The power of fight

My cat is a fighter. Two weeks ago, we took him to the vet to be sedated and scoped to find out why he was having trouble eating and drinking on his own. This, after weeks of our vet telling us he was fine and maybe it was his kidneys shutting down and then it was a nerve gone dead on one side of his tongue.

He had lost several pounds already - from 9lbs down to just 6lbs - and now the vet was thinking maybe something was stuck in the cat’s throat that the doctor hadn’t seen in the half a dozen other times he’d examined our cat.

Hours later, the vet calls to say he has bad news - he found a hard area in the back of the cat’s tongue. It was probably cancer. No x-rays, no biopsy, just a poking around with his finger and then a diagnosis of cancer. His recommendation: euthanize my companion of 13 years. I asked about alternatives, and the vet got an attitude, telling me that the cat had already lost another half pound and things were only going to get worse from here. But, let me tell you about this cat the vet had given a death sentence.

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Some 16 years ago, he was a grubby little kitten picked up during a sweep by the city. They thought he was feral, making his future very dim indeed. Then, they cleaned him up and discovered he was just a very dirty stray. So, he was nuetered and put up for adoption. 

He went through three different homes prior to my discovering him on an obscure rescue group’s website. I knew he was my future cat the minute I saw his picture. The reality was much less handsome - he was underweight and missing large swaths of fur from his hind legs and tail, because he was allergic to the litter the rescue group used. I didn’t care. I loved him, and he loved me.

Then, a couple years later, I was moving to a new apartment several blocks from my old one, and he got away from me. He disappeared under a set of bushes and then to parts unknown. Although everyone told me they’d root for me finding him, they all said that it was likely he was gone for good, if I didn’t find him within a day or two. But still, I went looking for him every night. On the seventh, I spotted him on the porch of the new building (the one he’d been to once), but he took off again. I left the building door open, though, and about 15 minutes later, in he came, yowling all the way until I picked him up.

So, after all that fight, the vet wanted me to give up on my furry fighter? The cat who crawled into bed with me when I have a nasty case of mono, wrapped his front paws around my neck, and huddled against me to keep me warm? No. I told the vet I’d be by to pick my cat up and bring him home.

That was two weeks ago. Today? 

Today, he has regained about a pound and a half. 

Today, he has started drinking on his own again, although we still have to supplement with water from a syringe and feed him the same way. 

Today, he walked all around our apartment and sniffed everything he hasn’t been interested in for over a week. 

Today, he was clamoring to get up on the couch to sit next to me, something he hasn’t done in weeks.

Today, the vet had to eat his words and admit he was wrong about my cat being a goner.

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So, do I regret fighting for my cat the fighter? 

Not. One. Bit.

A.M.