Monday, July 26, 2010

A complex, sad situation.

My cat Sophia is dying.  

She's been sick for months with what we thought was a terrible virus or allergies.  She had lots of mucus and was sneezing all the time.  We took her to the vet a number of times and after numerous go-rounds of antibiotics, she was still doing pretty badly.

We decided to take her to an animal hospital.  When they went in to do a biopsy of a lump she had, they discovered a much bigger lump.  In a day or two, we found out the lump was cancerous:  Sophia has lymphoma.  

The prognosis for cat lymphoma is not good.  We are going to give her steroids to make her time left easier.  Right now, she struggles to breathe and has absolutely no pep.  

It makes me so sad and I'm writing this with tears stinging my eyes.  I got her just two weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Zion.  She was a tiny kitten.  She's grown to be a part of this family and she will leave a void when she's gone.  

Sophia is the first being close to me that I have known I was going to lose.  I have been having a sickening premonition that I was going to lose something and I was preparing myself mentally/spiritually for it.  I didn't know who or what was going to happen.  I didn't even want to speak about the premonition fearing the worst.  So a part of me is a little relieved despite being sad.  Another part of me hopes this is really what the premonition was about--not the beginning or part of it. 

My poor Sophia.  I hope the steroids at least help her to not suffer.  They say she has about 3-6 months before she stops eating.  And at that time, it would be best to put her down.  The very idea of putting her down puts a pit in my stomach.  What are my feelings on euthanasia?  Does that extend to every species including humans?  I've always said that if I knew for certain I was going to die (like if I were on the sinking Titanic) I would have have opted for a bullet to the head.  I don't like suspense (couldn't even get through one episode of 24) and I despise useless suffering.  But am I taking euthanasia too lightly because she's not human?  I believe, like Buddhism teaches, that there is no hierarchy of life:  life is life and is equal, whether a bumble bee or a human.  Then there's the part of me that just doesn't want to wake up one morning and find her dead.  I certainly don't want the kids to find her.  And my husband was the one who found his father dead of a heart attack.  He's already said he doesn't want to handle anything like that again.  

It's such a complex, sad situation. 


Anonymous said...

I'm so very sorry. Hugs to you. i think you'll do the right thing by Sophia. I've struggled with similar questions regarding animal euthanasia. Right now I think that euthanasia can be a kinder death in some cases.

Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

Sooooo sorry. Sending mad love to you and the family. I hope when she does pass it is an easy one. that will make it better for everyone.

I have always had pets. And eventually they return to the essence. My mother taught me a long ago not to dwell on the passing, because we all have to go there. But to love them hard while they live.


Jennie said...

Nothing to say that will help, but know you're in my thoughts.
Even though they don't "speak" I think animals have a way of letting us know what they need. Maybe your kitty can help you make the right decision.

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