Socks, the resident cat at my house, hadn’t been well for quite a while. He had gone from being a 22-pound cat to under nine pounds. He couldn’t seem to eat. He ostracized himself to the outdoors day and night rather than enjoying plenty of lap time.
He had had a traumatic run-in with some other animal quite some time ago, and had lost an eye to that episode. Now he was staying outside all the time. It was worrisome.
Actually, he was my roommate’s cat, and she took him to the vet. They extracted a tooth, and when he was fully awake he was ready to eat again. She fed him frequently, and he thrived for a few days but didn’t gain weight as we thought he should.
Again, a change of habits. Staying in the house again. He prowled the entire house and staggered when he walked.
Sunday morning he wanted to go outdoors. When Marilynn left for church, Socks was nowhere to be seen. It was raining a little but not enough to cause concern. He knew where to find shelter.
As I left for church later, I saw Socks out in the yard, in the open, not near shelter but thought little of it. He would be at the door when I came home, I was sure. But when I came home, he was not at the door. I found him still out in the rain, hunkered down in a wet miserable heap. I put on an old jacket and went to get him.
When I first touched him, he was so cold and immobile I thought at first maybe he had just lain down and died. But, no, he was alive. I took him in the house, rubbed him down with a towel and made him as comfortable as possible. He was cold and soaking wet, so I wrapped him in a towel and laid the heating pad, on its lowest setting, on top of the towel. He began to warm and purr once again.
But clearly something was wrong!
On Monday, Marilynn took him to the vet. When he had his eye removed due to the trauma, a tumor formed later and had to be removed. It was the dreaded “C” word – yes, cancer.
Now the cancer had returned. That accounted for his behavioral changes – either prowling the whole house or staying in one spot for hours on end. The new cancerous tumor on his head was probably interfering with his already limited one-eyed vision.
The cancer could be removed again, but it would return!
So we bid a sad farewell to Socks. We miss him, and this morning Kelly seemed a bit confused when she couldn’t find him. They were great friends.
Yes, it’s sad, but Socks is no longer suffering. Kelly has adjusted, and we will adjust as well. Sometimes, the best choice is not the easiest one, but the very best choice you can make in life IS easy – to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, so when your time to say farewell to this life comes you have the assurance of heaven. If you have not already done so, won’t you make that choice right now? Right there where you sit or stand while you read this column: just open your heart to Him. It’s the best decision you will ever make.