Monday, December 8, 2014

A Note from Chessie

Hi everyone. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Chessie. I'm a Maine Coon and I'm about 17 1/2 years old (that's about 90 in human years).

And this is the day I died.

Perhaps I should back up a little...

A little over a year ago, I got a nasty sticker burr caught in my mouth. Dan quickly removed it, but over the next several months, the scar tissue that formed over it went a little crazy and I ended up with a big ol' fat lip. This past summer the vet removed as much of the scar tissue as possible and had it sent off for a biopsy.

The biopsy results were not good... It was a fibrosarcoma – a form of cancer; and the cancer had spread into the lymph node under my jaw. For those of you who are not Vets-in-training, lymph nodes are an important part of my immune system. With the cancer in my lymphatic system, I would have a very hard time fighting off diseases and infections.

After the surgery, life was good for a the rest of the summer – well, as good as it gets for an old cat like me. I was sore for a little while, but that thing was out of my mouth and I wasn't drooling like some DOG! (so undignified for a cat).

Then it started coming back – with a vengeance.

Most of the teeth on that side of my mouth were completely surrounded by the cancer and it was eating away my teeth and jaw bone. It was painful to the touch and would bleed at times. Eating became difficult and painful. I was constantly hungry and still kept losing weight. Healthy female Maine Coon females usually weigh around 14 pounds; I was just under 9 lbs. I was wasting away. I was basically feeding the cancer.

One last trip to the vet confirmed what we all suspected... there was very little that could be done to stop the cancer. It was time for me to go... before I really started suffering. I've lived a long and wonderful life for a cat (how many of you will live to be 90 years old?). I was ready.

Which brings me to today – the day I died; a cold and blustery day, which somehow seemed appropriate.

My last day started with a wonderful breakfast of chicken and salmon.

When it warmed up a little, we went outside to enjoy what little sunshine there was. I did one last inspection of the garage; I don't think Dan is ever going to get that car running again!

Then I made my way to my favorite sunning spot on the front porch...

and contemplated life, the universe and everything.

Later, I had a mid-morning snack of American cheese (I love cheese).

Then some fresh ham for lunch. Did I mention that I'm constantly hungry?

After lunch, I took one last nap in my favorite napping spot.

It was the longest, most peaceful nap I've had in a long time.

Finally, it was time and we headed to the vet. While waiting for the vet, Lee Ann held me and bid me a very emotional goodbye.

Then, as I looked at Dan's furry face for the last time, everything faded away; no more pain.... no more hunger..... and, no more drooling like a stupid dog :-)

Soon will I rest,... forever sleep. Earned it I have... Twilight is upon me, and soon, night must fall... That is the way of things.

– inspired by this blog.