All things must pass

He was a little big to be a shoulder-cat

So, around 8:45 this morning, we had Ford put to sleep.

It’s been about three years since he was first diagnosed as diabetic, and just over two since he finished radiation treatment for the tumor that caused his acromegaly. The treatment wasn’t an unalloyed success–though we never had them do another CAT scan to verify it’s continued presence, his need for insulin never left, and there were other issues–but without it, his prognosis was closer to 9 months than the 25 we had.

Five months ago, he had some sort of swelling on his face that caused him trouble eating (though that cleared up), and he quit drinking water from a bowl–Anne’s been giving him water from a syringe and we’ve been giving him subcutaneous fluids; every few days at first, and then every day for the last three months.

Two days ago, he started breathing noisily and seemed to be working a little harder than normal–when we took him to the vet, they suspected pleural effusion (fluid in the chest cavity) or pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs). An x-ray showed no fluid anywhere; in fact, we couldn’t come up with any direct cause of his condition. Since he wasn’t in crisis, we brought him back
home.

Yesterday he started having trouble eating, and he was bleeding some in his mouth. We fed him some lighter food, which he ate, and decided to take him back in this morning.

Once we were there, we faced up to the fact that even though he wasn’t really in an acute crisis, things were just going to continue getting worse and worse, however slowly. There’s probably an argument to be made that we were five months late in admitting this, but we just weren’t prepared to lose him then.

Honestly, we still weren’t prepared to lose him. I have never seen a cat more devoted to his people than Ford. He was always at the door when we walked in. He always appreciated being near you. He always wanted to watch us, and to be involved.
It would be hard to get over even if he had never gotten sick, but in the last three years the house has come to move in rhythms dictated by his condition–we got up at 6 to give him his insulin in the morning, we always made sure we were at home by 6 in the evening to give him his other shot. I would take a break from work at 11am to feed him, and then again at 3pm or so. We had the ritual of leaving out food for him at night. Everything reminds me that he’s not here any more.

So if for the next few days I’m not on IM, or I don’t seem especially chatty, it’s probably because I’m sitting, thinking about what I’d be doing with Ford if he were still here.

I guess I’m going to be learning how to use this eventually.

Ingy has produced a javascript-based templating engine that can actually use templates intended for the Perl-based Template Toolkit. He talks a little bit about it on his blog. The scary part is that this may have just made it much more reasonable for me to support both an Ajax-based and a “conventional” implementation of the AnteSpam front-end; no more having to maintain two ways of presenting data, etc.