Yesterday, we had to put my cat, BabyKitty, to sleep. It was one of THE hardest things I have ever had to do in my entire life. She had an injury that we just could not even possibly fix with going into serious debt, causing her major stress and discomfort/pain, and even then… no guarantees.
We don’t even know what exactly happened, as the potential injury occurred while we were in the hospital having Garrett. Her poor eye was out of the socket (unknown to us… it wasn’t as horrific looking as it sounds/was) and very swollen. I felt rotten for not taking her to the vet sooner, but with a new baby in the house who had his own medical issues that needed to be attended, the cats were unfortunately placed on the back burner. We hoped that the eye (which at first was just a little inflamed around the third eyelid) would heal up on it’s own… no such luck. However, the vet said unless we had caught it within hours, before the swelling started, the result would have been the same – exploratory surgery to rule out something behind the eye (this may not even have been an injury… it could have been a tumor pushing her eye out… we’ll never know.) and then at least one more surgery to put the eye back in – done by a specialist, not our regular vet. The vet also assured us that she was not in an extraordinary amount of pain – at that time, and her eye was still, miraculously, functioning. By delaying taking her to the vet, we bought her a little more time at home with us. But, had we waited much longer, the results could have been disastrous. (Too much pressure and swelling in the eye, and well… yeah.)
I know some people will go to the end’s of the earth for their pets, and at one point in time, we would have. We once drained our savings for a surgery to repair our boy cat’s broken leg. But now we have a baby at home… and a savings account already being drained by my unpaid maternity leave. But that’s when our cats were our babies. Not that we love them any less now… but your perspective and priorities change when you have a child to care for. Also, when Silas had his leg surgery, watching him recover was heart breaking in and of itself. Leaving him at the vets and coming to visit him the next day was miserable. Pets just do not understand that you are trying to help them with these procedures. There was no way I could leave her there to be worked on without being able to explain to her that it was for her own good… that we would be coming back… that she would get better and feel better… To me, these sorts of things are torturous to the poor things. I feel better knowing that we ended BabyKitty’s pain and suffering before it had a chance to ruin her life. She went peacefully and happily before she knew any better.
Not that it makes the decision any easier. Danny and I were an absolute wreck all day yesterday. I’ve never seen Danny actually cry… tears, yes, but not cry like that. We loved that silly, evil little kitty. We really did.
Rest in Peace, Bika.