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

Saturday, July 01, 2006

22 1/2 Weeks Update - Graphic Photo

A few days ago, we brought Leo back from his first trip away from home in the 11 years he has lived in our current house. I'll cover that whole extravaganza in a more extensive post soon.

In the meantime, here are photos taken a few days ago, when we were still in the vacation house.

Here is our hero, wondering why I'm taking pictures of him instead of scratching his head.

Since the tumor has grown upwards into his mouth (in the beginning, it only grew out and down) it has pushed his tongue over to the side.

He cannot comfortably close his mouth at this point, so we are seeing more of his "fangs" in the past few weeks than we have seen the entire 13 years of his life.

Regarding slime-mucus-drool: this is actually better than he usually looks in that regard. More often it is all over the front and left side of his chin, as well as hanging down in strings. I've become rather immune to the gross factor, but I do try to remove it as much as possible. However, it clings to his fur like you wouldn't believe.

This is the best (maybe "clearest" is a better word than "best") photo I have been able to take of the inside his mouth. By the way, he is not uncomfortable with the way I am holding his mouth -- I would never do anything that bugged Leo for the sake of a photo.

And now I'm going to list a bunch of terms in case anyone is doing a search on them: Squamous cell carcinoma, SCC, feline osteosarcoma, cat jaw tumor, fibrosarcoma. The whole idea of putting these graphic photos up is for other cat owners who are dealing with the same thing to see. I have done a lot of searches and have only found a couple of photos I could relate to Leo's condition.

I will post in more detail later, but his condition is continuing to deteriorate to the point where I find myself wondering if I am doing the right thing for him. He just came over to meow at me -- sounds like his "I want attention" meow, so I will rush through the rest of this without consideration for proper writing form.

The first photo above is really a best-case photo -- I couldn't bring myself to put something up from the times when his fur is all damp and matted (as it is at this present moment) from his grooming attempts (when he cleans himself it spreads the thick drool all over and his fur mats itself to his skeletal frame.)

I must have been combing out the mats too vigorously a few days ago -- he used to love it but recently has gotten up and walked away every time I've tried to unmat his long tail fur and lift the matted fur off his paws.

So much trouble getting food into him now. It seems the only thing he can manage most days is (human) baby food -- meat varities.

But he's not acting like he wants to leave this world. And so I must assume that the time has not come to let him go.


Anonymous Dan & Lopan said...

Hey there,
Just got back from the Vet and my 6 year old cat has the same thing right now to a much less degree. I opted for the moment not to have the tumor in his lower left jaw tested. Lopan shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, change of temperment, or loss of appetite. Still happy and eager to eat and play. I am not sure how long it has been there but I refuse to put him through chemo or radiation. I was glad to see that you had covered this terrible ordeal and it actually had me feeling better about the situation as odd as it is. (Rather than all the medical sites)
Best to you

1/24/2008 5:53 PM  
Blogger Cyn said...

Thanks for the comment, Dan. I'm happy that this blog was able to give you a little help at what must be a very difficult time.

My best wishes to you and Lopan. Give him a little behind-the-ear scratch for me :-)

1/24/2008 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just found what I know in my heart is a fibrosarcoma in a cat I rescued 10 years ago. She was abandoned from a house, shot with a beebee gun that made her run into the street, hit by a car, caught under her former house where she ran for safety. Now this hug tumor which i know is bad. My vet wants me to meet him tomorrow without Mims. I know it is bad and I know there is no good outcome for people with this let alone felines. I have checked out the latest and greatest. 2 years max with surgery raciation chemo constantly. what kind of life is that. She has this huge tumor but is not in pain. She eats a ton of food even though her teeth were knocked out when she was hit by a car. She is a healthy 12 pounds and does fine mouthing Wellness chicken and herring. Hoping for some magical alternative cure but alo vera does not seem work either. Nothing works on these tumors from what I have researched.

