The second and final post on this topic.
It wasn’t very long ago when I reported on the demise of one Cookie Cat and the response of Mr. Moby to her disappearance. We wondered how long it would take for him to adjust to his new situation, and would he act any differently now that he was the remaining cat on the campus. The short answer is that, once he got used to being alone, he decided that he would have to be her surrogate and do some of the things she used to do, to wit: He began waiting to get brushed every morning, which he never did before. He began to curl up and sleep on Natania’s desk chair, one of Cookie’s favorite spots. He began keeping Natania company at her laptop – even joining me once in a while – whereas before, the only desk he would deign to grace was Barbara’s. He began dividing his time at night, sleeping half the time with Barbara, as he always had, and half the time with me. I began talking to him more, and I thought maybe he might begin to react to verbal cues (Moby, do you want something to eat?) Perhaps if we had had more time…..
I had this hunch. I suggested to Barbara and Dr. Donny after Cookie was no more, “Maybe we should bring Moby in, just for a checkup.” He had lost a little weight, although he showed no signs of being anything but the healthy big lug he had always been. If nothing else, our vet could monitor his weight.
Well, Dr. Donny felt something amiss in Moby’s kidneys, and we opted for some blood work (although it took two trips to hold the big guy still enough). The next step was to hire Dudu, our go-to guy for taxi rides to the airport and such, to take us on another pilgrimage to Rehovot so that the expert, Dr. Sachi Aizenberg, could perform an ultra-sound on an unwilling Moby and draw out some tissue samples.
The long and the short of his report was that our big boy had a large mass wrapped around his intestines, which might have accounted for the bile ducts from his gall bladder being blocked. Gevalt! How do you spell “l-y-m-p-h-o-m-a?”
Dr. Donny spelled out our two options. It would have been a lot easier if we could have asked Moby what he wanted us to do.
Moby, this is what the doctor is telling us. You’ve got this big growth in your tummy. We know you’re feeling OK right now, but Donny says that most often cats die within a month or two from this problem. We can leave everything alone, and when you start feeling bad, well, you’ll just go to sleep. The other thing we can do is have the doctor open you up. Maybe the growth in your tummy hasn’t spread to your other organs. If that’s the case, he can remove the growth and fix what else is wrong with you, and you’ll be with us for a while longer. Bit if he sees that the big growth has spread to your other organs and there’s no hope, well, that’s it. You won’t get those last few weeks. Those are our two choices. Think about it Moby. What do you want us to do?
As Moby was not about to express an opinion intelligible to us, the ball was in our court. Isn’t it great, having to play God? Barbara was inclined to the first option; I was willing to risk the second option. Tiebreaker needed. Natania!!!!!!
Our daughter agreed with me. Let’s not give up on him. It’s worth a try. So we brought Moby in last night, patted him on the head, and handed him over to Dr. Donny. We went home and waited for the phone call. The news was, as you must imagine, all bad. The cancer had spread throughout his body. Why he wasn’t already suffering terribly, I can’t imagine. (Most likely, Cookie was suffering from the same condition; we just didn’t know.)
Today’s activity was putting away all the cat paraphernalia: the food and water bowls, the scratching boards (which the two of them used assiduously), the litter box, the cat brush. Put them away in our storage room, not gave them away. For the last fifty or so years, cats needing a home have always found me/us. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some deserving feline(s) will arrive at our doorstep. They may not be as marvelous, as lovable, as these two were, but they will be welcome anyway.