We got up early this morning (and, bless him, so did my dad to cook us breakfast) and came home from Yorkshire much more hastily than we usually would so that we could get to the vet hospital to visit Athena whenever the vet called and was around to see us.
We spent an hour with her, stroking her, talking to her, listening to her purr, and getting her out of her bed very very gently to give her a cuddle before she has surgery tomorrow. We also discussed her condition with the vet and decided where things go from here.
Since she still isn't taking in sufficient food, and is only surviving now because of the nutrients she's receiving through her drip, doing nothing is not really an option. If she doesn't receive some sort of treatment then she will simply fade away and die. There is a school of thought that would consider this the best option for her. Who knows.
On the advice of the vet, who we trust, we are not prepared simply to give up and stop doing everything we can for our darling girl. Maybe this is human sentimentality, but we want to give her every chance of getting better enough to come home and enjoy more life if she can. So, tomorrow morning she will have a general anaesthetic and will have dental work done and a feeding tube inserted.
Of course, she is sixteen and a half. She may not survive the anaesthetic. She may still fade. She will have to stay in hospital while the feeding tube is in in any case. If she has the strength to get better we will bring her home and love her. If she doesn't we will at least know that we did everything we could for her.
Seeing her this afternoon was wonderful. She's clearly not distressed, and is now very happy with the vet who is treating her (we're really pleased with the treatment she's getting and are so grateful to have such a good vet). She enjoyed seeing us and we felt so lifted by seeing her.
As to tomorrow, what will be will be. We are doing our best for her. We can do no more.