On Saturday, I took a kitty that was very ill to the Moreno Pet Hospital here in San Diego. The cat was 10 years old and belonged to one of my dog-walking clients. About 10 days before I took him in, he had started to show some unusual behavior. He wasn't eating much and was doing a lot of hiding in the closet, which he normally never does. As he began losing some of his mobility, my clients took him in to their regular veterinarian in City Heights. She was told it was a neurological problem and that they would need to do more diagnostic tests to figure out what was wrong. Makes perfect sense but the cost of the tests were far too much for my client to pay. (My client is on social welfare and I do her dog walks pro bono.) She felt her only alternative was to put him down.
I suggested that I take the kitty to another veterinary clinic for a second opinion. Morena Veterinary Hospital was able to fit us in on Saturday. I took the very ill kitty, who was now almost completely unable to move or control his back limbs, in to see the them. They did an exam and said they needed to do some more diagnostics. The basic tests were less costly than the other clinic and I told them to proceed. I was hoping they would find something we could cure or certainly manage that would give the kitty back his quality of life.
Unfortunately, while they were waiting for the test results, the kitty went into respiratory distress and had to be put on oxygen. The veterinarian, Dr. Crystal Steib, who was absolutely wonderful, came to talk to me and suggested that whatever was going on with him was obviously quite severe, and that he was suffering. Knowing the financial situation of my client, she suggested euthanasia. I called my client and told her the sad news. She told them to go ahead. She didn't want her sweet cat to suffer. I asked to please be present with the kitty during the procedure as his mom wasn't able to be there with him. The staff were great. They presented me with the bill and showed me they had taken off the cost of the tests and were only charging me for the exam and the euthanization. They were sensitive enough to let me pay before the procedure as they knew I would want to leave right after.
They wheeled him into the exam room where I was waiting.I held his little paw and weeped at his passing. I told him how much he was loved and would be missed. When it was all over, they closed his eyes and wrapped him gently so I could take him home to his mom and his brothers and sisters so they could say their goodbyes.
I didn;t know this kitty very well. I only saw him occasionally when I went to walk the dog, but I realized the sadness I felt at his loss was very personal and very deep. You see, it doesn't matter who the animal lives with or belongs to, when one of them dies it hurts us all.
May your soul rest in peace little fellow.