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

Monday, July 17, 2006

Vampire Cat -- 25 weeks post diagnosis

Monday and Tuesday of last week, I woke up to a little kitty Nosferatu:

However, Leo didn't seem to be in any pain, and was eating great. I started to wonder if the moon had been full the night before...oh wait, that's the werewolf thing.

In an effort to keep my kids from getting too freaked out by the blood, I suggested we make up new names for our blood-drooling kitty. "Count Catula" was my suggestion, but the girls liked "Count Dracatula." Never underestimate the power of humor.

The bleeding slowed down by Wednesday, and overall it was one of the best weeks we've had in a long while. So much so that my attention shifted to various ways to clean Leo up -- he has dried drool stuck all over his fur, and it will not comb out easily (plus, he's tired of me constantly coming at him with the comb.)

One night, I resorted to taking his long formerly fluffy tail and dipping it into a bowl of water. The water immediately turned a cloudy tan color. Quite gross.

Then poor Leo was left with his soggy tail so heavy he couldn't lift it and he walked away with the end dragging on the floor. (Hey, maybe my kitchen floor got a little cleaner?) When the tail finally dried, it looked just like the old days - a full, fluffy plume.

The next morning the tail was all matted with drool again. So much for the cleaning experiment.

Last night, I decided to grab some blunt-tipped kid scissors and cut out some of the mats on Leo's chest. I figured it was better to have short chest hair since there was little chance of his hair ever being clean enough again to have a full mane like he used to (hence the name Leo.)

All I had to do was clip the stuck-together hair tips and then I could loosen the twisted fur closer to his skin with my fingers. It had become so matted that I really couldn't scratch his chest or pet that area through the crusty hardened drool.

He let me cut off a few mats before he decided to move along and take his fur downstairs.

Hey, things are pretty good that I'm worried about this cosmetic stuff.

This morning, he looked relatively spiffy as he waited for me to feed him.

That is, if you ignore the mats on his legs and feet.

But as he tried to start eating, the bleeding began again and he had so much drool that he gave up.

Two food flavors later, I did manage to get a little Fancy Feast into him. I think he blames whatever food I put out for his drool gagging and then has no interest in that particular variety.

Last night, as I was hovering over Leo eating (re-piling the food to make it easier for him to bite into) my youngest daughter was annoyed that I wasn't paying enough attention to her. "You love the cat more than me," she said angrily.

Tough words. She stormed out of the room and I followed. I went over to her and told her that I loved her more than any cat. She brightened and said, "And I love you more than (her 7-year-boyfriend.) At least 50% more!"

Thanks goodness the first graders are learning fractions nowadays.

Well, must go and wash a large load of drool covered towels.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wat is he eating!creepy cat!!

9/06/2009 12:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Poor thing hope it gets sorted

3/07/2017 7:32 AM  

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