I don't even know how these things are supposed to go - this is the first time in my life that I have ever had to make a decision this crucial. But my poor kitty isn't long for this world.
Last night he was really listless and still not eating (but drinking plenty of water) and this morning he had blood in his right ear and his right eye was winky and the third eyelid was prominent. I took him to the vet first thing this morning and they kept him all day to run tests and give him special care. After spending a small fortune (I know it's crass to talk about money at a time like this, but it is a reality) on tests, she determined that his heart is failing and his lungs are filling with fluid and his kidneys are starting to follow suit. He was severely dehydrated and his blood pressure was really low but because of his heart problems, administering fluids is delicate. We discussed some options, basically that we could spend thousands of dollars on additional tests and CAT scans and MRIs, but that at the end of the day we'd know more but still not necessarily be able to help him. She feels that his prognosis is poor and that treating him will be precarious and expensive and that it will probably be for little benefit.
Ryan and I picked him up together and got to talk to the doctor and, of course, the option is ours, but she said that her personal opinion was that Monkey is 'giving up' and that cats tend to withdraw like he is doing and don't fight as hard. She was very honest, which I sincerely appreciate, and said that even if money were no object that she would still encourage us to think about what's best for Monkey, which is probably not to continue too many more treatments. She gave him a big dose of antibiotics to help his ear feel better and something else to make him comfortable, so we brought him home to spend time with him. She said that there isn't any rush to make a decision about next steps, and that if he's comfortable and affectionate and eating that we are ok to keep him home a while longer, but she's very concerned about blood clots and the possibility of another (and worse) stroke. She warned us about the signs and that if it were to happen that it would be very upsetting and painful for Monkey. She doesn't expect that kind of thing to happen, but there is a high likelihood that it could.
So we brought him home and ran out to buy all his favorite foods and kitty spoilers (those $2 a can special foods), but he wasn't interested. So far, he's eaten a spoonful of strawberry yogurt (his very favorite) and part of a Big Stick and is drinking a lot of water. He's very sweet and tolerant of us cuddling near him and crying like big dumb babies. He's purring and rubbing his face into our hands and it all feels like he's trying to help us let go. Ruckus has no idea what to make of it. He's skeptical of Monkey and wanting to be held a lot by us and extra stoked on the premium chow.
I'm crying my eyeballs out while trying to remember my gratitude. I made a secret pact with the universe when he was so sick a month ago, that I just wanted more time to spend with him (and also asked that the earthquake wait until after Comic Con) and I got that. I had another 4 weeks of having my baby at home with me. Anything more feels very selfish. Although it's breaking my heart to have to think about letting him go, it would break my heart worse to keep him here to suffer.