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Evander Is Still Winning Round After Round (Hospice Cat Update)

I’m very happy to report that Evander “Whitey” Kells continues to thrive despite the progression of his cancer. He has now lived comfortably for longer than any of us had expected!

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Laying in bed alone with me always puts a smile on his face.

There have been times when he’s been uncomfortable and has been on constant pain meds. At those times I kept a close eye on him thinking that he might be down for the count. But Evander has bounced back each time and seems even happier and more energetic than before. He’s surprising us all by winning more rounds than any of us ever expected nine months ago.

His veterinarian has him on supplements that slow the progression of cancer, support his immune system, and reduce inflammation. Our little fighter’s favorite supplement is coconut oil. I put it on his skin to ease the discomfort of flare-ups on his skin (paraneoplastic syndrome) and he also eats it as a treat because it has so many internal benefits. Evander comes running when he hears me open the container of coconut oil. His favorite treats are high-carb which is not ideal for cancer patients. So although he gets his favorite low-carb foods and treats every day, I still treat him to his favorite carb-rich treats sometimes. After all, why extend his life unless it will include plenty of indulgences? The whole reason I’m doing hospice is so that I can pack as much pleasure into the end of their lives as possible.

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How you doin’? (He does a great Joey Tribbiani impression.)

Evander prefers to be an only cat, so he waits for the other cats to be asleep before leaving his favorite heated bed. I try to give him at least three nights a week of sleeping alone with me behind a closed door. The other cats don’t appreciate being away from me at night, but I can’t resist doing this because these lock-ins make Evander so very happy! (See the photo, above left.) Every day I make sure that he has plenty of time doing things that makes him so happy that he purrs, makes little happy chirps, and kneads his bedding (or my lap).

It turns out that Evander is an extremely playful, spunky guy. He loves playing with peacock feathers, string-like toys, and a catnip toy shaped like a banana. Shortly after he arrived, I kept hearing a lot of commotion in the foster cat room as I prepared meals for the cats. It took weeks for me to figure out what was going on in that room. I finally discovered that when Evander hears the sounds of meal prep, he beats the snot out of his catnip banana: tossing it in the air, body slamming it, and bunny kicking it. I guess he gets really excited about the meal-to-come and he needs to let off some steam?

My heart swells every time I see this little fighter smile and give me winky-blinks. That smile… That purr… That chirp… These are all perfect examples of why I’m doing hospice for cats who have no other human family. This makes my inevitable grief all worth it. No question.

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