it’s always something.
My cat, Fogg, is my old lady kitty. She’s 10 or 11 (my memory isn’t so good today) and has been my friend for almost 7 years. She’s always been my baby. We’re bonded in a unique way, and she’s literally always by my side. That’s especially true since her sister, Cleo, passed away a couple years ago.
I’ve always had cats or some kind of animal in my life, except for a few dark years as a kid. I consider them family. The odd part is that I never have had older cats. At one point, my mother gave away all our cats and got guinea pigs. So, this whole old age thing is brand new to me. And pretty scary.
Cleo died in a pretty terrible, traumatic way. I was the one who first noticed what was happening to her while my roommate was away for Christmas. I was the one with the nagging intuition that what our vet was doing wasn’t enough. And I was the one who held her as she seized that morning. I was the one who gave her permission to give up and leave us during the car ride to the vet–where we later decided to put her down. She was my best furry lady for a good chunk of my life. To say I was devastated when she died would be the understatement of a lifetime. I still wonder where she is some days when I wake up in the middle of the night.
The crappy part of having PTSD is that, even when you grieve in healthy ways, there are parts of you that don’t move on. I feel like I grieved as well as I could for Cleo, but I’ve been absolutely terrified of something happening to Fogg ever since then. Fogg is about the same age as Cleo was and is similarly my partner in crime. The thought of anything happening to her kills me. And I think this fear has gotten worse since I’ve been living by myself most of the time. (I’m so glad Cleo passed when my roommate was here because I would not have been able to deal with that alone). It doesn’t help that, as Fogg ages, she has way more behavioral problems than she ever had before. Things that make zero sense. And she’s had a lot more health issues. She’s always been so healthy, but she’s had some major problems this year–all of which I dealt with alone. She got better–so much better that her vet was thrilled by her progress–and she’s been golden for a while now…except for her occasional behavioral issues (that I think will be solved once we move and have more space).
Today, I woke up. Fed the cats. Started working. Like all other days. I did some personal stuff on my break and then Fogg jumped up to sleep beside me. She wanted lovins, as always, so I rubbed her and scratched her ears. During this time, I noticed a weird thing when I stroked her tail. She seemed to have a large mass near the base of her tail by her back, sort of on the side. About a nickel’s width and the length of my thumb tip to the knuckle. So, pretty large for a cat her size. At first I thought it might be a bony projection–because I have felt that before–but it wasn’t that. It was hard. Immobile. Isolated to the skin. Kinda round. I felt around to see if there was any scabs or bite marks. I didn’t see anything except some scaly skin just above that was pretty minor. No redness. No heat. No oozing. Just this hard bump. She had no fever. Wasn’t lethargic. No scratching. No colds. Bright eyes. It didn’t seem to bother her when I touched it. I pressed a little harder and got her attention–but no apparent pain. On further inspection, it felt like one large nodule with a smaller one next to it. I thought I could feel a puncture site, but I couldn’t visualize it at all. It seemed to be a little less hard as I felt around, and I could actually grab it with my fingertips–so it doesn’t seem to be attached to anything. Which leads me to believe it’s probably a cyst or an abscess.
I was leaning more toward abscess since Rilly is a meanie and tends to bite/scratch his brother and sister a lot. And it did just show up overnight. I know my cat’s body. She was fine last night. BUT there’s no visible tears in the skin. I read that sometimes puncture wounds are very small or can heal super quick, so maybe that’s it. If it is an abscess, she seems to be handling it fine. So, hopefully, it’ll just go away on its own in a couple days. Cysts are stranger. Usually benign, it seems. And usually they go away on their own or need a vet to drain them. I feel like I know a lot about cysts from my own experiences with them, so I’m hoping it won’t require much treatment. In any case, I’m keeping a close eye on it–trying not to explore (and irritate) the area too much…and trying to keep my worry in check. Let’s just say today hasn’t been so productive. If things aren’t better by Friday, we will see the vet on Saturday or Monday. It’s just kind of the worst time for me to be worrying about my cat.
Fogg, of course, is perfectly happy and doesn’t seem to notice anything could be wrong. Cleo was like this, too, until things got worse. So that doesn’t really comfort me.
In any case, all good vibes, mojo, prayers, and happy thoughts are appreciated and encouraged. I need my little partner in crime to be with me for many more years.