I've lost two friends to cancer in the last week.
The first was Erick Wujcik, and the second my companion of 17 years, the cat named Sandman.
Though his black-and-white coloration might make it seem obvious, he wasn't named after the Neil Gaiman character. He acquired the name Sandman because, as a kitten, he did very little but sleep. I had thought that kittens were compulsively active, but not this one.
Sandman was a one-man cat. He'd follow me around the house to keep me under observation; he'd snarl if other cats got near me; and when I was away, he'd guard my office to keep others--- particularly other cats--- away.
In this photo, he's giving me a new hairstyle.
Sandman fell ill when I was away at Rio Hondo--- a little over three weeks ago. He was seriously losing weight--- two pounds since the previous visit to the vet. After a trip to the vet, I got some meds, which produced a temporary improvement.
By yesterday, he'd lost another two pounds. He had very little energy and didn't eat. I was teaching Taos Toolbox, so our wonderful housesitter Nan took him to the vet and received the news that he had a large, cancerous mass in his abdomen.
I left the workshop so that I'd be with him when we put him to sleep. All praise to the Toolies: they were very forgiving.
At least his illness was brief.