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That Which Doesn't Kill Us-Part Three

The first morning after Spencer's surgery I went over to his crate and opened the door so he could stretch his legs. I hated having to confine him, but it's only for a few days. There's a pen attached to his crate once the door is open. It gives him more space, but keeps him from running around. He's supposed to rest. He's supposed to wear that damn “cone of shame.” He's supposed to be feeling awful for a few days.

I started placing the dishes out onto the counter. I count to myself the numbers 1 through 9. I have enough plates. Next is to get the raw food thawed so I go over to the refrigerator and pull out a package of food that Sam made up a few days ago. I hear a weird sound and turn. I don't see anything so I go back to what I was doing but something caught my eye. It was Spencer. He was sitting in his “spot” where he usually waits to be fed. He looked up at me and gave me the ever-familiar silent meow, letting me know he was hungry. The sound I heard must have been him jumping over the pen when just the night before there was no way he could manage.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. “This is your cat on drugs.”

It would be a good hour before the food was warm and Jackson, too, was fussing about wanting to eat. Who am I to say no to them after the last day we had?

I grabbed a few cans of one of their favorite canned grain-free foods and scooped some out on a dish. I hid Spencer's antibiotics and Jackson's pile of pills into the food after I'd coated them in my favorite stuff-Flavor Doh. It really works to hide pills! I put the food down and within two seconds, pills and all, it was gone. Spencer ate normally for the first time in MONTHS. He'd been chewing out of once side of his mouth, a telltale sign of some sort of dental problem. Here he was, like nothing ever happened. Meanwhile, Jackson was chowing down, wanting more. I couldn't be happier.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Purple-buprenex-haze.

Later that morning, as I sat at my desk, Spencer ran over and jumped into his favorite cat bed which is at table top height and is right next to me. I was so glad to see him, even though he was supposed to be in his cage resting. He seemed very comfortable even though he was still on Buprenex and was a bit loopy. Blitzen and Nicky were also in my office fast asleep. I felt safe again with them here. I couldn't get over how dreadfully lost I felt without them less than 24 hours ago. We were a family again and everyone was basically okay.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson, back to his old self.

All that remained was to wait a few more days for Spencer's biopsy results to come in. I knew it was probably cancer. I just didn't know what kind it was or if we could treat it or if it would mean disfiguring Spencer to save his life.

I've said it many times before that my finances are in the shitter. Part of it was due to how much we spent trying to keep Bob Dole (my cat) alive, along with some other very costly Vet visits. I knew if Spencer had cancer I'd have a very very very hard time paying for his care. I would find a way, but when you're in a deep hole already, you don't have much energy or tools to dig deeper.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My lovely floor.

Meanwhile Jackson was back to his old ways. He was LOUD, meowing the second we went to bed, then starting up again very early in the morning. He wants his pills/snack at 7:20AM. I do not need an alarm clock with him. He's almost spritzed cat urine in the bedroom but I watch him like a hawk and have stopped him a number of times. It's exhausting. I don't know what it would take to get him to stop doing it. There's competition for the bedroom and he rarely stays the night. He's probably trying to scent the place so he can take over. Meanwhile it's pee pee pads by the front of the bed to protect the rug and a lot more policing then I'd like to do.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Yummy goodness, but naughty boy.

Jackson is not deaf. He MAY be hearing impaired to some degree, but I'm not sure how severe it is. He CAN hear me, especially if I YELL at him to NOT PEE on the BED. As for more subtle sounds, he may have a problem. More testing needs to be done.

For now it's simply watch and wait—make sure everyone stays out of trouble, eats their food, takes their medicine. Spencer's been very good about not picking at his sutures and for that I continue to be happy.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer with the only Friskies I allow in the house.

I also have one more thing to be HAPPY about.

Lauren called from Dr. Larry's office. She asked me how Spencer was doing, then told me the biopsy results were in a FEW DAYS EARLY. I had NO TIME to ready myself for the news, but she sounded very cheerful so she was either a sociopath or had good news. Spencer's growth is BENIGN. It has “no content,” to which I interjected, “You mean like my life?” Lauren laughed. “It means it's NOT CANCER.”

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Soulful Jackson.

I could barely speak and I had to hold back my tears as I thanked her profusely and hung up the phone. I ran to Sam to tell him, the tears falling freely, before I could get the words out, leaving him to think it was the worst before he realized it was the BEST NEWS EVER!

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Not only was Spencer just fine and dandy, but the weight of worrying about how I would pay for his care lifted. What a great gift! It was completely unexpected and so very very sincerely appreciated. My boys were back home with me, just where they belong. I wanted to hold each one tight and never let them go.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Me and my baby. It's going to be okay.

I may not have ever had human children, but I suddenly felt like I understood how the bond between a Mother and child-how it must feel to almost lose someone you love very much, then yank the back from the edge of the cliff at the very last second. It's been quite a week and this time we get a happy ending. I know it won't always be like this, but for now it's all good.


I'm so happy for you and Spencer!!!!!!! 

Happy news!  I was hopeful when you said the cyct in his ear shrunk without any medical help! 

Thanks for the info about the raw chicken with bones idea for healthy teeth.  Too late for my Kiefer - he has very few molars, but I have two other cats that I can help with their teeth. 



I'm absolutely radiant and happy!
Tomorrow I'll post about Spencer on my blog.
I loved reading this post!
The weekend starts so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, yay! Oh yay oh yay oh yay! I'm so glad it's good news! Spencer could be Possum's brother, although even fluffier and more well-upholstered, so I adore him like a member of the family. Be sure to take a break to officially celebrate all this good news! 

I am so happy to hear you....finally...have received great news!   Merry Christmas Robin to you, Sam and all the kitties too!

What a terrific thing to read on this otherwise upsetting morning. I am so, so glad that Spencer, your amazing, lovely puff ball, is cancer-free, and that bad boy Jackson is doing better. Whew!

First off, congrats on the news about Spencer. He looks like such a sweet guy, and I'm sure he appreciates the care and love you give him.

Second, my guess is Jackson is deaf in one ear only.  I had a ragdoll (white w/ blue eyes) that was the same way, except when he walked he cocked his head at an angle.  The vet first thought it was neurological, but I finally figured out he was using his "good" ear to compensate!  Unfortunately he also shared another thing with Jackson - a case of HCM that ultimately did him in.  We fought it for 3 months after diagnosis, using diurectics and periodic fluid removal.  The problem was that by the time our boy presented symptoms, it was already very advanced.  Cats are INCREDIBLY good at hiding illness, which is a good survival trait in the wild but causes shock to us parents in many cases.  After thousands of dollars in treatment, we finally had to let him go.  It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, but I am grateful for the extended time we had together despite the costs.

I hope Jackson keeps on trucking for a good while longer, and I wish you and your brood the best of luck in the upcoming year.

Jackson = develop the 'cat diaper' ?  Start with some kind of wide kotex, cut a hole for the tail...   tape around waist?

This is the best news ever! I am so happy for Spencer, and for you!

Robin, I am so happy for Spencer.  This news and the picture of your beautiful DOOD have helped lift me today.  Thank you.

CONCATS, all!!! and BIG SIGH OF RELIEF!!!  What wonderful news.  Celebrate! :)

Happy for you and your furkids!  We could feel the joy in your blog!

Happy to meet you my furriend and read about your babies.  I am SO glad to know you had good news with Spencer who is completely adorable. 

I'm not sure if you got my comment.  I will check back tomorrow and see.

They ARE our children.  <3

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