Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Time

I have watched Nikita deteriorate over the last few weeks. She has lost more and more body mass. We thought it was that she was no longer eating the dry food so I started feeding he more of the canned food throughout the day. That's been going on for a couple of weeks and she hasn't put on any weight. If anything, she's continued to lose weight.

Her 'absent seizure' episodes have also become more frequent. She will be sitting on your lap and, unless you jostle her or physically touch her, she doesn't react to anything.

She's never been able to see very well but it has obviously gotten worse. She seems to recognize large objects (like people and furniture) but small objects like treats and food elude her. On top of that, her hearing is going... either that or she just doesn't give a damn anymore, could go either way. And, according to the vet the last time we boarded her, she can't smell so well either.

I haven't heard or felt her purr in weeks. The way she walks, it is obvious that her hips hurt and probably pretty bad at that. She doesn't react to stimuli the way she used to (i.e. she used to 'bark' and bite if you touched her hips, now all she does is growl... a little). She ceased being my cat quite a while ago.

The tipping point (you'll get the irony of that in a moment) was that I am seriously afraid she will hurt herself and suffer... I can't have that. With her gait being off because of the hip pain and her difficulties with balance (see, there's the irony) she sometimes falls off of the counter or the back of the sofa and it is happening with greater frequency. She actually does pretty well but she will often lean out to get closer to whatever food (she thinks) you have and will fall. Even when she jumps down on purpose, she generally recovers poorly and when she falls, her back legs are usually to the side (that's gotta hurt). I am concerned that she is going to break something when she falls. I am also concerned that she will get caught up in something, if she falls into the sink or the dishwasher for instance, panic and hurt herself that way.

I called the vet and discussed it with her. We have an appointment on Friday after work. The hitch in the plan, though, is that she no longer has a means of disposing of the remains. She (and the vet hospital where I work) used to rely on the local animal control office. They have ceased offering cremations. The closest option is a vet in another town (Chandler) who will pick up and return the remains after cremation, if that's what you want... for a nominal fee. If I go that route, the whole thing is going to cost me about $136. The other option is to take her body with me and, I suppose, bury her in the back yard. I'm not sure I would be able to handle that, though. Maybe I can build (or get) a small box as a coffin and take her with us that way. I don't know. We'll see what Friday brings.

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