Letting go

kittyLast month I noticed that my 14-year-old kitty was pawing at his face, and was uncomfortable after he ate his dinner. I looked in his mouth, and found what looked like an abscess on his gums. I took him to the vet the next day. They told me that it looked like something that was much worse than a dental problem, and it was likely cancer. It was a very upsetting day, and then a tense week as we waited for the biopsy results to come back.

Finally the results came back clear, and they told us we could make an appointment with the only veterinary dentist in the city that would be able to do the surgery to help our kitty. Our relief was overwhelming, and we made the appointment.

I have watched my kitty over the last month get worse. He has a harder and harder time eating, and he can’t clean himself very well. I can tell that he’s in pain. He will rarely let our other cats come near him anymore for snuggle time.

I had been looking forward to today for a while just knowing that after the surgery he would feel better, maybe he wouldn’t have many teeth left, but he would be in less pain. So, after a bit of an adventure getting him into his carrier we headed to the dentist.

The dental surgeon called us in, asked me about the progress of things since his appointment last month, looked at the test results, and then looked at his mouth. She told me that the biopsy that had been done the month before was, in her professional opinion, wrong. She told me that she could do another biopsy, but the details of what that would do my kitty didn’t seem worth it after I saw for myself the progress of what was happening in his mouth.

I asked her what our options are. They are all awful. I asked how much longer he has, and it isn’t very long. In these situations, they usually start bleeding uncontrollably by the end, so it is better to let them go peaceably than in pain.

She didn’t charge me for any of the visit today. She told me that if I decided to do the biopsy, that I could be moved to the top of the schedule. She was very kind.

I cried in the office while I asked what the options were, and the vet cried with me, but I didn’t completely lose it until I had to explain it all to my mom as she drove us home. And then again when I explained it to my husband, and told him why he wouldn’t have to pick up our kitty from the vet in the afternoon.

My husband and I talked about it, and we decided that the best thing for him will be to let him go in peace. Tomorrow I will call to make the appointment for euthanasia. Tomorrow night I will explain it to my kids. Next week, I will let him go.

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