My beloved George, my Snowshoe Siamese Cat, lost his very short battle with cancer today. At 12-1/2 years we honestly thought he had more years left.
To many, cats are animals and don’t justify much thought or emotion. To others, cats are their children they are so obsessed. I fall inbetween these categories somewhere. George was a very gentle, quiet cat who charmed his way into our lives and our hearts. George was there during the rough years when we were desperately trying to find some help for our son…when our home was a constant battlezone. Someone suffering a mood disorder and autism can profoundly affect everyone in the home and ours was no exception. Hubby was absent frequently due to military requirements. There was no family around.
But George was there. With his curious, mild manner he would come around when I felt overwhelmed or all alone and share a little love.
I will write a proper tribute to my 4 legged buddy when some time has passed. Cancer is as nasty and as insidious to our 4 legged friends as it is to humans. Bowel cancer is rare in cats and the symptoms crept up on him, unnoticed by us. In fact, from suspected diagnosis to death a mere 10 days passed. There were some clues I missed…. I thought it was old age or kitty dementia creeping up on George.
We found bits of poop around the family room downstairs. Hubby believed it to be from our outdoor cat while I suspected George. It took another month to realize the strange noises coming from George were not growls at the dogs to back off…but rather, pain. George took to sleeping in the hall closet….for longer and longer periods of time. I thought it was signs of old age after all, 12 is getting up there for a cat, right?
Then we not only saw the spasms and the cries of pain but we caught him trying to have a bowel movement. Everywhere. If he was successful it was a tiny stool with a fair bit of blood and mucous. We also realized that his fluffy fur (medium length) hid the fact that he had lost a lot of weight.
THAT was the most alarming thing. George only ever worried about one thing. His food. He panicked if he saw the bottom of his food dish and would scurry to the nearest person to pass on that terror of no food. He was a very fussy eater and would only eat certain things. He weighed a cute – albeit hefty – 20 lbs for most of his adult life. When I took him to the vet last week…. his weight had dropped to almost 12 pounds. With a sinking heart, I knew.
X-rays showed a constipated kitty and a big mass that was suspicious. It was too late. Bowel cancer can’t be treated and it spreads very fast. I couldn’t bear to see my beloved kitty in so much pain so I did the only humane thing I could do.
I still feel like shit.
And I miss him. We are getting his ashes next week and I’ll scatter them over the gardens next summer. He loved the sun and sitting in the garden and sneaking a tasty bite from a flower or leaf here and there…so long as I was there with him.
You never asked for anything but a little food and companionship my friend.
Rest in peace Gentle George.