The Cat Who Cried Cancer

The past couple of weeks have been a wee bit stressful where George Weasley is concerned.

He’s had a small cyst on his stomach since I rescued him. The vet declared it non-worrisome as long as it doesn’t grow or irritate him.

It grew. And I convinced myself it hadn’t grown, because you know how as soon as the doctor’s all, “unless it grows,” and suddenly you doubt everything you’ve ever known about whatever it is that’s not supposed to be growing? Was it dime-sized or nickle-sized? Was it blue or black? Is up really up? Is my name really my name? You know, totally normal behavior.

Eventually we got to the, yeah okay that’s definitely way bigger than it should be stage and I took him into the vet. Who was all, “Yeah, he’s anemic, and he’s lost another pound, and remember his kidney disease and his heart murmur and are you trying to kill this cat?” That last bit may have just been in my head. So, she took him off to get a biopsy of the cyst to find out what was going on and brought my cat back looking like this:

Apparently the cyst burst, or part of it, while they did the biopsy (this is…normal cyst behavior?) and so one of the techs fashioned this shirt out of a giant tube of gauze to keep him from messing with it until it healed.

By this point George was pretty over being at the vet. He’d had a thermometer stuck where no thermometer should go, his ears cleaned with an unnaturally large q-tip, his belly poked and prodded while I was chastised about a: thinking his nipple was another cyst, and b: how many mats he has. Look lady, dude is fairly tame. He lets me dress him up, he let you put that ridiculous shirt on him, he even lets me trim his nails without much fuss. But the brush comes out and he is not having it. So, he was all, “Fuck this shit,” and went and hid in his carrier at my feet while I felt like the worst cat mother of all time.

And then the biopsy results came back as abnormal cells. And not just abnormal cells, oh no no, not my cat, different kinds of abnormal cells, because OF COURSE. And she went on to explain that abnormal cells mean cancer, and different kinds is very worrisome, and we should send the biopsy off to the lab to see if it’s spread or it’s just localized, and blahblahblah cancercakes. And that’s when I sat in a vet’s office telling myself that I would not cry because my cat has cancer.

Now, mind you, before the biopsy and the fur-shirt of ill repute, I was all, “Can’t we just take the sucker out and never ever ever tell me my cat has cancer omg?” To which she replied, “Well yes, BUT remember about his kidney disease, and his heart disease, and his low weight, and his anemia? Yeah, that basically makes him the worst candidate ever for general anesthesia.”

And then I got to ask about what are the next steps, and if it has spread, and the hell is kitty chemo, and holy shitsnacks did you just say, “make him comfortable,” to me, because it sounds like you just told me my cat is going to die and omg this is so much worse than Westley.

So, $300 later (*WEEPS THE WEEPING OF THE POOR*) I took my fur-shirt wearing cat home and we spent a week waiting for results while I contemplated how exactly I was going to pay for kitty chemo, and no putting him down wasn’t an option, and how much do you get for donating plasma again, and I’ve probably got some pretty decent eggs just floating around in my bits not being used, surely that’ll pull in some cash, and unhooking his teeth from the fur-shirt of ill repute and omg seriously, how are you stuck AGAIN, and then putting a sweater over the shirt because it’s harder to get your teeth stuck in, and just watching him breathe at night to make sure he’s still alive, and OMG THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN WESTLEY.

It was a long week, is what I’m saying.

And then we (I) found out that it’s a cystic basal cell tumor and they’re usually fairly benign and we’ll just have to watch it to see if it grows and continues to ulcerate (I have no idea what that means. Continues to explode?) and if it does then he’ll need it removed. But, you know, not before the kidney disease, heart disease, anemia, and low weight are all under control, blahblahblah cancerlesscakes. And part of me was all, “BUT YOU SAID CANCER!” and the other part was all, “SHUT UP OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.”

So, he’s getting two cans of wet, stupid-expensive, special, vet-only cat food a day (he somewhere along the way vetoed the dry, stupid-expensive, vet-only cat food) to help with the low weight, kidney disease, and in my super profushenal opinion the anemia. The heart disease (murmur) I’m not super worried about. Also, it’s $525 JUST TO LOOK AT THE DAMN THING.

