For nine years I lived with a beautiful tuxedo Turkish Angora named Angel. She was bright, lively and mischievous. Angel reminded me of Mae West in a black fur coat. She was fixed before she was six months old. I knew there were benefits to the operation, one of which was that she would not have the specter of breast cancer hanging over her head. The operation would save her from that.
Or so I thought.
Three months after her 9th birthday I noticed that there was a growth coming out of Angel’s anus. I took her to the vet. He wasn’t all that worried. He told he it was more than likely hemorrhoids. He snapped on his rubber gloves and figured all he had to do was push it back in and we’d be good to go. I was in the exam room. Angel was so upset she had to be sedated. The doctor began the examination, and I had a bad feeling when I saw him frown. He pressed down on Angel’s sides, and then he told me it wasn’t hemorrhoids, the growth extended halfway through her body. He took a tissue sample, said he’d send it to the lab. When I asked him what he thought the growth was he said “squamous carcinoma.” Turns out that was just a fancy name for breast cancer.
If I’d known then what I know now I would have told him “Don’t let her wake up.” Instead I allowed Angel to regain consciousness and took her home with me. Somehow I fooled myself into thinking she would get better. She seemed to rally for a couple of days and was her old self, greeting me at the door when I came home from work. She died the following Friday. I had her cremated the week after.
In the next five years I had to euthanize two more cats, both males. First Rocky, 15 months old, and then years later Coyote, 11 months old. They both blocked up completely. They were so small down there the vet did not have catheters small enough for them. The diagnosis for both was grim: even if they could be unblocked they would block again. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when. It’s highly unusual for male cats to block up completely at that young age. The vet suspected birth defects. I made the decision to end their suffering.
When it’s Samirah’s time I’m not going to let her suffer. I’ve already decided that I will have her euthanized at home. She hates the vet and cab rides. She’s in very good health now, but you never know. I have provided the very best care for her and all my cats, but it’s all a crap shoot. It’s best to love our furry companions and let them go when it’s time.
From Michael (Admin). Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this article. It is absorbing. I love personal stories.
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