mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, October 29, 2012

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.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On very expensive, purring things found in my front yard..

So this morning, around noon, I headed out the door to go to church, hit the gym, and possibly early vote. That's when I heard a rustling in the hideous little ornamental garden that's outside my front basement window - and was rather surprised to see a pair of cat eyes looking back at me. I walked towards the cat, and he ran away - if you can use the word "run" for a cat who can't use his back legs.

He scampered under another bush in my neighbor's yard. I put out some food, grabbed Nibbler's cat carrier, but had no luck getting him to come out. Luckily, one of my neighbors who has cats came home, and I grabbed him and got him to help me catch the cat and took him to a 24 hour emergency vet.

When we got him out of the carrier, it was pretty obvious what was wrong - his one leg pretty much had the bones poking out. He was hit by a car. Vet basically said it would probably make sense to euthanize, but they could do some tests and x-rays. I didn't want to make the call to kill him without giving him a chance, so I said to go ahead with the bloodwork. Bloodwork came back OK, so they did x-rays. Verdict was that he will need a leg amputated, the other one bandaged, at a cost of several thousand. I wasn't really ready to commit to that, but I didn't want to have him put to sleep without giving him a shot. So the vet suggested bandaging him up, and having me take him to a normal vet tomorrow. So I decided to that.

So now I have one bandaged stray cat locked in my second bathroom. He's currently mostly in the carrier, presumably wacked out on the pain meds they gave him. Nibbler, my cat, seems freaked out by the other cat's presence.

The other concern is the weather - we're about to get hit by Hurricane Sandy. My work is already closed for tomorrow. I'm hoping I can find a vet that is open tomorrow that morning that can do the surgery, or at least change the bandages.

So why am I doing this? I feel like I need to do something - I guess I'm hoping that he picked my yard to hide in for a reason, and that it's meant to be. Which is probably a stupid idea - when I was in college, I had a faculty member who made fun of "touchdown Jesus" - the idea that, if there is a God, he actually cares if your team wins the game. I find the idea of a micro-managing God unlikely.

But I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't do everything within reason to help him. I have quite a bit of money in savings - I have a decent job, I live frugally, so I've saved enough that I can spend a few thousand dollars. It's mostly a question if I should, but it looks like I'm on the path to do that. I figure some people like to spend their extra money on travel, or motorcycles, or home improvement projects - none of which particularly interest me. I don't have a spouse or kids depending on me, so I can be free-er with how I spend my money.

So hopefully he'll pull through, hopefully he'll get along with Nibbler, hopefully I'll be able to get him to a vet tomorrow. As I said, I'm not always sure if there is a God, let alone if He cares about cats, but if you do the praying thing feel free to keep him and me in your prayers - or at least grant me some wisdom