Friday, September 18, 2009

The Dog May Be Lumpy, But At Least He Never Broke My Heart.

**

Irony:  Blogger jokes about cat strollers in post, because cat strollers are ridiculous.
Ten minutes later.  Blogger discovers new kitten can no longer walk.
(see also, Foreshadowing)

Tuesday.
We pick up two kittens from the shelter at 6:30 pm.  Both are in cardboard boxes. Both have had surgery in the morning.  One box is moving, the other not so much.  Shelter lady says the female kitten (Violet) is still groggy.  She'll be up and back to normal any minute. Really, really, soon. 

At home, the male kitten (Vladimir) rockets from the box and roams the room.  Violet is quiet. I lift her from the box and put her in the new cat bed.  She walks slowly for a drink, lies down and sleeps for the next several hours.

I write a post about Sumeria.   Make a joke about cat strollers.  Stretch.  Yawn.  Think, better check on the destruction kittens before bed.  Vladimir (kittens were named by the shelter, by the way, and fairly well, considering others were named things like "Wal-mart" and "Plebko22") is stalking a sock.  Violet is sleeping.

I pick Violet up.  Put her back down. Awake now, she flops straight down on the floor, and then drags entire length of two completely slack back legs behind her, pulling all her weight along with two tiny front legs.

                Confusion and hand-wringing, a call to the 24 hour Animal Hospital.  Twenty minute drive to pet     hospital at 1:30 am.  Watch a retrospective on the Night Stalker that is playing on the overhead monitors in the dim,empty waiting room.  Assistant at desk wears a nametag that says "Violet".  Coincidence.  Then,

Vet says:
????   Did someone drop her? No? Odd. We'll keep her here and charge you 700 dollars by the morning. Probably it won't help. See you at 10 am!


**

Pathos:  Blogger drives hither and yon across the city, crying, with  tiny paralyzed kitten riding shotgun. Driving and crying. Crying and driving.  Not looking in the carrier at the little alert eyes and the long, limp back legs stretched out on the blanket.  Paraplegic kitty.

Wednesday.
I take the day off work and drive back to the animal hospital in the morning. Conference with two vets.  Both say it's a mystery.  They have never seen this happen with a kitten, ever.  Both say the prognosis is guarded at best.  She can no longer go to the bathroom on her own.   I surrender the remainder of my bank account and load Violet up while they toss out words like "neurosurgeon" and "MRI". (They have neurosurgeons for cats?) They say probably that wouldn't help either.

Violet and I drive.  Across the city is the shelter, where euthanasia awaits.  I can't bring myself to drive there.  I call my regular vet.  He says "Let me see her".

Hope.
I drive in the opposite direction to vet.  Dr. H says, well, hello little lady to the kitten, and to me he says, no feeling.  None at all.  Seen this twice in thirty-five years.  Maybe a blood clot in spine.  Hard to know. Kitten 's not going to walk again.  Kindest to put her to sleep.

I knew this.  I cry some more over a kitten we 've had less than twenty-four hours, and drive to the shelter.
Hand over the carrier without looking inside.  Feel like a betrayer.

Shelter lady says, you can pick out a replacement if you want to.

(Do I want to?)

Then I  go home to tell my kids.


39 comments:

Kurt said...

Sorry, Vic. I do some trite (*hug*) thing, but instead maybe just know you're hugged.

Jules said...

Oh my God! I am soooooo sorry for you Vic! That story BROKE my heart too!!!!!

The Peach Tart said...

Oh no. How heartbreaking.

Lana said...

so sorry vic :( little furballs have a way of sneaking into our heats in mere minutes, i can only imagine how hard that was for you.

inkpuddle said...

Oh God, Vic. I'm so sorry. Everything else I got just sounds like BS.

diane said...

Violets are my favorite flowers, now they will have a special meaning too.
Sh*t, I'm sitting here crying, after being sick with the flu all week. But I can tell you this, you did the right thing. (cough, sniffle)

Replacement? I think I would have slapped that b*tch.

miss. chief said...

awwww i wanted this to end with you getting the kitty one of those wheel legs things that sometimes dogs have, you know? poor kitty! poor vic!

did you get a replacement?

Mobius said...

We had the same thing happen with a hamster... but cats are sadder on the sadness chart by a long shot. I'm sorry...

Logical Libby said...

Why do people always offer a replacement like it's a valve or something?

Sorry you had to go through that.

Margo said...

so sad, Vic. NO FAIR. Violet is chasing and stalking her little heart out in cat heaven :) and much better than something happening a week or two down the road-but still... NO FAIR and life really does suck sometimes.

chupacabra said...

I think in kitty heaven they get to chase butterflies but, the butterflies are the adrenaline junkie types who dig being chased anyway.

Daisy said...

I am so sorry.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

OH NO!! Poor everyone involved here. I'm sorry Vic.

