Azzy last winter playing

well…at least i think an answer.  i looked  at Aslan, and upon closer inspection there appears to be something like a lump growing under his right shoulder blade.  you have to look really closely and use some gentle touching to assess, but it makes sense since at his initial vet visit to try and determine what was causing his neurological issues, the vet gave an intelligent guess that she thought the problem was something going on in the nerves that cross over at the shoulder blades, and then branch out to all the different areas of the body.  so i am thinking that my vet’s intelligent guess is correct.  however, after reassessing today, i’m not 100% certain, and it’s very frustrating.

after this unsure discovery, i have been observing Aslan more closely over the last few days, and his behavior has a few more changes.  he’s not coming and seeing me to get pet like he was previously, and it’s also apparent that there’s some discomfort, if not pain, when he’s trying to lay down, or i should say achieve a restful position because it seems that laying down and really getting comfortable isn’t possible for him anymore.

aslan with his two siblings pannd and eli. they were what i called the three amigos!

with the job that i now work, i have learned that generally the developmentally disabled audiences don’t have the kind of life span many of the rest of us have; that they’re disabilities generally lead to the developments of other health issues in life.  Aslan, was notorious for holding his bladder for long periods of time.  this is also a common occurrence in the human developmentally disabled populations as well; my theory is the less control they feel they have over everything about them, the more they try to exert control over whatever they can.  because of his bladder holding, Aslan has severe bladder infectiosn and also litter box issues from the time he was a little kitten.  his slowness in development becamse apparent later when kittens were doing things he couldn’t do here in the house.  he did manage to eventually catch up however.

Azzy could be silly when he played but in order to get him to play, all attention had to be focused on him, and he never got really wild and crazy like other cats do

because of my background, a part of me can logically assess Azzy’s current situation as a natural part of his life cycle due to his disabilities.  but then there’s the other part that involves my heart.  a big part, and it just absolutely crushes me.

i have been thru so much with him, and his issues, especially the litterbox one, hasn’t been easy.  he is in part the reason why i put new floors in my house, and to this day, i’m sure there is some “cat odor” in my house directly due to his bladder issues.  yet, despite all this, i can’t have imagined my life without him.  for a time, based on the vet’s recommendation, we were looking at rehoming him and my other cat Pannda who has had his share of bladder issues, but no one ever showed interest or the ability to care for them as they needed, and I wound up making the decision of keeping them-even if it meant 8 cats and me and dogs in a 38 ft 5th wheeler-rather than surrendering them to a rescue where most likely they would never of been adopted, and would have spent alot of time in the smaller cages.  the change for the two would have been so shocking, i just couldnt’ do it.

on the other hand, he still has an appetite and lets me know when he wants to eat.  he will even come and get me, but then after eating, he becomes sedontary again, and struggles to bathe, but doesn’t acomplish much.

my thoughts on what to do concerning Aslan, change on a daily basis right now-probably because i’m home this week to work on the house and try and get things somewhat back in order.  one day i feel that i’m letting him suffer, the next day i see something in him that tells me not yet.  it’s very frustrating, and i feel like both he and i are just hanging in limbo.

years ago when i finally put my dog Keehta to sleep, it was a huge relief because it was very apparent in the end that she was suffering.  that experience forever imprinted on me, and i have always been determined not to let that happen again with any other pets.

Aslan in his younger days. so handsome. to look at him you would never guess he had his issues.

this last february i let Greta my greyhound go, and felt it was the right time as well, and that i had kept her from experiencing any tremendous suffering with the choice that i made.  i felt very comforted in that knowledge, but with Azzy right now, it just isn’t clear.  i watch him get up and down slowly, and i wonder if the time to do something to end his suffering is now, and then later in the day, he comes find me to let me know he wants to eat, and follows me to bathroom where he is secluded to eat on his own.

is this sign of motivation to still eat enuff?  i don’t know.  he still isn’t grooming, and he does not play or really even go sit in a window anymore to watch the goings on outside.  a week or two ago, he was at least still doing that as well.  he is coming to see me again, as he came to visit me last night for a long pet and purred tremendously, but animals can be so stoic when it comes to discomfort and pain.

it just leaves me hanging.  i dont’ want him to be in pain, but yet it doesn’t seem he as of yet has quite given up the fight, and so i have decided to use his determination to eat as a measurement as to when it’s time to let him go.  it’s truly heartbreaking.

this time last year, he was in great health and i was trying to determine what was to become of his future.  now, once again permanently ensconced in my home, i have no idea how many days are left in Azzy’s future.  life is truly full of some very cruel ironies.  😦

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