Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How Many Lives Does the Cat Have Left?

Above is a photo of Zippy just last year, middle-aged but still in the bloom of health, strong and happy. He may look fat but it's just that thick coat of his.

You may recall my post of November 2007 in which I described how Zippy had suddenly lost his appetite. He has never recovered.

The veterinarian in Coronado, Dr. Jaime Reyes, finally figured out that Zippy has an intestinal tumor. Dr. Reyes operated in an attempt to remove the tumor, but it was too far inside the abdomen and could not be reached. So the doctor sewed him back up and I took him home. That was an ordeal as he could hardly move for days and required constant care.

Zippy has been in bad shape since then. He no longer eats or takes water. He is down to perhaps 9 pounds or less, from his original 18.

I have been worried that Zippy is suffering and is perhaps in pain. So last week I asked the local vet, Dr. Greco, to come to our house and put Zippy to sleep. We dug a hole in the front yard near the fence to bury Zippy, and I gathered a few of his favorite toys to keep him company in the afterlife.

Dr. Greco came to our house Friday afternoon. We said our goodbyes to Zippy and petted him as Dr. Greco trimmed his fur on one leg to expose an injection site. Unfortunately Dr. Greco is rather old and he accidentally cut Zippy's leg with the scissors. I was not happy about that. Because of Zippy's emaciated state, Dr. Greco had trouble trouble finding a vein. He tried three times but was unable to inject the euthanizing drug.

Finally I said stop. I had been deeply conflicted about the whole thing anyway, so I took it as a sign that Zippy should reach his own end naturally.

So the hole in the yard is still there, but Zippy is still here, alive and surviving if not thriving. Since Friday Laura and I have been feeding him an ounce or so of an egg & milk concoction by syringe.

Here's Zippy as he appears now:

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