The death of little cat
Our cat has just died (sorry about the odd angle above, but you get the picture). At a good healthy old age (she must have been 11, I guess). And I miss her. I've never been a particular fan of cats. When I was a kid, we had a pair who lived mostly outside, but they weren't exactly cuddly moggies, and if anything were slightly menacing.
It was the husband who decided a couple of decades ago that we should have a cat or two. And after two fatalities (one traffic accident, one illness) we were left with just "little cat". She was "euthanased" (as we now say, but I still think of it as "put down") on Friday. She didn't really have a name. For the vet it was "June" (short for "June Bug"), but she was never actually called that. For us, she was just "cat" -- or "little cat", to distinguish her from her larger predecessors.
I still find it weird and sad, in all those diurnal ways that you do. I come back at night and there is no patter of little paws. I come down in the morning and I just make the coffee without having to get the cat fed. I miss it curling up on the sofa in the evening.
The fact is that the whole thing was slightly odd. For a start, we noticed that it was off its food so we took it to the vet. The vet agreed that it was underweight and thought it needed a bloodtest and a drip. We should leave it in overnight. So we did. But the next morning the vet rang to say that the bloodtest was clear and it was eating eagerly. A clean bill of health. So we should give it nicer food and come back for a weigh-in in six weeks.
Right -- we took it off the convenient dry food and bought all kinds of expensive smelly wet stuff. I had always thought Sheba was about as pricey as you could get. Little did I know how expensive cat food could get. But none of this worked. She got really excited at the smell of the food. But she hardly ate a mouthful. "That's one dead cat", said one of the family -- with sadness, but realism.
So instead of leaving it for six weeks, we took her back in a few days. At this point the (different) vet suggested an MRI scan. The result was that a very, very probable cancer of the bowel was revealed. And we decided to have her put down.
Our question was: how come that it gets a clean bill of health one week, and is on the terminal list the next. The husband's view is that the whole vet business has gone hi-tech. That is, rather than look at the obviously sick animal, they leap to science - and if that says OK, then the poor little creature is deemed fine.
It reminded us of a party with one of our GP's a couple of years ago. Someone said, "how can you tell if someone's ill, when they they walk into to the surgery?". "I look at them" he said.
I thought it might have been better if someone had "just looked" at "little cat".