Saturday, August 26, 2006

About Jasmine ~ from the Lady


Jasmine is 13, and has been with me since she was weaned. She's always been an indoor cat. Gizzy was just under a year old when Jasmine came to live with us. She has always been my lap cat. She sits with me, and sleeps with me. She tests my milk every morning. She'll never come if I call her, but if I get a crinkly cat snacks bag out of the cabinet, she'll come running. She hunts the crickets that have the temerity to get into the apartment. She's always been shy and fearful. If you come visit, you won't see her. She tends to prefer women to men, but only because they are more softly spoken. She's never been interested in new things and the annual trip to the vet, less than 2 miles away, is always traumatic for her.

Three years ago she had a teat removed and the pathologist's report showed cancer cells. During her overnight stay at the vet she never ate, drank water or used the litterbox. She tolerated four months of follow-up checkups. At the last one, another small lump was discovered, and the vet wanted to operate. If it was "something" they wanted to remove the entire remaining string of mammary glands on that side. Since Jasmine's recovery from the original surgery was traumatic at best, I said no. I brought her home then, expecting to lose her within the year.

But she seemed fine. The little lump turned out to be nothing. Then, at her last visit in late July, the vet discovered the lesion on her eye.

Now, there isn't any way I'm going to subject her to more surgery. For one thing, as cats age, their ability to recover from anesthesia diminishes. For another, removing her eye seems to be about the worst thing I could do to her. I think the loss of her eye would be cruel. And I don't think it would extend the quality of her life. So, for Jasmine this is the end of the line. The important thing now is to maintain her quality of life and keep her pain free. If she starts bumping into things, or picking at and scratching her eye, then I'll have a big decision to make.

During the week following the July vet visit, I thought about losing Jasmine. I knew I'd get another cat -eventually- but I didn't really want to think about it.

I talked to my sister later. "Don't wait," she said, "get another cat. Jasmine is your cuddlebunny and when she goes you'll miss her very much. Having a new cat won't make that easier, but it will lighten your spirits."

"You know, that cat Millie needs a home," I said.

"Go for it."

Later that day I sent an email to Malcolm. A week later, Millie joined the family. The rest, as they say, is history.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's so traumatic when something bad happens to our loved ones; when people for our fur-people. I can tell you're a wonderful lady and love your fur-people. We wish you and Jasmine the best. Gizzy and Millie are lucky to have you.

Pumpkin said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Jasmine. You made the right decision about not adding any more trauma and stress to her remaining days by removing her eye. Know that we're thinking of you and sending heartfelt prayers that you'll have the strength to help her when she's ready to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

Linda

Anonymous said...

We were very sorry to hear about Jasmine's health issues. She, Gizzy, and Millie are very fortunate to have such a sensitive caretaker. We hope that the rest of Jasmine's time with you is full of cuddles, purrs, and love.

Miss Kitty and her Two Legged One

Anonymous said...

I've been following Millie since Malcom's story got out in the cat world. I have to say - You are such a great cat mom! You did a great thing by taking in little Mille. I am so sorry to hear about Jasmine. It is never easy when your "kid" gets sick especially with something as awful a cancer. You are right to make her as happy and as comfortable as she can be. She has without a doubt brought you years of happiness and love and honoring her is the best return. ~~LS

Cecilia said...

We are very sorry about Jasmine. But I also think that you are making the right decision not to put her through traumatic surgery at this stage. I hope she will still have many good days with you.

Janice said...

I have been reading Millie's story and am saddened to learn of Jasmine's health problem. I think I would make the same decision, even though it is hard. I am sure you will make decisions based on what is best for her. Jan

momsbusy said...

your sister was wise to recomend getting another cat. i am sure little millie will lighten your spirits when it is time. she may even decide to become a cuddler like your precious jasmine.

enjoy and cherish your time together. from past experience, continue to take the time to take pictures of her. i didn't with some of mine and have kick myself over and over because i have so few photos to look at and remember life's journey with my babies.

please keep us updated on her condition. we will be praying for you and jasmine.

brandi said...

We understand your decision. Yes, at 13, and not tolerating surgery well, perhaps letting her go is the best. Our first reaction was, do something, anything. Remove the eye. Fight for her. But we have to think of Jasmine. She wouldn't want the surgery. She would probably feel undignified with one eye (cats are highly sensitive about their looks). She probably wants to spend as much quality time with you as she can, and then go before she is in a lot of pain. Bless you both at this time. Our prayers are with you.

brandi's mom, Carol

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

Our thoughts & prayers are with you too. It is so hard to watch these loved ones age and we feel you are doing the right thing for her too. Peace, dignity & love are the best things for her right now. I don't feel it is ever the best thing not to get another animal. You are sasving that ones life and enriching your own. What could be better. love to all of you.

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

purraying that Jasmine stays pain-free. we know you're making the right decision because it's made with love

iampjs said...

You're a good mom. Her QUALITY of life, in my opinion, outweighs the quantity of life. Does that make sense? And it sounds to me that she has the best possible life right now. Enjoy whatever time God gives you with her.