This post has been waiting to be written for a long time. It hurt for a long time. I’m one of those people that gets crazy attached to my animals (or in the case of a few days ago, a puppy that we aren’t even getting). But it’s been sitting on my list for a long time, so here we go.
We had to euthanize our cat Darwin.
He was the pet that started the whole naming after scientists trend. He was the first kitty that we picked out before deciding that we needed to go back and get one of his brothers. He was my foot warmer. The cat that was always coming to greet me when I got home. It still hurts to look back at old pictures of him.
It all started a year ago, when he started acting weird. He was hiding around the house and pulsing his tail. Pretty quickly we realized he was peeing a little and then immediately after that we started finding blood. We took him to the vet and of course he had a urinary tract infection. We got medication and thought we were done. But it didn’t go away. We tried about three different antibiotics that round and it still didn’t go away.
The vet sent us to a specialist in Salt Lake, who said there were a few possibilities. Two of which would need surgery and the other two would mean lifelong battling and medication, with good days and bad days. The most likely possibility was that it was an irregularity in his bladder from not closing properly when he was born (because when you’re in the womb, your umbilical cord attaches to your bladder). It would cost $400 for the ultrasound to confirm and then $2000 to do the actual surgery. We had a tough decision on our hands. Do we save our cat and go back into credit card debt? Of course we didn’t have that much money laying around. At that point we had already exhausted our emergency fund from his previous treatment. We decided that, in our case, it was selfish to try to keep him just to avoid the pain of having him gone. There was a large chance that he would be battling painful urinary tract infections for the rest of his life. So we put him down.
We weren’t planning on getting another cat. I had actually specifically said that I wasn’t ready. But when my father heard that we were one cat owners, he thought maybe we could help. They have 5 cats I think, and one of them was being bullied severely. The only cat in the house with claws kept attacking her. So he asked if we may want to give her a new home and we said we’d try her out. She hid, literally under our kitchen (through a whole she found in the basement), for the first week that she was here. We were actually wondering if she had somehow gotten out of the house because we did not see her. Eventually my husband saw her one night and then I saw her and lured her out with food. It took her a long time to warm up to us, but now she’s part of the family. Albiet a still skiddish part.
She loves to sleep on my legs at night and waits for me to go to bed in order to do so. The problem is that she expects to be pet first and will meow in order to tell me so. She’s skiddish though and her version of rubbing up against your legs is to walk back and forth just a fingertip’s distance away, still expecting to be pet. And meowing in order to be pet. So I have to make sure I catch her before I go into the bedroom (a feat within itself) so that she doesn’t wake Twig with her meowing.
She loves to lounge around all day on my bed or on the couch. She’s made good friends with Newton, as you can see. I don’t think they’ll ever be as close as he and Darwin were, but they’re still close. We were really lucky to get an older cat that tolerates the girls. If she’s getting overwhelmed, she just runs away. Usually, given her skiddish-ness, she doesn’t let them get close enough anyway. She does occasionally let them pet her though and she’s even been known to rub up against Twig’s feet while she’s nursing.
I still miss Darwin and it still hurts to think of him, but I’m happy that we were given the opportunity to save Kelvin from a bad situation. So there’s our update in pet-land!