And, I’m afraid, the latest news is almost enough to send us human Precious-adorers scuttling into a corners, rubbing our hands together with a glazed look in our eyes, and muttering, “My Precious…”
We got the hated diagnosis just this week. But let’s rewind a bit to the beginning of Precious’ reign at Tabby’s Place.
The sad-eyed calico has often gotten a bit of a bad rap. Precious came to Tabby’s Place about 2 1/2 years ago with a bit of a tough crowd. The lone lady in a quartet including Puzzle, Kurt and Sylvan, Precious is now the only holdout. While her once-terrified comrades have all become champion cuddlers, Precious keeps her distance execpt around…well, a precious few.
Not with human beans, anyway. If you have a tail and whiskers, it’s an entirely different story. Unlike we fickle humans, Precious isn’t picky when it comes to favorite cats. Desi? A hunka burning love. Dobro? The epitome of a good man. Griselle, Star, Venice, Shy…each in turn has been a good friend to Precious. Our pale calico girl has always attracted cats like bees to honey, and it’s easy to see why: she values each and every (feline) companion, and treats them as…well, as precious to her.
Would that we should all have such friends.
I’m grateful to report that, oft-aloof ways notwithstanding, Precious does have a devoted following of human fans. Foremost is sweet H., Precious’ superdevoted volunteer socializer. H. has made the pilgrimage to Precious’ suite faithfully, week in and week out, almost since the very beginning of Precious’ time at Tabby’s Place. Through the calico’s imperious moods and mellow moments, H. has been a gentle constant in her life - and, accordingly, H. has been rewarded with a closeness that Precious reserves for only the most patient humans. It’s fair to say that H. is Precious’ “precious.”
Alas, there’s been one other constant in Precious’ life these 2 1/2 years. No use beating around the bush: it’s diarrhea.
When the usual trial-and-error tinkering with prescription foods and medications proved suddenly unable to stem Precious’ discomfort and weight loss this year, we began to worry that something more sinister was afoot. For once, I found myself hoping for a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. While IBD is no laughing matter, it’s treatable and generally not life-threatening.
But IBD is not what the endoscope found.
Our Precious has GI lymphoma, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in cats.
But this cockeyed optimist also knows that, where there’s life, there’s hope - and there’s a lot of life in Precious. (Just witness the high-speed chase she gave our staff at medication time just this morning.) Cats can beat lymphoma - just ask Lilly, diagnosed with the dreaded -oma in July 2007 and rocking on no medications whatsoever today.
We will be starting our Precious on chemotherapy, the most promising treatment for her lymphoma, soon. It’s likely a move to a smaller, cozier suite (possibly even Suite Marmalade) is in her near future. I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, Felis Catus family, please keep our Precious in your thoughts and prayers.