Ollie in better times one day in May 2007 shows no fear of his pet carrier. I was preparing to drop him off for boarding again at the Columbia Animal Hospital at Hickory Ridge (or his resort, as it seemed to him) as I went on another road trip. He was always more than delighted to get into his carrier whenever it appeared -- couldn't wait to get into it sometimes. After the cancer showed up last fall, I learned from vet staff members that they used to have a mascot cat named Oliver, and Ollie would chat and play with Oliver through his cage bars. Ollie would even share his food through the bars, kicking the pellets out onto the floor when he saw Oliver coming, to the amusement and dismay of staffers, because Oliver was on a diet. At some point, Oliver passed away, and that must be when Ollie gradually became less enthusiastic about getting into his carrier, although I continue to have relative ease getting him into it.
Last night I was afraid I was going through a nightly routine with Ollie for the last time -- placing food and water in his overnight room, letting him begin the night on my bed, being awakened about an hour later when he was ready to be carried to his room by his human and left there for the rest of the night. How that routine got started is a longer story complete with the little rascal's antics and maneuvers to avoid being shut in for the night. We reached a compromise so that I could get some sleep, too. Well, this routine might continue for a few nights at least. Last night I anticipated taking him to the vet for the final visit today, but I got up around 3:00am to open his door and check on him. I watched with pleasure as he scampered excitedly up and down the stairs (without making a sound, because it was, of course, night time), and then he returned to his room and let me shut him in again while he enjoyed a couple of extra night-time cat treats. This morning I opened his door again to find that he had visited the litter pan and then left some blood and other stains on the carpet -- meanwhile, he's eager to head downstairs for his breakfast. This has become the norm lately, although the blood is more recent.
That's how it is: distress and discomfort in the litter pan but a continuing zeal for living and eating and going outside for supervised play and exploration and rolling and basking in the sun and just being a cat. But the first tumor that started problems last fall is visible on the outside now and causing more problems again. The vet who saw him this weekend is understandably concerned and indicating that it's time or getting very close to time to let Ollie go before something worse happens. But not today. He's not quite the rascal and scamp he once was, but he still carries on. Maybe tomorrow or in a few days.
We've been outside today for more sun, and he's been enjoying food and treats. Right now he's curled up on a favorite bed that I rigged out of an old comforter and towel when trouble started last fall. We've been having the Big Party which I promised to him when I realized last fall that he could continue enjoying life with the right treatment, but that party is almost over.