Then the vet called with the results of the blood test: kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and anemia. Problem: treating the kidneys would aggravate the anemia, and it would take two weeks for the hyperthyroid treatment to do anything. Treating her would involve several trips to the vet for IV fluids, blood tests, etcetera, and in the absolute BEST CASE Luna might have lived another six months.
Worst case: one month.
And as I said it would have involved frequent trips to the vet, which no pet likes. Figure she might have lived three months; what would her quality of life have been like? Would they have been happy months?
Treating the hyperthyroid condition, it turns out, would likely have aggravated the kidney problem. Hyperthyroidism makes the cat's heart beat faster, which pushes more blood through the kidneys, which they like. Treating the hyperthyroid would slow the heart rate, moving less blood through the kidneys--you do the math.
I talked it over with Mrs. Fungus and we concluded that Luna would likely not last more than a month--perhaps six weeks--and we made the call.
...and I bawled like a little girl, too.
I raised Luna from a kitten; she was born on October 8 of 1998 and came into my life in mid-November of that year as a tiny, buzzing ball of fur I could hold in one hand. She was a black kitten with blue eyes and I named her "Luna" after the black cat in Sailor Moon. (If she'd been male, she would have been "Jiji" from Kiki's Delivery Service.) Before that she'd never seen cat toys before; once she was taught how to use cat toys she hardly ever stopped playing with them. She was the most athletic cat I ever knew, her coat was always a glossy black, and though she was standoffish she still had a lot of affection for me. Even when she knew I was going to put her into the cat carrier and take her somewhere--which she invariably dreaded--she never failed to come when I called her. She had a special meow she made when I was scratching her behind her ears. When she got frustrated, she'd make this huffing sound. She'd carry toys through the house, meowing around them, carrying them to wherever I was; and then she'd drop the toy and meow at me.
I am really, really going to miss her.