Friday, January 28, 2005

Let the whining begin!

I have two cats. They’re very old, 18 and 17. The 18 year old cat has been in a steady decline for the last year. He isn’t in any pain, but he’s, well, elderly. I wake up every morning wondering if he’s died during the night. I drive home from work wondering if I’m coming home to a dead cat. It’s not been the cheeriest of times for me, waiting for the pet I’ve had for 18 years to die.

Last night I noticed that he couldn’t close his mouth and his tongue stuck out and to the side a little. I panic, cry and try to get to look in his mouth. There is nothing there I can see. He is still eating and drinking, but then I noticed that he is only chewing his food on the one side. So I assume he has an abscess.

I know you’re thinking – take him to the vet. But (and there is always a big BUT), he has a skitzo reaction to the vet. Jekyll and Hyde kind of skitzo. At home he is sweet and cuddly and at the vet he is a hissing ball of furry teeth and claws. It’s traumatic for me and him and so I just stopped taking him about 10 years ago. I rationalized that they are both indoor cats and since they never see any other cats they would be fine until an emergency arose.

Now that he is an elderly cat, I have convinced myself that he will have a massive heart attack and die right in the waiting room from the stress. So I don’t know what to do about him. He was the same this morning, although he didn’t seem to be in any pain. He ate his breakfast (on one side of his mouth) and drank water from the faucet like usual. I know I’m going to have to take him to the vet tomorrow and it will be traumatic for us both and one of us may not survive the ordeal.

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