Friday, February 20, 2009

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

On the heels of all that great stuff posted yesterday, I have some troubling news to report about our favorite little guy.

Jeans has been having these wheezing attacks in recent months, and they have gotten more frequent. We thought maybe it was because we have carpets here, whereas in Brooklyn we didn't. We took him to the vet this week, where they performed an x-ray and discovered an inflammation and/or mass of something in one of his lungs. They referred us to a clinic up in Lynwood. We took him there this morning and they are certain that Jeans has cancer. He's getting ultrasound right now and we'll find out later today if surgery is an option and something worth pursuing.

Jeans at 9 months, the day we got him from the Westside Animal Hospital in Hell's Kitchen.

It's weird, I know he's a cat, and Emily and I both grew up with a lot of cats. Heck, we have another cat now (Inez, the rescued stray cat who lives inside our couch). But there's something special about Jeans. We first got him to keep Emily company when she was studying around the clock during law school, and he has been with us every step of the way since. He's lived in three boroughs of New York City and crossed fifteen states to live with us here in Seattle. He is a part of our family. The reason Jeans has been okay with all of this moving is that he looks at me and knows he's safe, and looks at Emily and knows he's loved. On some level, and people who "don't get pets" will not get this, but the three of us understand each other.

I know that cats don't live as long as humans (of course – like I say, I've had a lot of cats) but he's only ten, and I want him to be with us a lot longer. Hopefully we'll get good news from the clinic and there will be a relatively easy fix…stay tuned.

It's definitely cancer – there's a big area in his left lung. It doesn't appear to be anywhere else. So now we have to decide if we want to go forward with an extremely expensive procedure to remove it; the doctor says that after these surgeries, cats live an average of six to fifteen months. Littlejeans is a very healthy cat other than the cancer (and his weight, but that does not appear to have affected his health) – so we're leaning toward skipping the surgery and just letting him live out his days as the happy cat that he is, until we have to put him down. That might be as long as he'd live after surgery anyway. Right now, I'm glad to report, he is totally happy and oblivious, clearly in no pain, just as he's been. More updates later (though I still promise this will not turn into a purely cat-related blog).


Joey Veltkamp said...

Oh GAWD, Strath/Emily! Fingers crossed that Jeans will be with y'all for many more years.

JMW said...

Ugh. So sorry to hear this, especially since everything else is going so well right now. (The posts below this one are great!) I'm totally not a pet person, but I also get it. I can't imagine living that long with a living thing and not getting deeply emotionally attached to him or her. I'll be hoping for good news for you...

Michelle Cohen said...

I am sorry guys!!!! And it is not weird to have so many feelings for an animal.... I am sending you guys good thoughts....

Beazley said...

I am really sad, Strath.

Mini and Maneki (our cats) have been our family for the past 9 years.

We all sleep together in a pile at night.

I'm hoping for a miracle and as much time as you need.

Give Em and Jeans a hug for me.