5/23/2008 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After losing my beloved 16+-year -old rescued cat Gemma two weeks ago from a mouth tumour, I was interested to read accounts of pets with similar problems. The biopsy results arrived after my appointment with the vet, so I received the dreaded yet not unexpected diagnosis in a phone message. I had two weeks until Gemma's next appointment and eventually brought it forward by a couple of days, as I was determined not to let her become too uncomfortable. She was still willing to sit on my knee after breakfast but had trouble eating, having to throw the food into the air, then catch it.Whatever I gave her was left all round the plate. I tried mashed sardines and a deeper dish, and gave her generous doses of Metacam, though only a little extra.As she already had a thyroid condition, she was always hungry, so got little peace.Perhaps the tumour was making it worse.
Losing her was a dreadful blow, but a farm cat had 'adopted' us a few weeks before, and he is a huge comfort.He always wanted to 'play' with Gemma, but was often rebuffed. I think he misses her, though is enjoying the extra attention.
To anyone who suspects that his or her cat has such a tumour, don't let it go on too long: it isn't fair, and apparently cats hide their pain.
With regards to you from UK.

7/28/2008 2:27 PM  
Blogger Cyn said...

With the utmost respect for the recent loss that anonymous above has suffered, I have to defend/rebutt the "don't let it go too long...cats hide their pain." Perhaps I may be misunderstanding (which is easy to do in print) but it comes across as "Don't do what this blogger did to her cat."

Leo did not hide ANY pain from me. I knew his every expression and what it meant as far as his state of mind. He was an incredibly expressive animal - much more so than the typical cat - and we had a very close bond.

So I could tell that, yes, sometimes he was uncomfortable, I did chronicle that here. A lot of that was due to medication, and so there was an ongoing trial and error process. But through much of his illness he seemed blissfully unaware -- and there were even pretty substantial periods on the prednisolone when he was like a kitten again, wanting to play endlessly.

He often looked far worse than he felt (and I also think he had an atypical progression of tumor because usually they do progress much more quickly than his did.)

Suffering? Not until the end. And I do regret that last couple of weeks. If I had known the way things would play out I would have ended it earlier. Because the last couple days were not good, and the last night was terrible...he was scared and weak and it was truly horrific. And I have to live with that.

But I did not keep him around through this lengthy illness -- through all the drool and mess -- for my own misguided peace of mind. It was a hell of a lot of work for me and restricted my life for almost 9 months. But I owed it to him, because I looked in his eyes and I only saw an animal who still loved attention and lying in the sunshine and did his best to carry on even when his mouth wasn't working the way it used to.

In the modern world, we are so afraid of decline and death that we "end suffering" perhaps more to spare the living than those who are dying. And there is validity in that, as the scars remain on those left behind...who have to watch a loved one deteriorate. But on the other hand, I saw this in part as a journey I had to take with complete the cycle that started when he joined me as that little 6-week-old ball of fluff. I didn't want to take one moment in the sunshine away from him.

I do not judge anyone who choses to end a pet's life before their illness takes a toll - and I might do that again myself if forced to make a similar choice in the future. But I expect that same understanding extended to me and my belief that life can have value even when lived under less than optimal circumstances.

7/28/2008 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all~

Not sure if anyone will find this post, but I am sure glad I found this blog! My buddy "Maverick" of over 17 years was not eating and was very lethargic about 4 weeks ago. I took her into the vet and it appeared to be an absessed tooth, which Thank God fell out. It was 4 weeks later however and her jaw was worse and the laceration area was more infected. I took her to the vet about 5 days ago and the Vet (who is wonderful) told me that he suspected it was a Fibrosarcoma tumor in her jaw. Because of her age, he was pretty sure this is what it was and I didnt want to submit her to a biopsy, etc. She was still hungry, still waited for me at the door when I got home every night and I just couldnt let my little buddy go. I mean, she's been by my side for over half my life. So, I bought stock in A/D science diet cat food and as of this morning she is still eating and still waiting for me by the door. I still have her with me and in some small way, I know the reality, but still pray and hope she gets better.

Can any of you tell me more about your situation? I am hoping that God decides when to take her and that I dont have to make that decision. Did your "furry" friend stop eating and drinking water and that was the sign?

Thank you for this blog and we're praying for the best for Maverick.

1/19/2010 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found out my 11 year old has a tumor in his lower jaw.
The Doctor is sure it's a osteosarcoma. I am taking him to an Oncologist this Friday to be certain. He can not eat or drink. I take him everyday to be given fluids and vitamins by IV. This all happened very suddenly. We are military, living overseas. So, I have to find a translator to go with me to the Oncologist. They are truly great, caring Doctors over here, but it will be helpful if anyone has any info on this type of cancer. I hate putting him through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I want him to be ok, but I don't want make him suffer. I don't think they give the animals pain meds here. Any help will be really appreciated. Good-luck to all of you!

