Moon day.

Last night, I spent some time at the emergency vet. The cat has been kind of up and down, healthwise — inflammatory bowel disease that may be worsening. It’s usually relatively well-controlled by alternating courses of antibiotics, special foods, and prednisone. But he’s been off since his 300-pound-man barf, and last night he was very weak and weird.

He actually was kind of woozy and disoriented, and I found him standing over his water bowl, gazing longingly, and yet not drinking. Poor bunny.

He’s the dumbest cat I’ve ever met, but one of the sweetest creatures on earth. My Gift raised him from kittenhood, and he’s always been very patient with kids. He spent a lot of time wearing doll dresses and tucked into her toy stroller. Or captured in the Lego box. Or smooshed in with all her stuffed animals, when she decided she’d teach him how to read. We had his brother, too (Donut, of Donut’s Zen Mom fame), and the kids in the neighborhood quickly learned to distinguish between Donut, who was highly impatient with kids and not the teeniest bit shy about expressing his disdain, and Scott, who was too dumb and sweet to resist their attentions.

Donut died a couple of years ago, so it’s been just Scotty, and truth be told, he’s pretty much the same as ever. Sits in a corner and looks at the floor. Faces you while you’re watching TV, just gazing and purring so hard that he sways. Scott adores The Cop and spends a lot of time cuddling up to him. After a lifetime of putting up with kids, he’s old and wants an adult to look after him, I guess.

So Scott spent the night at the emergency vet — to the tune of $750 — and this morning I brought him to the regular vet, where he is spending the day so he can have more intravenous fluids and a dose of antibiotics.

The emergency vet said the next steps would be diagnostic tests to find out if he has cancer, everything else having previously been ruled out. Diagnostics would include ultrasound, which might not reveal anything, endoscopic biopsy, which might not reveal anything, and finally a surgical biopsy, which would, in theory, be definitive. Unless, of course, it wasn’t.

I had a chat with the regular vet this morning, and told her that I generally try to avoid medical intervention, but always like to ask for an opinion about whether I am being negligent. She was right on the same wavelength with me, and asked if, should we find he has cancer, I would want to do surgery or chemotherapy. I said no. I felt guilty saying it, too, even though it is really my answer. But damn, he’s an old cat and I wouldn’t be able to put him through something like that. Anyhow, she understood and said that if I wasn’t going to want to aggressively treat cancer (if that’s even what he has) then it doesn’t make sense to aggressively pursue a diagnosis.

The bottom line is that I want him to be comfortable and happy. I know he’s old and is going to die sooner or later, and I don’t feel that it would be sensible to take heroic measures.

So no abhinivesha for Scotty. He’s free of it, so why would I add my own?

I am not unaware that he picked a Moon Day eve to fall ill. It is actually quite consistent with his lifetime of generous behavior.


10 Responses

  1. I think that is a very wise decision. I hope Scotty’s remaining days — however many there may be — are painfree and full of love!

  2. i wish there was some way to ask a pet if they would want medical intervention. but my guess is that they wouldn’t, as you said, it is a value that we tend to put on them. it sounds like you are already doing the best by him.

  3. Wow – I’m going through the exact same thing now with Maggie. IBD or cancer – I don’t know, and I’m not pursuing for the same reason. If I’m not going to give her kitty chemo, I don’t need the diagnosis, for either of our sakes. And when she’s not actively in the process of being ill, she seems very much herself.

    Have you tried pepcid shots? Those seem to be helping.

    I hope Scotty stays peaceful. Sounds like he gets a lot of love.

  4. It sounds like Scott’s not dumb. He’s just satisfied that things are as they should be.

    Cat’s are sensual beings. I think chemotherapy would for them be deprivation of the way they experience their lives. And what would be the point of that?

  5. Very interesting idea about how chemo would deprive cats of their way of being. And I mean he’s dumb in the nicest way, Carl (I know you are a cat fan). No offense intended.

  6. Oh Scotty. Probably not abhinivesha, but some kind of emotion there, maybe?

    Animals know. But their “attitude” (if that is not way too much projection) toward death is different from humans’, in my experiences. In my experience, the exact times they leave seems to have a lot to do with their relationships with humans and other animals.

    I better stop before I say something really unscientific.

  7. hi karen i’m sorry about your cat.

  8. You mean you think animals don’t have abhinivesha, Owl? I wonder if it isn’t the klesha animals actually do share with us, in the sense that it is deeply biologically-based, versus personal/ity-based (a la the other kleshas).

    We love it when you talk unscientific. 😉

  9. 🙂

    I just don’t know. The ones that I have known have seemed very sad about dying but also chosen their times a little more gracefully and fearlessly than the humans I have known.

    Cats and dogs are super emotional, ok, but is the previous paragraph just mega projection?

    But, what you say resonates perfectly with the spiral dynamics gobbeldygook that is in my head this morning. This perspective goes *beyond* science. 🙂

    I listened to the RF talk night before last. Sattvic guy, and insightful.

  10. Poor little Scotty. May he go in peace the rest of his days.

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