Saturday, August 25, 2007

A cat winds things down

My yoga class is back from hiatus, and my neck is responding to chiropractic care, which means I was able to burn off some of my tension and worry about Betaille, our 17-year-old cat.

Betaille is old, and so frail that even a few days of ill health could spell the end. She had a secondary tumor removed a few weeks ago, but the vet is unsure where the primary cancer is located. All they can say is that since there was already a significant secondary tumor, her condition is likely to be inoperable. (Her kidney disease makes it impossible for her to handle most strong medications.)

Betaille hasn't wanted to eat much for the past two days, and seemed clearly unhappy. She's not the kind of cat who goes off in a corner to suffer, either. She walks up to you and stares until you take action.

So we took Betaille over to the vet this afternoon, where x-rays indicated that there is something impairing her lung function -- possibly a tumor, but possibly fluid caused by a tumor. Betaille's still alert and energetic, so the vet prescribed prednisone pills to address the lung condition and stimulate her appetite.

Of course, when we got home Betaille promptly ate a bowl of cat food. She then took a nap on the sheepskin-covered hassock; Zoe, our big tabby, snuggled up against her. I sat next to them and read a book, because Betaille likes to be where she can see me. Eventually I went out to work in the back yard. When Betaille came out she did something very odd. Although I rarely see her leave the back yard, today she went slowly along the north side of the house, down the stairs to the driveway, around Zorg's car, and up the path in front. She left the path, circled the maple tree on the front lawn, and went back to the path and followed it along the south side of the house, ending up on her usual patio hangout in back.

What, I wondered, was the yard tour all about?

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