Saturday, 2 May 2009

Decisions, decisions

Sometimes, being an adult sucks. Like, when you can't sleep until noon anymore, or eat ice cream right before bed. And sometimes it sucks even more. Like when you have to make really heavy decisions. Decisions you want no part of.

The crotchety old lady Sweet Pea is terrorizing in this image is one decision I wish I didn't have to make.
This cat was my 12th birthday present. She is now 17 years old. She is also very sickly.
We took her to the vet this week to have a gnarly growth on her toe looked at. It's hideous. So as not to squick anyone out too badly, I won't post the photo of the toe, but rather a link to it. As it turns out, the toe is the least of the cat's worries. (It's a bit of claw tissue - built up and burst out of the toe after 17 years.)
The vet offered to sedate her, and work the icky toe growth out. Then she discovered a bad heart murmur. No sedation for Bert, she wouldn't wake up again. Over the course of her exam, the vet also uncovered . . . wait for it . . . . a thyroid condition!! Lucky cat! The vet said it is a manageable condition, but she wouldn't suggest managing it due to . . . . The Kidney Tumour! which is apt to flare up and kill her in a rather painful, horrible way with virtually no notice.
So Bert is currently on antibiotics, to deal with the infection in her toe. We were advised that all we can really do is keep her comfortable at this point.
The vet will be calling on Monday to see how the cat is doing with her antibiotic. In that respect, she's doing really well. The infection has cleared up nicely (yes, I know to give her all the pills!). However, she's not been herself since that visit to the vet. She's losing her appetite. This may be a rare side-effect of the antibiotic, or it may be the kidney tumour. In either case, I think it's time to make the decision. I'll be making an appointment to have my 12th birthday present, my long-time companion, frustration, confidante, and lap rug euthanized. I really don't want her to go through the painful death the vet described.
Truth be told, it will be a bit of a relief. Bert has never been what one would call a good cat. She's a pee-er, a biter, fiercely aggressive and highly obnoxious. I think it's her personality that really endears her to me. And I wonder how much of that personality is due to her thyroid, and the tumour she's been harbouring.
I will miss her. I'm sure I'll cry for a few days. Hell, I'm crying now just thinking about it - and she's still sitting in my lap! I know it needs to be done. Her whole tummy is a firm mass. Still, I wish it were a call I didn't have to make.

Another decision I wish someone would make for me:
My return to work. I go back at the end of June/beginning of July. The details keep me awake at night. Will I go back full, or part time? Day or afternoon shift? Miss the day time with my girl, or miss her bed time? A lot of it is dependent upon finding the right daycare. Right now, the plan is that she will go to her Grandma's house. If that remains the plan, then I will go back part time days. If I find a daycare in town that I'm super happy with, I will go back full time afternoons. But then one little thing happens that turns all my planning on its ear. Tonight, Mr. Wonderful is taking some much deserved adult time with a friend of his. He missed Sweet Pea's bedtime. Usually his part in the routine is to change her diaper, and read her a story. Apparently, this is MIGHTILY important to that tiny girl.
I did her whole bedtime routine. She didn't go to sleep at the end, like usual. She sat on my lap and looked around, calling for her dad. Eventually I just put her in the crib, thinking she would fall asleep (she was exhausted). She had a half-hour meltdown! This is a seriously big deal for Sweet Pea who is typically so even-tempered and happy, people ask what drugs we have her on. She was screaming for her dad. Finally the only thing that would chill her out was another nursing session - and that was rough to do what with the sniffling and ragged gasping. When she eventually passed out, I just sat and rocked her for a while . . . wondering what the hell to do. In 2.5 months I'll be back to work -- I don't think I can miss her bed time. So much for my plan of working 1-9, and having 5 hours a day with her before work. Now what do I do?


Jackie said...

((hugs)) I'm so sorry about the kitty... I know those decisions are so hard to make, but you're making the right one. Being in pain during the end of your life is no way to go.

Hege said...

I's sorry about your kitty! It must be hard after having her for so long. And I hope you'll find the right thing to do about your work. I guess it must be hard.

Batty said...

I'm so sorry you have to make this decision. She's such a beautiful kitty, and I can't believe that she has the same markings on the side of her faces as my Merlin...

Not wanting to eat is a sign. Particularly if she doesn't eat when you stop the antibiotics, or if she shows other signs of being in pain. I know you'll make the right decision for your little friend -- not letting her linger in agony is a gift for her, even though it breaks the heart.

Bezzie said...

Ugh. I know this day will come for us too. And I don't envy or wish it upon anyone.

jennyp said...

Oh, honey. I know ho hard this is for you, and I know the decision has been a long time coming...but that never makes it any easier. I'm so sorry.


I have no idea what day I have off this week, but it belongs to you, if you want it. I'll let you know.

Lisa said...

Amy, I'm so sorry. That really does suck about Bert. We get so attached to these kitties, don't we? My heart goes out to you. See you soon -- virtual hugs till then.

canadacole said...

I have no answers, just {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Anonymous said...

What a sweet bunch of friends you have and what a wonderful support many offers of shoulders and hugs. I know the choices are hard but I also know that you have always chosen well. Making good choices is a thing you do and I have full confidence that you will do fine. Take the affection offered by your friends and do what feels best in your heart...being unsure is being human. I'm here if you need me.