Friday, April 04, 2008

The Cat, On the Other Hand

Mom is declining, but the cat is doing great.

She's sitting on my lap and purring as I type this.

Twice a day we squirt pureed cat food down Celeste's feeding tube.

Yesterday I took her to the vet, hoping to get the tube removed and return her to eating kibble by herself.

"No!" said Dr. Hernandez. "It can't be removed until she's been eating normally and drinking water for a full week."

"It's been four days, " I argued.

I lost. It takes a village to determine the fate of a cat. Once I enter the vet's door, it's out of my hands. That doctor has taken a hippocratic [sic] oath to serve and protect animals; she wouldn't put the cat to sleep, and now she won't remove the tube.

So I come home from begging Mom to eat and put a can of cat food in the blender with a little water; I corner the cat, place her on a towel on the washing machine, and squirt the food down her tube. I also have to put two pills down, and they get stuck in the tube. I keep trying to push the syringe and clear the blockage until suddenly the cat food spurts all over the wall and me and the washing machine. I wait a couple hours until the clogged pills dissolve and try again.

We could put a gastric tube in Mom, too, but with her dementia she'd probably pull it out. I'm sure she wouldn't like it. Her quality of life is already so low that another six months with a feeding tube would be miserable for her.

Celeste has so much energy back that she's back to her usual tricks: touring the house each day to select which bathroom rug she will do number two on.

My prayer: that she will soon be outside in the daytime to perform that act on the grass.

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