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A Terrible Decision

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Posted 12-03-2010 at 05:14 AM by caninemom3
Tags punkin'

I have always adored animals. My parents raised me to respect them, taught me they have feelings and souls and are to be treated as furry brothers and sisters. I have always tried to uphold these teachings as my parents were 2 of the most wonderful people I have ever loved and there is not a day that goes by that I do not miss them, especially my mother, Susy.

Those commercials on TV are just heart wrenching to me. The ASPCA or Humane Society. There is one that starts out showing a furry little doggie shaking badly and the caption below it is "Why do they keep beating me ?" It not only makes me weep but it outrages me. How dare ANYONE HURT AN ANIMAL OR A CHILD !!! HOW DARE THEY.

Yesterday I had to make a decision which every pet parent probably has to make sooner or later. One of my beloved feline children who had been ill had reached the end of her road.

My journey with Punkin' started 15 years ago. It was Summer, not a good Summer. I was newly married and found myself in a relationship with a man who though very kind hearted was and is a verbally abusive alcholic.

I remember I was outside. At the time the house across the street had bushes surrounding it. I kept hearing the sound of a young kitten meowing. A strange meow, more like the trill of a flute. Each time I went outside I heard it but I could see no kitten.

I happened to look toward the house with the bushes and there I saw a tiny little head had popped out from underneath one of the biggest shrubs. I instinctively started walking toward this baby. The street I live on is a crazy one. People zoom by at the speed of light even though it is supposed to be 35 mph. I actually panicked. My thoughts were that I had to go to this baby and and save it (I didn't know if it was a boy or girl) from the speeding demons going by as I knew it would most certainly wander onto the street, not knowing anything about people and their cars.

As I approached I saw a beautiful Calico kitten. She had 2 collars on and looked like she could use a really good meal. I gently picked the kitten up and brought her home. My husband was working in the garage that day and ever trying to be the tough guy said "Well, give it something to eat but then it has to go back across the street." Right. It doesn't work that way.

I checked and sure enough it was a little girl. I generously fed her which she inhaled practially. She was just so beautiful and so little. She instantly purred and thanked me by rubbing up against my hand with a look of love and gratitude in her eyes one might see from someone who had been homeless and was now found.

I took her back across the street and put her gently down under the bush after her tummy was full. As I started to walk away I glanced over my shoulder. Nope. It wasn't going to work. She was going to follow me.

I again picked her up and went back to the garage. I told my husband about her trying to follow me and he said "Oh alright, we'll keep her." I was overjoyed. I promised him I would try to find a home for her as we already had 2 felines and 4 canines.

Nobody wanted her. Not one soul. How could nobody want this beautiful little bundle of purrs ?

I again let my husband know there were no takers for her. He settled into the fact that the pet mama in me was not going to let this go and gave in. I named her Punkin' because of all the beautiful shades of orange in her coat.

Punkin' was always different. She didn't just like to lay on me, she had to sleep on top of my head each night. I would put my hand above my head to see if she was there when I would awake during the night as I often do and sure enough, there she was.

It was an instant bond for us. We loved one another and that was all that mattered.

Punkin' was always very healthy. Never had to see the vet ever. Until last year. I noticed last year that she didn't seem quite as "chubby" as she had been so to the vet we went. He ran blood for thyroid disease and kidney disease and all came back normal. He reassured me that she was fine.

Over the course of last year and this I noticed she seemed to be slower and not quite as full of vim and vigor as she had been. I continued to weigh her and this Fall noted that she was losing weight. Back to the doctor for more tests.

The results came back that she had liver disease. The doctor told me that sometimes cats get a kind of bile blockage in the biliary system which can cause liver disease. Just to be sure he wanted to admit her to the hospital, aggressively hydrate her and take x-rays to see if there were any masses that would show up. Everything was negative except her liver enzymes. She stayed in the hospital for 3 or 4 days and then my Punkin' was back home where she belonged. She was to be given a medication called Lactulose for her liver condition twice a day which I faithfully gave her.

Throughout the course of the last month Punkin' seemed to wax and wane but still lost weight. I knew this was not good and that there must be some other unseen problem for her illness. I kept weighing her and weighing her and each time she weighed less and less. She started out at 8 pounds last Fall and this November was down to just 5 pounds. Quite a loss for such a small furchild.

Yesterday was to be a check up for her. The doctor came in and was just astounded by her appearance because she had deteriorated so much since she had seen him 3 weeks ago. She had lost another 8 ounces.

I knew what was coming. I have been through this far too many times. I had known what was coming over the course of the past week. As I worked Punkin' always laid by me. Something inside me made me pick her up and just kiss and kiss her as I bawled my eyes out. She of course protested. She was very affectionate but on her terms, thank you. So I put her back in her place and kept working.

At the vet's office yesterday the doctor and I spoke of many things. It came down to the very real likelihood that Punkin' had a tumor somewhere that was not seen on x-ray. Then came the decision. I asked if cats have a pancreas. He told me yes they do and that it was very possible I may have hit on what the problem was, a pancreatic tumor. That would explain the weight loss, jaundice, and rapid decline.

As there was nothing else to do to restore her health I made the decision to end her life. The doctor told me he thought it was the best choice.

He excused himself for a moment and told me he had to get the proper equipment, meaning the end of life medication and a syringe. For a few moments, our last moments, Punkin' and I were together alone. I hugged her gently as she was nothng but bones and told her over and over and over how much I loved her.

The doctor and the vet tech returned with a towel to lay her on, a shaver to shave a tiny patch of hair to make identification of a vein more easy, a syringe and a bottle of death. We laid her on her side and I cradled her head in my arm as I gently kissed her with tears streaming down my face. She never liked it when I cried. She would always hop on my lap, my chest or the top of my head with that meow that sounded like a flute in order to comfort me. Now she couldn't comfort me.

After just a few seconds, actually split seconds, my Punkin' was gone and once again my heart was broken. Tears still streaming and even though she could not hear me, I whisphered in her tiny ear to wait for me on the other side.

The vet is a very, very kind man. He told me I could stay with her as long as I wanted in the room but there was no need. Punkin' had gone. And besides, there were other patrons with sick furchildren waiting who probably needed the room.

I kissed her one final time and the vet gave me a big hug and told me not to worry about the bill or anything, that I could get them later and then I departed.

So here I sit. Tears are streaming again. I have to remember all the joy and love and affection and kindness Punkin' gave me while she was here. Who knew that a little 3 pound kitten could have such an impact in someone's life ?

People always tell me that I was merciful whenever I have to put a furchild down, that I am kind. What they do not know is that if I could give my own life to have saved Punkin' or any of the loves I have lost I would gladly comply because my life is not of any worth and brings nothing to this world compared to the unlimited and unconditional love of a furchild.

Rest in peace my dear, sweet beautiful Punkin'. Thank you for gracing my life with yours. I hope to see you again and I love you so much xo
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  1. Old Comment
    Maureen's Avatar
    Oh Louanne, what's happened in your life that makes you feel like it's not of any worth?

    You're here for a reason which makes you worthwhile and if you can't see any reason why you're here, just ask any one of your friends on MMC and they'll tell you how much of a difference you make to us
    Posted 12-03-2010 at 05:47 AM by Maureen Maureen is offline

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