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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone, I am so busy with fosters that I've had little time for anything else. But I wanted to stop by and ask for your thoughts and prayers for a very special kitty named Morris, a neutered stray who sauntered onto my boyfriend's parents' property almost two years ago. He blended in with the feral/semi-feral colonies and never left. When we recently moved into the in-law quarters on the property, I connected with him immediately. He looked like a very mean, hot mess with his ears crumpled due to chronic ear infections, mite infestations and cauliflower ear. (His hearing is impaired.) He also would not close his mouth all of the way. But despite his 'bad kitty' looks, he was more docile than the others, allowing me to be close to him and give extended tail scratches. Every so often he would go to our back door and croak his dinosaur sounding meow until someone came out to keep him company for awhile.

I had been trying for so long to find him placement in a rescue so that he could receive medical care and have the forever home he deserves, but nothing ever came of my efforts. During one of those efforts, I took a picture of him as he yawned and was shocked to see a huge mass hiding in his mouth. So, long story short, we took Morris to the vet only to be told that he is a very old boy.. somewhere around 14-16 years of age who had been used as target practice at some point as there are pellets underneath of his skin.. and that he most likely has oral cancer. Confirming the diagnosis would be $300-$700+, so we put him on heavy duty antibiotics to see if there is any response (oral disease).. if not, we are going to let him go in our arms.

We are hoping for the best, but we are also treating this like a kitty hospice situation. We have him on pain medications. He is indoors now and absolutely loving it. Seeing him so excited to cuddle into blankets and into us every day and night is bittersweet. His posture is so different, his eyes are open so much wider and are so much brighter. And this may sound strange, but the look he gives me now seems like he "knows" and understands what is happening with him. It actually makes me a little uneasy.

I ask for every good thought, prayer and vibe you can send out to this precious soul. I am happy for him, but so sad for him.. he should have had blankets and cuddles so much sooner and for much longer. We will be spoiling and loving him down to the last second.


Where Morris used to sleep outside.


There is also a mass in this ear.


You can see the drool/pus on the right side of his mouth and face.. so sad.


After his bath. I think he felt pretty violated, lol.


Look at those big, gorgeous eyes!! Always purring and making paw cookies now.


Snuggling under his blanky.


Cuddling his face into me during bed time. He is flying high in this picture from kitty pain killers.
 

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You and Morris have all my prayers and healing thoughts for all you are going through
during his illness. Thank you for taking him in and loving him in the time he has left; I
have tears in my eyes after reading your story. Please post again and let us know what happens.
{{{{{{{{Lots of healing hugs for you and Morris!}}}}}}}
 

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I am sending all of my love your way! morris sounds like the most wonderful guy in the world. He has gone from a horrible life on the mean streets, to the most loving home and family possible. The pictures of him are so sweet. My heart is breaking for you both. :-( perhaps the treatment you're giving him will actually work., tho. I pray that it does. Hugs & kisses to you both X 10!!!!
 

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I am so sorry. You are doing a really good thing. The important thing is for him to be comfortable and not in pain. Stay positive though, the treatment could work.
 

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Such a sad story but thank you for taking care of him and giving him the love he deserves. He looks so happy now that he has somewhere warm and dry to sleep.
 

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Thank you for doing such a wonderful thing and making his life comfortable. He really seems to look happier in the last couple pictures.
Happy thoughts and vibes to you and yours!!
 

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Such a tragedy that Morris would be so horrifically treated by whoever shot and abused him, but such a blessing that you took him in and are giving him all the love that he so desperately deserves.

I wonder if the "masses" in his mouth and ear might not just be more buckshot rather than tumors. If so, perhaps he could have years of good health still ahead. Have you considered contacting local rescue organizations or shelters and seeing if you can get one of them to cover the cost of his medical care? At least biopsies of his mouth and ear to find out what he's really dealing with? It seems such a shame not to know if he can actually be medically helped, but I certainly understand your inability to pay for the diagnostics yourself.

There are also a number of other organizations that may be able and willing to pay for his medical care. Here's a list of possibilities:


In Memory of Magic (IMOM) is dedicated to insuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.
IMOM Home
IMOM, Inc PO Box 282 Cheltenham, MD 20623 Phone (866)-230-2164 Fax (301)-599-1852
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Help-A-Pet is a nonprofit organization which provides financial assistance for the medical care of pets whose guardians are unable to afford the expense
http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html
Help-A-Pet P. O. Box 244 Hinsdale, Illinois 60521 Telephone: (630) 986-9504 fax: (630) 986-9141
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United Animal Nations LifeLine Grants - Help animals in need of assistance after their caregiver has suffered a personal tragedy such as a house fire, domestic violence situation, or natural disaster.
RedRover : Programs : RedRover Relief
United Animal Nations P.O. Box 188890 Sacramento, California 95818 Telephone: (916) 429 2457 fax: (916) 429 2456
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American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) helps those in need access quality veterinary care for their sick or injured pets.
AAHA Helping Pets Fund
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Angels 4 Animals helps pet owners with financial constraints not lose their sick or injured friends.
http://www.Angels4Animals.org
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Care Credit - A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. Gives convenient payment options so you can get the procedure you want for your pet.
CareCredit Healthcare Finance - Payment Plans and Financing for Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Vision, Hearing, Veterinary & Other Medical Procedures
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The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care.
The Pet Fund | Veterinary Care Funding
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http://www.langefoundation.com
Pets Add Life
ONLYforPETLOVERS
 

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Wonderful thing you are doing with the old boy, but you're right too bad it came so late. He certainly deserved better!
 

