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.