As those of you who follow me on Twitter already know, my sweet, lovable cat Peaches is ill. He has a massive tumor on his spleen. He is dying.
Let me back up a bit. There has been some major changes for Peaches in our household. First of all, Tinkerbell, his lifelong companion, passed away recently. Shortly after that, we traumatized poor Peachie by taking him to a shot clinic for his vaccine updates. And most life-changingly of all for Peach, we adopted two new kittens into our home.
Any of those changes could be enough to stress a cat. Oftentimes cats react to stress by eating less. I didn’t really notice a change in Peaches’ eating habits, but I did notice him getting skinnier. Slowly at first, he thinned out. Since I still saw him eating I attributed it to stress. But in the back of my mind, a seed of fear sprouted. With each vertebrae that became more pronounced on Peaches’ back, it grew.
Finally, I decided it warranted a trip to the vet. We don’t make those trips lightly as they are so expensive. But I convinced myself Peaches had picked up a worm somehow from one of the kittens. That would explain why he would get skinnier even as I saw him eat.
I made the appointment for Monday afternoon. The fear ate away at me all weekend.
The doctor confirmed what my intuition had been screaming at me for days: Peaches is sick and he’s not getting better. He has a couple months at most before he deteriorates.
I feel very, very lucky that we have a few weeks’ reprieve before we have to take him in. I feel even luckier that he is not in pain.
I love all my cats but Tinky and Peaches were special. They were my cats when I was a kid. I grew up with them. They slept on my bed as a child when I lived at my parents’ house. When I got married and moved into a one-bedroom apartment, they came with me and stayed with us when we purchased our house.
There is something special about loving a childhood pet. Children love fiercely, intensely, and they love without inhibition. They love their pets in a way that we can’t, as adults, duplicate. We love deeply also, of course, but it’s different.
To lose a childhood pet is to lose part of your childhood.
I’m going to miss you, Peaches.