It all started with a lump.

Just yesterday, I noticed my cat, Cooter, has a lump on his tail. I was petting him, one long stroke from his head all the way down to the tip of his tail, wrapping his hand around his tail all the way down. I usually wrap my fingers around his tail gently, but for some reason, this time I squeezed it just enough to feel the bones in his tail. He is a striped cat, and near the third stripe from the tip, I felt a lump on the right side. Not a pimple sized lump, but a small lump that is under his skin.

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I automatically got stressed. The first thing I began to fear is cancer. I lost my cat, Isis, on December 22nd, 2016. She had a lump on her ankle in 2015 and it grew. They said it was cancer and she got the leg amputated. A year later, she had more lumps in different areas and it was too late. I took her in to send her to Rainbow Bridge once I saw the beginning of her quality of life to degrade because I refused to let her know a worse level of pain. It was a horrible decision to make.

Isis cat
Isis, December 2016

I have been meaning to write a memorial section on my site for her, and I will get around to it soon.

Anyhow, I immediately called the vet and they suggested I come in, made an appointment for today. I dread bringing my cat into the vet. He has a history of bladder crystals and he’s been blocked maybe about four or five times. I have to give him medicated food. Last time I took him to the vet was when he had an episode in 2014. Every time he goes to the vet, he acts like he’s 100% sure he’s going to be completely tortured. He gets violent when the staff tries to touch him. I have seen them break out with long gloves and a net, I’ve seen them get a little rough with him. I’ve been asked to place him in a plexiglass box to they can knock him out long enough to examine him.

Cootie is going to be 15 years old next month. He doesn’t need the stress of being roughed up by vet staff. Stress also triggers bladder crystals for him, so I hate seeing him stressed out. And using gas to knock him out is a risk for his heart. So of course I don’t take him to the vet unless I really need to. And a finding a lump means I need to.

I brought him into today and the vet assistant was asking questions. He was already growling so we let him stay in his carrier until the doctor came in. The assistant said when a lump is on the tail, it’s usually an abscess or cancer. I hated to know how high the odds for cancer are. After asking questions, she left and returned with the doctor sooner after. She was an older woman who quickly appeared to be scared of my cat. They brought a few towels in and tried to handle him, but he wasn’t about to let it happen. She quickly said she thinks it’s best she prescribes some Gabapentin to give him and help him calm down before I bring him back again. I told her I have tried to give him pills in the past and he refuses. I told her it would work best if she can make the medicine into a liquid compound that I squirt into his mouth and I would much rather pay for that. She called the prescription in and I am supposed to give it to him before I bring him back next Friday.

I tried to put the lid back on his carrier and he was hissing and swatting at me from inside his carrier. It was so frustrating and heartbreaking knowing my cat needs medical care but he just can’t handle visiting the vet. How will I ever get him the medical care he needs? I hope the sedative works and they can examine him next Friday. I need to know that the lump is NOT cancer.

Of course when he got back home, he was completely normal again.