6/15/2010 7:27 AM  
Blogger Cyn said...

To Maverick's owner: I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment earlier (faulty blogger notification system) because I definitely would have responsed earlier...knowing how hard it is to go through this. If you feel like commenting with an update on Maverick's journey, please do.

For Leo, my "sign" was a rather sudden turn for the worse (and when you turn for the worse when you're already in bad shape it's pretty horrid) One night he just couldn't even stand up and make it to his litter box. Like his whole body suddenly was shutting down. I've always guessed it might have been renal failure from months and months of steriods and painkillers.

To today's commenter - the oncologist should hopefully be able to answer a lot of your questions (if you find a translator, at least.) Please feel free to comment back after you find out more.

I would like to refer you to an online (Yahoo) feline cancer group. This group was unbelievably helpful to me during Leo's battle...and hopefully someone will be able to address your concerns about pain medications.

In addition to discussing treatment options and general medication advice, I found the group gave me invaluable moral support at a very difficult time.

My thoughts are with you both.

6/15/2010 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. My 18 year old cat was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma yesterday. I'm not sure he's doing too well. It snuck up on us pretty fast. Today I found that the infection surrounding the area started to drain blood from some unknown source inside his mouth, releasing what appeared to be necrotic tissue. It also appears that he lost a canine tooth too on the same side. The odor certainly has diminished now. He's already had an antibiotic injection just yesterday at the vet when he was diagnosed, so now I suppose I just need to monitor him. He's still eating, but definately more lethargic the past week or so. I never had to put a pet down, and pray God will do it for me but the vet said I will probably need to do it for him. I certainly don't want to have him suffer. I'm just not sure what exactly is the right time. He kind of stares into no where right now. He still eats a lot, mainly due to his thyroid tumor. But I thought I'd give it a few more days to see what the antibiotic can do for him. Especially now that the infections as drained.

8/31/2011 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Dena said...

I found out today that my cat Gracie probably has osteosarcoma of the jaw. She is estimated to be 7-8 yrs old but I don't know for sure because I adopted her from a local shelter. About a month ago, she had a sore on her chin that swelled up with pus. It popped and started to heal only to swell up again about a week later. When it re-occurred yet again, I took her to work with me (I work as a kennel attendant in a veterinary hospital). The doctor looked it over and prescribed Clavamox, an antibiotic, to treat the infection. Neither of us knew of the "lump" yet. When the infection had cleared and her jaw remained thickened in an area, I brought her back in. X-rays showed a possible tumor but since that area is difficult to get a clear picture of, the doctor drew some samples. Seeing the abnormal cells in the microscope was scary. My option right now is to try a course of clindamycin, another antibiotic, to rule out a bone infection (which is curable). I know it is likely that she has bone cancer and am struggling to choose the right decision for her. I can choose to have half of her lower jaw removed, but with a median survival time of 2 years WITH surgery and chemotherapy, I just don't know if it's the best thing to do. Thank you so much for the blog. My prayers go out to all kitty mamas and daddies dealing with this heartbreaking disease.

9/04/2011 3:28 AM  
Blogger L from Balto said...

I have a 10 year Maine Coon that was diagnosed with Ostersarchoma in October. It started with a runny right eye in August. His right eye started bulging slightly. They discovered a tumor behind his right and a small nodule in the middle of his head. I took him 1 oncologist who told me surgery,radiation and chemo. Went to another oncologist and he told me to not pursue surgery,chemo and radiation. I decided not to pursue the surgery because of the dramatic impact this surgery could have on his brain. Funkie is into his 3 month and on two types of pain med. Yesterday he ate his dinner and then his mouth became twisted. His tongue is over to the side like Leo's. He is drooling all over the place and can't eat or drink. He's walking around in circles.I gave him water by a syringe. Taking him back to the vet today. From all your stories I think I'm going to have to make the decision I wanted God to make.
Thanks for sharing all your stories and God Bless You with your struggles with your babies.

1/14/2012 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we found out about four weeks ago that our cat Sassy, who is 17 years old has osteosarcoma of the malible, the vet said. Her symptoms came on suddenly. She started licking her chest until the fur was almost gone and she always has her tongue out tongue. This only took about 3 days. The first day or two I thought she was just grooming herself but then noticed the fur was getting sparse and her tongue kept sticking out. As with the other blogs, drooling is a sympton and result of this as well. So the trip to the vet brought about the diagnosis.

