*Depressing Post Alert*
For any of you who have followed this blog for a long time, you’ll know about our previous cats. All new followers probably don’t, unless you actually like reading through 2-3 years worth of blog posts. 🙂 So for a short version for everyone new to the blog, my husband and I had three cats. For 12 years. Lexus, the mama cat, and Jupiter and Isis, her two daughters. Lexus developed mammary cancer, which eventually spread to her lymph nodes and then pretty much everywhere else in her body. Jupiter, who had a heart problem that we managed well for five-six years, also developed a tumor in one of her mammary glands, and after that was removed, she developed two tumors in her lungs. Now, both of those cats passed in 2012, two months apart.
Fast-forward to 2015, and by now we’d figured that we really dogged a bullet with the bad genetic lottery concerning this family of cats. Alas, that seems not longer the case. Two weeks ago I felt a lump on Isis, on her lower belly. It was small, and while we try to consistently feel her belly for any lumps (for the past three years) she’s not a lap cat. But, she never has been, unless she’s feeling like it and even then rubbing her belly was not high on her list. Isis does like to curl up with Tim between his knees at bedtime, or she sleeps on my pillow, above my head, so she can be a snuggler, plus being 15 has mellowed her out a little. Anyway, the lump. We made a trip to our wonderful vet, who recommended surgery, which I expected. Isis got an EKG last week because she does have an age-related heart murmur, but my vet wanted to recheck her heart so there would be no issues with anesthesia. Today, she had her surgery.
We’ve been staying positive about the whole thing, and I’ve been doing well … until last night. With Lexus, her surgery gave us another 7 months with her, and she had five tumors and one entire side of mammary glands removed. (A ten inch incision is pretty much the entire cat, btw) Now all I could think about last night was how her sister, Jupiter, had one small tumor removed, and died three months later. I keep thinking about how she’s the last of the original three, and we’ve had her since she was in her mother’s belly. I held this cat when she was one week old, and she’s been my cat ever since. I don’t know what I would possibly do without my vocal, grumpy, sweet girl, who, like her mother and sister, purrs loudly and uses her vocal chords often. Our current two kitties purr, but it’s a quiet purr, and they aren’t very vocal cats. I’m not sure how I would even adjust to that kind of quiet.
Now, you might be thinking, well, Isis just had surgery, like 12 hours ago, and a sample of the growth was sent off, and the biopsy results will be back in a few days. You might think, why even worry about it being cancerous when you don’t have 100% proof that it is. The problem lies with felines. You see, for all you dog people out there, canines get growths sometimes. They develop warts and cysts, and benign tumors. With cats, the malignancy rate is about 90%. Couple that awful fact with an established family history of heart disease and cancer, and the odds are not in her favor. Sure, my vet cut out the growth and the four tiny nodules that were developing, and got the tissue ahead of it to cut off the chain, but that does not reassure me. I did chuckle when my vet called me after the surgery and said Isis ended up with a four inch incision. Caring for Lexus after her surgery three years ago will never have me worried about incisions again. (Seriously, ten inches. On a cat!)
I haven’t cried in a few hours, so I figure that’s got to be something. Of course, I had a pretty sleepless night, since Isis gets Hangry, and she couldn’t have food or water after 10pm. She fussed at bedtime, after bedtime, and started walking around, yelling at me and one of the other cats about 4am this morning.
Right now, she’s lying on her favorite blanket in our bedroom, pain pill in her system so hopefully she’ll get some rest tonight. I did manage to get this awesome shot of her this morning. She’s not and has never been a fan of getting in the cat carrier, and while it’s easier these days than it used to be, she found a bit of the old flare of defiance and got behind the headboard. Then, one of my facebook friends made the greatest comment about the picture, saying it looked like Gandalf’s “Fly, you fools.” face. I think I’m going to need someone to photo shop a wizard hat on her.