Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday and Bad News :(


I still can't believe it's almost been a year since I got the call that tiny kittens needed a foster bottle mom. I estimated that Sally was about 10-14 days old when I rescued her, so today is the day I've been putting down on her records.

Although she looks tiny in the picture, when standing side by side with Winston she is slightly taller than him but a little bit shorter in length. She was born in the year of the pig, along with my husband and Winston. I'm surrounded by pigs!! Sally is considered a golden pig which apparently means that babies born in that year (happens every 60 years) will have a prosperous and wealthy life. If you can tell by the person's belly then Sally is definitely a golden pig ;)

As to the bad news, almost a month ago we found out that Winston has terminal cancer. My veterinary oncologist sister found a mass under his tongue as he was hissing at her. She had suspected from what I was telling her the week or two before her visit what he probably was suffering from, but it was verified when she came. The cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma and is typically found in older cats under the tongue and normally in lighter colored cats. This cancer manifests itself differently in different species, and in cats its just a bad thing. The cancer won't metastasize but the tumor will continue to grow until the cat won't be able to eat or drink, and this type of cancer does not respond to chemo and radiation.

Winston's tumor was on the big side, about the size of a pea, he was not grooming so well and his eating was getting messier. It was truly kismet how everything came together, from my sister visiting, to her colleague working nearby to the oral surgeon being in. They were able to not only get a biopsy but remove some (not all) of the tumor. Since Winston had not been grooming himself very well, my sister gave him a lion cut and a bath while he was under anesthesia. The first couple days after the surgery were rough, but he is now pretty much back to his old self. He is playing with Sally again, eating well, drinking well and grooming. We don't know how or when the cancer will come back, but we know it's just a matter of time. So Winston will just be a spoiled cat until we know it is his time. This picture was taken a couple days ago and his hair has already started to grow in a little bit.