This is Shadow, my fur-baby. I have had him for 12 years, ever since we brought him and his brother in out of a cold rain when they were about 4 weeks old.

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Shadow has always been a big boy, weighing about 20 pounds. I realized on Wednesday when I saw him (he and his brother live with Husband and Oldest) that I could feel his ribs and his vertebrae very clearly. Husband said he’d noticed the cat throwing up a lot over the last few weeks, and that the night before, he’d seen him vomit and then fall over and have a hard time getting up again. I saw him coughing and gagging multiple times throughout the night, without bringing anything up.

Thursday morning, we took Shadow to the vet. He weighs 13 pounds. He let the vet pick him up without protest (even I can’t do that). The vet, who is not our usual vet because ours is on vacation, did a very thorough exam, including blood work, and seems to know his shit.

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The results are not good. There are 2 possibilities, and one is uncomfortable but the other is... worse. Option one is the kitty version of irritable bowl syndrome, possibly made worse (or brought on by) by the kitty cold/flu that he seems to have.

Option two is lymphoma.

I’ve had cats all my life and have dealt with the death of a pet a dozen times or more, but this is tearing me up. Shadow is my baby. I literally fed him from a bottle. This year has just been hell, and this just feels like more than I can deal with.

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The vet gave us prednisone for him, to try and calm the inflammation in his gut. We have him isolated from the other cats at Other-Husband’s. He eats very little, but throws up the kibble, so I’m giving him meat baby food and bits of baked chicken.

He vomited blood a couple of hours ago and scared the hell out of us. I called the vet and when he (finally) called back he said to give Shadow half of a 10mg Pepcid and only give him water til tomorrow.

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I’m so scared I’m going to lose my kitty so much sooner than I was prepared for.