Saying Goodbye to a Long Time Friend
by John Armstrong
Her name is Oreo. It was Christmas time December 2004 when my black and white kitty showed up at my home's back door. She was about six months old and full of energy, mischief and love.
My wife and I have now had Oreo for 10 years. Last year we noticed a large tumor on her side near her rear leg. The vet did a biopsy and discovered it was a fibrosarcoma type tumor. Apparently, she developed this tumor via one of the rabies shots she received over the years. That brand of vaccine has since been removed from the market.
We struggled about the issue of putting Oreo under the knife to remove the tumor or just let it go. In the end, we decided to have it removed. But, now the tumor has come back with a vengeance and there are now several tumors taking their toll on our kitty's body.
Now my wife and I are faced with the difficult task of putting her down. But we don't know when that time will be though I sense it will be very soon. Oreo has become very listless and the tumors are starting to openly bleed. Her appetite seemed to be good up until a couple of days ago. Now she's not eating as much and lays down on the chairs under the dining room table.
In my research of this condition, the prognosis for fibrosarcoma in cats is not good. Usually the tumors come back within a year and there just isn't enough kitty left to remove the others. The tumors put out tentacles like roots from a tree and when removed, they just pop up elsewhere.
So now my wife and I are just trying to make Oreo's life as comfortable as possible and give her tons of love. We both know time is running out and it's difficult to say goodby to a long time friend....actually we call her our daughter.
Aside from putting her down, my only sense of solace is to write about this topic; a catharsis. My wife and Oreo are the only family I have and it's pretty tough letting go of a furry bundle of joy my kitty has provided for so many years. For now all I can do is rely on prayer and my wife on when to make that dreaded decision.
Getting old ain't for sissies and the same would apply to our pets.