JJ has flown to New York and back with me, and he's lived in the condo I bought, and several apartments before and after the condo. He's seen me through a bachelor's degree, and a Masters and a half, and three different banks. For the past few years, he's been totally blind but completely trusting, as he's navigated his way around a pretty large space with furniture I never rearrange. He loves taking all-day naps in the chairs on the balcony if the sun is shining, and at night he sleeps on my pillow or in the crook of my knees.
JJ stopped eating almost completely about 10 days ago. I started closely monitoring his intake and output, and eventually noticed weight loss. My vet made a house call yesterday to check on him, and it wasn't good news. That was no surprise, but my heart is broken. The vet suspects a tumor and liver failure. The liver failure is giving his usual snow-white coat a slight yellow-tinge, which I mentioned to the vet but said it might be something I was imagining. No, not imagining it. I'm surprised how hard it is to believe that this is happening, that I'll have to say goodbye to my little buddy. I'm finding it almost impossible to believe and to accept.
The doctor gave him 1-2 weeks at the most, but I've noticed a decline since yesterday, so I don't think I will have two more weeks. I feel a bit tortured at wondering if I should be doing more for him (there are a few options of treatments to try to get his appetite back, diagnostics to see exactly what type of tumor it is, etc.) because maybe something relatively simple will give him another few good months or a year - that, and feeling strongly that I don't want to scare him or put him through any pain or unnecessary discomfort. I'm afraid I will have regrets once he is gone.
I already have regrets about times I've been impatient with him, and of all the hours I work and the travel I've done that has left him alone for long periods of time (although when I travel, he is under the care of my BFF who treats him very well and doesn't just pop in to give him food and change his litter box - she comes to hang out and watch a movie whenever she visits him). Make no mistake - the cat has been well cared for :) But I absolutely regret every single non-tender gesture I've ever made toward him. I don't know if it's possible to get to this point and not have regrets; I've never been here before.
I am watching for any signs at all of pain so I know when to call the vet again. If I need the vet during the hours the clinic is open, they will come and euthanize him here so I don't have to put him through loading him in a carrier and taking him in the car. I'm grateful for that, as I think it would be best for him. Even when healthy, the blindness made those things especially scary and traumatic for him. But I've wondered if I can handle the memory of having that happen in my apartment.
I'm sorry for all of the detail. He's the only pet I've ever had and I feel very lost in all of this sudden seriousness. I'm not sure what you do in these situations except go through them.
So for now I am just spending time cuddling him, holding him and crying, appreciating every nudge and tiny purr, thinking of all the joy he's brought me over the years.