oh boy, toby

Toby’s been doing great since his December visit to the UCD Vet Hospital Emergency Room.  But this weekend, I noticed him burrowing a little more, and was aware of trying to remember all of his parts. When he climbed in the middle of my new bedspread, I suggested he make himself comfy.

Yesterday morning we watched him, perched on the picnic table, ever alert for activity on the bike trail. We noted what a good life he’s had, and how lucky we’ve been to have these months with him. Last night we could hear him breathing, just this side of labored. This morning we said we thought we’d be back at UCD within a week.

When I came home from work he was burrowed in the back yard. He wagged his tail, but he wouldn’t get up, not even for bacon (yes, I know it was only turkey bacon, but he’s never been a meat or cheese snob). We waited for Alex to come home and give him some love, then we took him back over to UCD.

More fluid around his heart, and also in his chest cavity. A sign that things are progressing, and not in a good way.  The doctor asked us if we wanted to have “that” talk. Those weren’t her words, but I can’t even write it. She said they could try to drain the fluid and see how successful they were,  and we could come back and bring him home tonight. He’s always bounced back, so maybe.

We talk like we’re ready, but we’re not. The truth is, we aren’t even talking. Just thinking.

I know what’s coming, but hoping for a little more time to love him. I will buy him the real bacon this time.

PS. Here’s the update. They drained 500 ml of fluid from his chest cavity and another 500 ml from the sac around his heart. There is still some fluid, which could be absorbed. He’s pretty sedated, which is actually a little funny (like after peeing he just stood there with his leg up and we had to put it down for him). He did wander around the house a bit and went outside for a few minutes. Will watch him today and try to determine if this is a result of the sedation. His typical pattern (this is his fourth heart-draining incident) is to sleep for a few days, then bounce back. We’ll see. Thanks for your notes.


About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
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5 Responses to oh boy, toby

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh Kim, I’m sorry to hear that. I know how you must feel, because we had a similar situation with our sweet old cat. It was harder on me than I showed to my family. I’d had her all of my adulthood. I knew that I just didn’t want her to hurt. I prayed that when she was hurting and it was time, I’d know and be able to do what she needed. I was and did. God does heal those hurts too. I’ll be remembering your family.

  2. elle says:

    When Portia was diagnosed with bone cancer, my greatest fear was that I wouldn’t know when it was “time.” Too soon? Too late? I was terrified I would make the wrong decision.

    “Don’t worry,” my vet said. “You’ll know. You’ll absolutely know.” And I believed him…blindly…because he’s such a kind and compassionate man.

    One morning, I looked at her sweet face and there was no doubt. She was letting me know. Her expression spoke volumes, and hesitation wasn’t even an option.

    Toby will tell you. You’ll confidently know what’s best for him, and you’ll get through it. I promise. I ache for you and I love you.

  3. anniespickns says:

    I had the same experience as elle, only it was my best friend the daughter of a veterinarian, who told me “You will know, he (my 19 yr old cat Ube) will tell you when it’s time” and he did.

    Listen to Toby.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and especially with Toby. Take care my friend.

  4. pam says:

    Oh, sweetie. I am so sorry. I know exactly how you fell. All my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. LisaF says:

    “That” talk never comes with enough preparation. I’ve had it with both hours and weeks to prepare, and it’s never enough time to completely process it. Do what’s best for Toby. And like those above me here have said, you’ll know. We’ll be here for you.

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