Crinkle is my red tabby rescue cat that I’ve had for three and a half years now. He has been the subject of several previous blogs. When he was found, he was starving, maggot infested and not expected to live. He struggled to survive for several months. He became an integral part of my household. He gained weight, then gained too much weight. It didn’t take him long to worm his way into my heart. Actually, it was pretty much an instantaneous process.

Crinkle has had a good life here. He sleeps where he wants, eats when he wants, has no fleas, maggots, or other parasites. He gets along famously with the other pets. Many of the other cats love him. S’More and Jigsaw seek him out to cuddle with. My RagaMuffin kittens discover him and he becomes the wise, old, loving uncle they can depend on.

I’ve known from the beginning that Crinkle’s time with me was limited. He was an old cat when rescued. He has had some health challenges along the way, all addressed to keep him happy and comfortable. A little over three months ago he was not eating well. I was worried. He wasn’t grooming himself. He just seemed “off”. I took him to the hospital for blood work, prepared for the worst, It appeared he had an infection; after a course of antibiotics, he was much better.

But recently, I realized, he never really recovered completely. He was still not grooming. While he had not lost weight, he just didn’t seem to be himself. He did not seek out attention as he used to. His ears have been a chronic problem since his rescue. I thought maybe they were causing him pain. I was considering having major surgery done to relieve the pain. I took him to the hospital, performed X-rays on his middle ear and repeated the blood work that had been done ninety days prior.

This time, the blood work results were bad. Really bad. Crinkle has cancer. He has leukemia. His days are numbered now. I am choosing to treat him palliatively with medication to help him feel better. I want him to spend his final days in comfort, knowing he is loved. And then, one day, when I cannot provide him with the comfort he deserves, it will be time to make the decision to allow him a peaceful end. I dread that day.