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It just occurred to me that an x-ray of his head should be able to tell if he has buckshot in his ear and/or mouth, wouldn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I am so grateful for everyone's sweet words and wishes! ♥♥♥ I think the thoughts, vibes and prayers have helped to keep Morris' spirits up. Personally, I do not see a change in the tumor in his mouth, his swollen gums or throat. His left ear (the one in the second photo above) is much more swollen and red. So while we are sad that only his mood has improved, we are glad he is much happier.

laurief, thank you for the resources and that is definitely something to ask about.. never even crossed my mind! I have called so many rescues in my state only to be turned down over and over again. But we won't be giving up on him. Unless it is most-likely apparent that nothing else can be done, only then will we truly make that final decision. We are hoping for good news tomorrow so that he can have a better chance and I can fundraise and apply for financial assistance.

I have never gone into a vet's office without researching like crazy first, lol, so I often have loads of questions. But I would like to share a photo with you guys of the mass in his mouth when I first discovered it in case anyone has dealt with anything similar and has any ideas to share. There is no blood or anything in the pic but just in case anyone finds it to be graphic in nature, I'm only going to post the link to the picture: http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u375/georgiemissy/morris1.jpg Those red spots look like they were ulcers maybe? It no longer looks as pictured. The next day it had "popped" or something. Now all that remains is the round, darker red thing BEHIND the white spotted skin that is stretched in front of it. It does bleed on it's own now from a tiny hole. And as for the back, left side of his mouth.. well that is another question in and of itself. Sighsighsigh.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
He won't turn down food, even if it is dry. But I give him wet food twice a day and he munches throughout. I do water it down a bit so that he isn't swallowing chunks to avoid biting down.
 

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How amazing of you to care for him like this. Thank you for caring for that handsome guy. I'll keep my fingers crossed for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, Morris lives to cuddle another week. He was given an anti-inflammatory shot to see if the mass responds. That very night his gums started to respond.. they went from from huge, swollen, unrecognizable gums to what looks like raw ground beef. I know that doesn't sound better but that's just what it looks like now that they are not so swollen. His ear isn't swollen and we are giving him the rest of Wobbles' ear medicine. My vet was kind enough to only charge me for the shot and to give me donated medicine for free, thank goodness. I think they understand what we are trying to do and we appreciate their help immensely.

As for Morris' attitude, he was so depressed at the vet.. but since the shot and returning home, he is in the best spirits I've seen him in since letting him take over our bedroom. While snuggling I tell him he is home and is my kitty, that he finally has a place, no matter how short or long that may be.




Surveying his former territory (it was right outside our window).


I love this picture of him. So peaceful. :luv
 

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Morris' sleeping picture made my heart just sigh. He looks so blissful in his safe sleep. The first thing I thought of when I saw his yawning picture was of infected tonsils. I can't imagine how painful his mouth was with all of that going on in there. Thank goodness the anti inflammatory is helping.

You have done an a,axing thing by taking him into your heart and home.
 

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oh my gosh, that first picture you posted at 4:14 pm today turned me into jelly. that beautiful, expressive face! i am so happy you are taking care of him and that his gums are better. great to hear he is so happy to be back home with you. still pulling for you, Morris!!!
 

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Please note that on my previous pot I meant to say "You have done an amazing thing by taking him into heart and home". What was actually written sounds nothing like that..lol. Darn you autocorrect.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really feel like he's the one caring for and teaching me whatever lessons I need to be taught in how to genuinely care for another being, in how to love and let go. And yet I am so conflicted.. most likely because I've fallen in love with him and his complete lack of manners. He stomps all over us at night to get to the window.. and instead of going around the blinds, he goes right through them.. and his tail hangs out whipping us both in the head. :lol:

My vet is 90% sure the mass in his mouth is cancer just by looking at it. And the gingivitis is so extreme.. if we did decide to put him down to ensure him a peaceful goodbye, when do I make that call? His mouth is a complete wreck but he does not act like he is in terrible pain: he eats, has gained weight, has become inquisitive and even played last night. Throws himself all over the bed for cuddles. I was thinking of keeping up the anti-inflammatory shots until they no longer treat the symptoms. Do we stop once he is in obvious discomfort? His mouth is already uncomfortable, but we treat it and it doesn't stop him from being a happy kitty. I've made euth decisions before but with those kits, I guess it was rather obvious and an "easier" decision to make.

Does anyone have any wise words to share on this topic? Here are two more pics of his mouth I managed to get last night. Again, they are medically graphic, no blood though.. you can see why I'm conflicted. They aren't very good but what cat yawns when you really want them to? So I decided to test if cats find yawning infectious by fake yawning for over two minutes. Both Morris and boyfriend were not amused. :lol:

http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u375/georgiemissy/mmouth1.jpg
The mass already looks a lot different.

http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u375/georgiemissy/mmouth2.jpg
And a view I'd never seen very well before.. no words, this poor creature. :( :( :( How he manages to eat so effortlessly and stay so happy.. I don't know.
 

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i wish i had some pearl of wisdom to offer, but i really don't. if it were me, since he has shown improvement with the meds, i would do exactly what you are doing.

i lost my little angel on 12/6. ironically, his name was morriss and he looked quite a bit like yours. over his last 8 months it was one issue to another, once we seemed to handle one problem another would arise. the bills were racking up quite fast, and his vet had hinted about euthanizing. i made sure to let her know that i would not give up on him, as he wouldn't give up on me. but i was worried that i would become blinded to the signs that it was time to let go, i loved him more than anything. thankfully, by having an open, heartfelt discussion with his vet about his quality of life, morriss and i were able to spend a few more months together.


looking at his pictures and reading what you have said tell me that whether it be for only a matter of days or for months or more, you are giving him happiness.


reading his story and seeing his pictures bring tears to my eyes. bless you for giving him the love that he so dearly deserves.


btw, that picture of him sleeping under the blanket may be the best picture of a cat that i have ever seen.
 
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