At first, she ate well but I am noticing that she is eating less now and drinking more, but she is losing weight. Unfortunately, she still purrs when I pat or hold her and that's what makes this so hard. It's like she doesn't want to leave, still fighting it. As with all the blogs, I hope God takes her peacefully and that we don't have to make "that trip" to the vet.

8/14/2012 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cyn
Thank you so much for your blog about your beautiful and beloved Leo. My gorgeous cat Molly, who adopted us in 2000, has recently been diagnosed with a tumour under her jaw, last friday in fact. She also has a malignant melanoma on her gum margin. She is being treated for hyperthyroidism which was diagnosed in October last year. She is such a lovely cat. I just want to say, it is so refreshing and helpful to me to read your comment from the 7/28/2008 Cyn, because I feel the same way about Molly, and you have said it so eloquently, thank you for this particular post. It was only in the New Year that Molly started to drool a little while eating, and I noticed she seemed to have a lopsided mouth a week or so before. Now she cannot groom herself and has always been a bit of an 'overgroomer' I am utterly heartbroken at the thought of losing her, my daily companion. She is still eating though drooling more, going outside to watch the birds, and moving around the house as usual, but she is sleepier and starting to look thin around her face and front legs. I am praying for a miracle for her, and for everyone who has to face this awful disease, so very cruel. Thank you to all who have posted their stories x

1/18/2013 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still crying since coming home from the vet 2 hours ago. I took my 14 year beloved cat in to the vets and got the shocking diagnosis of a tumour in his jaw. I had hoped it was just a bad tooth. I notice he had been drooling more lately and it got worse over the last week. Then a couple of days ago I thought it looked swollen on one side of his lower jaw. Then yesterday his tongue was always sticking out. Just the tip but those three things concerned me. No other symptoms. Ate his dinner happily tonight before going to the vet. Has been normal and awesome in every other way. I am still in shock of course. The vet took an xray immediately. Showed me how the tumour how broken my baby's jaw. Showed the the missing teeth and swelling and distortion in his mouth. Said the only treatment would be to cut out that portion of the jaw and that cats did not do well eating after that surgery. Said we could do pain medication and anti-inflammatory steroids (prednisone?) to make him comfortable. This had all happened so fast I knew it would get worse just as fast. I chose not to prolong it and possible create suffering with shots and vet visits, etc. He was already sedated for the xray. I chose to have him put to sleep. The hardest and most painful decision I have ever made in my life. I have had seriously ill cats before which is probably why I was able to be so decisive this time and let my baby go. It is a VERY personal decision. I do not judge others and hope others will not judge me. Words cannot explain the relationship I had with my baby. So close and so much love! I am going to miss him forever. My head knows I made the right decision but my heart desperately wishes he was here with me now. Just one more hour, one more day, one more week.... But I didn't want him to be in pain or take a sudden harsh and painful turn for the worse in the middle of the night. God bless you all.

1/22/2013 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Alexandria said...

My 10 year old cat Trouble was just diagnosed a month ago.
She was always healthy and one day had some bad breath. Brought her in and the vet said she had some infected teeth ( 2-4) that needed to be pulled. Turned out to be 7 teeth and had a biopsy done for the deterioration of the bone. Got the call and I have never been so sad. I have had her since she was 2 weeks old and she is only ten. She looks alot like Leo was in the pics. Drooling that I constantly clean. I have to give her Peroxicam everyday which is doing nothing. She drools blood sometimes. When she eats , sometimes it gets caught by the tumor and she crys. Sometimes I need to carry her to her food to remind her - hey baby eat something. They said that I can get mandicular surgery - where they remove that side of the jaw and have to get a feeding tube for a few weeks and then radiation. I dont know if I am just prolonging the inevitable if I do that and making her suffer more. But the growth is so rapid that they give her maybe 6 months if no sugery gets done. If I do surgery and no radiation , it could come back. This may cure it but from what I have read online - its unlikely. I dont want her to suffer, but I want her to know I did everything I could. I am so sad, but I have to play brave for her. I dont know what to do.

2/18/2013 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Alexandria said...

