We had a travelling vet named Jake stop by this morning to look him over. We were all very worried that it would end with an injection and a soft goodbye. Instead Abbie got up, walked around, eyes wide open, alert and awake. He allowed Jake to check his eyes, his heart, and even his teeth. Jake was much more optimistic than we had been yesterday. Abbie was more optimistic than he had been yesterday. While he wasn't exactly dancing around, he was moving and that was more than I'd seen.
Jake confirmed that Abbie was in no pain, that his listlessness and all yesterday could very well have been delayed medicine processing and/or hospital shell shock. (This is another reason why I was loath to cart him 30 minutes north to Woburn.) Jake gave the cat an injection of not-saline electrolytes and explained the situation. The prognosis is not good, but until we have a firmer diagnosis from the oncology reports we can't do much.
Our marching orders are to put out a buffet of foods, including water, pedialyte and plain chicken broth, and see if his appetite returns enough for him to have a go. Tracy set out some tuna and the cat took it happily. This is a good sign. Remember all those bad signs I was talking about yesterday? This one is not bad. If you know of any foods Abbie might like, you're welcome to stop by and offer. (Just call first or something so we can put pants on. It's hot today.) Spicy and overly seasoned foods are right out, but apparently people food is back in. We have also been given a solution which is, in effect, cat Advil. I had hoped he'd get an appetite booster, but what with the tuna, it's best now just to see what he'll choose to eat on his own.
Simply put: Buddy's going to live through this today. He is ill, very very ill, but not quite at death's door as we feared. But his chest will continue to fill with fluid and at some time--a month, a few weeks--it will have to be drained again. Jake said he could perform the procedure at the house, which is a tremendous relief. Between now and then, at least, we will have to consider The Decision, but we did not have to make it today and for that I am extremely grateful. This house is now a cat hospice, and Abbie is still the king. He is not out of the woods. He will probably never make it out of the woods, whatever those are. But we're going to make sure that as long as he wishes to stay around, he's going to be very comfortable at it.
Thank you for your words and wishes and thoughts and songs. You are all so very, very kind. Even though I tell him he's got quite the posse, it often doesn't fully hit home until there's an outpouring. Thank you again.