“Thank you, God. My character is all built up now. You can stop.”
Debra Doyle

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

It's lonely at the top. (Of the sofa.)
Happy Solstice, Crappy New Year
Wed 2013-01-16 22:14:46 (in context)

Or, "Among the Things 2013 Will Bring, One of Them Almost Undoubtedly Will Suck."

Right. So. The turning of the year here at Chez LeBoeuf-Little has had its ups and downs. On the up side, we had a terrific Winter Solstice Eve with a fantastic mix of friends, fun, food, fruitcake, and fire. (This would be one of those rare times when "F-ing it up" is a positive phrase. So long as the fire remains in the grate where it belongs, of course. Which it did.) Also many equally lovely things that don't start with the letter F, like "non-F'ed-up egg-nog" (I will never live down the year I mistook the salt for sugar) and "too much pie" and "Avedan playing Skyrim until she must have got hoarse from shrieking at unexpected draugr" (draugr are always unexpected) and "I actually stayed up all night AND went to Drumming Up The Sun the next morning AND I didn't go alone, either, which was awesome because sleeping until 2 PM in Julie-and-Joe's guest room and then waking up to watch them play Legoland LOTR totally beats the stuffing out of falling asleep in rush hour traffic."

Those are some great up-sides, there. I ain't gonna lie.

The biggest down-side, though, was knowing that this would probably be our last Solstice with Uno, our beloved, first, oldest and last surviving cat.

Uno turned 16 this past summer but remained remarkably healthy to all appearances. But towards the end of November, Uno began eating less and less of his dry cat food. Offering him the wet stuff or even returning to the home-made mix (he'd switched to a prescription food when Null did) didn't seem to help. We suspected chronic nausea. Then, when he evinced pain at our attempts to look in his mouth, we brought him to the vet for what we suspected to be an abscessed tooth. And the vet took one look in his mouth (the one look Uno would allow) and said, "That's not a dental problem. That's a mass."

Mass. As in tumor. As in fucking cancer. Because he was too damn healthy, so something had to get him, right? Gods damn it.

We scheduled the biopsy for the next day, and then we cleared our schedules of everything else for the near future because we couldn't fucking think. I dropped a thousand-dollar freelance gig because there was no way I could bring enough brain to bear on it anymore. John and I canceled our plans to attend the Boulder County Bombers End-Of-Year Ball--that was a real bummer, but, as it turned out, a wise decision; the vet called us with the biopsy results that very night. So either we'd have missed the call or we'd have spent the rest of the Ball crying in our hotel room. Either outcome would have been non-ideal.

The average prognosis is 60 to 120 days, but it could be longer or shorter. We just don't know. For now, we're keeping Uno comfortable and enjoying what time remains. He's on a small army of medications--steroids and pain meds--and he's eating, with a little persuasion and a healthy appetite, two liquid meals a day (and twice a day I bless fellow roller derby skater Coletteral Damage for the blender I took home from her Take Our Stuff Because We're Moving Out Of State And Only Have So Much Room In Our Car party). He's still pretty damn bony from his brief experiment in starvation, but he's using the bathroom regularly so he must be getting enough solids and liquids. And despite his mouth giving him trouble--his tongue's perpetually out, he drools bloody drool, and he sometimes reacts violently to some sensation in there-- he cleans his face after each meal, comfy and casual like anything.

We worry every time he has a bad day that this is it, this is the downward spiral, are we selfish in keeping him alive? Is it time to take that last trip to the vet? But each bad day has been followed by a good day, one in which he sticks his nose pointedly into my food or hops up on the balcony rail to be king of all he surveys. And every day, good day or bad, ends with him purring himself to sleep in our arms, which is totally worth the bloody drool-stains on our shirts in the morning. As long as he seems to be expressing a fervent desire to stick around, we're going to enable it to the best of our ability.

So that's where we're at, right now.

I was going to write about writing, about how with a new year comes a brand new resolution to do it regularly and in quantity. But I've sort of used up my brain for blogging now, so... more tomorrow, I guess? It'll be happier stuff, I promise.