Mel Hynes (takhisis) wrote,
Mel Hynes

Short story and a shout out.

One of the things that always weirds me out about taking the boys to the vet is that they're 10 years old and are now dubbed "senior cats", since apparently the average scale says cats live to 10-12 years old. This blows my mind, because the cats I grew up with lived to be a LOT older than that. My childhood cat, Zig, lived to be 21. She was a cranky old wench who lost her teeth at around 16 and then learned to "talk". Not proper words, obviously but she mastered the concept of syllables and inflection. And complaining.

"Mee?" = Yo, wazzup, etc.
"Mee-waiw!" = Bacon! I may be old, but there is nothing wrong with my nose, and that is bacon you are cooking. Gimme, monkey.
"Mow-WOW." = Eggnog! More about this later.
"Moo-wee-waouw!" = Dorito! I may not have teeth, but I will gum that yummy cheesy bastard to death. Share now!
"Mraw-mee-rhoo-grawwr-hmf-nyao-mrr-ftt-etc." = You have done something to severely inconvenience me, and I will now stomp up and down the stairs giving the cat-soliloquy version of "when I was your age."

Eggnog became a running joke/saga in my family. When she was getting older, we doted on her more. As my Mom put it, "She's 115 in human years. If I live that long, I deserve a goddamn treat too." So one holiday season we gave her a small bowl of eggnog. INSTANT LURVE. This was cat OTP. She was in heaven. She learned a new "word" to ask for it specifically. All was right with the world.

Then January rolled around.

Zig: Mow-wow.
Dad: There's no more eggnog. Have some milk.
Zig: Obviously you didn't hear me correctly. Mow-WOW.
Dad: Seriously, cat, there isn't any more. You're going to have to make do.
Zig: Goddamn, did you go deaf? Let me enunciate: MOW. WOW.
Dad: Look, this is a seasonal product, and due to societal buying patterns, the store WHY AM I ARGUING WITH THE CAT?

My Mom took a little more directly rational approach to the problem, and found that if you helt half a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream in the microwave, it is close enough to eggnog to satiate a cat's addiction. So for many years, we would always have a gallon of French Vanilla in the freezer to treat the cat with. However, we used so little at a time, it would get old and gummy. This didn't make a difference once it was melted of course, but made it unpalatable in a frozen state. Many was a time we'd have to warn a guest "Oh wait, don't eat that, that's the cat ice cream." Cue strange looks.

One of the reasons the vet cited that she lived so long was likely because we still gave her treats of bacon slivers and ice cream in her old age. Apparently the occasional sugar and salt were enough stimulation to keep her kidneys and liver functioning long past normal. So, there you go.

Sasquatch (named for his polydactylness) lived to be 18. This is despite the fact that for the last several years of his life he had an inoperable brain tumor that was discovered when it started causing seizures. At that point my family was faced with the choice that he could be treated with cortisol therapy which would be very expensive but would let him live a long and pain-free life, or to put him down. We opted with the therapy, because the way I was raised, pets are part of the family. They're not furniture or accessories or toys, they're living, loving creatures who have been brought into your life-unit and are a real segment of it.

This is not to say there aren't pet owners who consider their pets that way and have had to put them down because the treatment necessary just wasn't affordable to them. This is a horrible, painful choice that is absolutely not their fault and I would not wish it on anyone. And this brings me to the point of my post.

awdrey_gore has an adorable kitler that is part of her family who has been diagnosed with cancer. The good news is, the cancer is at the moment entirely contained in a tumor in one leg, which means with amputation and chemo, he should be fine. There is no spreading to the organs or anything else that would make it a horribly complicated matter.

The bad news is, just like with people, even the obvious things that can save your life cost a vast amount. (Skipping the obvious and tasteless arm-and-a-leg joke.) The surgery and treatment will cost them thousands of dollars. If you can spare even a handful of change:

If you can't financially help right now, but you can repost the link, that is a huge help as well.

Even if you can't repost a public link, good thoughts and healing vibes are appreciated.

Here's to all the funky, stubborn, odds-beating pets that make our lives so much better.
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