Monday, December 04, 2006

How Far Would You Go

So last Thursday was pretty crazy. My cat was acting pretty strange, frantically drinking water and meowing constantly. I called the vet and they suggested I bring him in. I figured as much and I was rather worried about him since he had been diagnosed last year with chronic renal failure. I had myself convinced that his kidneys had actually failed.

So off we went to the vet office, 22 pound kid in one arm 20 pound cat in the other. We dropped him off and I tried not to worry. They called later after doing several tests. It turns out that he has diabetes now. The vet was very kind and explained everything really clearly. He told me that I didn't have to decide right away what I was going to do I could think about it for a couple of days. He said that not everyone feels comfortable doing the injections.

My mind was spinning. Diabetes. Injections. Fifteen years ago when I was just a high school kid getting a kitten I wasn't thinking ahead to this scenario. Fifteen years. We'd grown up together. Casey was a part of my family. We've been together longer than my husband and I have. He sat on my bed with me many times as I cried over lost friends and boyfriends. He kept me company when I moved out to my first apartment all by myself. And perhaps the most touching thing of all is that he loves my baby. Even when she came in and took over his home as well as taking almost all the love and attention we had to give. He's patient with her even when she doesn't deserve it and he worries about her when she's upset. He's family.

I told the vet I'd be there soon to pick him up and learn how to give him his injections. When I arrived he was surprisingly calm (slightly sedated) and oblivious while the technician and I injected sterile water into his back several times. I was to start giving him the insulin injections the next day, one in the morning and one at night. When I brought him home Miss A bent down to look at him in his kennel and excitedly whispered to him. I smiled and knew I'd made the right decision.

I have known other people who have had pets with various ailments and I would always wonder what I would do if faced with the same situation. Would I be able to afford to care for a sick pet? How far would I go? I'm sure I had thought if it ever came to this it would be time to say goodbye. But the fact is, I can't. Casey is sick but he's not suffering. As long as I give him his insulin he is fine. After all the joy he has brought to my life it is the least I can do.

I have now given him seven injections. I am a pro. I thought giving the needles would be a lot harder than it is. He doesn't even seem to notice. It is already becoming routine. Sometimes it makes me frustrated and I think “Add that to the list of things I have to do every day.” but then Miss A when go over to pet him and jabber away to him and I get over it. I'm glad that this didn't happen when she was tiny and I was overwhelmed. I'm not sure I would have been able to handle it. I think it's true that we are never given more than we can handle. Even though sometimes it feels like too much.


bon said...

I know what I have been able to do in the past, what I DID do in various situations. Proud of you.

Gonna go and have a good cry now.

Dawnyel said...

I'm impressed.
I'm not the kind of person to spend extra money on an animal (probably the reason I don't have a pet!) so you taking all of this time and money for your cat seems a lot to me.
I absolutely know that Miss A would miss Casey if you had picked another option...way to go Mama D! :)

Lynanne said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Casey isn't feeling well. :( FWIW, I agree that you are doing the right thing. There are extreme measures to prolong a pet's life and there are things that just seem like common sense. I think this falls into the latter. Your kitty isn't just an animal, she is a member of your family. If I had to spend an extra few bucks to keep my cat comfortable, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I hope Casey (and you) feel better soon!!

Jenn said...

I'm glad that his condition is manageable like this. It's so sweet how animals take to babies being added to their family.

this single spark said...

I would have done the same thing. Actually, I sort of did. For seven years after Frances lost her teeth, I made cat food from scratch. Sure it was a pain in the butt and took a lot of time, but she was worth it. One hundred percent, no regrets worth it. You totally made the right decision.