Sad update on Little Kitty, and no kitchen renovation this summer

Little kitty has had repeat ear infections for a few months now.  After the last round of treatment, she suddenly started losing her balance when walking.  We left her at the vet and the vet found a tumor in her ear canal.  A biopsy showed (a week later) that it was malignant.  The surgical specialist we were referred to did a bunch more tests (~$1.6K worth) including a CT-scan and determined that the tumor was very large and in a bad position in her ear (the bottom of the ear canal L) and had caused additional bone growth.  That means it was inoperable.  The tumor itself was slow-growing but had started to affect the nerves on her left side.  We were given the choice between radiation treatments which could not shrink the tumor or stop it, but just slow the growth.  She would still have all her dizziness.  And there’s no research with numbers telling us how much time the radiation would buy us or how effective it is without surgery (there’s a lot of research on radiation in conjunction with surgery, but not radiation by itself).  The other choice was hospice at home.  And they would give us good drugs to ease her pain.  With Little Kitty being 15 years old and having difficulty walking, we opted for hospice.

They did quote some prices for the radiation therapy, but I forget what they were (we’d pretty much decided before the vet brought up prices and were grieving pretty hard when she mentioned them).  I think maybe a couple thousand for the 5x treatment and ~6K for the 20x treatment, but don’t quote me.  But even if it were free we would have made the same choice.  If the radiation could have shrunk the tumor and brought her straight walking back, we would have paid it.  But we wouldn’t have paid an infinite amount– DH and I discussed earlier what our limits were… more than 30K we wouldn’t pay, under 10K we definitely would and would only consider what was best for Little Kitty.  In between 10 and 30 we’d have to think about it.  I feel guilty about this– if it were my children I would mortgage the house and go into debt if we needed to (heaven forbid), but our beloved 15 year old Little Kitty… no.  She is more important than a kitchen renovation (or a new car), but there are limits.

In any case, I don’t want kitchen repair people around the house with Little Kitty doing hospice.  She deserves peace and quiet and treats and chicken and time curled up on the sunny patio.  And headbonks and love.  New counters can wait.  Not all decisions are determined by money.

We love her so much.

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Kitty update

Regular readers will remember that we’ve had a surplus of felines these past few months.  In If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fashion, we had a kitten stuck in our garage and ended up with 3 kittens (Nice kitty, Mean kitty who has since been rechristened as she’s now a sweetheart, and Boy kitty) and 1 man kitty (Garage Cat) and another man kitty (Patio Cat) and Mamacat, the last two are outdoors only.  That’s on top of our original Little Kitty and Big Kitty.

We lost Big Kitty earlier this year to a stroke.  Garage Cat helped to fill in the hole in our lives left by her loss.

But now Garage Cat is moving on.  One of my friends in another state recently lost her Big Kitty and after some conversation decided that Garage Cat would be the perfect new addition to her family, especially since her Little Kitty has gone into a decline since his loss a few weeks ago.  DH happened to be going to her state for work, and he’s taking Garage Cat on the plane with him.

We’re seriously going to miss him.  He’s a great cat!  He’s big and huggable and gentle and loving.  He mothers the kittens and only plays rough with the big boy kitty (who usually initiates).  He never does the wrong thing after being told not to (except when he’s not 100% really sure that he isn’t supposed to eat the kitten’s food…)  He never scratches people or really anything that he’s been told not to scratch.  He let us put claw caps on his nails in preparation for going through airport security (DH is worried if he gets scared he might scratch).  He has good litterbox etiquette (though could do a little better job of covering his poo, sorry friend!  He does try.).  He purrs and mostly sits in laps (he’s so big he kind of spills over on most laps) and loves pettings and brushings and ear scritches and strings.  He respects Little Cat’s authority and never gets in her face or invades her space.  He even finally made peace with Patio Cat.

But hopefully within a few weeks he’ll be grooming my friend’s little kitty.  She’s a fantastic cat owner.  I know she’ll give him more pettings than we could.  She’ll be able to keep him from overeating (something that’s nearly impossible with 5 indoor cats).  He’ll live a long and healthy life with her.

When we got him he was scraggly and hurt and so thin.  Then he spent some time in our garage.  Then he moved up to our guest bedroom where Big Kitty kept him isolated and quarantined (other than us coming in to groom and love on him).  Then with Big Kitty gone, he incorporated himself into our household and became friends with the kittens once they were tamed.  Each step of the way life has gotten better for him.  I like to think that my friend’s house will be the culmination of kitty paradise.

So, from 6 indoor cats (and 2 outdoor cats), we’re down to 4 indoor (and 2 outdoor).  But gosh, we’re going to miss Garage Cat.  He’s truly an excellent cat.  We’ve grown to love him.  If he brings as much joy to my friend as he has to us, then well, that’ll be a lot of joy.  :)