Saturday, June 06, 2009
Category: Pets and Animals
I try to aim for a pretty drama free life. It's been pretty high drama around here for the past 4 days.
When I woke up Wednesday morning and planned to head to P90X, I decided that I'd be taking our pets to the local vet for their shots. They were due.
So as I opened the front door at 4:40, I thought to myself, "Spot doesn't normally stand up and look in the window when I let them in in the morning." and opened the door-- to immediately put my foot down to stop what looked like a really friendly possum from coming in the house. It turned out to be a medium little white dog. Very friendly. I petted it on the head, ran through all the pets I know of in the area and came up blank, briefly wondered why it was at our house, and headed to class, thinking that if it was still here when I got back, I'd set some food out for it.
Lo and behold, when I got back, much to my surprise, she was still here. So, true to my word, I got some food and water together and headed out to put it out for her--to discover that -someone- had already done so... And there was only 1 someone I could think of, so I headed to our room, gently woke him up and asked (lol).
Apparently, Mark had found her at the gym he went to exercise at. She was really friendly, let him pet her, and obviously, was -way- underfed. Tried to get into the gym when he headed in. And Mark thought, "If she's still there when I go out, I'll take her home and give her a bite to eat."...She lay infront of those glass doors watching him the entire time he was there, and was really good about coming home with him (lol).
So I gave all of our animals their heartguard/ flea medication and gave the new dog a bath-- when I saw her at 6 when I came home, she was -almost- black with fleas. Her ribs were more obvious than a cared for dog would be, and while I was bathing her, I discovered the was also covered in well over a dozen ticks, so I called the local vet and set up an appointment to bring, "Baby" (which is what I'd been calling her since the moment I met her) in for a check up and de-ticking, and set up to bring the rest of our dogs in at the same time.
The boys came with me and all 6 of us (3 people and 3 dogs) traveled in the car very well together (: They were all well behaved while we were at the vet. And we learned that Baby was about 1 1/2, that she had probably been on her own for at least a month, that she's a pitbull terrier and they took a blood sample to check for heartworms.
As we were checking out, I set up an appointment to bring that cats in an hour later.
The cats did equally well at their check ups. The vet was impressed at how well they did, and how good they were. I admit, I was proud of my oldest fur babies. Afterall, they'd been getting check ups for the last 11 years (: And the boys were very good for this as well.
And after we got home, we were all pleased as pie to be the proud owners of 5 pets that appeared to be doing really well and starting to get along together. There are certain things any pet we get has to pass-- for uwritten rules, there are actually a LOT of them. She has to get along with the other dogs. The cats. The kids. She has to learn to be trained to when our animals go potty/ outside. She has to listen to what she's told to do. And she's only allowed to chew dog things.
That afternoon, I got a call from the vet-- as expected Maggie and Isabeau are heartworm free-- the same could not be said of Baby, and the cost of the treatment is $250, they would need her for 2 days, we'd have to keep her on strictly enforced confinement for 30 days when we'd bring her in for retesting, if we chose to do it. I hung up, has less than a minute conversation with Mark, then called back and set up to bring her in Thursday morning at 8 am.
At 8 am, as planned, we dropped her off at the vet, and as the vet walked her to the back, they told Baby she was very lucky and had chosen the right family.
The boys and I headed home and had a day just like all other days of summer-- playing outside, playing inside, brushing/petting the pets, etc. I let the animals in and out of the house off and on all day long-- and all 5 times I let everyone in, Spot (the female cat) refused. She spent -all- day laying on the table in the carport. So at 4:45, when the boys and I headed out to car to take my oldest to Karate, I glanced around and saw Peeve on the deck, and figured Spot was still on the table. I started the car like I always do, giving it a second before I shifted into gear-- the cats got me trained into that habit to give them time to move, then I backed up the driveway...and hit a bump...where there is no bump. I threw the car into park as I watched Spot race out from under the car and towards the house. My father in law pulled up at the same time as I told the boys to stay in the car and rushed down towards Spot as I watched her fall to her side. I'd hit my cat ): My father in law volunteered to take my boys to Karate and handed me the keys to his truck, so I could rush Spot to the vet. I held her as gently as I could and laid her in the floor of the passenger side, then headed to the vet. When I got there, I rushed around to the other side, opened her door, and gently picked her up-- and she died in my arms.
I laid her gently back down where I'd had her and headed home. When I got back from the vet, the dogs cried and whimpered. I believe it was their way of saying goodbye to Spot. The first thing I did was bring her in the house with me and got my cell phone to call Mark, but I couldn't reach him. I've never had a pet really die before. When I was a child growing up, my parents had had to have each one in turn euthanized, which is kind of abstract-- your pet goes to the vet and doesn't come back. So I called my mother to ask her what I should do.
Spot is the first pet I've ever literally had die on me, and the first one I've ever had to bury....and it's not like I can say that it was old age, or euthenasia, poisoning or a stranger. It was me. It was an accident, but it was me. She would have been 12 in September. She just got her shots and check up the day before. And it wasn't supposed to happen this way.
I put her on her favorite mat, gave her her favorite toy feather and one of her toy mice, and covered her with a pillow case (like a blanket) that was a favorite of mine as a child that both of my children have used, then put her in a tupperware box big enough to hold her. I had just finished digging the hole about 18 inches deep (which is as shallow as it is because I ran into pipes) when Mark's Dad showed back up with the boys--I told them that she had died, and we opened her box so they could each give her one last pet and say good-bye. I'm very thankful that there were no outward signs of what had happened to her. She looked just like she was sleeping. And my boys dealt with her death far better than I'd hoped that they would.
The dogs stayed with and surrounded me and the boys all night Thursday as we mourned. And Peeve, who was never a very good nurse cat, took up Spot's chore of comforting us.
When the boys went to bed that night, they wanted me to tell them stories about Spot--so I did. From the time I chose her and she was a tiny kitten up to some of her other misadventures (lol). Then Kael asked me to tell the story of how she died. We all cried. Then they asked me to sing a song for her. I chose the only song I've ever sung that she and Peeve would follow me around merowing as I sang it (lol).
I stayed up waiting for Mark to get off work so that I could call him BEFORE he got that first paniced message. I got a hold of him at 12:45 and told him to delete the messages without listening to them, and we talked for most of his ride home, then we talked when he got home at 1:30. I didn't get to bed until 3 am...with my alarm going off at 4 to exercise, and rain pouring down. I turned it off, got up and turned off my cell phone, and went back to bed. I'll bring in $5 on Monday for the class I missed.
Speaking of the rain, it rained practically from the moment her grave was closed and through the night. When we got up on Friday, the weather broke and I headed out to get rocks to place over her grave to keep critters from digging it up. While I was at Wal-Mart getting the rocks, I passed a small bird bath that I thought Spot would enjoy-- It had 2 little concrete Sparrows on it, and she'd always loved to watch the birds. Once I had it all in place, and all 4 of us together gathered to say words over her grave, I started to feel better. We all did.
Spotacatkiss, you were the cat I'd wanted since I was 12 years old. You were a great pet, one of our first kids, and gave us a life full of wonderful memories.
You will be missed Spot.