So I took Dixie the Demon Cat in for her vaccinations and exam. I came home without a cat.
I told the vet that she hadn't been eating much over the past several weeks, and I had noticed last week that she was breathing funny, like panting for no reason. And she doesn't come out from under the bed much anymore. Dr. M. wanted to address that before anything else. She weighed her--6.5 lbs. She had lost about 3 lbs. About a third of her body weight. So she did an x-ray of her lungs, and they're filled with something. Whether it's fluid or tumors, she couldn't tell. So they're keeping her overnight and doing some bloodwork and giving her a shot to dry up her lungs, if it's even fluid in there, and then she'll do the x-ray again. I should know tomorrow.
None of the situations look good. It could be cancer, primary heart failure, or, best-case scenario, secondary heart disease from hyperthyroidism. It looks like I may have another horrible decision to make tomorrow. I'm not sure I can deal with this right now. But what can you do.
I know a lot of people will say, "She's just a cat." But she's been with me for over 11 years. Sort of the only constant in my life. When my husband took off, she was still there. When my parents didn't speak to me for two years, she was still there. She was there when I was fat. She was there when I dropped a good chunk of the weight. Through training for every marathon, for both triathlons, for my decision to go back to school, she was there, doing her 3 AM breath checks ("Okay, the Food Lady is still alive. There will be kibble in the morning.") Every book I've read in the past 11 years, she has plopped her big furry butt on and purred away. Sorry guys. She's not just a cat to me.