Separation Anxiety


It’s too quiet around here this morning.

Some of you may recall from back in November that my kitty Samantha had a cancerous tumor removed from under her tongue. I was devastated. Follow-up exams looked good, however. My vet and the lab both thought he’d gotten it all. A couple weeks ago, though, another follow-up exam had my vet a little nervous. There’s something there. The question is what? It might simply be granulation tissue from the previous surgery or it could be the return of the monster under her tongue.

So this morning, I took Princess Sammie back to the vet for another biopsy. I’ll pick her up this afternoon and begin the waiting process all over again until we get the results in a week.

The house is too quiet. I made the bed after I got home without any “help” from Sammie. Her idea of helping is to sprawl in the middle of the unmade bed and protest loudly when prompted to move. I have my office chair to myself. Usually I have to perch on the edge while she snuggles in behind me. My chair has a nice lumbar support that I rarely get to use. I’ve traded that feature for a warm backside.

Samantha came to me in June of 1993, a month after my previous housecat died unexpectedly. Someone dropped her off. I’ll never figure that out. She had a mark around her neck where she’d worn a collar and she’d already been spayed. And she was terrified of the big, bad outdoors. Soon she wormed her way into the house. She’s been my snuggle-buddy in bed ever since. She won’t snuggle with Ray (maybe for a few minutes, but that’s it). I’m her person, no doubt about it.

Maybe it’s because she was dropped off, but she suffers severe separation anxiety. She hates it when I have to go away for a few days. And she’s mastered the pity-poor-kitty look. She can induce major pangs of guilt in me with those eyes. My mom feeds her when we go away on vacation, but Sammie usually goes on a hunger strike as soon as the car pulls out of the driveway. On our return, she sometimes gives me the cold shoulder for an hour or two, but more often than not, I can hear her meowing as soon as I step on porch. As soon as the door is unlocked, there’s Sam, thrilled to see her person has returned from places she can’t even imagine.

Her separation anxiety has become something of a joke around here. I bring out the suitcase and open it on my bed and she promptly packs herself, crawling in and giving me “that look.” I dare you to leave without me. I get chastised even if I’m gone all day running errands. When I get home, Sammie attaches herself to my ankle and refuses to let me out of her sight.

Today, however, as I was dropping her off at the vet’s office, as I handed her over to the young tech, I realized that maybe it’s really me with the separation anxiety. She didn’t want me to let her go. My eyes burned hot from unreleased tears as I watched her being taken from the exam room. I missed her yapping in the backseat on the way home. And I miss her nagging me to feed her as I sit in my office.

And it’s just for the day!

I’m saying prayers that the biopsy will show no cancer cells this time. Sammie is fat and shiny and happy. She’s also fourteen years old. I know I’ll have to face parting with her permanently at some point in the not-so-distant future. But I’m not ready yet.

Comments

Joyce said…
Annette, I hope she's okay! I still get teary-eyed when I think about Shadow--she went outside last May and never came home. We have another cat, Layla, at home but she's really Josh's cat. I'm only good enough to feed her. When she wants a lap, she goes to Josh--or Andy when he's home from school.

Shadow had been one of those "dropped off" cats. We started out just feeding her outside, but eventually she took over the house. In the warm weather, she was outside most of the time, but she always came home for dinner. She used to bring me "presents"--live baby bunnies. The weird thing is that she'd eat any other catch, but the bunnies she brought for me. I have no idea why! Maybe she thought that since I was the Mom, I could take care of them!

Okay, that's enough. I'd better quit before I cry.

Keep us posted!
Kristine said…
Oh, Annette. I'm hoping and praying about Sammie right with you. There's nothing worse than when our pets are sick. When our Sam (the dog) had to have surgery a few years ago, I was an emotional wreck. Even when he's gone for a few hours at the groomer, I feel a pang of lonliness. Just like you, I don't even want to think about the inevitable.

Please let us know how it goes. I'm thinking of Sammie...and you.
Annette said…
Princess Samantha is home! A little woozy and a little miffed at me, but home. And camped out by her food dish. I was told to give her just a little food and water to make sure she can keep it down, but that spoonful of tuna just wasn't enough to appease her after fasting since last night.

We still have to wait for the biopsy results, but my vet feels fairly certain that it was just scar tissue this time. Crossing my fingers.

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