Saturday, May 24, 2014

Caturday ~ when is it time to let go?

This is Sammy.  Tomorrow she will celebrate her 19th birthday.  In cat years, that's equivalent to being in her 90s if she were a human person instead of a fur person.  She decided a year or so ago to quit using her litter box.  Maybe the brand changed.  Maybe she was getting a cat version of Alzheimer's and didn't remember what a litter box was for.  Maybe she was protesting something.  I don't know why, but it's been a problem ever since for the humans in her life, mostly with having to clean the carpet.  I have now found a brand of litter she doesn't hate, and she has used the box three times but wets on the four dog pads I placed under and around it.  She's learning, even at her advanced age.  Or maybe she's remembering.  We aren't sure if the reasons are related to her advanced age.  She has arthritis in her spine, and Donna (her owner) says Sammy moans in her sleep.  She may also have hyperthroidism, though the bloodwork has not yet been done to confirm the vet's suspicion.

Sammy's situation is complicated by the fact that there's only a week before we are moving.  Driving by car takes eight hours to get from Chattanooga to St. Louis, but even longer when it's a "convoy" of a moving truck and a car.  Sammy did not do well on the move in the other direction twelve years ago, and Donna doesn't want to put her through it again.  A vet, who has examined her and knows the situation, has agreed to euthanize her this week, before moving day.  I'm finding it very difficult to agree to do this for her ("her" being either Sammy the cat or Donna my friend, who is already in St. Louis take your pick).  Oh, yeah, I forgot to add that Sammy won't let anyone pick her up and fights whenever she is "captured in a towel" to be put in her cat carrier.  She is afraid of people and has never liked being touched.  I can't touch her without being bitten or at least snapped at.  I've never had a cat so fearful of being touched.  That means it would be a real problem getting her into the car, even before an all-day trip to another city.  On the other hand, I hate the idea of euthanizing her just as she has figured out what I want from her.

Would it be bettter to let Sammy go peacefully?  What should I do?  I value your collective wisdom, so tell me, please.....

What would you do?

1 comment:

Emily said...

I say let her go instesd of submitting her to the trauma of the trip. With her arthritis, an 8 hour trip will put tremendous strain on her joints. Even if you could keep her sedated for that long, she will wake up in pain and stiffness. Trying to escape her unfamiliar surroundings could panic her into hurting herself. She will probably need to pee within that 8 hour trip, but fear could keep her from that which could cause a urinary tract infection. I say let the old gal go with as much love as possible and with a mimimum amount of trauma. WHen I was there the other day I observed her walking around and you could tell something was not quite right with her. I bet if you could ask her she would not want to move anywhere. SOme older people would rather die than undergo moving to a better location, I think she
is one.