The results were the worst we could fear for: Pancreatic cancer which has spread to his chest. They didn't even need to suggest a biopsy; the masses were large enough in the ultrasound. Life expectancy was quoted in the weeks-to-months range. It's terminal.
We have treatment options, but they're all invasive. I'm not about to put a 16-year-old cat through surgery or chemotherapy. At least when people get chemo, they are told what they're going through and what will happen. The cat, he won't know what the hell, and he is suffering enough. Also, I am not about to drop thousands of dollars just so the cat can live to suffer for a few more days, weeks, whatever. I have decided to instead see him through the last of his days and make sure he is as comfortable and as peaceful as he can be.
So it has come to pass that our house has turned into a Cat Hospice. (It's true; it says so on the living room door.) There's a floor AC unit to keep him cool and he's got his favorite box and two bowls of water and if I knew where he'd put Catnip Frog last, I'd go get it for him. He is eating dollops of baby food sporadically; I can get him to take one or two spoonfuls before he decides it's time to go lie down somewhere else. But he's not eating enough. This ritual occurs twice, maybe three times a day. He's drinking water, and I've got unflavored Pedialyte but we haven't tried that yet.
He lapses. Some times he licks my hand when I pet him and he meows in greeting; other times he just lays out on the floor and quietly acknowledges the possible existence of other lifeforms around. Today I felt especially terrible because I'd picked him up and moved him to the cooler room and when I knelt down to let him go, he poured out of my arms and landed splat on the floor. He didn't bounce back. He always bounces back.
I don't mind telling you I am completely overwhelmed and exhausted to the point of despondency. (Or is that despondent to the point of exhaustion?) There's so much to do in the next month and change: Find a new apartment with Sonya and wonder how the hell we're going to pay for it; prepare my rooms here for people to see; prepare to move for September which means putting all my worldly possessions in boxes and spending money for professional movers since I am never ever ever moving again without a car; settle into the new place and deal however with the cat (how am I going to move a terminally ill cat?!) Plus I've got 40 pages of radio script to write for the beginning of August, not to mention revising two other scripts and giving notes on others. And all I want to do is go to sleep or engage in activities which require as little energy and conflict as possible. I'm beginning to think it impossible. This is one of those terrible cases in life where if there were only one of these Particular Situations going on you could handle it reasonably well, but when they all come crashing down together, you crumple. Today, tomorrow, for days after, I am aluminum foil.