For the first time since 1991, I am pet-less. Similarly, for the first time since we met, Jon and I are pet-less. On Friday, we had to put my sweet kitten to sleep. I say kitten- she was almost 4. She was a stray that we rescued from the river. We called her Allie (yes, for alley cat)and for all intents and purposes, she was my cat.
Our neighbors fed her and she would come and sit on their front porch and sun herself beside their pool. She was teeny- and as time wore on, they were worried that she'd fall into the pool or would get sick from lapping up the chlorine filled water. She had a litter of kittens herself- and nature took its course with each of them. They were going to take her to animal control and my heart got the best of me.
We brought her home, and took her to the vet. He gave her the needed shots and sent me on my way. Less than 2 hours later, he called and said that she had tested positive for feline leukemia- it wasn't active- but she wouldn't live long. Did I want to bring her back for him to put her to sleep? WHAT??? Have you lost your mind? I/We loved her, and she wasn't sick. I did some research and found that cats can live for years until they actually get sick. We took the risk. She had to stay inside and we just needed to keep an eye on her for obvious changes in her demeanor.
She wasn't nuts about Jon- he could pet her once in a while IF she felt like it. On Tuesday she let him pick her up and cuddle. Her water dish (an old cup and saucer that she adopted) was full. I knew something was not right. On Wednesday I took her to the vet. He gave her some fluids, said she had an infection and prescribed some antibiotics. His direction was to call him on Friday if she wasn't better. On Thursday night, I couldn't find her- Jon finally found her curled up inside her litter box. On Friday I called the vet, was told that he was booked all day but that he'd call me back. I explained why I was calling and that I had an extremely sick cat- we needed to see him. I was polite- and implored them to relay the message that my cat was in dire need of attention. 4 hours passed without a response and I called back- he was again not available. I asked whether he had an appt on Saturday and was told that he was booked until Tuesday. I said that my cat wouldn't make it that long and they begrudgingly offered me an appt. on Saturday morning with another vet. I took it- and hung up.
I called Jon and through sobs/hysteria told him the story. He told me to pack up the cat and be waiting for him. He called Savannah's vet (yes, we see different vets- this will no longer be the case, but there's a long story attached), explained the situation and they told him to bring Allie in immediately.
Enter sobbing girl with sick cat and husband wearing an invisible superman cape. I adore this man!
His vet took one look at Allie and told me what I already knew- she was very ill and he couldn't save her. He did 2 tests- a red blood cell count and a feline leukemia test. She tested positive/active for feline leukemia and her red blood cell count was 7. Apparently, normal range is 35-40.
I adore this new vet who, because he loves animals so much, was able and willing to see me- and my cat, simply because we needed help. His kindness and compassion during our visit was amazing.
I am filled with so much anger for my own vet- who not only couldn't (and hasn't) return my call/plea for help but who clearly missed the major signs on Wednesday that my cat was beyond help. I am filled with agony to know that she was so miserable for 2 additional days- and that I couldn't help her.
I am filled with sadness that she's not a part of my life- but am at peace knowing that she was happy with us and that we made her 4 years the best that we could.
I'll miss you, Allie-