Well we went to the vet the other day and they told me if i wait more than a week the tumor will make it so she cannot breath, so today at 1:3o pm , my Trouble was put to sleep. I hope she knows i did it so she wouldnt hurt anymore. Last few days she didnt even want to eat. I slept and snuggled with her last night and told her how much I loved her until it was over. I miss her so much. I love you Trouble. You'll always be my little girl.

3/03/2013 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello all my cat Bear is 18 male all black long hair and has never had health issues until jan of this year, he started wheezing when breathing through his mouth, and I thought it was a hair ball at 1st. then he stopped eating, but drank a lot and breath was pretty bad. took him to the vet and had blood work done, he was fighting an infection and the start of renal failure, so they put him on intervenus antibiotics for 2 days, but ate up my most my savings. and he's now on a KD wet vet food diet which he seems to like and eats a little every hour. his breath smells fine now. still purrs and seems like a happy cat but it is harder to breath when he does purr. i finally got a look in his mouth and there is a pretty big tumor in the back of his throat pushing his tongue to the other side. i am thinking he is pretty old and i am pretty broke so an operation or radiation is not an option. so i am left to fill his every whim until he hopefully passes away in his sleep. I just cant stand the thought of putting him down right now. with him not being in pain and breathing through his nose well. he has become such a lap cat these days, man oh man, always on my shoulders when im on the computer or on my lap when watching TV. he seem just too happy to put my little buddy down yet.

I hope all other owners here have added health for each animal in need.

Thanks for your time!

3/06/2013 12:53 AM  
Blogger Cyn said...

To all the latest commenters: I'm extremely sorry I don't come back and visit my blog as often as I should (and that I didn't respond to your comments earlier.) I'm sure it's a sign of me being a defective human :) but it's still terribly hard to find the words to express how sorry I am that your beloved cats have to go through this. Alexandria, You did do everything you could -- I think it was beautiful that you had that last night to share with Trouble. To Bear's owner, don't feel guilty for not having money for an operation - that option wasn't even offered to me, but if it had been, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford surgery either...especially considering, as Alexandria mentioned, that it is not necessarily a cure. Someone else posted elsewhere on this blog that their cat had surgery and the tumor grew back. Hope Bear is still purring and happy and enjoying his lap time. To Anonymous who posted on January 22nd - I'm so sorry to hear you had to make that tough decision - if your cat's jaw was already broken it does sound like you made the only choice you could. I hope no one would even think of judging you for that. I believe your experience with other seriously ill cats was something you learned from, just as my experience with Leo will likely influence my future decisions with the three (!) young cats that joined our household after Leo passed away. Hope the pain of your loss has lessened since you posted...the love will always be there. My thanks to Molly's owner for posting. Please feel free to update us here. Same to Sassy's owner, although with the time that's passed since your post, I'm sure the news can only be sad. L from Balto, Dina and Anonymous 8/31/2011 -- I feel terrible for not responding earlier here. It's heartbreaking to read your stories, and so frustrating to know that in the years since Leo had his tumor that treatment has not gotten any better. But I am very thankful that you each took the time to tell them.

3/10/2013 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Patty said...

Thank you Cyn for your blog about you and your baby Leo. I too have just had my cat diagnosed with this terrible disease. My beloved Cleo is also battling small intestine cancer and is orally on taking meds for that. I became suspicious when a couple of weeks ago she started resisting the meds. She is a sweet girl and was swiping at me...probably pain in her mouth when touched. She is hungry and wants to eat, but whatever we give her she eats less and less unless it is ensure or water or a few licks of food.. I was debating the surgery our oncologist had offered as an option...but then seeing these posts and photos online..I feel like it would almost be inhumane. Perhaps get an xray to see how far it has spread. She is already losing so much weight...she was doing so well with the small intestine in remission too! any case she still sleeps with me, purrs and wants to eat. I will probably wait it out until I will unfortunately have to make that decision. I don't want her to get too bad. Thanks for all your helps to know that there is support out there in light of a terrible situation.

5/23/2014 2:30 PM  
Blogger bhumane said...

