Andy Purr Shark

5 Nov

This is a long overdue post.  For you sensitive-sauruses it regards death and euthanasia, so if you can’t take that sort of thing–stop reading.

You know when an event is fresh in your mind, and you want to write all about it and how it made you feel–but you’re super busy?  So you make a note to do it later.  But then, when you have the time, it seems like the event is no longer as relevant   Like you missed a certain window, so maybe you shouldn’t write about it at all?  That happens to me frequently.  Which is also the reason I haven’t posted the murder or moving blogs I started a while back.  Then, the longer you hold on to those posts–the farther back and back the actual event is.  Until it’s a distant memory and not pertinent at ALL.  But I’m posting this one (and probably those other 2 as well) because Andy deserves to be recognized.

Andy was a good buddy.  And my work took him in because his original owner moved to a place where she couldn’t have pets.  So she had a mind to euthanize the buddy.  And his kidneys were bad.  But he was spared and lived another year or more in the clinic.

At the end, it was hard to tell if it was time to euthanize.  And I didn’t want to do it for our own convenience   That is no reason to end a life.  So I was trying to be very mindful about how Andy was doing, not what our work schedule dictated.  But you know when you look at something every day, how you might get too close and not SEE the details anymore?  Maybe that happened to me.  Andy seemed much the same between Wednesday and Friday.  I didn’t think we should do it Friday, because it didn’t really seem like he was suffering.  Then Saturday was the same story.  He didn’t seem much different to me.

And suddenly, Andy’s former owner started visiting a lot.  And requesting we call her so she could be present when we euthanized him.  Which I had/have mixed feelings about.  I consider moving to a place where you can’t have pets irresponsible.  I have ALWAYS had pets when I’m trying to move.  And it’s a serious pain, and hugely limits my rental possibilities, and ramps up the costs, but you do it.  You call around and that’s your first question–Do you accept cats?  How many?  What’s the rent/pet-rent/deposit?  Because of pets I have always payed more and lived in crummier places–but that’s the way it is.  You don’t just move and THEN find out they’re not allowed and go euthanize them or take them to the shelter.  You think of your pets FIRST if you have them.  So that kind of thing is NOT cool with me.  But there is no such thing as TOO much love, and you could tell Andy remembered her, and when I say I’ll do something I’m true to my words. . .

Cool and I went in to check him and give him SQ fluids on Sunday before we went to Green Bluff’s Apple Festival.  I didn’t want to euthanize Andy JUST because it fit better into our schedule and no one would be there Sunday, so we fit it into our plans.  He looked much the same, was in the same sun-spot, and gave us a big purr, but wouldn’t stand up to eat.  But it didn’t seem like he was suffering and warranted any phone call to bring a vet in.  But my boss just happened to breeze in.  She was on her way to euthanize a dog of a friend.  And she was sort of hurried and rushed.

She said–What are we keeping him alive for?!  Let’s get it done.  Which I hated.  No one likes insensitivity, and she was just trying to maximize her time.  But she had a point–Andy wasn’t going to get any better.  He had already slowed down, and we knew his time was fast approaching.  And I wondered–did I spare him on Friday or Saturday for him?  Or because I wasn’t ready?  And I don’t believe in making a creature suffer for my own selfish reasons, so I really had to take stock.  When I looked at Andy, he looked up and sort of urped.  Through his anti-nausea injection.  Then I wondered if he’d just been sitting there since Friday nauseous.  Which is one of the WORST feelings ever.  So I said OK, but we have to call his former owner b/c she wants to be present.

And my boss didn’t want to do it in front of her–she was rushed and wanting to move on and euthanize this dog, and I could tell she didn’t have any respect for an owner that was so irresponsible.  But I persisted that the owner had written her phone number on a paper and asked me to call her if it was going to be done during our off-hours.  And my boss–was just like too bad.  So what could I do?  I thought it was a little unethical–but then again this owner no longer had any say over the cat.  But it was a precarious situation none-the-less.

And Cool was still there with me.  My mind was on Andy.  I wanted him to have love during his last moments.  I wasn’t thinking about anything except him.  So as Cool stood by, my boss unceremoniously injected the Beauthanasia and Andy died.  Then he did the ugly agonal breaths that no one likes to see.  And my boss just went about her business  gathering supplies for her next euthanasia.  None of her characteristic sensitivity or familiar explanations about the process.  Then, I remembered Cool standing there.  She looked disturbed.  So we put Andy’s body in the freezer and hastily left.

It was Cool’s first euthanasia.  And no sensitivity at all.  She was upset by the disrespect for life.  She was near tears and picturing Andy’s ugly post-death breaths.  It was not a good experience.  Which makes it difficult to explain why I’m OK with helping put animals down in my line of work.  Or trying to explain that was unusual and the doctors are mostly always sensitive and compassionate–it was just an off day for a clinic cat. . .  It put a damper on our fun plans–the day really.

So when it’s time to euthanize Sloppy-Joe, I’m going to have a hard time convincing Cool to do it.  Because of her Andy experience she is inclined to let Sloppy die on her own accord at home.  Which I think is worse.  It’s a lot more suffering then gently helping them out. . .

But anyway, I miss (and Beezer-kitty) misses Andy.  He was a good purr-shark and loved by all.  But we know he’s in a better place now.  And it WAS awkward when I saw his former owner next.  Someone had indicated to her that I had called in the vets to euthanize him (not the case, as I hadn’t been convinced myself).  Making it all the more evident that I didn’t call her to be present.  But I figured what was done was done, and bringing up the truth did not really matter at that point.  I just went with it and told her I missed Andy–which I do.

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