The major's family has a cat name Furball. Both he and his wife are cat people. Furball was the Major's my sixth cat. He knew the average cat lives about 12-14 years.
Furball was between 15 and 16 years old but she appeared outwardly to be a younger cat than she was. She looked like a Norwegian forest Cat and had long silky fir.
About a year ago, she became hyperthyroid which is common for a cat. Once a cat become hyperthyroid, they beg for food all of the time. The cat acted like a food hound in the kitchen and nearly knocked my wife over on more than one occasion with its frantic meowing and pacing for food.
To make maters worse, she was very finicky about her food. If you gave her food that she didn't like, the cat would continue to badger for a different food,
There were other problems as well.We had a hard time litter training her and there were constant accidents all over the house.
When the Major wife took in the cat in for a vet checkup, the vet noticed a mass in her abdomen. A scan indicated she either had cancer or a large cyst in both her thorax and abdominal area. The cat also had abnormally small kidneys that probably explained her accidents.
The mass in the cat may have also explained why the cat was throwing up large hairballs and food.
Many vets are quite well off and make more than medical doctors. We know of two in the immediate area who are millionaires. In fact, it costs more for a cat ultrasound than it does for a human one. In most cases, people don't have insurance for their animals,
Vets are clever. When you check in the animals, they ask you if you consider the pet a family member or just a pet. Woe is to the pet owner that checks "family member." You will get huge pet bills.
My wife realized that Furball was an old cat and that if she had cancer, she wouldn't be around much longer. So she brought her home and told our children to enjoy the cat while she was still with us.
In the last week, the cat had started sleeping in the master bedroom with us at night. This wasn't that common suggesting. in retrospect, that the cat wasn't feeling too well.
When I left my house at 1 pm yesterday the cat appeared to be sleeping on a a table. When I returned at aroudn 4 pm, the cat was about in the same position, but it raised its head and meowed when my wife called for it.
At around 6:30 pm one of my sons picked up the cat and realized it was limp and unable to move. He also said that the cat had been moving around during the day and had eaten.
We think the cat either had a stroke or seizure. It's eyes were open and glazed but It was unable to get up. Wife took the cat to the vet who agreed the neurological signs weren't normal.
It was time to make that dreaded command decision.
Furball is not with us anymore.
If I were romantic or religious, we could tell our children that Furball was now heading toward cat heaven.. This was a place where cats could play outdoors all days and catch all the food they needed to eat. A place where there there were no fleas.
Fleas are a real problem for a long haired cat and we had to keep her inside to control them.
Perahps Furball came back to our house like in Ghost to say good-bye to all of us and listened to our comments about her. Perhaps she could now understand us and realize what had been happening to her before she moved on to cat heaven.
I even thought I saw the cat move on pile of laundry out of the corner of my eye. The cat would like to lay on warm laundry after it was removed from the dryer.
My wife also thought she had heard her meowing.
But our children are too old for such bunk. And so are my wife and I. Death is irreversible.
There are , of course, a lot of cats that need good homes. We have had six, the wife will probably want a seventh . Mother's Day is on the horizon.
Good-bye, Furball. You were a great cat, but you were also a burden as you got older.
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