Cancer. You think about it often when it comes to humans. There's more than 100 different types of cancer that humans can be affected with. But a cat getting cancer? It's often not thought about. Until it happens to you.
Cats are supposed to live for 18, 19... 20 years. To have your cat diagnosed with feline leukemia at 9 feels cruel. I should have another 9 years at least with my furry best friend, but the best the vet could give me was 6 months. Only 6 months.
I remember the day she was diagnosed. It was raining, go figure. She'd been out of sorts for a while, definitely not herself. I thought maybe she had a stomach infection or something simple like that. I took her to the vet to be checked - I wanted her to be well again.
The vet examined her for a while and took some scans. I wasn't sure exactly what he was doing, but I was hoping he would be able to fix her. Make her better. But when I came back the next day he gave me the devastating news. "She has cancer," he said.
There was no treatment for feline leukemia. I couldn't help but wonder if they didn't research it because it was a cat cancer. If she was human would they have tried harder? Tried everything to keep her alive? If she was human she would have been seen differently, but in their eyes she was just another cat. Insignificant to them.
She received some medication for the pain and the vet discussed future options. I didn't want to think about losing her so I tried to push it all out of my mind. Maybe she would miraculously be healed? Stranger things have happened in this world. But she was so sick and she deteriorated so fast.
She was losing her fur, losing the light in her eyes. She didn't want to play often anymore and barely ate. She was sick and I felt pain in my heart. I knew I'd be losing her, but I wanted to hold on to her as long as possible. I needed my furry baby.
The final straw for me was when she started throwing up all her food. She didn't eat often but what she did eat just kept coming back up. I knew I couldn't drag this out anymore. She was suffering and in pain, she deserved better than this.
I cried the entire way to the vet. Many people told me it was silly, that I was stupid. "It's just a cat," they would say. She was so much more than just a cat to me. She was my constant companion, the best shoulder to cry on and the warmest sleeping buddy.
Not everyone has such a bond with their animals. She was so important to me and not everyone understands that. "Just a cat" reverberates in my mind constantly. She was not just a cat. She got me through depression and immensely hard times. She cuddled me when I cried. She never left my side.
I miss her everyday. I love animals but I haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another cat. I can never replace her, and I never want to, but I do like companionship. One day I hope I can adopt another cat, her little sibling, but for now I will continue to mourn. It takes time to recover when a loved one leaves you. I know it will get better with time, but right now it's incredibly hard. Losing a pet is hard. Losing your best friend is hard.
Cancer. What a bitch.
About the author
I’m studying my Masters in Creative Writing and love to write! My goal is to become a published author someday soon!
I have a blog at emilieturner.com and I’ll keep posting here to satisfy my writing needs!