Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Hard Part

One of our neighbors is having her kitchen and baths renovated. In the middle of the job, she is understandably aggravated by the imperfections she spots every evening, but she struggles with the unpleasant confrontation of giving her contractor the punch list every morning.

"That's the hard part," I agree when she comes over for a sympathetic ear, "but the good of having a new kitchen and bathroom that you love is the pay-off. Isn't it worth it?"

I thought of my own words today when it became clear to us that we would have to let our 15-year-old cat Penelope go much sooner than we ever expected. Just a week ago she was having so much trouble chewing that we bought a kitty straight jacket and hauled her off to the vet for only the second time in her 13 years with us.

The news was not good, but didn't seem that dire either. Tooth decay and a weird growth on her gum meant surgery and a biopsy, but when her blood work came back, weak kidneys, which are common in older cats, complicated the situation. Yesterday she stopped eating and started hiding, which is never a good sign. We struggled with the options-- move up the risky surgery to see if removing her bad teeth would allow her to eat again, try antibiotics and pain killers indefinitely, or stop delaying the inevitable.

When we dragged her out from under the bed and took her back to the doctor, she told us the tumor was much bigger already and bleeding and kicking pus into Penelope's sinuses. "This condition is ugly and painful," the doctor said, "and it won't get better."

Our pets give us years of joy and comfort and love, and in return we must care for them as best we can. And then comes the hard part.

It breaks your heart into a million pieces, but it is so worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I am so, so sad for you and Heidi tonight.

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