Sometimes I ask myself why I live with so many cats.
Why do I put myself through all the extra work, and accept the irritation they sometimes cause? Like stepping all over my keyboard!
Mostly, I wonder, how many more times can I go through having one of them put to sleep?
Colin is dying of kidney failure. We knew it was developing, but recently it suddenly accelerated and two days ago it wasn’t looking good at all.
Colin had started to refuse food which was a sure sign he was not doing well and then he started to salivate. This was something new to me, so I went online to discover that mouth ulcers can occur in kidney cats and that would certainly explain why he wasn’t eating.
At that moment the nice technician from our vet called to ask about the boy, so I gave her the update and five minutes later we were speeding down the road to see what could be done.
Colin is really Grant’s cat, so I defer final decisions to him, but as I saw Colin that morning, I thought that I couldn’t bear to see him suffer so.
However, a shot of anti-nausea medicine, anti-biotic, morphine and subcutaneous fluid perked him up no end. It was a sign of his utter lethargy that he allowed anyone to pump him up with fluid!
So Colin has reverted almost to normal, though he will never be that again. He at least has quality of life.
But how long for? How many times can we see him fade and bring him back? How do we know when he’s had enough?
These are the most difficult decisions I ever have to make and when you undertake to look after so many animals, it is all part of the bargain.
I’ve reached the stage where it becomes unbearable as each new loss brings back all the others.
No matter what wise words I read, what advice I listen to, I have absolutely no control over the tears or the devastating feeling of loss.
For me, it is actually a form of mental illness, I suppose. It’s just the way I am.
Grant is not much better and when he is worrying about a sick animal, he can be hard to manage, which doesn’t make things easier for me, although I would never tell him so.
Then yesterday, I learned that a very dear old friend had just lost his ancient cat. It was all I needed to hear, as my friend was understandably very sad and he is a long way away. Not good.
All of this might not be quite so raw, if I wasn’t in the middle of weaning off oxycodone, which I am trying my best to manage, but my nerves are, shall we say a little sensitive.
I no sooner said this to Grant, than he managed to drop some of the metal cat bowls on the tile floor. Scream. Noise goes through me like cold needles.
Whether the cats are picking up on my nerves, I couldn’t say, but they can be such little buggers at times.
Two nights in a row Willow (my precious!) chased Patches out of the bedroom. We are not supposed to attribute human emotion to animals, I know, but I swear Willow gets annoyed when I make a fuss of poor little Patches.
Patches is the meekest little cat. She is dear to my heart because she lived so long in my foster suite getting very little attention and she just melts if you pet her.
I made a point of making a fuss of her and she seemed to acknowledge it, moving into my room when I came here.
Before I put my light out, I go around and pet whoever is in the room and Patches gets all excited.
Willow was sitting in her little box on my bed and I could feel her winding herself up. Sure enough, she hopped out of her box and went over to smack Patches. The witch.
Then, lately, they all turn their nose up at whatever food they are offered, so we swap bowls and then re-swap them. They are doing my head in.
At least the litter situation seems to be resolved. I have one more brand to try but I think I shall stick with the Ultra Micro crystals because it is “soft on their paws”. They like it best. As evidenced by no more stray pee. OMG. Small victories.