After nearly two weeks of being in and out of various hospitals, receiving hydration and blood transfusions, having her chin positively crusted with liquid medicines and vitamin supplements that she didn’t want to swallow, our Fred-cat was diagnosed with cancer.
We got the news on my birthday. We had been waiting for the latest round of test results and when they still hadn’t arrived, and the vet said I could come visit Fred, we got in the car and drove to San Leandro.
(I’d never heard of visiting a pet in the hospital before, but then again, I’d never had a pet this old or this sick before.)
We arrived around 11:30 or so and they put us in a room. They brought her in wrapped in a pink towel, swaddled like a baby almost. I tried moving her from the metal table to my lap, but she made a kind of complaining meow moan, so instead I just bent over the table and snuggled her like that. She was thin, as she’s been since this whole “deterioration” thing started, but more energetic than we’d last seen her.
We petted her and she purred and we cried.
The vet came in and discussed the possibilities with us if it did turn out to be cancer. I asked if she could at least cut Fred’s nails today, as all along we’ve been wanting to get her groomed. She always feels much better after she’s groomed.
We were about to leave when a nurse came in and announced that the test results had arrived. Fred stopped purring. She put her two front paws up on my arm.
The vet came back in to tell us the news. Cancer of the spleen; it’s probably spreading (she had another “mass”). It’s a rare condition in cats, so little is known about treatment options and results, but in dogs they can usually extend life for 1 to 3 months with surgery, if it hasn’t spread.
We talked to the vet about bringing her home to… and Fred made a noise. It sounded like she was saying “no.”
The vet left us alone to decide.
Fred tucked in and pressed the top of her head against my hand. Still no purr.
We decided to let her go.
The nurse came back in with some food. “Something for the road.” Fred wasn’t interested.
She described to us the process: a sedative that would first cause an excitation response in her muscles, and then calm her down, and then anesthesia, like for surgery, except more until her heart stops.
We decided we couldn’t watch that.
The nurse was very kind. She said she doesn’t normally get attached to the animals so quickly, but that Fred was a very sweet cat.
We said goodbye and watched her carry Fred out the door in that pink towel.
Fred Cat Rest In Peace
August _ , 1990 – July 3, 2007