Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sad Cat News

We got the pathology report on Stevie. Not good. Not good at all. It’s cancer, it will recur and probably pretty soon. With radiation he has a few months to a year. Without, just a few months. The doctor doesn’t even recommend chemo. He wants us to see a veterinary oncologist, but he’s basically talking quality of life at this point and not so much quantity. I’m not inclined to torture him with treatments that aren’t going to cure him or extend decent quality of life for long. He’s had a good one except for a couple of rough patches.

He got dumped in our neighborhood when he was just a tiny kitten and wound up in our garage. My son and a friend found him there. It took a while but we – mostly Mr. Yenta, the cat whisperer among us – convinced him that he’d be better off living inside with us. They’ve been best friends ever since. They have a lot of personality traits in common. Mr. Yenta doesn’t know about this development yet. When he’s back and I tell him it’s going to be quite a blow.

When he was a couple of years old he developed a polyp in his ear that had to come out, and that was a painful surgery to recover from. But he did and he rose pretty quickly through our ranks to become the senior cat. That came with a lot of perks and he enjoyed them. Just recently, through attrition, he became the senior pet. The last dog who was here before him passed away last fall. In fact, we are without a dog at all for the first time in memory right now. At thirteen, Stevie’s not really a very old cat, but he’s certainly not young either. Some of them live a lot longer than Stevie is likely to, but a lot don’t make it past fifteen. Things could have gone a lot differently for an abandoned gray tabby, not to mention that he could have been found by a different type of teenage boy, so he’s really done OK in life.

On the dog front, we have an appointment, made before we got this news, to interview with a dog at a shelter in Brooklyn this afternoon. Now the timing doesn’t seem so good, but we’ll keep the appointment. The dog is going to be cat tested while we’re there to see and we’ll just be a little more hypercritical about it than usual. Usually I just assume that everyone will manage to work out an acceptable pecking order and that’s what’s always happened, but we really have to be a little more protective of Stevie’s comfort than that under the circumstances. The doggie appointment is a whole new experience. I don’t recall ever going looking for any pet before. My experience is that the house will fill up with animals almost on its own if you allow it, but no dog has turned up this time. I’ll update later if possible.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about Stevie. I hope the new dog works out great.

  2. Zen, I'm really sorry to hear about Stevie. You've been giving him a good cat life.

    Keep us updated about Stevie and your dog adoption process.

  3. I am so sorry.. It is very hard to lose a loved one. I really don't think of them as anything less than a loved one.

    Please keep us updated and yes, be very careful bringing a new loved one into the situation. Stevie will certainly need lots more love right now and so will a new person. It's going to be hard to divide that between two very needy peeps.