And now I’m looking into how much it’ll cost to get him groomed so it’s done right, he has a good experience, and we don’t kill each other, and then I’ll force him into a daily brushing routine because yes! I know! The mats! The first place I called said they started at $120 and if it takes longer than 30 minutes the price goes up from there. STARTS AT ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY REAL-LIFE ACTUAL DOLLARS. I will be laughing for days, lady. FOR DAYS. So, if you know of any reasonably priced long-haired cat groomers in Indy, hit me up.

In sum: yay! no cancer!

Caturday!

The first caturday of NaBloPoMo. I can’t NOT post about George Weasley.

So, George. Oh George. Our transition has been…frustrating in ways I didn’t anticipate. I never realized how easy I had it with Westley. Dude never peed where he wasn’t supposed to, took to snuggling right away, and would eat anything I put down for him. George snubbed the $20 bag of Halo for a $6 bag of Iames, he’ll snuggle but never just settles down on your lap. And then there’s the peeing. SO. MUCH. PEE. At first I think it started as a territorial thing, I mean to be fair the Apartminium probably reeked of Westley. But somewhere along the way he stopped marking and decided my walls were open season. Oh, you guys, I tried everything. Feliway, Nature’s Secret, white vinegar, aluminum foil. Nothing worked.

After several tearful nights and a few suggestions from friends to leave him in a field I finally called the vet. He’d lost a pound since July, she noticed a heart murmur she hadn’t before, and she called him a little jerk when I told her that the Feliway spray just makes him pee directly on whatever I spray it on. Turns out he has mild kidney disease, hence the weight loss, and he’s probably a bit older than the five years the humane society had him pegged at, we determined that he’s highly anxious and  might need anxitane, and he should have a $525 echo on his heart to figure out what’s going on with the murmur. Also that tooth up there on the left? It’s going to need to come out in the next year.

He’s on special renal kitty food, we’re holding off on the echo because I’m poor, and he’s trained me to turn on the bathroom faucet so the little snob can have fresh running water.

The peeing seems to have stopped (CROSS ALL THE APPENDAGES KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD ZOMG DON’T JINX THIS) and he definitely seems to be feeling better. I even caught him playing with one of the twenty neglected cat nip mice lying around. He’s never once played with anything. This is big.

It’s taken us a little while, but I think we’re finally finding our stride. He sure does make me happy.

Brain Rattles

Dude. You guys. I am le tired. You know how when you wake up before your body is ready and it feels like someone disconnected your brain from your brain stem and it feels like your brain is just rattling around all lose in your skull and all you want to do is close your eyes and omg cat stop licking my eyebrow can’t you see I’m about to die?

Yeah. THAT.

So, here’s the thing. I had a Plan. I was going to write about weight loss (50lbs down!), depression (medicated!), BlogHer (!), friends (<3), and BlogHer return (!!) in that order. And when you have a Plan you follow the Plan because hi, that's why it's called a Plan. You don't just go willy nilly changing things in the Plan. What, were you raised by heathens? PLANLESS HEATHENS? But what with the whole brain stem detachment that's been happening lately we're going to alter the Plan which is to say we're going to do the whole damn thing backwards BECAUSE I SAID SO.

Also, please speak softly.

Two weeks ago I went to New York for BlogHer with Casey and Emily. I have Thoughts and Feelings about that, but we’ll get to that later. Wednesday morning I was practically bouncing in Emily’s kitchen. Not only was I going somewhere with my friends, but I was going on a plane!

ME: I LOVE TO FLY!

EMILY: 0_o

ME: *BOUCEBOUNCEBOUNCE* FLYING IS THE BEST I LOVE TO FLY!

Cut to Wednesday night when I arrived three hours later than planned, had sat on the runway for 2.5 hours, and rode with a cabbie who basically conned a $40 tip out of me and Emily wisely didn’t rub my flying enthusiasm in as I face-planted onto the bed and Casey patted my head gently and went to get me street meat. Parenthetical aside: street meat is tasty. Street meat after you’ve been eating cleanly for six months and only had two packets of airplane pretzels and a metric ton of Diet Coke that day? Bad idea jeans. Like super bad. Like bad idea mom jeans.

Until Sunday.

