Sorry, Duncan, I have to write this entry. WARNING-GRAPHIC DETAILS AHEAD!
Smokie has been through enough, no matter how much she eats, or how little, this SCC type of cancer has already won the war. As I wiped the drool off her face tonight, she raised her little tortie head to look at the ceiling light. And on her neck, right in front of where you can feel the tumor spreading, I saw two holes. Not scratches, round holes, that were allowing her fluids to leak out. Looking back through some pictures, I can see the blood on her neck, but never actually saw the holes. We thought all the drool & mucus came from her mouth & her nose. Her eye tears as well.
No one on the internet describes how this skin cancer eats away at the body, while the kitty is mentally alert, even purring, as she snuggles, as she eats; no one shows exactly how ugly this can be. They warn you to examine your cat's mouth---and please do! If it starts as a small mole it can be treated very successfully.
Smokie has been obviously sick since November; her diagnosis came back right before Christmas. She was given weeks to live. The best nutrition & herbal therapy seemed to stall it in the beginning, but the last few weeks, it took over. It took several months to win, but win it did. I have to call the vet tomorrow and say goodbye (for now); I can't sit and watch her simply dissolve away.
She is a very mellow, dignified, large kitty; we call her Queen Smokie sometimes. She walks past you with confidence, not a concern in the world. Being the largest cat, I guess she always knew she could take anyone on & win. Except for cancer.
I'm posting a very gross photo here, I hope I don't offend anyone, but maybe it will convince at least one cat owner to have their pet examined. If your kitty drools, has a loose tooth, or red gums, or stinky breath, GO TO THE VET and look for SCC. Look for it with every office visit. You do NOT want to watch your cat live with this.