Most of our days together passed semi-quietly, with the notable exception of her singing her little semi-Siamese heart out at 3 AM or tormenting her adopted sisters. Then one day, we noticed that the little monster was losing weight. She was already plenty skinny, so it’s not like she could afford to do so (unlike her pleasantly plump siblings). We took her to the vet (which is always a delight – not) and they performed all sorts of tests on her. The news wasn’t good. She had a tumor on her thyroid and it wasn’t something they could just remove via an operation. We were given three options:
1. Do nothing, which in effect, meant she would eventually starve to death. (So, not happening.)
2. Pill her every day, which in effect meant she would probably kill us in our sleep. (Also not a realistic option.)
3. Nuke her, which in effect meant her going to a place that specialized in radiation treatment for cats.
The last option was the most expensive option, but she was my baby, she was only 12, and I was not about to let her go yet. Hubster resigned himself on coughing up over $1,000 dollars and off she went. She was there for two weeks until she reached a minimum safe radioactivity level. (At this point, I wished I had purchased a Geiger counter just so I could see it go off when I pointed at her- but it was a little expensive just for a few weeks of fun.)
There were conditions that we had to agree to before we brought her home. Since I was trying to get all in the parental way at the time, I could not go near her for a month (which just killed me.) We had to hang on to her dirty litter for two weeks (which makes me wonder how much radiation I absorbed with it hanging out in the house all that time.) And neither one of us could play with her for more than two minutes at a time. But she was alive, and on her way to better health – so we agreed.
She was fine for a while after that. Then we realized she was gaining too much weight and sleeping on top of the heat registers in the house. Back to the vets she went and we found out that they had totally nuked her thyroid completely, so now it was non-functioning. We had two options:
1. Do nothing, which in effect, meant she would eventually go into a coma and die. (So, not happening.)
2. Pill her every day, which in effect meant she would probably kill us in our sleep. (Now a more realistic option.)
We opted for the second choice, and at first she was pretty good about it. Then she started fighting us, and then we started hiding it in her favorite food – shrimp. An expensive taste is what that one had.
Life returned to semi-normal after that, until one night, I was lying in bed about to drop off to sleep when I heard this thumping noise which sounded exactly like a cat falling down the stairs from the attic. I ran out of bed to discover that was precisely what it was and at the bottom of the steps was my poor little black kitty twitching. I screamed for the hubster (he was up in the attic, at his computer with his headphones on.) I thought she was dead, but she was still twitching. I grabbed the phone to call the emergency animal hospital service. They were telling me that it would be 200 dollars just to bring her in and then suddenly, in the middle of the phone call, Shadow stopped twitching, stood up and started walking around in circles. Then I knew she had experienced a seizure.
Back to the vet’s we went. And I was right, the vet agreed that she had a seizure and there was no need for any more expensive tests. She said that Shadow most likely had a tumor on her brain and there was nothing that could be done. She loaded me up with meds for the kitty, to keep her comfortable and to lessen the frequency of the seizures, and I brought her home. We gave her as much love as we could, spoiled her rotten with shrimp and tuna, and let her continue to rule the roost. She had seizures still, and they started getting closer and closer together and lasting longer and longer, until one inevitable yet dreadful night, she had one that she never seemed to recover from.
Tom and I held her, scritched her, rocked her and loved her until we took her to the vets. There was nothing more that could be done, and we made the heartbreaking decision that it was time to let her go. We talked to her while they injected her with the sedatives, then the euthanasia medicine, we told her we loved her and I told her that she was now free to go chase those bats. Then, on that cold day of January 19, 2009, we said good-bye.