Monday, February 14, 2005

My $2049.52 stray cat

When I was still married and lived in Arizona with my ex-wife, we had a growing menagerie. Four cats, two dogs, two horses and a fish named Gill. Before you read this and get any preconceived notions about me, I really do love animals but I'm also a realist.

This is a TRUE story of one of the cats.

Shadow was a cool cat. He wasn't the aloof asshole most cats are. He was pretty cool. Almost like a dog. Loved to play and romp like a puppy and was the world's best mouser.

One day, my ex is out sunning herself in the back yard and the cats are hanging out doing cat stuff with her like chasing grasshoppers and stuff. Everything was right in our little family. Then my wife comes rushing in the house with Shadow in her arms saying he can't walk. She said she heard him crying and found him dragging his hind legs behind himself. We call the vet and get an emergency appointment as it's a Sunday. We get to the vets office and after an hour or so he couldn't find anything wrong. He was just paralyzed from the hips back.

At this point I tried to bring up putting him down but my ex would have none of it. He was going to get better she said. The vet gave her these little isometric exercises to rehabilitate the cat.

Rehab the cat! Un-fucking-believable...

This wasn't going to work, but again my ex refused to listen. So much for open communication. Anyway, we've got these little cat-isometrics going... Three and four times a day. We both do this for about four weeks and still no change. Shadow is back to his old self, friendly and playful as ever, but dragging his hind legs around behind himself. We did have to make special arrangements for his litter. We made a shallow metal pan just for him and he even got used to that. But like I said, still his legs weren't getting any better.

One day about five weeks after this little episode I come home from work and my wife is sitting in the living room of our place and the first thing that hits me is the smell... I look at her and ask if she smells anything funny. She said no but I knew exactly what it was. It was the definite smell of Gas gangrene. I asked where the cat was and she said in the bedroom. I went to the cat and there he was all happy laying in a nice warm spot in near the floor vent. He purred at me as I bent down to pet him and inspect. He reeked like a dead guy and as soon as I looked at his legs I knew. I actually could see bone through one of the legs. His legs were rotting right off his body and she couldn't smell it...

I knew what had to be done now. I called the wife into the bedroom and pointed out what was happening. I told her he'd have to be put down but again, she'd have none of it. She scooped him up into the kitty-carrier and whisked him off to the vets...

This is where it gets totally un-fucking-believable... We get the vets office. He examines Shadow. He looks at me with a "Help me here" look. I just shrug because of the extra "Y" chromosome, I'm powerless. I know at this point we HAVE to put him down... But the vet comes up with a plan... He's going to operate...

I am not shitting you here. I'll give you the vets name and number to verify this story if you don't believe me.

So, as I go outside to smack my head against the brick wall for a few minutes my wife and the vet discuss the procedure. We leave the cat at the office and head home. It's a tense ride. I'm trying to talk reason into her. I love the cat too, but he's already cost us $500 the last time. We have another car in the driveway that needs an engine. We have to get that fixed.

Do I have to tell you what we did? Did we put the cat down and get the other car fixed? Of course not. The vet had a specialist come up from Phoenix (A Goddamn specialist for a cat for Christ's sake!) and they did the operation the next day. We could pick him up a few days after.

We picked him up a few days later and I pissed my pants laughing when he crawls out of the carrier. They had to amputate from the HIP, so he didn't even have little stumps. And he was shaved down to the skin from about mid-torso to the base of his tail. I had a two-legged shaved pussy. I couldn't contain the humor in it. My wife didn't think it was all that funny but I never let go of a chance to tell people I have a two-legged shaved pussy.

Now, after all this, we never found out what really paralyzed him. (I'm still leaning towards him getting stung by a scorpion) And, do you think after all this he lived a long life afterward? Of course he didn't. He died about four months later. Just found him dead one morning. The ex wanted to take him for an autopsy. I finally put my foot down with that. A fucking cat-autopsy. No goddamn way I was going to pay for a cat-autopsy.

The total bill for this procedure and the original emergency vet's visit was a grand total of $2049.52.

He was a cool cat, and I miss him. But he was not worth $2049.52 especially when I wasn't working full-time and we had a vehicle that really needed to be fixed. I had one solution that would have saved us both $2049.46...

.22 ammo only costs 6 cents a round...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

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