Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Indomitable Spirit, redux

At the 'top' of this blog (more like the bottom in reality!), I made this entry which I never expanded on at that time:

Isn't it funny how the best examples of that good old martial arts principle of Indomitable Spirit are so rarely demonstrated by humans?

I was actually referring to the cat in the profile picture that accompanies this blog. His name is Frankie, he was 14 in August and I've had him since he was a kitten. On 07 September, I took him to the vet as he seemed to be drooling a bit and he had halitosis that could deliver a knock out punch from across the room. I thought the vet might say that he had some dental issues, maybe need some teeth out or just needed them cleaned.

The absolute last thing in the world I expected our vet Simon to say was that Frankie had a tumour under his tongue, specifically feline oral squamous cell carcincoma. And yes, it is as nasty as the name suggests. And as incurable.

On Hallowe'en, the tumour haemorrhaged. We rushed Frankie to the emergency vet, fully expecting that he wouldn't be coming home again. He not only survived that and came home, he totally refused to give in to the cancer. After a couple of weeks, the boy even got his groove back!
13 weeks on and Frankie is still hanging on in there. You can see he's not a well cat, he drools a lot but he's still eating, drinking, washing and playing. He'll let us know when he needs us to make an end of it for him. Until then, I'm going to admire him for showing me what Indomitable Spirit really means.


  1. Hi Avril, so sorry to hear of poor old Frankies plight. It's very sad when much loved pets get old and sick - I've been through the pain of that with a much loved pet dog we lost a few years ago. Frankie sounds like a real fighter though - just like his owner! We never really expect to learn about life's lessons from a small animal, but if we live with them and observe them then we find they have much to teach us about courage and loyalty. Good luck to sensei Frankie...and you!

    Best wishes.

  2. Hi Sue

    Thanks for your kind words. People say to you: "It's only an animal", but when you've shared your life with them for more than a decade, they're part of the family as well.

    We have 3 cats and Frankie is the oldest, and he's also the one with Personality. We love all 3 dearly, but he's the boy with the mostest, our Interactive Kitty that's involved in everything you do.

    They have such short wee lives compared to us, and it's awful sad watching him decline. On the other hand, he's lived a brilliant life with us where he's crammed an awful lot of living into his 14 years, and has never wanted for food, shelter or love.

    Every day we have with him now is a gift and a blessing.