Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Beta Bears the Burden

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" A sad note tonight: My cat Beta has breast cancer.

Around Christmas time, maybe a little bit earlier, Spare noticed that Beta had some lumps under her right limb. They've gotten bigger and badder since, and Beta is starting to slow down a little. So I took her to the vet, and he wants to operate.

I'm a farm girl at heart. I'm not one of these people who wails, "Oh, Doctor, keep my kitty alive at all costs!" I don't disrespect people who feel that way. I'm just not one of them. To me, being an animal is all about quality of life. If you're content and pain-free, if you can come and go at whim, and if you can keep your chin up around the other kitty cats, then okay. You're good to go. When you start feeling bad, then you're going to go to the Summerlands, quickly and painlessly.

Except in the case of Beta, the doctor says that with surgery she'll live to her normal life expectancy with no major further problems. The cancer might return, but it won't be so aggressive that I will have wasted my money.

Knowing how attached the Spare is to this kitty, I'll make the sacrifices to get the operation. Spare tamed Beta in the first place. (Beta was a feral teenage mom, living behind our garage.)

I'm sitting here wondering how I'm going to get Clavimox pills into Beta, and how she will recuperate from such major surgery. But I'm going to do it. As much for the Spare as for Beta. But I don't want to watch Beta waste away in less than a year (doctor's prognosis w/out the surgery).

The buzzards will have to wait for Beta. Off we go to a lighter note.

Beta is my second cat. The first and older one is Alpha. When we adopted Alpha, we had to promise that we would never get another cat, because Alpha doesn't play well with others. But Spare tamed Beta, and Beta was so plain I thought she'd never get adopted, so we kept her.

Alpha and Beta have never gotten along. "Barely tolerate" is the extent of it.

Sometime this winter, the glass panes broke in one of our basement windows. I've been waiting to get some money together (?!!?) to get the window fixed. Turns out this has to be a high priority.

Today the neighboring cat, lovingly known in this household as Mestopheles (a daily outside nemesis), decided to pay an indoor visit by way of the broken window. Mr. J. came in for a cup of coffee and found a three-cat ruckus in progress. You would think that Alpha and Beta would team up to repel the invader, but Mr. J. says it was more of a tag-team affair, with each cat for herself and all teeing off on one another. Decibel the Parrot, who served as referee, gave the match to Mestopheles. Nobody in my house gets along.

This sermon is basically about two things. First, take care of your health. If I had ignored Beta's lumps (given that she's only barely lost a fraction of her energy), she'd have been a goner. Now, her chances are good ... and I may even think of a creative fundraiser to finance her care. Second, look after those pesky home repairs. Or else.


Anonymous said...

I've lost 3 boxers to cancer and my current boxer Brandy has had 2 cancerous tumors removed and this 12 year old girl is as spry as a 2 year old.

Best of luck and healing to your Beta.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

beautiful kitty.. and lucky to have you with her.... will keep both of you in my thoughts...

Sarita Rucker said...

I'm glad that Beta's cancer is easily treated. Bad news for your money, but good news for Beta and Spare. :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Best wishes to Beta.

And leaving a broken window in winter time? "Are you heating New Jersey????" That's what any Canadian would say to you.

Pom said...

Glad the odds are on Beta's side - may the Gods be as well.

Anonymous said...

Anne, good luck. We just lost an 18-year-old Siamese who I suspect was a person that came back as a cat by choice. Rodger C

Anne Johnson said...

Debra, it's in the basement -- and I replaced the panes, they just aren't caulked in.


annie's operation only got her about 3 months..but she was a spoiled rotten cat for those 3 months..
Goddess blessings on Beta.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Okay then, Anne, I'll let it go . . . . THIS time.

Intense Guy said...

I wish you a speedy recovery Beta..