Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday the 13th and the Day After

Following Friday's Lake Writers meeting, five of us went to the diner in Moneta. Not only did we get great food and service, but we were also seranaded.

While we were eating, four guys in matching red vests and black bowties came in. They were the Ice Cream Quartet, a barbershop singing quartet from the Harmeneers, and they'd been taking a break from delivering singing valentines. Their picture is on today's Smith Mountain Eagle website. They went to a few tables and sang. Our table was one.

On another Valentine's note, yesterday and today, Daisy the Curly Cat blog has photos of Daisy modeling her Valentine's Day outfits. If you like cute cats and whimsical blogs, check out Daisy's blog.


Now, my own cat news which isn't whimsical—it's more deadly serious: Wednesday night, Foxy— my big cat—crawled into my lap. Foxy is pretty much her own cat, and not a lap-cat at all. I stroked her fur and felt a huge lump on her left hindquarter—a lump as big as my fist.

Since she has long thick hair, I hadn't noticed the lump. In fact, I even had to look hard to see it when she walked. Thursday morning I took her to the vet. Diagnosis: fibrosarcoma, a type of feline cancer. (Some info is here, but don't look if you're squeamish.) Surgery would buy her some time—maybe a couple of years.

Foxy is a least ten. When she signed on as my cat in 1999, she was full grown but skin and bones, had the worst case of earmites I'd ever seen, and also an infection in one eye. I doctored her up and she thrived. She became the boss cat of the household. In her prime, she could stop three dogs in full run. She's still a big cat —sixteen pounds.

Now that she's past her prime, she's slowed down and spends more time sleeping than mousing. She still goes to the barn everyday and makes her rounds just before daylight. Then she comes in and shares my breakfast. Or she did until Thursday.

The vet quoted me a price on the surgery—less than the computer I'd planned to buy; considerably less than some of the work I wanted done around the house. But still pricey.

I looked in Foxy's eyes and saw life looking back at me. Foxy wasn't ready to go yet. The vet could do the surgery Friday morning and, if all went well, I could take her home Saturday.

Friday, while the quartet sang to me, the vet was leaving a message on my answering machine: Foxy had come through the surgery fine, but the growth was a lot bigger than he had expected. He'd had to remove some muscle, too.

This morning, I picked her up. All her long fluffy hair is gone from her left hindquarter and part of her belly. She has one heckuva scar. She can't use her left leg yet and will probably always limp. But she's alive and pretty much her feisty self.

Her eye looks a little weird because of the flash. It's really not that green.

For the next couple of weeks, Foxy will be on pain medication and antibiotics. She'll get her stitches out in two weeks.

Speaking of stitches, you might not want to look at the next picture if you're easily grossed out. But it's not too bad.

The vet thinks he got all of it. And that's really something to sing about.



Blogger Claudia Condiff said...

Oh Becky,
I would have done the same thing...
I'm glad to see her looking so good after surgery. Funny how they let us know. This morning all 5 cats were on the bed, together, which is unheard of.Then we realized Bobs mother had all her suitcases out,packing. They hate suitcases and were covering the bed so we had no space to put ours! When she left they all dispersed to their own sections of the house! Dumb animals, right?
Bless you for your big heart, it will come back 3 fold..

11:16 AM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Poor kitty. I hope she feels better soon.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Yesterday she was dragging her leg; this morning she put weight on it. It's amazing how fast she can move.

Also, she put up a huge fight this (Sunday) morning when I gave her the medication. Luckily the antibiotic is liquid, but the pain medication is a pill. I couldn't get the pill down her throat. She's a lot stronger and meaner than I am. I'll try later to dissolve the pill in milk and see if I can get it down her.

Her appetite is good, though.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

Bless your heart, this hasn't been a good winter for your animals. I know they'll be as ready for spring as you! I'm glad she came through the surgery o.k.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Aw, poor kitty. You're a good cat mommy.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Marion said...

Glad to know she is doing well. I give my dogs their pills inside a bit of peanut butter, something they NEVER turn down or spit out. Don't know about cats...

3:05 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

None of my cats eat peanut butter, doggone it. I've managed to get a few in the past to take pills by buttering them, but Foxy is one obstinate cat.

4:38 PM  

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