My husband and I had to say an early good-bye to our sweet kitty Roxy yesterday after her short, but debilitating battle with cancer.
My sweet Roxy.. she was the very first pet I adopted as my own, while living with a wonderful friend and roomate, Michelle, or "Shell," during a very, well, let's just call it a transitional time in my life. Shell and I went to the Garland animal shelter and adopted brother and sister cats: Roxy and Rocco.
Since then, Roxy and Rocco were separated as I went on my journey to Lubbock to finish up school. Luckily, Roxy was such an adjustable, reasonably tolerant cat that she survived the 6 hour drive to Lubb-town and came to really enjoy her time lounging in the backyard of our new home. She enjoyed her days sunbathing and bird stalking from the roof, and her nights curled up on whomever's bed would allow it. When I left for Italy in the Fall of 2009, her favorite bed was my roommate's, Kathleen.
Just one year after returning from my trip abroad, I was graduating from Texas Tech, getting married to my wonderful husband, Justin, and starting my career at Texas Instruments, which meant yes.. another long move back to Dallas. Now this move.. this one I will never forget it was so awful. The usual 6 hour trip took more like 10-12 hours, and we had made the brilliant decision to use a travel carrier for Roxy, since that would be the safe way to roadtrip with her...
Just 20 minutes into our drive, Roxy had an absolute panic attack in this little career and began retching EVERYWHERE!! We pulled over to take her out and clean her up immediately. She rested comfortably in my lap, the rest of the drive.
It's hard to believe that was only 1 year ago. Since then, she has tolerated our newest family member, Bailey, and the three tiny, but feisty kittens I fostered from the Plano Animal Shelter.
Around Thanksgiving we noticed Roxy limping slightly, and she started licking her leg so much that a small patch of fur was missing, a definite sign that she was in a little pain. We did what so many people do these days, we consulted doctor Google. Google told us it was likely a hip injury which are common in cats, and the only thing we could really do was keep her inactive so it could heal itself. We did that and in a couple weeks, her fur was back and she was walking normal again.
A few weeks later, she starts limping, AGAIN, but this time it seems worse. It's almost like she couldn't even feel her foot. It was not responsive to our tickling, and it was flipped over a lot as she walked. Also, she wasn't eating, and for anyone who knows my cat, she LOVES to eat. She was a hefty 15lbs before her injuries, and she had dropped to about 10lbs by this time. We had mixed feelings for our current vet, so thankfully, my mom took Roxy to her vet. He deemed it some kind of nerve damage, most likely from her naturally curious escapades, and that the best thing we could do for her was amputate her leg.
We just thought, well, at least there is something we can do for her to help, so we saved the money for the amputation and took her in just a month later for the amputation. When the vet came to take her away, he did a quick exam to make sure all was well, only to find that what was a small little knot on her hip when he saw her a month before, was now a large and sensitive knot. It wasn't something that was easy to see through all that fur, but his expression from feeling it was that this was not good. He was concerned about bone cancer, in which case the amputation would not help. He asked if he could just do an xray and call me later that afternoon.
He calls less than an hour later to say, well, it's not bone cancer, but there is a giant tumor all around her bone there, and he recommended we biopsy instead. If the tumor was cancerous, and we amputated the leg, she likely would not heal well and would die in just a few months. Unfortunately, that was the case anyways.. the biopsy came back as fibrosarcoma, particularly aggressive type of cancer. He gave us the name of a vet oncologist, but was completely honest in saying, the likeliness of any treatment working is less than 5%. In only 2 weeks, Roxy slowly stopped eating. She rarely left her little bed to do anything. Justin and I had to pick her up, take her to her litter box, food, and water and sit there with her. Eventually, we coaxed her into some wet food which was absolutely awful. I was checking on her the next day to find she had something matted all over her fur. She had zero control of her bodily functions. Her potty was just running out of her. We gave her a bath, which by some miracle, or really because of how weak she had become, she tolerated, and the next day, Justin called the vet to make the appointment that I couldn't bring myself to make. My sister joined us to say her good-bye, and we made the sad trip to the vet.
This was incredibly hard. More so than I had expected given that I very well knew this was best for her. Watching those glassy eyes go blank, and her body go limp.. it was painful, and I am forever thankful for my husband and sister being there with me.
Lounging in the sun yesterday.
My sister saying good-bye.
My drying her off after her bath. I wanted her to die with dignity.
04/01/07 - 04/05/12