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Sunday, August 9, 2009

She Fades into our Memories

One little white and orange cat was able to make such an impact on our lives in one week. She taught Slider a few tricks about how to properly cuddle, and showed Crash the burden of being a mother. And like that she was gone.

We had tried to get her into the vet the same weekend we found her, but their weekend hours were about non-existant. We had her for a full week before we could get her checked out and we were bombarded with bad news.

The vets did normal tests like checking the heart rate, drawing blood, and checking teeth. While we waited for the blood test results to come back, the vet rubbed on her and poked her stomach looking for any abnormal sweeling or internal issues.

First, our worries were confirmed. I officially adopted a hussy of a daughter. She was pregenant. We went into a comical "No daughter of mine" and "Kittens having kittens speech" to keep the atmosphere light. While we were discussing our options, a vet tech popped in and gave bad news number two. The kitten had feline leukemia.

Up until a few months ago, I thought this meant they had cancer. Feline Leukemia is more like AIDS for cats. They can transmit it through grooming, sharing food, biting, more or less normal kitten stuff.

We had to make a very tough decision to put her down for the safety of our cats and to end what was going to become a very painful existance for both her and her kittens.

The process was miserable. We sat in this small room illuminated by florescent light just wanting to leave, but we had to wait to sign paperwork. She brings several sheets of paper in and describs the process. She asks us if we want the remains or if they can do a group cremation for a cheaper price. Then I have to sign the sheet of paper.

My hand trembled. Napoleon was in the room still, staring at me, wondering when we could go home, and here I was making the decision to basically pull her off of life support.

Then we had to have the conversation about our other kittens. Since they had been exposed to Napoleon, they are at risk of getting feline leukemia. We made the earliest appointment we could possibly make with our schedule, which is on Thursday.

Then we got kicked again with a $200 vet fee for everything. This for a lost kitten, we didn't dare call our own yet, but grew emotionally attached to, and we get charged.

Now we are left worrying about our other two kittens. Did they have enough contact with the sick one for them to also become sick?

I hope not. Napoleon wouldn't let them near her. It's probably because she was a mother protecting her space, but I like to think that it was because she knew she was sick and was trying to protect them. That is the memory I'd like to be left with. A noble kitten, looking for one great week in a warm house with nice parents, before she journied into the sunset.

So whatever is it you do to whatever omniscent being that you believe in, pray, hope, or sacrifice goats that our other two buddies are alright. I'd hate to think that that much tragedy could be born out of good intentions.

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