I just got home from the vet and started researching. My cat, Rascal, who is a 14 yr old Mancoon, had no symptoms. I noticed a hard knot of some sort on her right mandible three weeks ago. I hoped it would go down, but it did not. I took her today to the vet. The vet said, after x-rays, that it is a tumor and I have less than six months with her. What a shock. She is eating and doesn't act like anything is wrong with her. The vet say that it will spread. My options are radiation, remove the jaw, or do nothing and make her comfortable. The vet said she would not remove the jaw if it were her. She also said her chances are poor no matter what I do. I found a site that said something a little different that what I'm reading and what my vet said. I can only hope that this is the case for my cat. It was stating that these tumors do not metastasize, but my vet said that it will spread (if it hasn't already). If you did not get a close look at Rascal's jaw, you would not know that anything is wrong with her. She shows not signs. Did anyone else start out like that? I do not have the money to do all the radiation, so I will probably have to ride it out. I can't stand the thought of losing her so soon and so unexpectedly.

12/26/2014 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Cyn said...

Hi, and so sorry to hear about Rascal. I do believe every case is different, so can a vet say for sure it will metastasize? I don't know. I don't believe Leo's tumor ever did (there were never any other lumps anywhere else on his body - just the one that kept growing bigger) and it was almost 9 months between his diagnosis and his death.

When Leo was diagnosed, I looked back at recent photos and realized that he had started to look a little different along his jawline in the previous months (I had thought he was just starting to look "old"). I now believe his jawline had been thickening for some time before the tumor got infected and started bothering him (and sent us to the vet). So I guess what I'm saying is that Rascal may be months earlier in her disease than Leo was when diagnosed,and he still had at least 3 or 4 pretty good months after that (any pain/discomfort treated with antibiotics and steroids, and being able to eat without much difficulty.)

As far as treatment options, all my research was now almost 9 years ago, so I may not be up to date. But in the support group I was in back then, I don't recall a case where radiation and/or surgery had a positive outcome in the long term :( There were far too many stories about cats whose tumors grew back after treatment. I do remember at least one case of a cat who had its jaw removed and adjusted well.

My advice to you would be keep researching to form your own opinion as to whether treatment nowadays is more successful than it was in 2006. But don't feel guilty if you don't chose that route (I didn't) because it may still be a significant expense with a small chance of cure. Get another opinion if you feel your current vet isn't presenting you with a full picture of your options.

If Rascal is still looking good and not showing symptoms, she may have months before it even bothers her or affects her quality of life at all. Leo looked pretty darn ragged towards the end, but he really was not in pain (due to antibiotics/steroids)until the last hours of his life. Hopefully Rascal will be the same. Just spoil her and love the heck out of her and trust your own instincts on how to proceed with her care.

12/26/2014 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Cyn said...

In reply to Patty who posted in May: I'm terribly sorry I didn't respond earlier when you posted about your Cleo. It is so sad to read of her struggles (to have this come along when she was in remission)and I thank you so much for taking the time to tell her story. I am grateful that this blog was able to help you in some small way. Best wishes.

12/26/2014 9:48 PM  
Blogger Kathy Richmond said...

Thanks for your blog. My cat, Strider, 17, too has a bony tumor on his lower jaw. I noticed it when I returned from being away for 3 weeks. He was drooling some and had lost a lot of weight in the past few months.

His vet didn't recommend any treatment especially at his age but offered pain meds when the time came. He had his own office cat that developed a similar jaw tumor. His cat lasted about 6 months.

It's been a month now and the tumor seems bigger now and I can tell that his lower canine on the same side is dead (due to the discoloration) and has angled out more so his tongue sticks out frequently.

I know it just a matter of time now. He's still eating and has switched over to wet cat food. I'm sorry that he is so skinny now. He used to weigh 12 lbs and he was down to 8.7lbs last month and has probably lost a little more since then.

He loves the company of my other two cats (his father and sister when she tolerates) and loves to sleep next to me.

Grief starts early with cancer as you have a fair idea for the progression. It's a blessing in a way as you know the end has a more definite time period, 6 mos as opposed to 2 years. Makes each day special that he's still here despite the sadness.

Thanks for your blog and for giving a place to share my story. I'll check out the support group. Thanks for the link.

2/15/2015 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Cyn said...

Hi Kathy, Thank you for sharing, and so sorry to hear about Strider. Since he's eating, it seems like you still have some good days left with him...and like you said, with that knowledge you are able to make each day count. The best advice I can give is to try and focus on/cherish the present, but it seems like you have already figured that out :) Best wishes to you and Strider, and thanks again for posting.

2/16/2015 8:05 AM  

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