Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Senior Moment

My "little girl" is here visiting from Southern California for a few days. She's 25 years old and I miss her terribly when she leaves. I thought I'd take advantage of the fact that it's only 8 a.m. Pacific time, and she's still asleep to write a few thoughts this morning...

Sadly, one of my recent rescues passed away yesterday afternoon. His name was "Boots" at the shelter, but the foster parents renamed him "Gizmo". Gizmo had what appeared to be a simple upper respiratory infection. After he went to the vet, the vet discovered that he had a broken back and broken ribs, plus a number of other problems that would mean Gizmo would never recover. We had him humanely euthanized yesterday.

Bless his heart - He was in good company at The Rainbow Bridge.

There are two seniors at the shelter right now. Thank God it's winter and the staff can hold them from euthanasia a little while longer with hope of rescue. If this had been summer, they would have been dead in the 3 days. These two did NOT come in together, so they don't have to be rescued together.
"Irma" is a sweet little thing. She's very petite! I love her little flat face. She's a delicate little flower and shouldn't be in this eff'ing shelter. She should be enjoying her retirement years on somebody's lap.

Meyer is a major favourie of mine. He was brought in as a stray, which could possibly be the truth. He looked like he had been outdoors. The staff at the shelter estimated him to be about TWENTY YEARS OLD! He had been neutered and declawed. He's a skinny, boney guy with very sweet temprement. He's eating, pooping and otherwise seems ok for a 20 year old cat.

I adopted a 20 year old cat once. I had him for 6 months before he passed away in my arms at the vet. He truly brought wisdom to the house. The other cats respected him and nobody so much as hissed or looked at him sideways.

Having this cat was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

Only in the slow months of winter at the shelter do I really have the time to help these poor senior cats. It's sad when kittens are at the shelter, but it's even sadder when these old timers are there because they know.

Folks feel sorry for these guys, but they don't want to take them home because they're worried about vet bills. True enough. My philosophy on taking home a senior cat: "Love them for whatever time they have left. When they start to fail...let them go. It's more than they ever would've had if you hadn't come along."

Isn't that the way it should be?


Concerned Kitty said...

I find it heartbreaking every time I see the old ones on Kim's site or any site for that matter, because I know they have little, or I will say no chance of being rescued or adopted for fear of exactly what you mentioned in your blog (vet bills).

I myself prefer to adopt the older ones and I know my face will be the last thing they see before they end their journey here to go on to the Rainbow bridge.

How did these elderly sweethearts ever end up in that place and why is a 20 year old declawed kitty found braving the elements outside in his golden time? I have to say that we as a race are becoming more cruel and irresponsible as time goes on and if it wasn't for angels like you Beth, there would be no hope for the rest of us who love animals.

I really hope and pray that the new year brings some kind of enlightment to those who have the priviledge of pet ownership, to let them realize that it is exactly that, a PRIVILEDGE.

Concerned Kitty

Ecochica said...

OMG poor little Gizmo what a terrible thing for him to have had. A broken back and ribs and no one knew! I guess he was hiding it from everyone so that he could be rescued with any chance he had. God Bless the foster family who did show the little man what it was like to be in a warm loving family!

Shannon said...

Senior kitties are heartbreaking but my hesitation isn't the vet bills related to being owned by a senior. Every cat, God willing, will eventually become a senior and have the related vet bills.

For me, adopting a senior means less time to spend with him or her before he or she passes.

Loving animals is a difficult thing. We all accept that we will probably outlive our pets but I'm selfish. I want as much time as I can get with my furkids before they take that final journey.

Laura HP said...

I'm always partial to the older cats...if I could have a cat, I'd definitely adopt a senior one. They can be so loving, and wise is exactly the right word. People overlook even 7 year old cats, wanting more time...but they don't realize the time they'll get will be soo worth it!

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the vet that euthanizes can't also do a few exams to keep the hurt ones from suffering.

Smartypants said...

That photo of Meyer is adorable and totally makes him look like a muppet, specifically Sprocket:

The seniors in the shelter always tug at my heartstrings too. I hope they find a way out.

whitesocks said...

Love your philosophy on the senior ones: that's exactly how I feel, and you articulated it beautifully.