Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Cats Last Stand

I've come to question my own motives. My cat, 19 years old, is on her last legs. The poor thing is finally going out in a fizzle. She's not eating. She's wobbly on her feet. She has no energy. She even stinks now. The flies are circling.

So I took her to the vet today (they were great! Fitted me in despite not having any slots free. I'm assuming that the vet sacrificed her lunch in order to see me and they even deferred payment given that I couldn't find an eftpos card to be able to pay them).

I really want her to survive until at least Christmas day. My mother gets back on Christmas day and the cat has been a part of our lives for a long time. As an indication, she's been around for about 2/3's of my life.

It's not that I'm not prepared for this. We all knew that at some point the decision would have to be made. This reminds me of that line from Fight Club - "on a long enough time line, the survival rate of anyone drops to zero".

So I had told the vet what I was hoping for - that mum would be able to say goodbye to the cat.

Now I'm wondering - am I being horribly selfish? Given that I had told the vet what I was hoping for, she'd not even offered putting her down. Instead, she gave the cat a tablet which would hopefully stimulate her appetite.

It hasn't worked. I've been given instructions for how to hand feed her. But then, the cat never liked it when you forced things down her throat (who does?). Is this fair for the end of her life? And is my motivation for making her last a few more days more about me not wanting to make the decision myself rather than consideration for my mother? And given that it's the cat's life, should my consideration not instead be about the cat?

Regardless of what happens now - whether I hand feed her or have her put down (assuming I can make an appointment with the vet), this is goodbye. I'd like to think Bixie had a good life. Never wanting for anything, living a respectable 19 years, a friendly scratch behind the ears when ever she so wished. She'd trained me quite well.

Well I guess this is it. Goodbye to Bixie.


  1. awwww. making decisions for a pet thats been a part of your life for so long is not easy. so long as shes in no pain.

    oddly enough i looked at my cat the other day thinking the same thing. Ive had her for as long as ive been back in new zealand nearly 5 years ago now, and she didnt come to us a young kitten.

    You will miss her when shes no longer there.

  2. Well yeah - but 19 years is a damn good innings for a cat. In the end she fell asleep. Who could ask for better really?

    Still a little weird thinking that she's been around since I was 12. That's a hell of a lot of awkward haircuts and discoveries, awkward teens and twenties etc.

    She was a cat but still, a hell of a constant.