The Figster and Runnin’ for the Cure


Had a bit of a scary day on Friday. I went to the dentist in the morning and when I came back, my cat Figaro was sitting on the kitchen chair, looking at me. I noticed that his ears and nose seemed a little yellow, instead of the usual pink. Upon closer inspection, I found that they were quite yellow, as were his nose, lips, and the whites of his eyes. Gail and I had noticed the day before that he hadn’t been himself for a day or two. I immediately called the vet and brought him in. She examined him and told me that he had liver disease. She said that most of the time, this is caused by cats simply not eating. After a while, their body starts to process their body fat, and sometimes the liver gets overwhelmed and shuts down. Then this causes nausea, which makes the cat even less likely to eat, so the whole thing spirals. He’s lost a pound (i.e. 10% of his body weight) since his last checkup a month ago (at which time he seemed in perfect health). She told me that they’d have to keep him there for the weekend.

The type of liver disease that she thinks he has is very treatable – as long as he starts eating again, his liver will start to regenerate itself, and he’ll be fine. They started him on anti-nausea medication, and managed to get him to eat something, though he threw everything up Friday night. We went to see him Saturday morning, and he did seem a little less yellow, and a little less lethargic as well. We tried to go again Saturday afternoon, but they were just starting a procedure on a dog, so we couldn’t go through to where Figgy was, and they were about to close. The doctor called me a little while later, saying that he hadn’t thrown up all day, and was eating some more, and was even more bright than the morning, so this is good news. We heard nothing today (vet’s office was closed)- she’s going to call with an update tomorrow, and hopefully he can come home.

Figgy’s been with Gail and I almost as long as we’ve been together — we started dating in February of 1992, and we found Fig (he was a stray) in November of ’92. I know that he’s not going to live forever, and I know that at 14, he’s already lived longer than most house cats. If anything were to happen, Nicholas is too young to understand, and likely won’t remember Fig for long, but Ryan seemed genuinely upset on Saturday, and said a number of times that he hopes Figgy gets better. Gail would be devastated, and I’m not sure I’d be much better. C’mon, Figster, you can beat this.

On another topic, we all walked in the CIBC Run for the Cure this morning. It’s a 5k run/walk to raise money for breast cancer research. My mother and Gail’s mother are both breast cancer survivors, as was Gail’s late grandmother, so this is a cause that’s important to us. We raised $325 ourselves, and the event, held at over 40 different locations across Canada, raised over $21 million. Last year, the four of us plus my parents walked the 2k leg, but we decided to walk the full 5k this year. We knew the boys wouldn’t walk the full 5k, so we brought the wagon — good thing too, since they both stayed in the wagon the entire walk. Gail and I split pulling the wagon, so we each walked 5k, 2 1/2 of which was pulling a wagon holding 80 pounds of Perrow kids.

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