My Name is Leo

An adored cat deals gracefully with a jaw tumor while his owner quietly falls apart.

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Location: Philadelphia area, Northeast, United States

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Day 22

Something is definitely wrong. I mean, more wrong than the tumor.

Leo ate all his food last night, but very little this morning. Mid-morning, I gave him some of the Nutri-Cal supplement, which he lapped off my finger eagerly. Yet almost immediately afterwards he didn't want anything to do with any kind of attention from me -- extremely out of character. This continued through the afternoon.

This evening, he was curled up on "his" chair in the studio...he purred as I pet him...put his legs over my arm as he likes to do (inadequate description, but think of how a cat sleeps with another cat -- one back leg and one front leg over the back of the cat lying in front of it...the cat version of spooning, I guess) and he settled down to sleep.

I can't claim to have studied his breathing patterns much prior to this illness, but he seemed to be breathing faster than usual for a sleeping cat.

Just gave him his evening meal, which he launched into greedily, but only ate a few bites before walking away. A few minutes later as I approached this computer, I saw him crouched on the living room floor...as I picked him up, he meowed the slow mournful meow that signifies some kind of pain, and he jumped out of my arms.

At this moment, Leo's on the couch and looking fairly approachable, so I'm off to do some head scratching. (His, not mine...although head scratching is figuratively the order for me as well, as I'm a bit confounded as to my next step, other than to call the vet in the morning.)

I don't know if the transdermal prednisone isn't making it into his bloodstream anymore (it is rubbed into the inside of the cat's ear, but this is one hairy cat and I'm continually trying to get it past the hair inside his ear.) It didn't seem to be doing a thing the past four days or so.

Plus, periodically you're supposed to wipe out the cat's ears to remove any built up residue and this hasn't exactly worked well for me. Cats just are not that into having their ears wiped out. I contemplate going the old fashioned route and asking for a pill version of prednisone tomorrow. Maybe that will help?

I'm rambling, I know. A week ago, he was so lively and playful...so I hold out hope that maybe a medication adjustment is all we need.

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