Bertie had improved since her Thanksgiving vet visit. By the week before Christmas, she had finally crept up over 700g, wasn't fighting the hand feedings as much and was generally looking a bit better. I allowed myself to hope that the surgery would be successful, and after this year-and-a-half of gradual decline from viruses and kidney issues, I would get my active, happy Bertie back.
Alas. It was not to be.
By Christmas Eve, things didn't feel right. Bertie lost a little weight. She ate a bit slower. Even though the scale indicated she was holding at 687g, she felt skinnier than ever before. It dawned on me - this slow-moving tumor was now growing faster. Poor Bertie was still losing weight, but I suspect the tumor was gaining at a matching rate. It broke my heart when I realized there probably wasn't enough left of Bertie to operate on. When Bertie's breathing became labored, I knew I'd lost my chance to save her.
|Bertie's favorite spot|
Bertie was her opinionated, determined, stubborn self to the very end. On Friday morning, she lost interest in eating anything, except for bits of melon rind. Even that, she would only take a bite or two and just stop. Pinni, of course, leaves no piece of food uneaten, and went to help herself to Bertie's last bit of melon. Rob discovered the two of them locked in a tug-of-war over the melon rind. It was Bertie's melon, damn it, and she wasn't about to let go of it, even if she had no strength to eat it. It. Was. Hers.
Pinni was immediately whisked off to the old quarantine cage to give Bertie some peace and quiet. Bertie was left alone, snuggled in her cuddle cup, melon rind by her side. I guess that's all she wanted; she was gone less than an hour later.
We buried Bertie in her beloved hay rack, next to Willow and Pippin. I think she would have approved.