As you may have noticed I have been absent from the food blogging world for over a week now. Blogging and cooking have not been a priority lately. I received some very bad news following a vet visit for one of my 2 cats, 10 year old Mickey. I have been planning to write this post for a few days but I was not able before now. I am holding back tears just writing this. But I really wanted to dedicate a post to him. And I could not resist baking a homemade little cat treat for him, you will find the recipe further down.
I could tell for a bit the Mickey was a little off and that he lost weight. He was very lethargic. I blamed it on the ongoing heat wave and major humidity. I went away for 5 days and had a friend come in to feed the cats. When I got back I was shocked at how thin he was and on the second day I realized he was not eating much. Mickey started having accidents on the floor instead of the liter box too. We went to the vet and did the necessary tests. They did not really find anything wrong except for the presence of bacteria so we assumed bladder infection. He weighted 7.5 pounds only, half what he weighted. I was in shock; it is not always hard to notice on a fur ball such a change. We went home with antibiotics and they hydrated him.
Then things went really bad: Mickey stopped urinating entirely. We went back to the vet and he was hospitalized for 3 nights. He was not leaving before they knew he could urinate. Then the big blow came: all 3 vets at the clinic felt 2 masses in his little body, in his abdomen and around the bladder. Mickey has the Big C, cancer. I was and still am crushed by the news.
I never had a cat or dog as a child because of allergies at home. Five year ago I got 2 cats, my very first real pets of my life. One hears story of how overly emotionally attached people get to their pets and I always wondered how I felt about that. Well you really do not realize how attached you get to these little creatures until something tragic happens. I have shed so many tears. I feel as strongly as I would for a family member.
Another crushing aspect is choosing what you can or cannot afford at the vet, which brings on a lot of guilt. The little savings I had is mostly gone. I am so thankful that the vets are very understanding of financial situations and they have given me all the options (even some freebies). I am choosing the best I can but I cannot afford surgery, biopsies, radiation, etc. The vets were wonderful enough to go ahead and decide on a treatment without the ‘official’ diagnosis. He is on antibiotics, cortisone pills and once-a-week chemotherapy in pill form. There is no official prognosis…we will see in a month after some blood tests.
Mickey is back home now and using the liter box. I have put on my kitty nurse outfit and tend as best I can. I feel like a mean nurse though most of the time. Most of my interactions with him are not pleasant; an example is he does not understand these pills shoved in his throat are a good thing. He is a little bit more alert and for the last 2 days I have started to feed him a bit more with a syringe (he does not like that either) since he is not consuming enough calories on his own.
Kitty Cat Homemade Treats
1 tbsp cat dry kibble, ground
1/4 cup oatmeal or wheat germ, ground
1/2 small jars strained chicken baby food
1/2 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, mix the oats or wheat germ, a bit of baby food at a time, and the water together. The measurements are approximations, you want to achieve a wet dough. Spoon small balls (a big sized pea) on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
Right now his quality of life is still good and he has not given up. He deserves a shot at treatment. He is exhausted and weak but not in pain. I pray he improves and I pray I do not have to make the big decision I the very near future. This morning he did give me a very good sign: his food dish was empty and he was clearly asking for food. I hope there will be an empty dish when I get home tonight. I love you Mickey.
Finally, I want to send a gigantic thank you to the wonderful people at the Cote Saint Luc Animal Hospital (7930 Baily, Montreal, QC H4W 3J8 – 514-489-6845). They offer amazing care for both the pet and the owner during treatment and they have been following up every other day with me in this first week back home.