Well folks, things aren't looking so great for my sweet baby meeps. At nearly 16 years old, it seems that Dakota has reached the downward descent of her life.
We knew that she was getting old, yes, and that she wasn't quite as robust as she was even when she was ten years old, but since the beginning of the new year we've noticed a rapid decline in her health. She has trouble walking sometimes, she sleeps more, and she plays less, but the real indication that she might not be doing so great was her weight loss. We took her into the vet yesterday and she clocked in at only 4 pounds, 9 ounces. She's never been a huge kitty - I think at her heaviest she was only close to eight pounds - but she's lost about a pound since her visit to the vet in July 2014.
The vet discovered a growth on her gums that she thought could be a tumor, but was most concerning to her was Dakota's weight loss so she decided to do some x-rays. The first batch came in and when she took us in the back to look at them we knew things weren't as they should be. It turns out that Dakota's entire abdominal cavity was filled with gas which was pretty unusual, and her belly was completely empty of food (despite the fact that we saw her eating just the night before). There was also this big patch of grainy something showing up on the film that she couldn't identify. They decided to give my meeps some barium to see if it moved within her intestines or if it was outside the intestinal wall. One and a half hours later we were back at the vet and it turned out that the grainy mass had moved, so she ruled out any sort of blockage from it. She reiterated that the gas in Dakota's abdomen was still very troubling and that she wanted to see what the blood tests would reveal. I kind of got a little lost during the next few things she said because I was ready to cry, but basically, she hypothesized that Dakota could have intestinal lymphoma and that the treatment for it is chemo and diet change. We'll know more, of course, once the blood work comes back, but in the meantime, I can't imagine that anything good will be revealed.
She's sixteen years old and has led a really wonderful, love-filled life. Any other owners would have thrown her out by now with as much furniture and carpets as she's ruined, but despite her pretty terrible behavior, she's still my sweet little girl and I love her with all my heart and soul. We've known this day was coming - after all, she IS old - but it's still hard to know that it's coming soon. We've had her since before I graduated from college. She's been my constant companion since I started working from home over four years ago.
I just can't imagine life without her. I don't know what life looks like without her. I can't even remember what life was like before we had her.