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It's 4am. I can't sleep. I'm angry. I'm scared. I'm upset. I'm crying. All of this could have been avoided with a simple thing—get a cat neutered. That's it. If it had been taken care of in good order, I would not be up tonight, worried with a tight gut, thinking my cat, Bob, is on a slippery slope facing the end of his life.

I got Bob on August 15, 2006. The day my Mother died. Even though I already had six cats at the time and I didn't want to take in any more, I ended up being Bob's caregiver. It started out as a temporary situation, that quickly grew into giving Bob a permanent home. Bob was simply too sick to be adopted out, plus he was the last link to my Mother—good or bad, and I wanted the best for him.

Think Good Thoughts for Bob

My Mother did not believe in taking her cat to the Vet. She let one of her cats die when his urinary tract blocked up. I stopped talking to her when I found out. It was 3 or 4 months before I said a word to her, I was so furious. We constantly battled over whether or not it was right to Vet the cats. She blamed me of being cruel to the cat. They were "free", after all. Free to live their life they way they wanted. Bob could come and go as he pleased. He wasn't neutered. He never got a rabies shot. He got fed, crappy food and she brushed him. That was it.

Me. I will do whatever it takes to help my cats. I know I have to draw the line, too, but I know how vital it is to properly Vet your cat and I know it saves so much grief, in the long run, to do preventative things for your cat.

I finally made a deal with my Vet to trade services. I would help him with some computer training and he would do a FREE neuter for Bob. My Mother accused me of stressing Bob out and she refused to have any part of his surgery, but she couldn't say no to FREE, so I arranged everything. Why did I feel guilty for helping out this poor cat? It caused unending rifts, but I didn't care. I wanted Bob to have a better life, but after the surgery, there was nothing more I could do, other than get him an update to his rabies shot, which was, by law, needed to be done. My Vet looked at Bob's teeth and they were in bad shape, but I couldn't have yet another fight with my mother about it. She wouldn't spend the money and made me feel like shit for wanting to help him. I had to sit back and not say any more about taking Bob to get his dental done or I'd lose my Mother, too.

Once my Mother died, Bob went right to the Vet, first thing. There was no way I could endanger my cats health by bringing Bob here. At the Vet they determined that Bob was FIV+. Of course. Years of being an intact male-what did we expect? Bob had to have SIX teeth removed, too. He also had to be shaved down. Bob's health improved a lot after he recovered from the teeth extraction and getting onto a better diet. Bob is not a young cat. He is at least over 10 years old. Probably more like 15. I know I won't have Bob with me forever, but he has fit in perfectly with my cat-family and I love him dearly.

Two days ago Bob started vomiting. I thought it was a hairball, at first, but yesterday afternoon he vomited again. Each time it was a large quantity of food. Then Bob would go back and eat, then vomit again. I got him to the Vet and they pulled blood, did some x-rays and gave him sub-q fluids. I already know that Bob has FIV+, diabetes (that I manage with his diet), a liver that is not doing too well (he is on denamarin to help support his liver function) and his lungs sound like Hell. Up until two days ago, he was basically doing just fine. Now he can't keep any food down. Not even a bite.

I don't know what's in store for Bob. I hope we can turn him around and help him to feel better very soon. Just the idea that Bob may be on his final days with me makes me so sick and horrified. I don't want to lose him. I'm scared to find out about his blood test results. I want to run and hide and pretend this is not happening, but that won't help Bob and I need to find some way to be strong. I also have to find a way to deal with the anger I feel over my own Mother's treatment of this magnificent creature. How could she do this? How could she turn her back on him like that?

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