Albatross is really sick. We had tests done in January but everything came back normal. Mid-May was when I really noticed his weight loss. I knew he was getting slimmer, but it was now concerning. Off to the vet we went and they ran more tests. He has pancreatitis, but his symptoms suggest something else as well. Either inflammatory bowel disease (treatments are available and outcome is positive) or intestinal lymphosarcoma (cancer – no viable treatment). We chose to have a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, but we are still waiting for the results.

He is so skinny. Literally skin and bones. I carefully pick him up for cuddles, as I worry he is in pain. I can feel his spine and hip bones when giving him scratches. I just want to never stop holding him, but at the same time, want to leave him alone.

Even though I am trying to stay positive and praying for the treatable IBD, it’s hard for me not to think he won’t be with us for much longer. I’ve been thinking about his last days and just buying him his own roast chicken to eat and a big bowl of ice cream, as he is never allowed human food otherwise. And last night when he snuggled up with Arrine in her tent, I let him stay with her, even though cats are never allowed in her room, especially during the night. I just want him to feel loved and know that we know.

And of course this brings me back to a time when I felt like death was in the room with me. But I also remember how everyone remarked that amm’s skin was so soft and her complexion and nails were so lovely, even though she was close to death. Alby’s coat is still very soft and glossy. So I snuggle my nose into his fur and smell, just as I would get close to amm and breathe her in.

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