Ginger is grieving herself to death
I adopted your grieving cat last week. You said you couldn't care for her any longer because of your health. Your cat would have been better off with you than she is with me. Even if a neighbor or friend had to come in and put down food. Any arrangement where you could have seen her on occasion and let her know you still loved her.
Instead, you took her to the animal shelter. You'd already confused her once by having her declawed. You put her in agony and she didn't know what she did wrong to deserve having part of her toes cut off. You left her at your vet overnight when you did this. The next day you came back and took her home.
This is what your cat thought you were doing when you took her to the shelter last week. Did you know she'd end up on the euthanasia list? She's ten years old and she bites. Neither makes her desirable to those looking for a cat to love.
Your cat watched you say goodbye to her for the last time, believing you'd be back for her in a day or two like before. She sat in a small cage in a room full of other cats and patiently waited for you. In the other room, dogs were continuously barking. Your cat wasn't used to that. It upset her. Add the noise to the abandonment and the strange surroundings and picture yourself in her place.
"What did I do wrong?" she asks herself. Along with other questions such as "will there be pain" and " when can I go home." She doesn't understand this is forever. You'll never see each other again.
I adopted your grieving cat. She's the first cat in over a year who's come into my home without an essence. Her name at the shelter was Saber. I'm going to call her Ginger because she's a beautiful long haired ginger tabby. Now all I have to do is to find where Ginger has hidden her soul and convince her that life is worth living without you.
I'm not used to cats with no essence. They frighten me more than the angry cats, injured cats and unwanted cats. To look in Ginger's eyes and see nothing and feel no emotion coming from her is strange for me. I'm not sure if I can reverse what your abandonment has done to her.
She does appear to like me. Meaning she hasn't bitten me yet. She even sleeps on my bed now. Not in a comfortable position, mind you. She crouches down, head bowed, eyes lifeless. She does like having her ears rubbed.
Ginger won't eat and she's skin and bones. I can't feel a muscle anywhere. I CAN feel every bone along her spine. She sat in the shelter for a week waiting on your return before I showed up to save her. She's now being syringe fed. We're wetting down canned food and mixing it with kitten replacement milk. Anything to get some nourishment into her. She also had a vitamin B injection last night to stimulate her appetite. It didn't work. The vet has always told me a vitamin B injection makes a cat feel better. Too bad it won't heal a broken heart.
She's also going to be given a subQ(subcutaneous fluids) drip over the next several days. This mean I'll have to stick a needle under her skin and administer fluids twice a day just to keep her alive. I don't like needles. I've been known to pass out at the sight of one. Yet I'm doing this to save the cat you no longer wanted. I have to do this or she'll die. She'll sit on a cat tree while my daughter controls the flow of the life saving fluid. We have a nail in the wall behind the cat tree for just that purpose. The fluid bags hangs at a good angle from there.
I'll probably have to move the needle two or three times as the fluid lump forms under the skin on her starving body. She's not going to enjoy this. That's okay. I'm not going to enjoy it either. I'll hold her by the neck with my left hand and pet her while holding the needle in place with my right hand. She may bite me. I'll have to take that risk as there are no choices left except euthanasia or waiting for Ginger to grieve herself to death.
Would it really have been so hard for you to put down a bowl of food and water each day? Did you turn her in due to your bad health or hers? Or did she end up in the shelter on death row because you didn't want an old, skinny cat? I understand things happen in life. If you'd known Ginger would be at risk of DYING, would you still have taken her to the shelter?
Never mind....anytime a cat is turned into a shelter, the risk of death is there. Whether by euthanasia or grief, dead is dead. Should my health deteriorate to the point I can't care for my cat, I'd try desperately to find a friend, a family member, a church member to care for my cat. Did you even ask anyone for help?
I'm in a race here because of what you felt you had to do. I have to somehow convince Ginger that she's loved and wanted. All the while hoping we can nourish her body enough to where she'll want to eat on her own. Right now all I can see in her eyes is death. She doesn't want to live without you. I only hope we can save her. She'll have a permanent home with us if we can. I don't ever want her to go through this again.
I just wanted to let you know, I adopted your grieving cat.
This article is different than any I've ever written. Ginger is in very bad shape. She reminds me of Misty at the time of her rescue last year. Ginger is heartbroken, won't eat, won't stretch out to sleep. Her owner supposedly turned her into the shelter for health reasons. It would have been better to have found a family member to care for Ginger.
I think of all the cats turned into the shelter by their owners. They sit there and wait for the one they love to come back and take them home. For many, no rescue is ever coming. I wonder how many cats are euthanized with their last thought being "where is the one I love and why am I here?"