Last night someone ran over a cat on our street, one house over. A neighbor from across the street, who knew we helped cats, rang our bell and asked us for assistance. The cat had significant head trauma and her pupils were fixed and dilated. As she laid there gasping and struggling, all I could do was stroke her gently, speak to her softly and pray. The neighbor called Animal Control and the Emergency Animal Hospital looking for anyone who could do something, but there was no one who would come.
I told the cat that it was OK to just let go, that GOD was waiting for her, and that everything would be alright. After what seemed like forever, she finally stopped gasping and struggling. We used our stethoscope to check for a heart beat. Once we knew she was gone, I went into the house, washed the blood from my hands and cried.
I read something in the bible once about getting rewards in heaven after this life is over. I don’t recall what they’re for or even if I qualify, but if I will be receiving any, I ask GOD if I could please donate one of my rewards to that cat. And to let her know that I love her, even though I never knew her. Last night hurt me. I don’t think I’m cut out for this world.
Because we have been so preoccupied with fighting this virus, we were not even aware that the house next door had changed occupancy. We knew the neighbors were going to move soon, and they even asked my wife for advice about their two indoor cats, Pinks and Blue. They were moving back East and didn’t think cats could travel, so they decided not to take them. My wife made color flyers for them and I told them of various online resources. We also reassured them that cats can travel. After all, we brought nine with us on our four day journey to Arizona.
Because this cat was hit right in front of their house, my wife wondered if it somehow belonged to them, only to discover that they had already moved five days ago. One phone call later and she confirmed that they had dumped their indoor cats out the back door when they left. Why didn’t they love their cats enough to do some online research? They would have learned about several no-kill shelters in the valley. They would have learned about the low survival rate of abandoned cats. Why didn’t they at least let us know?
I feel so angry! Here we are, tired all the time, deeper and deeper in debt, struggling so hard to do the right things and help prevent suffering while our own next-door neighbors are abandoning cats right under our noses, leaving them to suffer and die on the street and adding to the abandoned pet problem. That’s not love! That’s selfish convenience! I am so angry!
The kitty who died was named Pinks. She was an indoor kitty who had never been outside before. She only survived on the street for five days — right under our noses — had we just known. I feel sick.
Last night when my wife came home from work, I walked outside to meet her. Right there in our driveway was Blue. It was like he was waiting for us. We had never met or even seen Blue before that moment. Being concerned about him after learning he had already been out on the street for five days, we left instructions with the new neighbors the night before to inform us immediately if they saw him so that we could try to catch him. But instead, it looks like GOD delivered him right to us.
For now he is living in our guest room. It’s the only room that hopefully has no trace of the virus. He is friendly but a little scared. I told him that I am sorry he lost his home and that his friend died.
After talking further with Blue’s previous owners, here is what we learned. Approximately one year ago they obtained Pinks and Blue from a rescue organization called Desert Dog Rescue (a rescue for life organization according to the website). As they prepared to move back East, they listed the cats on phoenix.craigslist.org and put up flyers at local retail businesses. Still unable to locate a home for the cats, they attempted to return the cats to Desert Dog Rescue, but claimed that Desert Dog refused to take them back. On July 24th, fearing that the cats would be euthanized if taken to the Humane Society, our neighbors decided it was better to abandon the cats in the backyard. I wish they had talked to us first.
With all the constant sniffling, snorting, sneezing, coughing fits and occasional vomiting that going on, our home sounds like a hospital waiting room during flue season. There are only a handful of cats left who have yet to show any symptoms. Thankfully, Opie is finally doing better.
Tigger was also having a lot of difficulty for a while. He laid around with his mouth wide open and couldn’t shut off his saliva glands. (Open-mouth breathing apparently does not come natural for cats.) The ones who have had the hardest time with this virus are Muffins, Opie, Roscoe, Purrl, Isabelle, Missy, Kibble, Tigger and Buddy. We are running a humidifier constantly and have been using the shower to steam up the bathroom for five-to-ten-minute sauna sessions per doctor’s orders.
We are getting so worn out now that we are becoming forgetful and slow. Yesterday morning, thankfully, GOD gave me some extra strength and I was able to handle most of the morning work on my own. My wife couldn’t even wake up until noon. She slept hard for 13 hours straight. I guess she really needed it. I hope this is all over soon.
We are going through two bottles of oral antibiotics each day. All these medicines are so expensive. The costs just keep piling up. And to top it off, almost every cat has got ear mites. Where did they come from? Our kitties are all indoor cats for crying out loud! We’ve never had ear mites here before. The only thing we can figure is that a feral colony kitten must have had some and they multiplied and spread over the past year. The medicine that the vet wants us to use costs $60 per cat. That’s over $3000 just to treat ear mites. We can’t afford that all at once. Our credit cards are maxed out now. Yet, the only way to get rid of the mites is to treat every cat at the same time. This is just maddening.
Last week Blue started sniffling too. Despite being quarantined, he got the virus anyway. The vet said that this respiratory virus is airborne, and with this being the hottest time of the year, the air conditioner is continuously spreading it throughout the house.
Despite our best efforts, Duddly, who is permanently quarantined in his own room, has also contracted the virus. This has us very concerned because he is FIV positive. His immune system may have difficulty handling this new virus. The vet said that if he doesn’t do well, he may have to be put down. We also have him on preventative antibiotics of course and are praying for him and watching him closely.
Simon, who is FeLV positive has thankfully shown no symptoms. Buttons got very sick just like her brother Tigger. She is doing much better now. It looks like we might be at the tail end of this thing. I sure hope so. Giving oral medication to cats who can’t breath through their nose is not an easy task to say the least. I feel like a pin cushion.