Mischief was a very old boy, but he enjoyed his life and although he had to take things much more quietly due to arthritis, which he was on medication for, he really enjoyed sitting on the back of an easy chair and watching the world go by, not to mention the odd bird or two. On sunny days he still liked to wander about and have a good sniff to see who had been in his patch.
Even at the age of 17 he still could put the others in their place and if they displeased him they were met with a charge and teeth bared. He was the last survivor of Whatsit's kittens. The others were Tymmy, Syddy and Dympy. Mischief survived them by quite a time.
A few months ago I noticed a small lump right under his elbow which was soft. I took him to the vets and a biopsy was performed which came back clear. At least there was no nasties. His medication was stepped up and all was well until a few weeks ago when the lump grew bigger. Back to the vets we went. The vet did a blood test and said if the results were good then it would be possible to remove the lump. The results came back and were really excellent for a cat his age.
With some misgivings I agreed that surgery would be the best option. As the vet pointed out as his bloods were so good there was no reason why he might not live for another couple of years. The date was set. Over the weekend the lump got bigger and Mischief had trouble walking. I was then very glad it was being removed.
He went in for his op. I was reassured that he would have the best care and would go straight on a drip after the op and would be covered over and kept nice and warm. I had a telephone call to say they were having trouble bringing him round, but they were not concerned. He was just taking his time. The vet rang again to explain the operation had gone well, but the lump had come apart and she had not been able to remove all of it. She said she would like a biopsy done of what she had removed to see what the lump was. The result just said it was due to arthritic changes and joint fluid was leaking.
I was able to collect him later that day. He was very tired and slept most of the next 24 hours. I noticed that when he tried getting up, he was not putting his weight on the other front leg. In fact, his paw was curled under the rest of the leg. He was due for his post op check. The nurse said she was not happy and called the vet. Examination revealed a problem with that shoulder. The vet even thought it could be fractured, but hoped it was just arthritis which had been worsened by the operation. Mischief was given morphine, and the vet said he really needed to see him using that paw within 48 hours. He was able to use it and the vet was delighted.
He gave me syringes of pain relief for Mischief and he was due back in a few days. In the meantime, he stopped eating so I had to rush him back. He was given pills to stimulate his appetite. This worked and he started eating and drinking much to my relief. Although he could use the other leg he was very lame and did not move around that much. The vet said he was pleased with his progress but said we were not out of the woods yet. Mischief started to go up and down stairs, albeit very slowly. It was a lovely day so I took him outside to sit. He had a lovely hour sitting in the sunshine. The next day I was horrified to feel his shoulder was really swollen and it was bone not fluid. Back to the vets, who said it looked like his worst fears had been confirmed and it was looking like a fracture. He asked to keep him in so he could do an x-ray. The vet called me to say it was the worst news possible and his shoulder was fractured. I went straight to the vets and he went over the x-ray with me. I could see the fracture and also see how the shoulder blade had moved upwards away from the rest of the bone. There was no way that the bones could knit together again. I had to make that terrible decision as to leave him would mean him suffering. The vet said Mischief was the bravest cat he knew and he must have been in pain which he bore so stoically.
Mischief was brought to me and I expected to be left with him to have a few quiet moments, but the vet only left to bring in a nurse. He then wanted to get on with the procedure. How I wish I had said no, I needed more time. Due to my emotional state I did not say anything. Mischief was cross with me because I had again left him at the vets. The vet had said to me previously that I could take Mischief home and bring him back the next day, but that he was sedated and comfortable, so I decided it would be even worse to go home and come back again. With hindsight I wish I had brought him home to have a few hours to say I was sorry for leaving him in the vets.
At least he is free of pain and waiting at Rainbow Bridge with all my other cats. RIP my lovely sweet boy. So sadly missed.