If I had not been here observing his behavior daily, he could have gone for days without anyone knowing he was sick. It is becoming clear, now that my cats are 9 and 10, I can't just leave them in the care of a friend who drops in 3 times a week. This drastically restricts the jobs I can take, by season or by project. They would have to be jobs with hotel rooms that accepts pets, short jobs that happen to occurs when I could impose on my friends, or jobs in places where I could get an apartment. Plus, I travel a lot, mostly back to Florida. This is going to make my life very difficult.
When I got my cats 10 years ago, I didn't know I would be doing CRM archaeology, or that it would require so much travel. They have been such a joy and a pleasure, and it makes me feel sick to resent them now. I won't get rid of them, but I won't be taking any remote and exciting jobs, joining the peace corp, or trekking in Nepal, either.
These last two months have been rough. All night vomiting, peeing, administering medication twice a day, having to set up a separate room for Charm and listing to him cry to get out all night. It's starting to grind my nerves. I know pets are not children, but it doesn't matter if you have a distressed and vomiting child or cat: you are going to be up all night (and, if you are able to ignore a distressed animal, you are not fit to raise children).
I do love my cats, but they may be my last pets.