So I'm already slightly drunk this evening and the sweetest kitty I've ever known (and I've had many, many kitties over the years) is, as always, right by me. He likes to touch my leg when we watch TV together.
He had a urinary tract problem a few years ago, when he was around 3, and when they did an x-ray they discovered he has a hernia in his diaphragm. Basically, the muscle that separates his abdomen from his chest cavity has a giant hole in it, and as a result several of his internal organs, like his liver, are up in his chest, pushing against his heart and lungs. The vet told me he needed major surgery, that would cost about $4-5K, or he wouldn't live long. Of course, I couldn't even BEGIN to afford that. Fuck, I can't even afford to get my own desperately needed knee surgery. And to be honest, after I read what the surgery and recovery would involve, I wasn't really sure it would be right to put an animal through it. The recovery period would be extensive, he'd have drains coming out of him, he'd be confined to a cage at the vet for a long time.
So here we are, 2 years later, and he's still going strong. He's defying the odds in a big way. But sometimes, when I hang out with him, I feel a little sad. I always have this feeling like he's on borrowed time. But it makes me really appreciate what a beautiful, sweet boy he really is.