A mixed bag

Last weekend was my birthday, and it was awesome. My parents and brother came in for a visit, and we planned to hit up the winery. The weather, however, had other ideas. It rained all day, so we had a delicious dinner on The Hill and watched movies instead.

We also acquired a new kitten.

We’d seen her around the neighborhood about a week earlier, skinny, dirty and lovable as could be. We spotted her again on my birthday, and because it was my birthday, I got to keep her.

I was so excited. I’d had my eye on her for over a week and regretted not scooping her up sooner. Needless to say, I was elated to have a second chance.

We brought her into our home, planning to get her into the vet as soon as we could, but office hours are the same everywhere. We opted to wait a week so we wouldn’t have to take off work.

During that week, we fell in love. When we finally got her into the vet, the news wasn’t good. She was pregnant. She was positive for feline leukemia. She was contagious.

In five minutes, the entire weekend was ruined. We had no real choice but to put her down; feline leukemia is a highly fatal and painful disease. There is no real treatment or cure.

I never imagined that the loss of a pet I barely knew and hadn’t even named yet would be so hard on me. I feel devastated. I know many people wouldn’t understand, but I’ve never lost anyone or anything close to me before. People who don’t have animals in their homes would thing she was ‘only’ a pet, so why don’t we just get another? But it wasn’t like that. I didn’t bring her into my home simply because I wanted a third cat. I didn’t. I wanted her. And she obviously needed us.

It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but I know that we probably gave her the best week of her life. And I know she went peacefully and painlessly.

The first time we saw her, she was wearing a collar. That was one of the main reasons we didn’t pick her up then; we though someone was caring for her. That obviously wasn’t the case, given the state we found her in. So, I say this: Please, people. Love your pets enough to get them spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Not doing so can cause more heartbreak that you know.



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