I've had two instances where anesthesia effed up my dogs. This last time, he didn't walk for over a day, and even now his back legs give up for no reason. The vets always say "Oh that's weird, it surely has nothing to do with what we did here!" but I'm starting to believe it's some kind of hush hush conspiracy thing.

But, to be fair, I believe a lot of things are hush hush conspiracy things.

Every time I try to type hush, I type hugh. Hugh Hugh conspiracy. (Jackman, no doubt.)

I'm sending you hugs from over here. Losing an animal, no matter how long you knew her for, is terrible. You did every possible thing there was to be done though. I'm really sorry.-b

Miss Yvonne said...

Vic, I'm so sorry.

Darn you, cute little animals for making our hearts break!

DevilsHeaven said...

Wow, that is really horrible.
And to offer a replacement!!! So thoughtless.

erin said...

Horribleness
Now I feel like the worlds biggest jerk for ditching on cat/kittens for the last 10 years of my life.

Tiny little kitten.

I can see the lady offering a replacement though. Kids usually aren't all that empathetic, Olivia would be happy with any animal that she could dress up or put into odd places like the pantry shelf or her bedroom desk drawer.
Hopefully everything's alright now, Vic!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Awww. Geez, I'm one of those cat-haters. But I'm making an exception for your little kitty. You made me love her. I'm sorry Vic.

Cindy said...

holy smokes... that's TERRIBLE! i would've cried right along with you. blaaaaaaaaaaaah:((((((

and no, i don't want a replacement. this isn't a punctured tire. thanks.

KC said...

Oh man, that is so sad (teary-eyed while writing). Poor, sweet baby kitty.

linlah said...

That was painfully sad. But I would get a companion kitty for Vladimir

C.B. Jones said...

Stuff like this shouldn't happen to baby animals. Boybands, yes, but not animals.

msprimadonna67 said...

That just breaks my heart! Oh how sad....

Nej said...

She asked if you wanted to pick out a replacement, as you were dropping that one off. (gulp) Probably not the best timing for that.

I'm so sorry, how sad! :-(

Jay Ferris said...

Stupid bullshit life. Always fucking things up for everyone else.

diane said...

I'm back, I just had to read what everyone was saying to you. We are all obviously feeling your pain. God, Vic, you really are so well loved.

Prosy said...

I'm sorry.
Something like this happened to one of our kittens once. I hate it when little animals are hurt.
sad face :(

Lulu said...

This whole post summarizes why we like you so much - you're taking care of that kitty as if she's been in your family for years, and you manage to write about it with grace, good humor and empathy....

So so sorry....

Liza said...

I am so sorry. That's one emotional roller coaster ride. I would have been a mess.

Soda and Candy said...

Poor little thing.

So sorry, Vic. I'm glad you still have Vlad.

Cynthia L. H. said...

Vic,
I'm so sorry....
....reaching out through cyberspace with a warm hug....

Dominica said...

Vets are creepy !
They just knew this all along !
Even you (and we too) did !
So sorry to hear about that sweet little Violet !

Mr. Charleston said...

It's tough to put down a pet. Even one you've just met. I'm soon to be faced with a decision on an old friend who's going blind. Can't afford Lasik surgery, can't stand the thought of the option.

CatLadyLarew said...

Oh, that is so sad! To get her just to lose her. I'm so sorry!

The Jules said...

What a crappy thing to happen. Really sorry you had to go through it and hope you can stay relatively positive.

Have some empathy from across the pond. We don't have much to spare in England, but you can have a bit.

truestarr said...

Poor kitty, poor you. Really sad anytime a pet dies... baby pets seem extra sad.

hugs to you/

Kristine said...

I don't want to put a little emoticon here, but I am really frowning. So, so sad.
Sorry, Vic.
Sorry, baby kitten.

Cat said...

Poor, poor Violet. Poor, poor Vic.

Mandy's Kidding said...

Oh god. How awful.

:-(

I'm sorry.

tcatmaher said...

A similar thing happened to me in kindergarten. My sister and I picked out to precious kittens from a pound and brought them home. Unfortunately, the kittens had been found cold and sick and too young to be away from their mother. However, the mother had not been found and had probably abandoned them. According to Lousiana pet shelters, animals must be neutered before leaving the shelter. But the kittens were too young to have the surgery. We brought them both home but they never recovered. They mostly sat down and didn't move. Then, while I was in school, the girl kitten died. Hers was a more invasive procedure and so she died first. So my mom took the boy to the vet. Apparently, he also had some problems and was dying. So the boy was put down and both were buried in unmarked graves behind the vet's. Never seeing them dead seemed to be a problem to me. Despite the fact that we had the kittens for only a week, it seemed like they were always playing in my peripheral vision. I think it doesn't matter how long you've had a pet, once you make the commitment to loving them, it's too late and eventually they will leave you devastated. Still, I wouldn't trade my time with them for the world. Hope this helps.