to me that you keep on eye on this sporadic effort of mine. I really appreciate your responding so quickly. I'm trying to look on the bright side... I've had sweet, low-maintenance companionship from Max for a decade. He's still able to enjoy life. I have the power to spare him from suffering -- something that wouldn't be true for a cat on the street. He's had a good life and none of us lives forever. A longer life notwithstanding, so long as he doesn't suffer, I guess neither of us could have asked for more. So I'll do my best to enjoy what we have left to share.

jim said...

Ah, the power of RSS.

That's right -- enjoy what's left, then get about the business of making him comfortable until that's not possible anymore. Peace to you.

Dreck said...

I don't doubt you'll both have a very close and loving couple of months.