The last post I made before this one was about our cat Grandpa.
Not long after, we found him in acute distress, howling and nearly unable to walk. We took him to the emergency vet and found that he was suffering — immensely — with a total blockage of the urinary system. He couldn’t pee. And it was killing him.
By the time we figured this out I realized I’d seen him attempting to pee for long minutes around the edges of the yard in recent months. This had been coming upon him for a long while. Chances were high that he had already sustained significant kidney damage.
A thousand dollars might have saved him, a thousand dollars we could not spare, but it wouldn’t have been a guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again. He would require special food for life that ALSO might not have solved the problem. And all of the cats would have to eat this gold-plated prescription cat food.
Worst of all, we wouldn’t be able to let him roam the neighborhood freely to murder songbirds and rodents merrily all his days, a pleasure for which he lived and which he pursued with all his wild predatory heart. (After which, of course, he would return home to sleep with the least dignity I had ever witnessed, on his back in a fluffy cat-bed with his wittle pawsies crossed and his belly fur tantalizingly exposed.) Many of our neighbors feed their cats outdoors and the cheap grocery-store cat food would be irresistible to such a cat-about-the-town.
Recently I had to explain to my daughter that sometimes grown-ups have to make hard decisions that nobody likes. This was one of them.
R.I.P., Grandpa. We loved you well.