First Number In Action: Vet Bills II

When Pookah first searched for “Pudgins”, Old Lady Cat was very ill.

The situation has not improved in that regard. Quite the opposite.

Old Lady Cat went through the more expensive procedure. The results were inconclusive, but did provide more information. OLC’s kidneys have shrunk. And she is a good candidate for an iodine isotope injection that, if it works, would cure her thyroid problems. But she is in bad shape with her kidneys. Not surprising, considering her 15 years of age.

So here we are. Another decision time.


Curing the thyroid problem will “make her more comfortable”. Her deteriorating kidneys will still kill her.

For those to whom quantity of life is important, there is no easy answer. Her thyroid disease is masking the severity and some symptoms of her kidney disease. Treatment for her thyroid requires a week of preparation, followed by more weeks of special care and waste handling (the idodine isotope IS radioactive, after all). Weak as she is, Old Lady Cat may not survive the treatment.

For those to whom quality of life is important, there still is no easy answer. Her thyroid condition makes her weak and shaky on bad days. Both conditions give her nausea and vomiting. With the thyroid treatment, if successful, her symptoms will be reduced… for a while.

So I am left with a simple, yet hard question.

What would I want for myself or S.O.?

I have a living will. I do not want to be kept on life support with no reasonable chance of recovery and good quality of life for longer than a week. I do not want to financially or emotionally ruin my family by them having to keep me alive, when I’m only going to be in pain and end up dying anyway. Given the chance, I would be glad to take a nice, long, final camping trip to end my days surrounded by the natural beauty of this great world. That is part of what love is: Caring enough to let someone or something go on its own path.

I will make Old Lady Cat as comfortable as I can. I will love and cherish this living creature for as long as I can. Finally, when the time comes…

I will let her go.

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