Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Difficult Decisions

Years ago, I rescued 3 cats from Rhode Island when I lived there. Had I not rescued them, they would have ended up on the streets and probably not have lived very long.

First, I got Brujita. She is a tortie and basically a good girl. However, at her last vet visit she had some heart irregularities and the doctor told me she could basically fall asleep and not wake up. She's 10 now, and doesn't do well with other cats that live in the household. For several years now, I have been finding accidents-and I thought for sure it was my cat Shadow who was doing it since he is disabled. But it seems that Brujita has been peeing everywhere she can-she grew up with the other male cats and I can see her starting to do this once my dad's cat got here, but this actually has been going on longer than that. The doctor didn't seem too concerned, and basically told me she was old, and sometimes that happens. She has her own litterbox in the basement, but refuses to use it. I just don't know what to do about her, I refuse to give up on her because she is old and incontinent-geez, if that was me I'd hate to think my family would get rid of me because I missed the toilet once in awhile. (actually for her it is more than once in awhile now-she just doesn't use the litterbox and she doesn't have full run of the house anymore.)

Shadow is my disabled kitty. He is pretty happy go lucky and about 9 now. A bit of a pig, he will sometimes hog the food dish but otherwise than that he is affectionate to all and as long as he gets de-wormed and gets flea meds he is good to go.

Tippy is about 7. I found him while he was a tiny kitten eating garbage outside on my street. Knowing he would get killed, I tried to get him to come in for the longest time-but he always had a wild streak to him. He and Shadow became buddies and Shadow treated him like a dad, bathing and watching over him. When we moved to Maine, Tippy started going outside through an open window. I wasn't pleased because all were housecats after being fixed and having their shots. Our neighborhood is actually a great area for feral cats and Tippy was very territorial, getting into fights with them to keep them away. But now Tippy is not looking so good. He is very hard to catch and hasn't had a rabies shot in a few years now. Every time I manage to corral him into a place where I can get him, I call the vets office and they refuse to see him as I need an appointment. I have made appointments, but never could keep them because when the time came to get the cat he was nowhere to be found. We blocked the pet door coming through the cellar door-he escaped from a window, digging around the area to get out. Today, he actually let me pet him. And he is thin, full of sores and some are infected. I tried to grab him again, but he ran. The last few weeks, he has been gone for long stretches at a time and for the past few months he hasn't been around our house, only coming home to eat. (I do leave food and water for him on the porch)But if he does have something, I can't pass it on to my other cats-who have all been vaccinated and stay indoors.

Unfortunately, I think his time has come. I will need to call animal control to have them round him up and take him to the shelter where he can be put to sleep humanely. My vet's office says this sometimes happens and not to feel guilty-but I still do. I know he had a great 7-8 years with us, and had he lived in RI he probably would not have made it to his first birthday. I just wish he hadn't escaped, since he is one of these cats that make catching him impossible since he is always nervous around people-he would even run from us and zoom out the pet door (installed by a previous owner of the house) if we came too close. In this case, knowing that he is not feeling well and has lost weight, is full of sores and is becoming more feral-I think the best thing to do is to have him put to sleep. At least I won't have to worry about rabies or other diseases that could infect my other cats or my family if he bites one of us. And it would be much quicker than the slow death disease can sometimes bring. I still feel horrible though, but it looks like this weekend I will try to lure him into a carrier so animal control can come and get him. Wish me luck, because this is not going to be easy. :(


Tylerpants said...

Poor Tippy! This must be so hard for you but it is for the best. Good Luck!

Together We Save said...

Oh I am sorry for you. This must be so hard.

Anonymous said...

Once the frame of the pet door is installed in a wall or door, leave the "flap" off at first. Have someone stay inside with your pet while you go outside. Call your pet through the "hole" pet door frame without the flap). When he goes through and comes to you, praise him lavishly and give him a food treat. Now have the person inside the house call him through the "hole." When he gets to them, they should praise lavishly and offer a food treat as well. Do this at least 3 times and no more than a dozen. After this, your pet will know there is a hole in the wall or the door especially for him. Pet Doors give you and your pet the freedom he deserves.

Michele P. said...

To Anonymous-Tippy knows where the pet door is, he used it all the time before. It was installed by the previous owners. However we had to close it up because other feral cats were coming up through our basement and dining in our kitchen, on the cats food. Because these cats were looking diseased, and because they made their way into my home, we shut the door. Last year we even had a skunk waddling up the stairs-one of the cats must have startled him but I can say the whole house smelled like skunk pee for a whole week. When Tippy was using the pet door, he would come in long enough to eat and sleep in a pet bed in the basement where it was warm-but as soon as I got too close off he would run outside. He had no problem using the door, and apparently neither did any of the other neighborhood cats;)

Kristen Sara said...

I have 2 (babies) cats and I can't imagine what you must be going through. I know it won't make it any easier to say good-bye, but think about how many years you gave Tippy. Without you, he wouldn't have enjoyed everything he has loved for so long. You were his angel and now he can go and be yours. I am thinking about you as you go through this.