Friday, October 28, 2016
Kit was born in 2007 in our house. Her mom came here pregnant along with another. I am actually not sure who her mother is as the two cats that showed up were a mother-daughter pair turned into the shelter when whoever had them before realized things were out of control. I had dreams of keeping them separate so I would know which kittens belonged to which nursing mom, but they were having none of that, sharing the duties. Each cat had four kittens and very quickly that room became overrun with ten very active cats. Kit was extremely slow to put on weight and when she was two pounds many of the other kittens were hitting four. The room was chaos, so I sent the entire family back hoping they would neuter her despite being under the 2.5lb limit the vet required. They did not and sent her back to me where she promptly continued on her mission to wrap my husband around her little paw. By the time she finally made weight, it was painfully obvious she wasn't going anywhere. She is now seven pounds of pure adoration for my husband.
Being a multi-cat household, we occasionally have scuffles and both Kit and Twee have come out on the losing end of those before, ending up with abscesses that need treatment. Fortunately, it hasn't happened often.
Kit has also had some issues with congestion lately, having a lot of coughing and sneezing that we cleared up earlier this year and I have been keeping an eye on her hoping it wouldn't come back. Tuesday I heard some sneezing and when I looked around I only saw Kit in the room. I went and took a closer look at her and she seemed fine, so I wondered if Skippy or Eli might have been somewhere I could not see as they also sneeze from time to time. Wednesday morning I made a point to look at Kit again to make sure I didn't see any nasal discharge. I saw a small speck of something dark and I immediately thought it was blood. Em's first sign of the cancer that took her was a bloody nose, so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't being jumpy. I looked again and I was fairly certain it was blood, but I couldn't be positive. I went to work with the idea I would check her nose again when I got home. I know that a cat can have a nose bleed when they sneeze a lot, just like humans do. I see it in sick kittens all the time.
When I got home I found a larger speck of what was I was pretty sure was blood on her nose. I wanted to flush her nose out with saline, because if she was just dry or irritated from sneezing I knew it would help, and it would force her to sneeze and I would get a better idea of what was up there. This is when I found the lump.
The lump was on her neck. The implications were not good. It was a fairly recent development, I was sure of that.. no more than a couple of weeks ago and it was easily the size of a golf ball. I wanted it to be an abscess but I could not justify that diagnosis with the blood coming out of her nose. I called the vet in the middle of the night begging for an appointment the next day.
I could not go to the appointment as I was unable to get off of work due to half of the staff being out of the office at an event. My husband took her in, so I am not 100% sure what happened. They ran some blood and they took a fine needle aspirate looking for pus. There was no pus, so they are pretty sure it is not an abscess.. but as to what it is, they do not know. They want to do a biopsy and the estimate is over $400 for that alone. My husband believes they can not do the biopsy and take it out at the same time. The vet will call me in the morning with the bloodwork and I will ask for further clarification.
Since Kit does not travel well, we are both very cautious and want to keep her vet visits to a minimum. I am seriously considering taking her to another vet for a second opinion, but my first choice to do so has no appointments for today. It was suggested I call in the morning and see there are any cancellations which I intend to do.
I still want this to be an abscess because anything else is unthinkable. The more I think about it the less I can believe it is because I can't imagine a scenario where an abscess gets into the airway. I seriously fear we are facing an end of life event for her, and that kills me. She's only nine years old.