The Big C

I guess when it’s your time there’s no cheating it. Some of you have been following my feline family from the beginning of aroudustyroads.

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Back in September  2011 Smokey had his first health scare. You may remember a series of posts around that time. (

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I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to keep his enzyme levels stable. In March of this year Smokey had his annual physical. He’d lost weight so we ran the blood panels and did a full work up. Everything was  ok and we went home with instructions to use more Senior Diet cat food and move him to a bi- annual check up. That was 30 days ago.

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This past week has been extremely busy but even so I noticed Smokey was either curled into a little ball or following me around. He had to be next to me all the time. Also, he didn’t seem to be grooming himself. His fur never used to get knots. In fact, he used to groom so much that it became annoying because it sounded like he was “slurping”.

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To make matters worse he insisted on sleeping in bed with me.  That would have been fine but he wanted to have his face nose to nose with me and he had the worse case of bad  kitty breath I’ve ever smelled. Neither Rocky or Buddy have bad breath like that. I became concerned that he might have an abscessed tooth or something. I had seen an episode of  My Cat from Hell where the cat they were working with had bad breath and the diagnosis was cancer.

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My vacation is right around the corner so I thought I’d better get Smokey in sooner rather than later to have his mouth checked. I was really hoping for an infection.


The first thing they do is weigh in. In the one month since his annual, he had dropped another pound! From a 14 lb. cat at his prime he was down to 9 lbs.  When the Vet joined us she cuddled Smokey a minute and confirmed that she smelled his halitosis too.  She pried his mouth open and immediately let it close again. She didn’t even have to look close. He has a large, angry, red growth under his tongue.

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She pried his mouth open again so I could see. It was huge. Even I could see it. My first question was, is he in pain? She said it was hard to tell. She said at first glance it appeared to be a sarcoma. She wanted to sedate him to get a better look and if necessary do a biopsy.

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I was numb but gave her the go- ahead. Once  Smokey was under she called me in to show me. Even a layman like me could see that it was a nasty growth. It looked like something out of a text book on cancer.

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The Vet explained that this is a very aggressive form and can show up seemingly overnight. Cats use their tongue to eat and drink and eventually this will prevent Smokey from being able to do that.  This type of cancer is resistant to treatment and has an 85% chance of recurring. Where it was located would mean they couldn’t remove it surgically because they can’t cut out the tongue.

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Smokey may have a week or he may have a month. It all depends on how fast the tumor grows. If he begins to exhibit signs of pain, we’ll give him pain meds but as long as he is eating and drinking I will let him live out his days. Softer food is easier for him so the Vet suggested picking up some baby food.

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I don’t know what kind of life Smokey had before he came to me but I know he’s had a good life with me. He’s made it to the ripe old age of 17. I guess that’s a pretty good run.



Some Thoughts on Spring

Southeastern Massachusetts is a not known for it’s spring. In fact we usually joke that we have only 3 seasons, winter, summer and fall. It’s not unusual to go from snowy days to 80 degrees. This year everyone is complaining about how cold and rainy it’s been. Why, northern New England and the mountains are even getting snow.

This is spring. If we didn’t have paved roads we’d be knee deep in mud. I remember “mud weeks” when I was a kid. The school bus made it through all kinds of snow drifts all winter but would get bogged down in the mud.


It has been un-seasonably cold but that doesn’t seem to stop the flowers from pushing through the cold ground. They seem to appear overnight.

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I hope warm weather will arrive soon but I remember a major snow storm in May so I guess we aren’t out of the woods yet.

So all those folks who always say we don’t have spring…listen up… this is Spring. It’s often cold. It’s often rainy but mother nature still blooms.

Life’s Little Ups and Downs

What a week it’s been so far. Only one more day and I will get a break…sort of.

But really, Monday was marathon Monday and I spent the day at the T- Mobile cell phone store dealing with the first of the technology glitches. That out of the way I don’t even remember Tuesday.


Wednesday was the computer fiasco and I had to deal with that all week.



Friday I had my interview for the new position. My invitation (that’s what they call the appointment) was for 10-10:30.  Well it started at 10:00 but I didn’t finish up until 1:30. Interviewed with 3 different people and sat with the person I’ll be replacing so he could give me an “overview”. (Assuming I get the job)


Saturday I was working 9-6 but I didn’t finish up until 9:30 pm. I finally told the last client that I’d have to get back to them in the morning.  On an up note, the IT department called me back and finally had time to take over my computer “remotely”. Once they did that they saw what a mess they’d made. It took a good hour for them to go through everything remove junk, add correct stuff and run the security scans but in the end I was back in working order! Yay!


I had turned on the TV to see what horrible kitties Jackson Galaxy had to deal with in his  show “My Cat From Hell”. It’s like the cat equivalent of the Dog Whisperer but I think dogs are much easier to understand than cats. Did you know cats can make 100 different sounds and dogs can only make 10.


Just like in the Dog Whisperer, most of the time the problem is in the owners not the animal. I enjoy both shows but as a Cat Momma I like Jackson’s show best.

Oh Oh, I’m writing this post at 10:30 pm and my phone just chirped. I picked up the email and it was from the client I put off until the morning. She told me to stop working and she’d talk to me in the morning. LOL

Rocky must agree with my client. He just hopped up on my desk and is refusing to sit quietly.  Trying to proof my post around his head is a challenge. Now you know why he was named Editor in chief.


I guess I really don’t have anything to say tonight. Just rambling thoughts so I’ll spare you any more for now.  Have a great day. 🙂


There’s Something Funny Going On

It’s been awhile since I paid a visit to the odd and strange going’s on in the news. I confess, I had a long, tough day and my mind would not function hence my desperate search for something to write  about.


So a check to my favorite “odd” site did not disappoint. The first story that caught my eye is about a bicycle theft. This just proves that thieves are not smart.

Thief steals pricey electric bike, then accidentally calls owner for help on how to recharge it.

Would you like to know the “rest of the story”? The owner ultimately got the bike back. For more details click here:–then-accidentally-calls-owner-for-help-on-how-to-recharge-it-212029453.html


 Remember I said before a trip I always start to hear about the place I’m going. Well May is right around the corner and I’ll be heading to Tennessee . So here’s another Tennessee Headline for you : Tennessee man breaks into civil rights museum, then falls asleep.I wonder if that Tennessee moonshine or the “sippin’ whiskey” had anything to do with it. The museum is in Memphis and I don’t expect to be in that area of Tennessee.


Let’s see what else I can find…. This one is right up my that is.

Indiana cat missing 5 years reunited with owner

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A cat that went missing five years ago has been reunited with its owner in Indiana thanks to an implanted microchip.

WOWO-AM and WANE-TV report the 10-year-old cat named Charlie showed up at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control on Monday. Workers there scanned the cat and discovered Charlie had a microchip that identified Virginia Fryback of Fort Wayne as his owner.

Fryback says Charlie disappeared from her home five years ago and she thought she’d never see him again. She thanks the veterinarian who convinced her to get a microchip when Charlie was a kitten


The last headline is for all the hungry people …

Extra crispy: French fry truck burns in Maine

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Bring on the ketchup: A tractor-trailer carrying 40,000 pounds of french fries caught fire in a Wal-Mart parking lot in the Maine city of Waterville.


At least with Walmart right there ketchup would be in good supply.

Well my friends, it isn’t a pretty post but it keeps my “string” unbroken. I hope you got a chuckle out of some of these stories.