I woke up Sunday to find Mr. Smudge bleeding from his right eye and I had a huge swollen jaw. The tumor in his nasal cavity which had caused tremendous swelling closing his right eye had again grown and was pushing against his eye and other places. Mr. Smudge was in stage 4 of Feline Nasal Lymphoma. Facial distortion and deformity. Let's just say it was not a pretty sight. Most important was that it was causing him discomfort and pain. Although he was still loving and gentle. Seeking love and attention I could tell all was not well. I called and left a message for the vets and decided just to love him to pieces on Sunday. Knowing tough decisions were in order.
My jaw was killing me and I started looking for a dentist or Oral surgeon here. Made several calls all of them telling me to go to the E.R. not till Smudge was seen. I kept wondering how Mr. Smudge could stand having his eye area so swollen. Did it hurt like my jaw?
Early Monday morning I got a call from the vets. Could I bring him in and the vet would check him out in between surgeries that morning. No problem. In Mr. Smudge went and off I went to the E.R. Both of us in pain.
At the E.R. they gave me the name of an oral surgeon checked my breathing and tried to decide what to do. I called the Oral Surgeon who could see me immediately and scooted across the road to his office.
Ugh an infected tooth and it had caused an abscess in my jaw. Due to my beautiful titanium hip I need antibiotics before any tooth work, this meant some serious stuff. Off to get a prescription filled. I have to take antibiotics for a few days before anything can be done.
The vet calls just about this time and tells me Mr. Smudge is not doing to well. The tumor is growing and starting to push his other eye the other way. This is bad. I decide the poor thing deserves better. I make an appointment to end his misery for later that afternoon. Can I come in earlier and just hang out with him. Please. Of course.
Home to take the first round of antibiotics, lay down for an hour, then gather Mr. Smudge's towel, and a box of kleenex, also his steroids they have been giving him to reduce the swelling. Some other poor soul may be able to use them.
Off to the vets to say goodbye to my big boy. When I get to the vets everyone is so nice. Mr. Smudge is sitting in the middle of their back room enjoying the attention and love they are bestowing on him. They move us to a back room so we can say our goodbyes. I think he knows as he licks my hand and rubs against me. I remember the day he was born in my closet. What a joyful and miracle filled day that was. The time comes and there is no more to say except I love you. Thank you for your love. He is gone. No more silent suffering.
I go home and cry - I am a puddle.
Several days later I have my surgery. The infection is clearing up. My jaw is looking better. I am missing my kitty. Usually he would be comforting me. I wonder how much pain he must have been in. Did I wait too long? Less than a month since his diagnosis and he is gone.
I believe we have a responsibility to these animals we are guardians of. Not to let them suffer, to give them the best care we can, and most important to love them. I think I have done all of those things. Yet, the loss is still there. The missing is hard...the tears are still flowing. He is still gone.