Rest in Peace, Sandy, my cat for 23 hours
Well, I had to put him to sleep, as they euphemistically call it. He was my cat for 23 hours, from when I found him in my bushes at noon on Sunday to when he gave his last meow sometime before 11am today. He spent the night in my spare bathroom, refusing to come out of the carrier, and was not eating and peeing blood. I was reluctant to name him, because I knew he might not make it, but I couldn't help but to think of him as Sandy, after the hurricane that's going on outside.
I took him to a vet this morning that had a doctor who could do an amputation, but after looking at him and his test results, and his bloody urine, her verdict was that he probably had internal injuries, might not make it through surgery, and would probably be miserable even if he survived.
I don't know anything about his life before he showed up in my bushes, but the vet said he was probably 7-10 years old based on his teeth, was probably someone's pet at one point since he was neutered and friendly. So I hope at least some of those years were full of warm laps and sunbeams and kibble and empty cardboard boxes.
I've had a lot of people, from facebook friends to the vets, that I'm a great person for doing as much as I did. I don't agree. What I am is someone who feels guilty when he's presented with an opportunity on his doorstep - literally - to do the right thing, and doesn't. In a way, it was as much for me as it was for Sandy.
They asked me if I wanted his ashes, and I decided to take them - I figure it would be appropriate to scatter them in the bushes where I found him. I know it's cheesy, but...So what have I learned from this? There's always the cliche that any death reminds us - that life is short, it can end at any time, and that we need to cherish every moment and our loved ones. I'd like to believe I'll take that to heart, but I suspect I won't.
More practically, though, there are a couple things. I'm going to get Nibbler microchipped next time I take her to the vet, because if she ever escaped I'd want to know what happened to her. It also made me realize I should write my own living will - trying to decide what to do about this cat's life was one of the most painful decisions I've had to make, and I don't want anyone to go through it from me. Thirdly, I'm probably going to adopt another cat - I've been nervous about introducing another cat to Nibbler, but I've also maintained if another one came into my life I'd give it a home. I'll probably wait until after Christmas break, but I think it's time for me to be proactive about it.
I'm not sure why Sandy picked my bushes to hide in, but I hope I made the last 23 hours of his life better than it otherwise would have been.