We're having our cat put down today.
We'd all noticed the past couple of weeks that she's looked quite raggedy. I at first attributed it to her losing her winter fur. But it's not gotten any better (though in fairness, neither has our weather!) But then we noticed a few other odd things.
There was a clear shortage of mouse guts on the front porch. To the untrained eye, not to weird but to us, a red flag. It's spring, the field mice are breeding and scurrying and Snickers is feasting and leaving us her little love gifts of gizzards on the porch. But there have been none.
And then there was her food. Sure she eats less cat food in the 'mousing' months but she still eats. But I haven't had to fill her cat dish in a week or so and when she has been eating she's been dropping kibble all over the house like she's carrying it in her mouth and spitting it all over.
So off to the vet we went last night. And the problem was obvious - once we spotted it.
Snickers has a great big tumor growing under her tongue.
So the vet presented us with several options. A biopsy - which may or may not be accurate, depending on where they get the needle in.
Surgery to remove the tumor which may or may not work - since if it's cancerous it could already be all over her body - what's the point of taking one tumor out then - or it might be too impeded in her tongue or down her throat and if so might make it impossible to remove without her losing her ability to swallow.
And all this could cost upward of $1000. And the end result could be we lose her.
So we opted for the more humane option, the one in which we allow her to not suffer through a surgery that may or may not work. We're going to have her put down. A vet would never ever allow that to be the first (or in our vets case - a presented) option but when we told the vet we thought that was the best choice he really seemed to agree. I'm guessing he felt it was likely surgery wouldn't be successful (He did suggest a 'liquid diet' for the rest of her days but that to me is less humane - I don't want her to slowly starve to death.)
I know it's not a popular choice we're making. I know lots of people would happily spend the $1000 to have the surgery done, just in case it worked and more power to them. But I can't find a way to reconcile that. We just got out of debt and if I thought the chances of her pulling through this were more than remote I would - but I truly don't think, based on the size of that tumor that it would be a simple surgery.
So, the raggedy look, she couldn't groom. The lack of mouse guts and food all over the house, she couldn't eat. Sher's skinny. She doesn't like going out anymore. She sleeps a lot (okay - more than the a lot that she used to)
The girls took it hard. A lot of tears. (hell, I took it hard - a lot of tears)
Sean is taking it hard too. He was responsible for bringing our old cat Ruffles to be euthanized and now Snickers. Apparently as a young boy he was also responsible for 'ridding' the family of the cat's kittens - I'll spare you the details. Sean's worried the girls will resent him but they won't. They know it's not his fault. He's not having her put down because we don't want her - we just don't want her to suffer.
And though a beloved family pet is not replaceable the girls have already insisted I reply to two ads on kijiji for kittens. Hopefully our house will have a new bundle of love by the end of the weekend.
Goodbye Snickers. You've been a hell of a good cat. We love you.