Pets can teach us many things — about responsibility, about love, about patience, and about joy. Unfortunately they can also teach us about pain, sorrow, and ill-health.
Maggie Mae was the nearly 20 lb bundle of grumpy love we got from Friends of Felines in 2005 or so. She growls at our manx tabby, glares at our outdoor cats, and runs when someone knocks at the door. She has always had digestion problems, and we’ve assumed her bad temper was a result of not feeling 100% a lot of the time. She was sweet to us, always, even when she’d just barfed. And she loved to eat, and gained even more weight from when we adopted her. Her moods and reaction to food made it obvious that there was some underlying emotional need, or maybe something physical, that she (in her own determined kitty way) tried to heal with food.
But we’ve spent the past two months having many, many trips to the vet hoping that the latest dramatic digestion problems were just temporary, and that we’d find the right balance of food and meds to keep her un-constipated and eating. She’s lost nearly 10 lbs since this started.
Unfortunately, that desired balance may never happen. X-rays didn’t show it, but our vet was determined and kept looking. It seems there’s a mass, hidden behind a bone so it didn’t show up on X-rays. They’re pretty sure it’s cancer.
Our job now is harder — deciding at what point the grumpy girl is no longer happy, and has reached the point of miserable and suffering.
It’s going to be a really crappy weekend.