patent123
A year ago in June I lost my first cat.  When I got him he was already old, on the verge of death, and in need of lots of medical attention.  I met him after he was dropped off at the stray animal shelter I worked for.  He came in emaciated, reeking, and as loving as any cat could be.  He would howl any time he saw me which drew me in.  When I would open his door he would leap into my arms and stand on my shoulder kneading away. It was in those first simple moments I grew attached.  

I remember now that I would leave notes on his kennel. "ONLY FEED SOFT FOOD!!!" His teeth were horribly decayed and he was in pain.  He couldn't eat because of this and it was only making him sicker.  On his last day of intake hold it was decided he would be euthanized.  People don't often adopt senior pets... not to mention ones in as bad of shape as him.  I remember sneaking into the shelter after hours and leaving a note on his cage.  "Don't kill me I'm getting adopted" with my name on it.  I took my boy home that next day, our on call vet agreed to perform all his vet work for a flat rate of $100, and from there on he was mine.  (Its thanks to a great vet I was able to do this and have this experience)

Our friendship grew and I loved my cat more with each day.  I said from the start if I get 2 years with him I'll be happy.  At the time the vet estimated him to be 17ish years old or in that area.  As his vet work was completed, his teeth pulled, his weight regained, and his strength recharged he started to become a new cat again.  After a year of working on him the vet congratulated me on all the hard work. My estimated 17 year old cat was now estimated still as a senior but as a much lower age maybe 10-13.  I took it and prayed for another year together before it was his time.  

I ended up with almost 10 years with this cat.  In that 10 years he loved sleeping wrapped in my arms under the covers.  He loved being carried by me wrapped in blankets, he loved sitting on my lap for car rides.  But most of all he turned out to be an amazing companion and learning experience.  In his final months his hind legs slowly started to deteriorate.  His mobility was less and less and he retreated to quiet solitude more and more.  His eye sight was then destroyed by burst blood vessels in both eyes.  It was after that that I found him collapsed in his water bowl howling for me. He was in failure and ready to leave.  We had spent the past months spending hundreds of dollars and countless visits at the vets.  Everything was done to help him which eased this next phase...knowing we did everything. That night I took my boy in and said a final good bye as we watched him pass. 

The lesson to this story... baby kittens or puppies are adorable and can offer years of an amazing friendship. Taking home a senior pet brings a different kind of trust, loyalty, and companionship that many don't take the time to experience.  Had I only gotten a month with my boy I would do it all over again.  I was lucky to have almost 10 years.  Today I look back and remember the bond we shared.  I'm no longer sad about his deteriorating health and ultimate death... instead I find myself missing the friendship he offered...Knowing it was one of a kind.
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Jan_H
What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing and thank you for giving an older cat with medical needs a wonderful and long life.

Jan
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jerigraehl
You did something truely wonderful.  I saved a kitten from being put down due to his having scratche a worker at the pound. I almost lost my job being late because I was not leaving without him. They put him in quarantine for 10 days in my house! I had him 13 years until he got a fibrosarcoma from a vet where I had taken him to check him over and de flea him after he had gotten out of the house for 3 days. I refused it at first since I had once read that that could happen. The vet kept telling me a bat could have bitten him in the 3 days he was out. It literally broke my heart. There is no survival for it. I am so glad I did that. I am sure someday you will see your kitty again and that he knows what you did for him.
jerigraehl
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