Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Charlie & Ranger

This is Charlie O'Chicken the Third, our 18 y/o cat.

We adopted Charlie 16 years ago after finding him at a garage sale for free. He was stuffed in a cat carrier with his litter box, food and toys in a heap next to him.

He was a very tubby kitty when we brought him home. He was a big boy - 21 lbs. He loved his food.

Charlie is the most social cat I have ever met. He never has been one to hide when people come over. He is right there in the middle of the mix, hanging out and meowing at everyone to pet him. Someone told us a while back that Charlie was a dog masquerading as a cat. Purrfect description

Charlie has cancer - gastrointestinal leiomyosarcoma. A cancerous tumor growing on his intestine. When the vet diagnosed him months ago he said that Charlie didn't have long to live, maybe 3-4 weeks. That was 8 months ago. We have watched him slowly deteriorate, and it has been heart breaking. My once thick & sturdy cat is now emaciated and weak. Through it all he has maintained his normal sweet attitude & continued to be social.

Two weeks ago I thought it was time - he became incontinent, listless, and tipping over when he was walking. I talked to the kids and prepared them and planned on taking Charlie to the vet the next day if he got any worse.

The next morning Charlie was sitting at his food bowl howling at me to feed him. He looked better. Since then he has been gaining weight. But the mass in his tummy has been growing harder and larger. He is still a bit tippy when he walks, and he does occasionally leave a puddle or two behind but he is doing much better. Given this sudden change I can't help but wonder - is this the improvement before the decline? Every day I this the day? How do you determine what "quality of life" is? He wants to eat (constantly) and drinks. He still wants to sit on your lap and be snuggled and he still hangs out with the dogs.

Ranger knows there is something wrong ...

If Charlie lays on the 'dog' bed - Ranger lays down next to him ever so gently. Charlie purrs so loudly you can hear it across the room.


sheepkelpie said...

You're gonna make me cry. What a lovely kitty. I hope when it's time, it's a peaceful transition. It is so hard.

An English Shepherd said...

Lovely blog, lovely cat :-(

Splash said...

What a wonderful garage sale find! What a lucky boy to find you. He is just lovely.

And I have to say, Orting? YES, I grew up in North Seattle, and know Orting very well. Thanks for following my blog.

Splash, Ki, and Jewel the sofa princess's mom

Andrea said...

What a lovely sorry to hear of her diagnosis. You will know when it's is the hardest thing.

Raising Addie said...


Charlie is just beautiful! What a trooper.

Ranger and Charlie together... they are just breaking my heart they are sooo sweet!

We will be praying for Charlie, that he is able to decide when it is time and move on peacefully.

Fast growing tumors like you have described are the worst. We found one on Zoe last March. It grew rapidly and the placement of it under her arm pit worried my vet. Zoe would not have survived surgery so we had to let it be.

The one thing I wish so badly is that if pets could tell us when they hurt. If you have a pet that is very strong and doesn't whine you never really know how much pain they are in. I pray that Charlie is not in pain.

You all will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Hang in there Charlie!

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie and Lucie

P.S. May we add these pictures of Charlie and Ranger into the True Love contest? It is clear how much they care for each other.

BCxFour said...

Thank you everyone for your comments. Charlie is such a fixture in our lives I don't know how I am going to make it through losing him.

Staci - I would love it if you added the pictures to the True Love photos. That would be wonderful!