March 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Last summer, a fluffy orange cat showed up in our flower beds where she made herself comfortable and stayed. I previously wrote about her here.
With much love and understanding on the part of my husband and kids, I set up a shelter complete with heated pad and heated water bowl on our front porch as a home for KeeKee to weather through our winter. Luckily, the winter here in Ohio wasn’t really a very bad one. There were nights that got near zero air temperatures and some where the wind chill dipped it below zero. We did get some snow but not nearly as much as we’ve gotten in winters gone by. Whether or not this was due to global warming, I am happy that we had an easy time of it for my outdoor girl, KeeKee.
We don’t know how old she is, but the veterinarian I took her to puts her as geriatric. She’s got a heart murmur, is missing two teeth, and isn’t the most spry of cats. Not knowing her story or how old she is or what she’s been through before showing up at our house, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of ailments.
I did think that she would spend whatever was left of her twilight years in safety and comfort in a shelter with a nice warm bed.
I wanted her to feel as though she was loved and she mattered to a family. I do not know where she came from or who her family was. It’s obvious she had one at some point because she’s spayed and declawed. Either she escaped from them and got lost or, more likely, she was set free last summer in the country to fend for herself.
She’s done a great job of fending for herself, as well as allowing me to gain her trust and take care of her. Every morning and every night, I put out stinky wet food for her to enjoy. Every morning and night she gives me her silent meow and some head butts to let me know that she appreciates it. She is the most mellow cat I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around. There is nothing aggressive about this little lady. She never hisses or trying to bite either myself or my children.
Her health has taken a turn in the last month, and I believe I’ve diagnosed it. Because of this failing health, I am doing a lot of soul searching about what to do. I do not want her to suffer. I want her to go out enjoying the sunshine patches and relaxing on our porch. I do not want her to hurt or to feel terrible.
She’s blind. It happened quickly, but given the symptoms I noticed at the beginning of the year, it’s not that sudden. The blindness, according to my internet research, is most likely feline hypertension related. That, in turn, is most commonly due to kidney failure or hyperthyroidism. Either of those diseases have treatment options, but they include lots of medicine, blood tests, and visits to the vet. I do not want to subject her to any of those.
I do not know what the progression of this set of symptoms are if left untreated. I do not know if she will just go to sleep one night, not to awake in the morning or if she will suffer. She’s never been inside our home, and now that she’s blind, bringing her indoors with our other indoor cat isn’t an option. She’d never be able to find her way around, and could me at a disadvantage with our other cat.
I owe her peace if that is what she wants. And even though I have known her less than a year, I will miss her. This will be hard.
I am, at my heart, a cat owner. The word owner is insufficient to describe the relationship, though. I love cats. They seem to return the feelings. It has meant the world to me to be able to help this regal lady in her final years or months. Letting her go will be very very hard.