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

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Bad Sign

Yesterday, Leo seemed fine again. Sure, he made me put out a kitty smorgasbord before he would eat, but he did eat.

This morning, though, he wasn't waiting at my bedroom door as he is every morning. A bad sign. I came downstairs to find him hunched on the dining room floor. Breathing rapidly.

Maybe 30 seconds later, his sides contracted rhythmically as he made that distinctive "cat vomit" sound. (And, um, he vomited.) It looked like your basic mostly-digested food vomit - nothing weird involved.

Leo left the room as I threw some paper towels over the puddle.

I found him upstairs lying on the bedroom floor. He was stretched out and didn't seem to be feeling too bad. I laid down next to him. He wrapped his paws around my wrist as I rubbed his face. Eventually he went up onto the bed in his usual spot.

Now I have to get my kids ready for camp and clothe myself (because signing your children in while wearing a nightgown is discouraged.) I'm down and up the stairs again.

Back in the bedroom, I find Leo's now lying on the bureau under the window. And he's left a little more vomit for me on the carpet next to the bed. But he seems comfortable.

Bad Sign #2 (or was that the bedroom vomit?) is that when I return from dropping the kids off at camp, Leo doesn't pester me to eat. In fact, he doesn't set foot in the kitchen all morning. I spend most of the morning up with him in the bedroom, giving him as much attention as he wants. And crying, thinking about how this all will end.

I get the girls at noon and we do a brief bit of shopping for my lovely husband's upcoming birthday which is overshadowed in my mind by the cloudy skies of feline mortality.

Leo shows his first interest in food when we return about 1 PM. But he sniffs and quickly goes back upstairs.

I try and accomplish anything, but I keep checking on Leo and obsessing when I'm not with him. And taking lots of photos, thinking, "This may be the last time he lies on the bed, by the window, on the edge of the bathtub..." (Yeah, a new development.)

Then, a break in the doom and gloom -- he comes downstairs about 3 PM and actually eats at least 1/3 a can of Salmon Fancy Feast. And doesn't vomit it back up.

Afterwards, he's happy to have me comb out the drool-matted fur on his front legs and neck and face. He especially loves the face part, and I try and sneak the other stuff in for my own personal gratification.

I didn't give him any antibiotic today, but I did manage his prednisolone at 6 PM.

So, that's where our story ends for now. It's almost 9 PM -- a time when normally he'd be swarming around my legs and meowing in a slightly annoyed manner for food. And he's not here. I haven't checked on him for the last hour or so.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?


Blogger Merujo said...

Sending all sorts of good thoughts your way... - MJ

7/28/2006 12:10 AM  

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