September 27, 2010

R.I.P. Argento

Posted in Make tagged , , at 4:38 pm by onetinyacorn

Within the past week, we went from thinking that we had a happy, healthy young cat to discovering that he had terminal cancer and being forced to make the difficult decision to end his suffering. This has been extremely hard on us. We did everything right: made sure he was up-to-date on all his vaccines, tested him for feline leukemia and FIV when he was a kitten, fed him excellent-quality food, and made sure he had plenty of toys to play with. So as a public service announcement, here’s what I’ve learned in the past week:

  • While the presence of feline leukemia makes it much more likely that a cat will develop lymphoma (what Argento had), some cats just develop it (Argie definitely did not have feline leukemia).
  • Get your cat or kitten tested for feline leukemia as soon as you get him or her. The disease is highly contagious.
  • Cats are very stoic about their pain. The only outward sign that anything was wrong that Argento displayed was slightly more rapid breathing. An x-ray revealed fluid in his lungs, and only by analyzing that fluid was the vet able to conclude that Argento had cancer. The rapid breathing was a sign that the fluid in his lungs made it uncomfortable for him to draw breaths. Several days later, he stopped eating as well.
  • In part because he developed lymphoma at such a young age (only a year and a half old), his chances of survival were zero. Even if we had decided to put him through chemotherapy–a decision we did not feel comfortable with, since it inflicts so much pain–he still would not have survived much longer.
  • An x-ray showing fluid in the lungs could be either pneumonia, lymphoma, or heart disease. The only way to know for sure is to have the vet analyze the fluid.

Argento was such a sweet, gentle cat. It pains us to lose him, but he did give us the gift of one and a half happy years. He also turned me into a Cat Person (I always grew up around dogs). We’re scattering his ashes over Lake Marie soon. In his memory, we’re also crafting toys, blankets, and beds to donate to Laramie Animal Shelter.

April 1, 2009 – September 22, 2010


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