Sunday, February 9, 2014

pet mortality

Our Jack has cancer.  He’s not quite 10 years old, and the vet predicts he’ll be in kitty heaven before he’s  11.  His time on this earth is short…well, shorter than we expected. 

Beautiful Jack

The vaccines we were getting for Jack (we get them for all our animals) gave him vaccine-induced sarcoma, a very fast-growing and nasty cancer.  A huge lump came up on his hind leg suddenly (like in three days).  The vet tried to remove the tumor Monday – she said it was deep and extensive, and she couldn’t get it all.  The pathology report confirmed that she didn't get it all.  So now, Jack has a giant incision down his back leg (like 10 inches long) from the top of his back down to his paw.  He looks like Franken-kitty.
What could be worse than that?  He has to wear a plastic cone around his head so he doesn’t lick and chew his sutures out.  He is miserable.  He walks backwards with it on, and bangs into everything he walks past.  And, because we are supposed to keep him from climbing steps, running, or jumping, we have him gated in our living room with a big plastic tablecloth over the couch he loves to lay on.  It really is the room he usually hangs out in, but he doesn’t like being held prisoner there.  It’s solitary confinement, although Gracie keeps close watch through the gate.  She and Jack are play buddies.  Molly watches too, but only because Jack has a bowl of food in there that she has no access to.  Molly is like a goat, and will eat 24X7 if there were enough food. 

poor kitty

I brought Jack home from the vet Saturday morning.  After spending 5 nights and 5 days at the vet’s, we thought he’d be happy to be home.  He was not.  He sat by the gate staring out, yowling and scowling for hours.  It reminded me of times I brought my grandfather home from the nursing home.  He couldn’t wait to get out of there, but he wasn’t happy being home either.  Perhaps the real issue was that neither he nor Jack could have things the way they wanted them to be.  It probably all goes back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Well…maybe that’s not exactly what Maslow implied.  Maybe it would be more correct to say that according to KYLady’s hierarchy of priorities, if you don’t feel well, it kind of throws a wrench into everything else.

We lost Chewy to lung cancer about five years ago, and now Jack has this.  As much as I hate losing pets, I’m grateful it’s pets getting cancer and not my human loved ones.  If our world could spend less money and effort on killing people, maybe we would have enough resources to find a fix for all forms of cancer.         

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