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We own two cats, Paxil and Cheddar. My husband found Paxil rummaging through a dumpster at his warehouse in New Jersey. He started feeding the cat and let him sleep in the office. But once in a while, the cat would sneak into the warehouse and set off the alarm at night.

After a few false alarms, my husband brought the cat to our house. We took him to the vet for an exam. The cat laid on the stainless steel exam table. Purring. The vet asked us if the cat had a name. We referred to him as the gray cat. But because of his calm, easy going demeanor, I named him Paxil, after the anti-depressant.

Paxil checking out Cheddar's box

Two days later, Paxil became a member of the family. Yes, he was eunuch for life, but he didn’t seem to hold a grudge.

Fast forward four years…Since I spend more time in California, we decided Paxil should come out west. So on Christmas Day, my husband and Paxil hopped in a cab, rode two trains to JFK and boarded a plane for San Francisco. 

No worse for wear after sitting in economy, Paxil charged out of his carrier and attacked our other cat Cheddar, another rescue cat, in a show of feline dominance. 

Last Monday, I noticed Paxil had stopped eating and drinking. He seemed restless and irritable. Our regular vet was leaving on vacation so he referred us to an internist at a larger pet hospital.

The vet put Paxil through a battery of blood tests, a urinalysis, X-rays and an ultrasound. The doctor said Paxil had a depleted white cell count, possibly lymphoma. And if he didn’t improve, I’d have to think about the other option.

I’ve been through this before with other pets, and it doesn’t get easier the second or third time. Yes, Paxil is just a cat. But he’s my cat. He keeps me company. (Writing is lonely at times.) He listens to me read my dialogue aloud. He’s given me countless hours of entertainment. And let’s not forget about the unconditional love a pet provides.

After spending two days in the hospital hooked to an I.V. and catheter, he’s perkier, but there’s still no specific diagnosis. I handed over my Amazon Visa card. Thanks to the cost of his treatment, I’ll be eligible for a couple Amazon gift cards.

I brought him home this afternoon. He sports a green bandage on his front arm from the I.V. He crawled out of his carrier and immediately startied rubbing against my leg. Then he laid down on the floor, his way of asking to be petted. The cost of his treatment was worth the smile he put on on my face.

I hope he’ll be okay after he finishes his round of meds. If not, I’ll collect more Amazon gift cards before I exercise the other option. 

Have you ever had to make a difficult decision in regard to your pet’s health?


My über CP Carrie Spencer has an entry in the Mills & Boon – Romance is not Dead contest. Carrie writes contemporary humor and there’s plenty of laughs and sass in her entry, Stolen Kisses. I know Carrie would appreciate your vote.

Click on this link to register and vote: http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/