Sunday we were supposed to fly out and be home by 6. We boarded the plane, left New York and landed in DC. Hooray! We boarded that plane and sat. and sat. AND SAT. Outside the window on the left side of the plane dark and scary. Right side of the plane? Bright and cheery! Apparently a wicked storm system was coming in and while it didn’t really hit DC, it was right smack dab in the middle of the route we were supposed to take home. Three hours later they declared the flight canceled. I had a mild panic attack as I’ve never been on a flight that was canceled before and I’m not good with things I’ve never done. Emily was on the phone, on a later flight, and off to her new gate before Casey and I had even talked to a human. Casey and I both got put on flights that didn’t leave ’til Monday so we made the appropriate phone calls, Her: “Cody, I found someone to watch our children. I will snuggle you a day later than planned.” Me: “Mom, I need you to feed the cat one more day,” and we went to go find out what happens to your luggage when you get booted from a flight. We talked with the loveliest lady who has ever or will ever work for US Airways and she was all, “Why aren’t you on the 10pm flight tonight?” And we were all, “UH?” And she was all, “BAM! DONE.” To which we rejoiced noisily. She then told us it was running an hour behind. We rejoiced noisily. Five hours in an airport? THAT’S FINE. THAT’S SO FINE. OMG HEY FIVE HOURS, YOU SO FINE BABY. We ate, we skipped around, we made other people uncomfortable by holding hands, we were FINE. We watched the plane come in. We listened to them assure us that they’d turn it around quickly. We watched them de-board the plane. We listened as a woman stepped up to the microphone and said, “Your flight has been canceled. Go to the third floor for tickets.” Just like that. No waiting. No runway sitting. Just bam. Done. Like the fist of a bored God distractedly brushing a fly off his shoulder, we were sent to third floor. We did the only appropriate thing: burst into hysterical giggling.

I’d been keeping Brie (who I finally got to wrap my legs around in the middle of the lobby of the W meet on this trip) updated on our status since she only lived a few minutes away from National. After Casey and I got on the phone to get new flights for Monday afternoon she managed to activate the Mormon network before I could even text Brie. The lovely Chrysta, saint of DC and longtime Moosh reader, picked us up at way too close to 1am and dropped us off in front of a guest bed with a bathroom full of tooth brushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and honest to god soap. Bless. We stood on opposite sides of the bed, declared, “I’M TAKING MY PANTS OFF,” and face-planted into bed.

In the morning she fed us, the youngest of her three boys never ever (ever ever) stopped the noises coming out of his mouth and I was smitten the moment I heard the distant, yet distinct sound of the Star Wars theme song being hummed from a floor up from the tiny three year old. Chrysta generously obliged our desire to have her drop us off at the Lincoln Memorial and on the drive there, amid the Superman theme song, said tiny one reached over, pulled my hand into his lap, and proceeded to keep it there, occasionally playing with my fingernails and running his other hand up my arm. It was the best date I’ve had in years. Keaton, call me in fifteen years, dude.

We sweated our way through the sights. I dodged Casey’s flailing arms every time something historical came in sight. “DUDE. THAT WAS MARINE ONE.” Yes, yes it was, please stop hitting me I bruise like a peach. By the time we hit The Mall I knew to slow my stride and step to the side. I also may have made an inappropriate bondage joke, but to be fair lady, your son was the one who was hitting people on the ass with a chain. IT WAS RIGHT THERE. Eventually we bid ol’ Abe and company goodbye and went through security where I may or may not have been hit on by an extremely attractive TSA agent, and cautiously boarded our flights, side-eyeing the captain every time he said we’d be off the ground in no time. Sure dude. I’ve never heard that one before.

All in all, it actually went really well. While I love every single one of my friends fiercely, there are very few of them I’d want to be tethered to after spending a solid week together. Especially when I’m tired, under fed, and cranky. Casey makes the list. Had she not had a grumpy husband and children waiting for her at home, I easily could have kidnapped her for another week seeing the sights, flying by the seat of our admittedly sweaty pants. I’m pretty sure I tweeted something to the effect of her being my living, breathing, super attractive lovey. It was not an exaggeration. I would have gotten through that situation with much less grace and far fewer giggles had I been by myself. Also, she’s mine. Find your own human lovey.

And since I’m still playing catch up that means I haven’t begun to edit photos (re: take the 100 hours my ridiculously slow and ancient laptop will require to move the photos) and because I have no shame I leave you with a video of George Weasley and his scratchy rawr while he expresses his disapproval of my closing of the lid of the toilet and cutting off his only water supply omg open it the hell up right now what is wrong with you. Also, it’s about a minute too long because I don’t know how to cut out the boring parts. Also, also, he does this to me while I’m, you know, using the damn thing despite my cries of OCUPADO, GATO. OCUPADO.