Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cats have Nine Lives

My geriatric Siamese cat, Sparkey, has lymphoma. It makes his throat swell up until he looks like he has an advanced case of the mumps. Then the vet gives him an injection, and within a day he's back to normal. I'm told that as long as he has an appetite, it's a good sign. Yet he's still losing weight. It makes me worried.

When he was diagnosed, I was shocked. It seemed that any moment could be his last, and I railed against the fact that I could do nothing to help him. He's not a good candidate for chemotherapy, and frankly at his age (eighteen) he shouldn't' have to go through such a trial. He'd be violently nauseous, lose hair and experience joint pain. So it was decided that we'd treat him with steroids to keep the swelling down, and otherwise just wait for nature to run her course. The first few days and weeks I watched him like a hawk, concerned about every little thing. Now I just watch him carefully, to make sure he's eating.

Sparkey seems the same as he always has been. He spends long hours in patches of sunlight or on my lap. He eats. Sometimes he even plays. I try to make him as happy as I can. He's quite content. I'm saddened and wish I could do more.

I keep telling myself that he's old, and it's only to be expected that he'd be ill. He's lived out his lives, all nine of them. I'll try to keep telling myself that, until the end.

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