Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goodbye Bozo

It's raining in the desert tonight. And when I got home, Creamsicle, the cat who looks most like Bozo, was waiting for me, up on the 2nd floor.

Bozo (Waffles) was a very good boy. He came out of the carrier, gentle but curious. He even went into the sink, much like Beatrice did on Monday night. Eventually he let me just pet him. He behaved very well for the vet tech, letting her take his temperature (fever of 104), get his weight (10pounds-- he should have been twice that, really), and such. The tech offered him some treats, which he quickly and hungrily went for, but couldn't seem to eat. She brought him some a/d wet food, though, and that he gobbled down. Then he just let me pet him, sweet boy.

The vet, the same one I saw on Monday, looked him over. Bozo's skin was yellowish, a sign that his liver was failing. Most pressingly, he wouldn't let the vet look in his mouth-- the only time he growled or swatted. The vet tech returned and burritoed Bozo so the vet could look at him. The vet also made me look. Most of the inside of his mouth was black, and what wasn't, was an angry red. Clearly an infection was raging through his mouth, making it impossible for him to eat. He was also very dehydrated, on top of everything else.

The vet took him away to give him sub-q fluids, with the plan that we would treat the mouth infection with antibiotics and pain killers; essentially we'd treat the symptoms and hope for the best. The liver problem could have been because Bozo hadn't eaten in so long.

But then the vet came back to ask if I wanted him tested for FeLV and FIV. I sort of didn't because I knew that if he were positive for either the vet would suggest putting him down. But knowing, by the same token, would give us a better idea about the liver and a prognosis for beating the infection in Bozo's mouth. So I said yes.

I then called my parents. My mom is Bozo's sponsor, and besides, I needed the support. The vet came back after a while to tell me that Bozo was positive for both FIV and FeLV and so his prognosis was very poor. I asked if that meant (to be specific) that he was suggestion... and I trailed off, unable to finish. The vet finished for me, and we agreed, through my tears, that the best thing for the poor baby, was to put him to sleep.

Eventually they brought Bozo back to me, wrapped in a towel. They'd already put a tube in his front leg. They let me stay with him for a long while, just petting him and telling him that he was loved and that I'd remember him. Then the vet returned, explained what would happen in far more detail than I needed, and gave him the shot. After a few seconds, Bozo put his head down and it was over.

There were many tears and a few comforting phone calls in the middle, as well as a call to the neighbor-lady to tell her what was going on, but now I am home and the skies are rumbling thunder, and I need to go hug my cats.

12 comments:

Eve said...

I'm so sorry that you had to make that decision tonight.

Project Cat said...

@Eve: It's really the first time I've ever had to make that decision, and even while knowing that it was probably the right one, there's still that nagging voice asking, 'But are you sure there's nothing more we can do??'

Mainly, though, I want to repeatedly kick the people who put him out on the street to start with. Why are people such scum?

the volunteer said...

bless you so much for not letting him suffer any more, what a courageous person you are, and what a brave and wonderful cat

Project Cat said...

@The Volunteer: When we started this project, you told me about people who had good hearts but were too soft-hearted to do cat rescue and TNR. I don't know that I believed you that first night, but since then, so many times, I've lamented how emotionally difficult it is to help the cats.

Tonight I can only be comforted by the knowledge that Bozo/Waffles had people who cared for him around him last night and today, and he had someone with him to the end, and he had a good meal and gentle words.

WorldTravelings said...

Believe me when I tell you that you absolutely made the right decision. I know what you mean about the nagging voice tho. If you really think about it, Bozo was asking for help. He went to the neighbor and he was calm even at the vet. You gave him a precious gift, that of no longer suffering....

arkstangent said...

I'm terribly sorry, Mouse.
I've had to make that decision myself, and I would have never wished it upon you.
You are a truly wonderful soul, and it everyone who's comment is above is right.

Eve said...

What Worldtraveling said is so true. This past year I've had to let my 2 very elderly girls go, and I had that little nagging voice. I think we all worry that we could have done more, even when we very clearly can't (and the vet even tells us as much). What you did for Bozo shows such great compassion and caring. If it ever gets easy to make that decision, then it's time to worry.

I have no idea why people are such scum, and I just hope karma catches up with them sooner rather than later.

I just hope you can stay home tonight and not make another trip to the vet. Watch a funny movie and snuggle up with your kitties. You deserve a quiet night having some fun.

Mousecanknit said...

I'm so sorry, sweetie. It's a horrible decision to have to make and even worse because you really did the very best you could. But I'm glad you were willing and able to let him go -- he's fortunate to have had someone like you take care of him, even for such a short time.

Abigail said...

He was a handsome boy. A lot of character in his face.

I'm glad he had your care and concern for the last of his days. You did good by him.

Thank you. I know it's hard, but things worth doing usually are.

dtigersm said...

Hey, sorry to hear about Bozo, it is tough. We've been through it more times than I care to remember, only it was dogs. It never gets easy but it does get better. Talking helps and so do pictures. I spent much time looking a pictures and remembering my puppies......
You're doing a great job. I somehow see someone else in this household following in your footsteps. Technically she's already started with her two rescued kittys.(three actually, but we lost the one when she was very young. She (the kitten)probably would not have made it as long as she did if we hadn't rescued her).
God Bless you. Take Care.

Kim said...

So sad. So sorry, honey.

cassandralone said...

oh hon. I'm so sorry.. many virtual hugs. I had to go through that with Jeremy [my first baby cat]. It is so hard, but it is also right. He was loved and cared for in the end and that's what's most important.