Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Story of Jack the Cat

Not the complete story, but one that starts when we first met Jack. Sadly, it is a short one. Jack was at one time a beautiful grey cat, that much could be seen despite the fact that he was little more than skin and bones covered in hair.
Yesterday, he approached my daughter and her friend outside, meowing, and apparently looking a bit scary. We offered him food, then water, but he wasn't interested in either. With only an hour left to get ready and be at work...I took him to the vet. If you are the owner and lost Jack and have missed him since(my daughter's friend named him)please know that he once more had someone who cared for him and yes, loved him, even for that short time. And stop reading now.


 If you are Jack's owner, and noticed he was getting sicker, yet insisted on waiting, thinking he'd get better, then realized he needed professional care and dumped him, I hope you get what you deserve.

Maybe you couldn't afford the vet bill, but some vets will work with you in emergency situations, and perhaps the vet bill, had you taken Jack in earlier, would have been less than what I wound up paying for your cat. I'll say here, that with two kids, two cats, two dogs, a mortgage and various other bills, I couldn't really afford to pay for *your* cat either. But I treated it like I would one of my own.

For yes, at one time, Jack did have owners. He was not shy around us, even walking into the cat carrier at my daughter's urging with no fuss. And sometime in his short life (they estimated he was about a year old) he had been neutered. You at least got that much right, Jack's previous owner.

 The vet checked him over, and I'll sum it up here for you. Jack was severely anemic. His gums were not pink, but white. He was bone thin, and had residue from diarrhea around his anal area. When the vet felt his abdomen, she commented that there was gas in there. Unfortunately, not in the intestines, but just in the abdomen, which meant he could have sustained internal injuries. The vet added that there was also feces in there. She gave me a couple of options, after asking if I planned on taking the cat in if he were to pull through.

The answer, in case you feel the need to ask, was yes. She was going to hook him up to an IV, get some fluid, antibiotics and food in him. But, she recommended a blood test. I found out the result of the blood test while at work, and knew that with all Jack's problems, this on top of it didn't leave much hope for his survival. Jack had feline HIV.

 I made the decision to have him euthanized rather than trying to prolong his life and see him suffer, even if he did pull through after spending hundreds of dollars, his life wouldn't be long by any means. So, Jack's previous owner, not only did you put Jack through a lot of pain and suffering just letting him go like you did, but you risked OTHER CATS' HEALTH, too. Cats that have responsible pet owners, that wouldn't just drop their cat when he was sick.

There was a small part of me, after I made the decision, that felt guilty euthanizing someone's family pet, but that was the part of me that couldn't understand how someone could bring a cat into their life and then just abandon it in its time of need. The larger part of me was angry that someone had let Jack get so sick. And angry that they let him go so some cat lover who really couldn't afford it, would take responsiblity for him and see he was taken care of.

 I paid that bill today, and almost cried when I left. Not for the money, but for that poor cat who really did deserve better.

And here, Jack's story ends. No beginning, no middle, just an end that spanned in all, about an hour and a half, only 1/3 of which we had the pleasure of knowing him.