My Angel Child cat is very ill

  • Last week, I noticed that Barney, my orange and white cat that shakes a paw for treats, seemed to be a little finickity when walking. Upon further discovery, I saw what looked to be a blood blister on his toe, but concerned that he may have broken something, I took him to the vet immediately.

    When the vet spoke to me, she said the x-rays showed nothing at all broken, but told me "that's not what I am most concerned about". 😞 She wondered if I had noticed the puffiness under his right eye. I told her I had, but that he gets into scuffles with the other male cat in our home (Barney is Numero Uno) and though usually comes out the winner, he sometimes doesn't. She told me she had found a bad tooth in his mouth that definitely needed to come out. This surprised both my husband and I, because at the age of 15, he has never had any plaque or tartar build up on his teeth.

    So I approved taking the tooth out after bloodwork was done. She said she was hoping for an abcess up near the tooth, and that once the tooth came out, so would the pus and fluid. There was no abcess, but instead a tumour. I am still waiting for the pathology results on the tumour, but as hard as it was for her to tell a sobbing 52 year old woman, she was honest and said it looked like a squamous cell carcinoma. 😞

    I am babying my little child (this WAS my child, I have no human kids) as best as can be. Over the years he has had problems with his back (spinal curvature and osteoporosis) that we have been giving him Cartrophen injectible and Bupenorphine for. Earlier this summer he made a valiant effort to walk all the way to the mailbox with me, but bless his heart, he only made it half way and waited for me.

    Something tells me his time is near. This cat has helped me through breast cancer and my husband's accident that left him a quadriplegic. I would talk with him, and with his eyes he always answered me back.

    I will keep you all informed, but for a little while, I may not be my usual self here. Funny, I have never liked the month of November.

  • Fran I am so sorry. I know NOTHING about cancer with cats, they respond so differently than dogs to many things. I know with dogs, cancer in mouth is almost always horrible. Will be sending healing thoughts. (((hugs)))

  • Oh, sweet Fran. I know how much this boy helped you through your health issues…so you just call on us when you need support and know your well loved here.
    Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  • I am so sorry to read about your special Cat Barney's problem and hope there can be a good outcome. When do you get his results, Fran ?
    Healing vibes coming his way.

  • I'm so sorry Fran, we are all thinking of you at this difficult time.

  • @thunderbird8588:

    I am so sorry to read about your special Cat Barney's problem and hope there can be a good outcome. When do you get his results, Fran ?
    Healing vibes coming his way.

    I got a call from the vet yesterday, just checking in with me to let me know that they hadn't heard anything yet. Dr. M was also calling to see how I was doing. They are a wonderful animal hospital. I am hoping for the results today, but I kind of have a feeling that it won't be until early next week. The waiting to hear is so difficult, even though I know what I am going to hear will bring me much sadness. 😞

  • I'm so sorry to hear this Fran. I really hope there's good news. Please keep us updated on what the vet says. We have Barney in our prayers.

  • Oh Fran, I am so sorry you are going through this with Barney. I am hoping against hope that your vet is wrong. Take one day at a time and enjoy him every minute, favorite foods, cuddling, whatever he likes. (((((HUGS)))))

  • Sweet friend. Its always awful when change happens. I have lost 2 parents and many beloved pets. Its suspose to be like this, but that doesn't make it much easier. I find that I know that the beloved who is moving on, knows that I have done the very best for them I can. I have loved, laughed and enjoyed the times we shared. I also believe we will all be together when the time is right.
    I know it's not much help, but just wanted to share this.
    A gentle going into that good night, is the best thing we can do for anyone/thing we love.
    Hugs my dear friend. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  • Well, I just got a phone call from our vet with the results for Barney. My husband is out shopping, my sis didn't answer the phone, but I always know you guys are around.

    The news is not good. Barney has squamous cell carcinoma. It's what we thought. 😞 Dr. M put in an emergency request to Canada West Veterinary Specialists, and we are working on getting Barney in there before next weekend. This place is an ultimate veterinarian hospital that only takes referrals. There are vets there specializing in everything for cats and dogs.

    The plan is to get Barney in for a CT Scan or MRI to determine if the tumour is at all removable without doing too much damage to the upper jaw, eye area and nasal cavity. There is also the consideration of anti-cancer drugs. But of course, the first consideration is his quality of life. If surgery and/or drugs can only prolong his life for a short time, I think I will decide to pass on the heroics and just love him like crazy for the time he is here.

