orange kitty

J., the sick kitty I took to emergency last week, came home this week after 8 days at the emergency vet. Eight days at the vet’s office is never a really good sign. He had a rough week with biopsies and ultrasounds and all sorts of tests and IVs and who knows what. He has two tumors and there isn’t anything more to do for him now, but with some meds he is stable for the time being, and home for whatever good time there is left.  (And this is actually his picture, which I have permission to share with you.)

What is most amazing about J., however, is how outrageously sweet and loving he has been through the whole process. He has been in pain sometimes, and with all that he has gone through, he has to feel pretty crummy, at least at times. Even so, he was a total favorite at the emergency vet because he’s just a lover, no matter how icky it all gets. The vet who called my client to tell him that it was time to take JoJo home, that surgery wasn’t an option, was in tears, and vets are pretty good at not being in tears or they would spend their days wading through puddles.

J. has to have quite a few meds; his discharge sheet and instructions is a full page long. For now, I am doing the mid-afternoon meds while his person is at work. J. was a very new client to me when he got sick – I’d only seem him a couple times before whisking him away to the emergency vet. And now I come in every weekday afternoon and stuff two pills and a syringe of liquid down his throat. He has very little reason to think well of me.

Orange kitty

And yet, he does. I spend time cuddling and petting J. before giving him his meds, and time doing the same after he’s taken his pills and potassium, but he knows I’m there to give the meds. Cats have hated pet sitters for much less. And forgiven much more slowly. J. bounces right back after his meds are taken, and within minutes he is ready to be my friend again. I’m pretty sure J. is trying to teach me something, mostly about loving and forgiveness and acceptance of whatever life throws at us. He is a wise soul in the body of a cat.

I don’t know how much time he has…weeks, maybe months. But for whatever time is available, I look forward to studying at the paws of this wise kitty. I can see why they loved him so much at the emergency vet, and why his person treasures him deeply.

orange cat

“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
Maya Angelou

J. is a wise soul. He loves freely–he reaches hearts–and that is a rare gift in this world. I am most fortunate and blessed that he reached out and touched mine.




24 thoughts on “Life lessons from a sick cat

  1. What a great story, and so much to mull over here. My George has had difficulties but has never ever offered to hurt me even though he was sorely tried. Thank you for posting.

  2. It is so sad when a pet reaches that stage. I hope his remaining days are good. Reminds me of my cat Abbey who slowly wasted away with kidney failure. I tried to make her last weeks as pleasant as possible and I felt terrible during the car ride to our last vet visit because she was purring and kneading the entire trip.

    1. He is a beautiful guy, and you’re so right that having time to say goodbye is so special. And so painful when that opportunity is not present.

  3. The joy they give… I have to focus on that because the time we have with them is too short and their passing is too sad. Bless you and your kitty while you work through these last days.

  4. This hit close to home, I went through it with my Mosby last summer. My heart goes out to his people. They are fortunate to have your help. It does indeed teach how important is to live in the now and appreciate what these companions can teach us.

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