My cats are sick…
by Lea Schorr
(Clearlake CA USA)
Dear cat-people, the Title line pretty much says it all: My cats are sick.
My much-loved brother-and-sister cats, rescued 3 years ago and hand fed because their mother was trapped and handed over to S P C A, which my mind can’t help but interpret as “that place that is mis-named here in Lake County CA because there is no prevention at S P C A of cruelty to animals” when they were much too young to lose their birthmom, were also trapped two weeks before Christmas apparently because someone decided they should not be allowed to run & play outdoors.
That’s all I can think about; their being trapped. I don’t want to think that the people who trapped them are cat-haters…what’s to hate about a beautiful pair of silky-sleek black cats? I made many calls to Animal Control, to every small animal veterinary in the county, and to the S P C A. All places called denied any knowledge of the cats but there just was something in the voice of the phone person at Animal Control that made me feel I was not being told the truth.
A dear friend drove with me to A C just to check and see if my feeling that I’d been lied to was right. The conditions of the Adopt Us! cat rooms were not to be believed. Every age of cat, from tiny babies to elders, could be seen in those cages. There were no dishes for food nor water, no sandboxes, just slick-finished newspaper the A C employees said would absorb any urine…which it did not.
Several seriously (and obviously) sick cats were caged next to not-sick-yet cats. I was stunned at the smell of the place, the fact there were sick cats not in quarantine, the seeming uncaring attitude of the people who worked there.
I found my cats! They were hunched and miserable in dirty cages, employees said they were (quote) “feral…” How, please, could “feral” cats have on collars bearing jingle bells?? A C would not let me have my cats at first. I was asked if I had (quoting again) “proof they were mine.” I couldn’t believe it. What did these people want? Birth certificates?
I had to pay $112 to get the cats released to me. After two days at home it was obvious they’d gotten badly ill at the A C. They wouldn’t eat. Wouldn’t drink water nor the chicken broth I made for them. My girl Strega was drooling a waterfall, well, nearly, from her mouth. Brother Magic was wheezing, gasping for air, hacking. So off to the vet we went.
I explained to the vet office people I didn’t have a lot of money for cat exams or treatment but was overjoyed when one lady there said there was (Still more quoting) “a Foundation that gives support to cat people over 50 years of age.” At 61, I certainly qualify. The vet was less than helpful. He didn’t order blood tests to see what was wrong. What he did do was claim that a scratch above Strega’s eyebrow was infected and handed me a bottle of Amoxycillin. He said “If they’re not better in a couple days, come back.”
So yesterday we went back. The lady who had said that The Foundation would give support was not on site. No one would phone her to ask whether what I said she had said was true.
This time a different vet wanted to run over $800 worth of tests and it was demanded I pay half that immediately. I made the big mistake of telling the truth: I didn’t have $400. The list of tests was cut, lowering the prospective bill to $600…I’d still have to come up with half. I couldn’t do it. “Don’t you know anyone who can loan you the money?” asked one employee. “No, I’m sorry, everyone I know is in the same bad shape regarding money as I am.”
The test list was cut again. Vet now has my check for $120 which is apparently half of the total charged in hand to be cashed on February 2, 2009 when my State Disability check (I have Multiple Sclerosis) comes in. I’m also supposed to pay another $120 on that day.
But: my cats are sick. They are so sick they don’t even “argue” when I give them the pills from the vet. They can’t or won’t eat nor drink. I’m worried sick myself that they’ll die and I’ll have no reason to get up in the mornings. Brother Magic is sneezing and hacking. Sister Strega is the same. I’m so sorry this is happening to them; they are my dear friends and I don’t know what I’d do without them. I also don’t know why it seems that the vet and employees seem to think a poor person should not have a sweet pet. Because a person is not rich, that person shouldn’t be allowed to have unconditional love from four-footed beauties?
Dear fellow pet-people, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading the story of “the babies” and myself. I can’t help crying as I write; to have to think about these dear pets not being with me because I’m ill myself and not rich is heart-breaking.
I want to thank all who read these words. My babies are still very sick but somehow it helps a little to be able to share the heart-hurt…and oddly enough it makes me feel they might actually get well. I’m praying hard for that.
Cat purrs and blessings to you all! I’m sorry I have no way to post their pictures; anyone seeing them would surely love them as I do.
Great Post, Lea. If you want to take part in the “competition” for best submission please leave a note as to how you’d like to receive the money.