    Barney is doing very well right now. He is being spoiled like crazy. I am sleeping with him at night in another bedroom where he only has HIS smells on the bed, not of Wallace, our other male he is not fond of. He is eating very well. He is pooping and peeing at night in a nice new litter box I keep in the bedroom, and I am keeping favourite food in there as well as my water mug from my bathroom which he loves to drink from.

    I'll keep you posted on when we get into Canada West and the results from the MRI and/or CT Scan. My sister and her hubby are coming over in the next few days to video and take pictures of Barney shaking a paw for a treat, a trick that I taught him in about a half hour.

  • Fran,
    i'm sorry the news wasn't better for Barney.
    I hope there is something that can be done so that he can have longer with you.
    I'm sure he couldn't wish for better care, you must take care of yourself too. It's a bit like your life is on hold when our beloved Pets are ill.

  • Thanks so much to you Shelley, and everyone, for the good thoughts.

    Wow, things can work fast around here. Our vet Dr. M must have been incredible with her referral, because we have an appointment at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. I have to make some notes on Barney and his life long health because they want very detailed history - the consult will run around a hour.

    Please keep Barney in your thoughts.

  • Oh dear, Fran, I'm sorry you have bad news. Hopefully the tests will show a positive course of action, but I completely agree with love and quality of life. A major surgery or chemo, in exchange for only a few months, not sure I would do it either. You are giving him the best there is to give right now, yourself, and all his special things.
    Good luck! You & Barney will be in my thoughts.

  • I am so sorry the news wasn't better but very happy getting him in fast. (((hugs)))

  • Will keep Barney in my thoughts

  • Barney is in my thoughts and I do hope that they'll be able to operate and that he can have a little more quality time with you. I know how hard it is to come to terms with thses terrible things.

    November is always a bad month for me and mine too and each year I say that it should be cancelled!

  • Well, we will be leaving to see the cancer specialist shortly. The drive will be about an hour, so I know I will hear lots of meows and unhappy sounds, because Barney hates moving vehicles. My wonderful sister is driving, thank goodness, as my mind would not be on the road.

    Yesterday my brother-in-law took a couple of videos of Barney shaking a paw for a snack. He also took a few lovely pictures. I'm going to upload the videos to youTube and then post them here. Will also post the pictures here, though I am rusty at that, but will figure it out.

    I spent this morning, starting at 5 a.m. going through all of Barney's vet visit documents. He has been so healthy other than a thyroid problem that we took care of with radioactive isotopes. That was one treatment, and it meant we didn't have to give him thyroid meds daily.

    I am not overly optimistic, but I guess there are always miracles.

  • Here's hoping for a miracle for Barney. Whatever happens you will know you have explored all avenues.

  • Dear friends,

    Yesterday was a very tough day. How our animals are special. Usually during a car ride, Barney would let out a manly yowl to let me know he didn't like the sounds of traffic or the car we were driving in. But he was very calm and silent yesterday. Only upon returning and being about 5 blocks from home did he actually say anything. He let out a happy meow, glad to be going back to his home.

    We spoke with a cancer specialist, and unfortunately there is nothing that can be done with this type of cancer and the location it is in. It is in a place it often grows - in the cheek and jaw below the eye. As it progresses it can get into the nasal cavity and also grow big enough to limit the vision in the eye. This is almost a cancer that can never be caught in time, unless it is found on the ear. Surgery is not an option due to the disfigurement and potential breathing problems. It does not respond to chemo, radiation or any pill form of chemotherapy, and it grows extremely fast.

    The specialist was wonderful with Barney, and being a woman, Barney purred during the entire examination. She mentioned that she had never had a cat that was so relaxed through an examination. I wanted to tell her it that it must be her that was making him so calm, but the truth of the matter is he has always loved female vets. Such a charmer.

    We have been given a timeline of anywhere from 1 - 3 weeks. Right now he is still eating as usual, and bathroom habits are consistent. He's been a little nature boy and has always done 'business' outside, but the specialist advised us to not let him out anymore as often animals will run off and hide to live out what is left of their lives. That would just kill me, not knowing where he was or what may have happened.

    I spoke with our regular vet today, and she says she can come to our home when he is ready to pass over the Rainbow Bridge and into the light. She just needs a couple of days notice. We'll have him cremated so he will always be with us in some way, and in the future I will find a sunny beach that he would have loved and sprinkle a little of him on the warm sand.

    Thank you for all of your wishes and kind thoughts. They do comfort me.

  • Fran,
    i am very sorry that nothing can be done for Barney except love and care for the time he has left. I was thinking about you yesterday. I hope you all manage to have some lovely time whilst he's with you.

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