Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Update on The Scrapinator's health

I never seem to run out of excuses as to why my blogging has been sporadic, but this time I can blame it on one of my cats, who has had health issues again.

Last week Scraps was supposed to have surgery to remove some suspicious tissue in his rear torso. A small lump removed two weeks previously came back as a basal cell carcinoma, with mostly clean edges, so it was decided that more tissue would be excised just to be sure. He was put under anaesthesia, and it was noticed that his breathing was a bit rapid, so much so that they were reluctant to open him up. They took X-rays, and Dr. Luger showed them to me that afternoon. There appeared to be an unidentified mass in his chest, near the heart and lungs, which would probably explain the strange breathing. An ultrasound was scheduled for two days later, as that would provide a better picture, literally, and we could decide what to do next.

Well, I brought my friend Sharon, who is a top-notch ultrasound person, with me to pick up Scraps. Everyone at the cat hospital had been shocked by the results of the ultrasound, because it did show something in his chest that definitely did not belong there. I'm still a bit fuzzy as to what it was, but after hearing that they'd have to do an ultrasound biopsy (which can be dicey) and then surgery, my mind was pretty much made up -- especially when Dr. Luger told me to consider all the previous surgeries Scraps has had, rolled into one, and that this surgery would be harder/worse than all of them combined.

Scraps has been behaving like his normal, loving, happy self and I see no reason to destroy that. As long as he continues the way he is, all will be fine. Sharon had the presence of mind to ask what we should watch for, and Dr. Luger said his breathing -- if he starts breathing rapidly or panting, anything unusual, bring him in. I told him that I would also watch for the warning behaviorial signs and that I would not see him suffer under any conditions. Much as I adore him, I will not have him in pain just so I can hang on to him a little longer.

So, for now, my travel schedule has been pared back. I may do an occasional overnight, but my four day Punkin' Chunkin' trip has been cancelled. I'm supposed to go to Paris for five days in April, but that gives me several months to be sure that he's stable...or not. It could be months or he could surprise and delight us all by hanging out another few years. He's only 4-1/2 years old, and he's a scrappy dude (well named!), so I am just going to spoil him a little more than usual and make sure he stays happy and healthy.

Scraps still licks my face every morning until I get up and feed the beasts, and he is pleased beyond belief when I sneak him extra cat treats. Same as he ever was. Let's all hope this lasts a long, long time! I was a wreck last week, after having two stressful days at the vet's on Monday and Wednesday, so I took Friday off and had a lazy couple of days, just cuddling with the kitties. The only time I left the house Friday and Saturday was when I grilled dinner in the back yard. Otherwise, it was quality time, either snuggled up in bed or on the couch, making good use of the video projector and big screen. I treated us all like royalty! Ventured out on Sunday to take my grandmother out for brunch, then went to CostCo with Judy. The felines are now enjoying bits of their favorite rotisserie chicken when I assemble my dinner. If there is any justice in this world, I will one day return to it as a pampered, much loved housecat!

Thanks to all of you who have been pulling for him!