When we came home from vacation we noticed that Phoebe seemed to have lost some weight. We figured it was probably because the Pig (an aptly named cat) had taken advantage of our absence and crowded his way into Phoebe's food bowl. The house-sitter didn't notice anything wrong with her, so we started feeding her more often and by herself.
She didn't gain any weight and seemed to be getting weaker so I took her to our vet on Thursday (the Shabazz-man, as Grendel calls him) and he couldn't find anything visibly wrong; he recommended a blood test.
I called him up yesterday to get the results and he said that all her counts were very low and to bring her in for an X-ray. So I did, and when they weighed her they found she had lost another quarter of a pound since Thursday. Not good.
I could tell that the Shabazz-man was hoping he's see something obvious in the X-rays, but there was nothing. He decided to give her an antibiotic shot and send her home with more antibiotic and steroid combined, as well as special food, but over the course of the conversation I could tell he was becoming more and more certain that the prognosis was pretty bleak. I asked if there was any specific danger sign to look for, as we did not want her to suffer. He said no, but then said it would be a matter of weeks, not months. It was probably leukemia or bone cancer by how swiftly it progressed.
I took her home and she ate a third of the can of cat food. That seemed a good sign. She rested on her blanket on the floor. Before I went to bed I lay down next to her and told her how much we loved her.
In the morning it was clear that she was much weaker. That was that, there's no way we were going to let her suffer, so Liam called up the Shabazz-man and was able to bring her right in. I had to go to school to meet with a student. I hated not being able to go with them, but I said goodbye to Phoebe and we loaded her into Liam's car. We were both heartbroken.
Liam came into school and said that all went as well as one could expect--she left peacefully and painlessly. The vet agreed it was "an acceptable time" for Phoebe to go.
She was a sweet cat, a gentle cat, who never made any trouble. She loved being brushed. We called her "FooFoo," FooFighter" and "Fluffy." She came into our lives suddenly, from a student of ours, D., forced to give up all her cats after a terrible tragedy. She left us too soon.