Exactly one year ago yesterday, a sweet, stray tuxedo kitten stole our heart and we adopted him into our family. Six months ago Buster showed his strength and bravery by making it through an amputation surgery due to a cancerous tumor in his leg. Buster bounced back and was soon acting as if having three legs was the natural thing for a cat.
Tonight we are praying that Buster can once more call on his reserves of strength and bravery as he fights for his life. We took Buster to the animal angel known as Dr. Schaller at Willow Creek this morning because he was struggling to breathe. Dr. Schaller took x-rays and found a large mass in one of Buster’s lungs. She referred Buster to NC State.
I held Buster on the way to Raleigh and he was just draped across my lap. Holding his head up was too much effort. It broke my heart to see him struggling so hard to breathe. While I was checking him in, he literally started gasping for breath. Luckily someone was there to take him right that second and they rushed him to the back and put him on oxygen.
It was a miserable wait but finally the vet came to get us. The radiologist was leaning towards an infection but given Buster’s history, cancer was still a big possibility. She said they needed to do more tests but that he was so fragile, the tests could prove fatal. In fact, she warned me that since his breathing was so labored even on oxygen, he could die any minute. Certainly not the news I was hoping for.
Ed was out front with Leah and I had to make a decision…of course, there really was no decision for me. If there was ANY chance Buster could be saved, I would do anything to help him get that chance. I signed the paper authorizing the tests that could help cure my baby. I was so afraid that I was going to be putting him through more pain in the process, but we saved this cat from the streets and we saved him from cancer…by my calculations, he still has seven lives left!
They wanted to run his blood-work and get him more stable before doing a biopsy so we decided to go to Bob and Sally’s house (Ed’s parents) to wait. They have two Siamese cats, Vivian and Mickey. Neither one of these cats has ever had anything to do with me. Tonight as I was pacing their hallway talking on the phone, Mickey started pacing with me. He followed me back and forth down the hallway and would periodically rub against my legs. When I got off the phone, he let me pick him up and just purred as I was petting him. Cats are so smart. Even though he has never come close to me before, it was like he sensed that I needed some cat comfort (or as we call it, fuzz therapy).
We finally got a call around 8 that they did find inflammatory cells which hopefully means his body is trying to fight off some sort of infection. We hope that this is really good news and this is something he can fight. We won’t know more until the pathologist comes in in the morning and reads the results. The best news was that he was perking up on the oxygen. They said he seems to be feeling better and is even lifting his head and looking around.
Our girls are doing pretty well. We prayed together for Buster and we have been very honest with them. This morning when I found Buster not breathing well, I started to cry and Leah asked me why I was crying. I told her I was sad because Buster was sick and I did not have the money to take him to the doctor. Leah said, “You can have my money, mommy. It is in my jewelry box.” Somehow I don’t think $3 will cover this vet bill. Leah and I picked Buster up from the vet on the way home to get Ed and Hailey and I let her hold Buster. Buster was melted across her lap. Leah asked me to lock the doors so Buster could not open the door and get out. She said, “I don’t want him to get out and get smushed by a car because I don’t want you to be sad like you were before.” What a sweet, sweet child!
So what do I want for Christmas? I want my Buster back home in his favorite spot under the Christmas tree!
As always, I can’t say enough about Willow Creek. They are absolutely wonderful and Dr. Schaller is just the best.