Friday, November 18, 2011

Decisions... decisions

I've decided to get another cat. Well, a kitten, really. I think you can get them pretty easily from the cat shelter at Torre Argentina. It's for Winnie. I'm starting to really worry that she's bored and lonely and doesn't have enough cat-things to do.

When I first got her, about four years ago now, I think she had been exclusively an indoor cat. We lived in my little cottage in Tattenhall and even though the place was tiny, and I left the kitchen door open a lot, she wouldn't go outside. She would sort of sidle up to the door and put her little nose out for a minute, then run back into the cottage. It was a big deal the day she went outside for a few minutes. After a while she would go outside pretty regularly through the bathroom window. She would run around on the rooftops and then back. She never stayed out at night.

Then we moved to Italy and we got a place with a really huge wrap-around terrace and she was pretty happy to go out on the terrace. Then we had a flat for a year that had a garden and she loved it. She would go out every day and prowl around the wood pile and chase the big grasshoppers in the garden. Sometimes she would just sit in the sun in the flowerbeds. I was vaguely worried she'd meet with the wrong end of a scorpion, but that never happened. After a while she got into a big thing with the local feral cat. The Mean Cat we called him. He would bully her and she started being scared to go out. One night the Mean Cat actually came into the flat and beat her up. While I was there! I had to chase it out. I think this really upset her and she would only go out when I was there in the garden digging.

Now we live in this really nice flat, but it's a story up from the garden and she can't go out. I've taken her on supervised visits to the garden a couple of times and she seemed to like it, but I'm afraid to let her out into the garden alone because it would be quite hard for her to ask to get let back in. The street outside is also quite busy, more than she is used to, and I'm really afraid that if she went out she would get hit by a car.

Sometimes she likes to go into the stairwell and run up and down the stairs, but she's pretty dumb and the floors look all the same, so she sometimes mistakes the upstairs apartment for ours and sits outside the wrong door yowling to get let in. Then I have to go rescue her.

But she's really looking quite lassitudinous; I think she sleeps too much, even for a cat, and she spends too much time trying to get my attention. She needs someone to play with who's more her own size. Someone fun and energetic to beat up on and boss around. For a while, I thought I should get her some mice, just let them loose in the apartment so she can have something fun to chase and then kill, but it turns out it's pretty hard to buy live mice. Don't know why.

I thought an adult cat would just be too much for her, since she's been an only-cat for so long. So, it's a kitten.

Also, I've decided to get a total hysterectomy to get rid of the cancer once and for all.

We tried really hard to keep all the important and useful bits in there, but it turns out that I have a "chemo-resistant" tumour and there were micrometasteses in the margins, which means the entire aparatus could be infected. The doctor said there was a 2 per cent chance that there were micrometasteses in the ovaries, but that there was really no way to test for this. The only way to know whether there was cancer there would be to wait until they developed tumours, by which time I'd be in pretty big trouble. I consulted my nice English-speaking GP and he said that with the flu or something, 2 per cent is no big deal, but it's way too big a risk with a disease that will kill me. WAY.

They said I could have radio-chemotherapy but this would (probably) have the same effect ie: premature menopause, anyway. Frankly, I didn't really even bother looking up the possible side effects of radiotherapy. It just seemed obvious that the only way to be as close as possible to absolutely sure is surgery.

So, life is about to change, permanently. I was really hoping that I would be able to deal with the cancer and have things go back more or less to the way it was before, but that hope is over.

So are a lot of other hopes.

But that's the way life goes.

More later on my Third Decision, which you guys might be able to help me with.

Now, I'm going to the beach to sit around and look at the water.



Anonymous said...

Life is good, even if it is...okay, now, I know I can say this...errrgh!...A CAT!


Fr. T. said...

What are going to call your kitty? What about 'Balm of Gilead'? Nice name for a kitty---and perhaps if you give him a nice name he will be extra careful to be a nice kitty.

DP said...

Looking at the Mediterranean is good. A kitten is even better.

Sorry to hear, but I think you're right about the surgery.

"Nuke the site from orbit--it's the only way to be sure."

Cord the Seeker said...

A second cat sounds like a good idea - cats enjoy company, and having a buddy to play with is important for an indoor cat. However, I'm not sure about a kitten - it can be difficult to tell what a kitten's personality is going to be like when it grows up, and the two cats may prove to be incompatible. You may instead wish to get a young adult - by six months or so it will likely have settled down into its adult self.

As for the second decision - it does sounds like the best choice.

Anonymous said...

It takes a long time to get a kitten from Torre Argentina. They won't let the kittens out of their sight before they are at least 4 months old and have been spayed/neutered. They thoroughly investigate you to make sure you are a good investment. And it's a lot of red tape. Perhaps it would be better to look elsewhere for a kitten. Let me know if you'd like me to help find one.

God bless.

-mary ann

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Thanks Mary Ann,

I was thinking maybe of going to the local vet in S. Mar. and asking there.

But I would like to get a kitten that's all spayed and tidied up and things.

Sue Sims said...

From our experience (about 15 cats over the last 35 years), get a male: two males will fight, two females will fight, but a male and a female, once the initial spitting, growling and occasional paw-i-cuffs has run its course, will generally settle down together.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Hilary Jane!

My regrets about the cancer thing. From what you've said, I agree reluctantly (beause you were reluctant), that a once and for all surgery is the way to go.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks