Thursday, May 14, 2009

How it is

Muffy has a tumor in her jaw bone. To give you an idea of what the means exactly, feel your jaw beneath your chin. You should feel a nice ridge of your jaw bone and soft area in the middle (where the evil double chin resides). Now that imagine instead of the soft area, the whole right side under your chin is hard bone. And it feels like it extends back into her neck quite a bit. The vet said he just about couldn't intubate her it is so large.

I'm kinda surprised that we didn't notice it sooner, but I also think it has grown fairly rapidly. We never thought to be suspicious.

And she is not eating. We weren't so worried when we thought it was just a tooth issue. We would fix it and get her eating again and get her to put back on weight. We'd kinda been through this type of thing before with the hyperthyroidism. But now we know that we will probably never be able to get her to regain the weight she's lost.

And she's lost a lot of weight. She lost 1 lb in 5 weeks. At the vet's office on Sat morning she weighed 6 lbs 14oz. Typing that makes me cry. She's never been this thin. She used to be a 10 lb cat and at one point she was a bit of a pudge at over 11. She is SOOOOO skinny. And if she keeps losing weight at the rate she was, we are looking at really only having a few weeks left until she is absolutely emaciated.

But we don't have to worry about the emaciation, cause we won't be able to watch her starve much longer. She must be hungry, but she just won't eat. When she does take a bite she acts like it is gaging her. The gaging just started in the last week and is what prompted the vet visit last weekend. It is cruel to keep her in a condition where she is starving and wasting away isn't it?

I got some appetite stimulating medicine today. I hope it works. She is acting like she is more interested in food, but still isn't eating much and gaging when she does. The freakin receptionist that gave it to me kept saying, "Well, I hope this fixes her up. It's so sad when they don't feel good." No, you idiot, this won't fix her, nothing will. Shut up! I wanted to yell at her very badly, but I didn't. I knew it wouldn't make me feel better.

I think maybe the hardest part about all of this is that Muffy is still Muffy. She is still my happy, cuddly baby. I think it would be easier to go into this if she was unhappy or appeared to be in pain. But she isn't. I just always figured that she would degenerate more before we got to this point. It would somehow be easier if I thought I was easing her suffering.

She's 19. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had this much time with her. I knew it was coming, but I honestly think if it wasn't for this we would have another year or two with her. I just thought the end would be different. I was hoping that maybe she would just go to sleep one day and not wake up and I would be free from this terrible burden. How can I do this?


Celia said...

Have you considered making a slurry, and stirring chicken broth into wet cat food so she could almost drink it?

I am sure you have tried feeding Muffy by hand. There is a point where there is nothing more you can do.

The most horrible thing about putting Shaggy to sleep was that at the very end before the injection he squirmed out of the blanket and climbed all over Mr. It was so sad, because it was so Shaggy. It made it so much harder. Even with Mom and our miscarriage, putting Shaggy to sleep was the hardest and most horrible thing we have ever had to do as a couple.

You can do it, because you have to. If Muffy is suffering and there is truly no hope than you will do it for her out of love because she does not understand what is happening.

But you can hold her while she goes, and I promise it will be peaceful.

Michelle said...

My heart just breaks for you reading this. It's so unfair. I wish there was something I could do to help. I know it's horrible to have to go through and watch, and making the decision that enough is enough is probably the hardest to make. I know what you mean about her still acting like herself....That makes it so much harder to decide what is right.
Just a few years ago we had to put down my childhood dog. She had kidney failure and anytime she ate or drank, she was either sick or having accidents. That was the only way we knew she was sick. She lost so much weight and was so weak towards the end, but still got up and would try to make us feel better when we were upset. And finally we had to decide to do the awful dreaded thing....It's still hard.
I'm thinking of you and Muffy. I hope the new meds help her have a little longer with you.

Amanda said...

I bought a food processor and have tried pureeing her food, in addition to baby food and trying every brand of wet food sold. DH cooked hamburger last night and gave her some bits of it (and we refrigerated more of it for later). We try hand feeding her little bits and sometimes it helps, but not always.

On the plus side, she did eat a fair amount (maybe 2oz.) over the night. That's better than it's been.

Celia said...

Maybe kitten formula? From an eye dropper or syringy thing so you could shoot it down her throat?

I also had limited success by putting a bit of food on Shaggy's paw and then he groomed it off. But I was really desperate by that point.

Is it possible the vet would co-operate with you and give Muffy some pain meds that would enable her to eat?

You and Muffy are in my heart.

Celia said...

Liverwurst maybe?

Jill said...

I am so sad for you. It is the hardest thing in the world to know that your poor defenseless pet is sick, and there's nothing you can do about it. My heart is breaking for you. She's such a beautiful cat. Sending hugs....

Anonymous said...

Oh hun, I'm sorry. It is so hard to know when the right time is. I've had to help too many kitties through their last days, and it is a heartbreaking decision, especially if they still seem like themselves. You don't want to let them suffer too long, but you want them to be able to live as long as they can comfortably, with good quality of life.

I hope the appetite stimulant works and helps her to be able to eat a bit. It sounds like you have tried every trick in the book regarding food. I have used a syringe to get watered down baby food into my kitty's mouth before, little bits at a time, so he didn't aspirate it. Is swallowing the difficult part for her?

My heart goes out to you, DH, and Muffy. This is such a painful thing to go through. She really is a beautiful kitty, and it's amazing that she has had such a long life. You will know when it's time. I am praying for peace for you guys.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about Muffy. I know exactly what you are going through, and it breaks my heart to read it.

When the time is here, you'll make the right decision - because you know her and love her. And she'll understand.

You guys are in my prayers!

JamieD said...

I am so sorry for what you are going through. My cat, Orion, had vaccine related fibrosarcoma and we put him to sleep two weeks ago today. His tumor was on his right shoulder so it didn't impair his eating but he was still getting so skinny.

The tumor got so big it was hard to pet him without touching it and I hated the tumor so much - it was killing him and there was nothing I could do about it.

I just wanted you to know I am so, so sorry for what you are going through. My life still isn't the same without Orion and I know how bad it hurts.

Hugs to you . . .

Hillary said...

I am so sorry, sweetie. :( ((big hugs))

Sophie said...

I can understand what you mean about it being tougher that she's still being her cuddly and sweet self -- I am so sorry you're having to see her go like this :'(.