Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Something is wrong with Howard Bigfird

Howie has cancer in his lungs and stomach, according to the cardiologist based on what's showing on the x-rays and his blood work points to this. It's in all likelihood terminal. I have to go say goodbye.

I can't bring Howie home.
I'm so heartbroken.

UPDATE - 2:45 PM
Got another call from the vet and here's where I need to comment... over the years, I've patronized several animal clinics in Durham Region. One in particular, I hold accountable for the untimely death of my cat, Nala, at the age of 8. Some are in it for the kick-backs of pushing food and merchandise, some are in it for the money and some are in it because they understand the reality of shallow pocketbooks and work to find a delicate balance between love and money.
Being a smart lawyer cat, Mr.Bigfird was wise to have pet insurance but his plan is limited, partly due to his aging. As he aged, certain conditions lost coverage. We're out some coin for his vet bill today but can claim the x-rays and a few other tests. We took him to a clinic in west Bowmanville based on an internet review of five stars out of five from 17 different patrons. I can't say enough about this Doctor so far and her staff. I was called to see how I was doing (How I was doing! I told the truth - lots of tears) Howie is stable (heart rate and body temperature) but we're waiting on the cardiology results. All signs point to a tough decision.
My husband and I are going to see if there's any possibility we can bring him home as an alternative to ... you know ... man, this is hard.

UPDATE - 11:15 AM
The vet called. We left him there for more tests and to be hydrated. A mass has been found on his right lung so the vet has stopped hydration because it could be fatal if his condition is heart related.
The mass could be cancer or fluid. Either way, it's not looking good for his heart. She's called in a cardiologist to review. I'll keep you all posted. They're keeping him warm in the meantime as his body temperature is very low.

For those not familiar with my lawyer cat, here's some history.

My lawyer (aka my cat) isn't doing well. I'll admit, I'm a wreck - not an easy thing to confess to most people, especially co-workers when most people don't understand the pet relationship.

My biggest fear is the day I have to say goodbye. And I really hope I'm just a blubbering mess for nothing at the moment. He sees a vet at 9 this morning.

Howie hasn't been himself since last week. He hasn't greeted me at the door when I come home, doesn't lie across the keyboard when I'm trying to use the computer, hasn't slept with me in at least a week and doesn't come when I call him. These are all things I just realized. Life is so busy that it isn't until you stop and really think, do you notice that something is amiss.

This morning, while getting ready for work, it just dawned on me that he'd made no effort to come upstairs and that's when I realized something is really wrong. It wasn't a gradual realization. It just hit me.

I found him in the basement, huddled under a stool. He didn't get up when he saw me. I picked him up and carried him upstairs to the living room. He purred but when I put him down on the couch, he remained motionless. Putting him on the floor showed he has difficulty walking. He keeps his hind quarters close to the floor and when he does walk, he's dragging his back paws. Needless to say, I knew I wouldn't be on a train this morning.

I've tried to work a little from home since 6:30 am and have done some tasks, but really, it's just been a means to pass the time until my husband comes to get me so we can get Howie to the vet.

I'm sharing because I'm scared. I don't think I can express how much I love this cat. I really need him to be okay. I've had Howie since he was a baby and he's almost 15 now. I can't imagine life without him and I certainly am not ready to let him go.

Here's my handsome boy sitting in my daughter's closet on a shelf, just one of his weird hiding places.


CanuckGirl said...

Oh No Cj! I do hope he's okay. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Poor fella. :( Keep us posted CJ.

Anonymous said...

I hope he's going to be OK C.J. I lost my kitty when he was only 5 years old, and I cried like a little baby. Only other pet people can truly understand this type of bond.

Squiggles said...

The hardest decision of my life was when I had to put my munchkin to sleep a couple years ago. He was a very special kitty that developed renal failure when he was 12. I managed to treat it until he was almost 14, but it was quality of life decision.

Fingers crossed it is an illness that is curable. Take care of yourself and spend the time with your munchkin.

Al said...

I am so sorry to hear about this, I had to put my 16 yr old down last september. He had gone blind about a year before and had trouble getting up and down stairs. I couldnt devote as much time to him with the kids around and he did not like being around the kids anyway as he was not used to being chased around the house.

Sometimes if you love someone you have to let them go. I hope it is nothing in this case but while it hurts for a while it does get better.

Fingers crossed for you CJ.

Anonymous said...

Having a sick pet is awful. And waiting to see a vet is terrible too. So stressful! Good luck to you and Howie!

Dakota said...

Oh CJ,

I hope Howie is ok. It is hard when a pet get sick.

Thinking of you and Howie.

Dib said...

Sending positive thoughts to you and your family, especially Howie. Please keep us updated.

Bicky said...

Ah, jeez CJ. Been there done that, and it's not easy. Hope the vet can figure out what's wrong and get him on the road to recovery. Wishing you guys all the best.

Anonymous said...

Hi CJ, my thoughts are with you and your little guy. I hope he will be ok!! Please keep us posted. Furbabies are an important part of any family.

AllanVS said...

Aw man. CJ... •great•big•humongous•enormous•gigantic•hugs•
I am gonna pray for you all. At 15... Howie has lived a long, and full life.
He has had the unconditional love of you, your hubby and your daughter. He will be out of pain. You will never forget him and will always love him. He is aware of that. Remember your fans are praying for you.

deepfish said...

Prayers for Howie. He sounds like that rarest of lawyers - a good cat.

Anonymous said...

As a cat owner for many years, I am one who understands. Have had to say goodbye to loving companions several times and it's very painful. Hope he gets better soon.

Nat S said...

CJ, I'm so sorry! My kitty who still lives with my parents (couldnt' separate him from his sister!) has been going downhill as of late. But my family and I agree that rather than put him thru the trauma of tests that require him to be away from home for a week or two, we'll let him live his life.

He seems happy, he gets lots of treats and is spoiled rotten. He has arthritis in his hips and paws and cataracts. He can't seem to keep weight on and my mother has changed the way she feeds him etc so that he doesn't have to strain himself if he doesn't have to, but for awhile he had an adjustment period and wasn't himself. He's more normal again, being a mooch and even daring to get up where there is food left on a plate for him to snack on ;)

I know how you feel. Let's hope he's just ate something bad or is arthritic.

Thinking good thoughts for Howie!

C.J. Smith said...

I'm so heartbroken.
I appreciate all the love and understanding. I really do.

The vet called. A large mass has been found on his right lung. Could be cancer, fluid, either way, it's not looking good for his heart. She's call in a cardiologist. I'll keep you all posted.

Anonymous said...

Poor poor fella, I'm so sorry to hear the news. Thinking of the furrball and sending positive thoughts for his wellbeing. xo

Squiggles said...

I am so sorry to hear that. In a way, it is better to say good bye quickly.

Sylv said...

I am blinking back tears. Gentle hugs to you and yours.

Nat S said...

Oh CJ!!! I'm so sorry! I second Sylv's sentiments, and am fighting mine not to fall. Lots of love to you, your family and Howard Bigfird. xoxo

Bicky said...

So sorry to read that last update, CJ. My heart goes out to you and your family. He'll be missed.

C.J. Smith said...

Thank you everyone. I really appreciated reading these comments

Peter said...

Dear CJ, I am so sorry to learn that Howie is no longer with you. It is heartbreaking when we lose a dear family member. My thoughts are with you and your family this evening.