Cat :(

Jul. 11th, 2011 11:55 pm
frightened: (karate)
[personal profile] frightened
Short version: after a week, we finally managed to catch the stray cat that lives in my parents' garden, but he was so badly injured he had to be put down.

Long, miserable and graphic version under the cut.

So about a year ago, this emaciated black cat staggered into my parents' kitchen and ate their cats' food, and the poor creature looked so pathetic they didn't have the heart to chase it away. Eventually Blackie got his own food bowls, and a routine where he'd show up every morning and evening for food and maybe an indoor nap. And this cat never looked good. He moved like he was elderly; his ears were a ragged mess; he had a permanent network of scratches across his face. But over the months he got fatter and friendlier.

Fast-forward to last week, and I'm cat-sitting while my parents are on holiday. Some of the scratches on Blackie's face are obviously infected, and he's off his food. I buy a plastic carrier with the intention of taking him to the vet, but he disappears until the weekend, and I'm convinced he's crawled off somewhere to die.

Couple of days ago, he showed up again. Today my dad and I managed to get him into the carrier, with a minimum of snarling and no scratches, and that's not actually a good thing. Sudden docility in feral animals is bad bad bad. I finally get a close-up, all-angles look at his face, and that's not an infected scratch. The entire side of his face has been sliced off, but it's still attached at the bottom and it's stiff with matted fur and blood, and in between is this valley of stinking infection.

So we take the poor creature to the vet and stink out the waiting room, and within seconds of seeing him the vet's sure there's nothing to be done. If an elderly, ill cat could withstand a lot of reconstructive surgery, and if this feral creature could keep his stitches clean and intact, and if we could somehow guarantee he'd show up every day and allow us to give him bazillions of pills, he might have a chance. Realistically, no. It's a miracle his head isn't full of maggots already. So we agree to have him put down.

And I know it was the right thing to do. But I'm good with animals, and I have a soft spot for the ugly, hopeless ones. The quickest way to my heart is with some three-legged, one-eyed creature with an attitude problem and a horrible backstory. And I was the one to say "look, he needs a vet", and I helped put him in the box, and I talked to him and kept him calm the whole time, and I helped hold him still for the injection, and I just feel like I betrayed his trust and used my powers for evil.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-12 09:41 am (UTC)
barakta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] barakta
FWIW I think you did the right thing. He probably would have dragged on for a little longer suffering even more pain until he curled up somewhere and died. You cared for him in the best way possible knowing his understandable feral trust issues and when things looked bad you sought a professional opinion.

I know a few vets socially and they all DREAD the "please keep moggy/Rex alive for as looooong as possible" brigade and are reluctant to suggest putting an animal down unless they ABSOLUTELY have to because while they love animals they also feel that it is unfair for us to apply human values to animals and that when it is time, it is time to ease their suffering. It is people being inappropriately sentimental and impractical which means they are wary of doing best for animals.

You put Blackie first and your own very difficult, complex and sad feelings second. Huge respect to you from this tiny corner of the interwebs.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-12 11:46 am (UTC)
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] ludy
i'm so sorry
You totally did the right thing for Blackie - lots of admiration and sympathy


frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)

August 2012


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