Oy Frank. Mine son. You have been through the ringer; but you still come up purring.
On April 27, I took you to the clinic for euthanasia. You are fifteen years old. You have a Grade III heart murmur, a BUN off the charts indicating your kidneys are on the way out, and you have to breathe extra hard. I initially took you in to Earl’s old clinic because you used to be eighteen pounds, and now you looked like normal weight. You looked horrible.
Yet, when I took you out of the carrier, you looked like the healthiest cat on the planet. Dr. Gaffney looked at me like I was nuts! I could hear her thinking: “Why are you here to put this happy cat to sleep?” So was I! He came out of the carrier to purr at and bump all the staff, eating snacks, leaving me scratching my head in puzzlement. She did hear the Grade III murmur where the other vet had called it a Grade II.
We decided then to take a chest film. With a Grade III mitral murmur and dyspnea (difficult breathing), surely we would find something. That film was of the healthiest looking heart and lungs I ever saw. Dr. Gaffney laughed when I told you, “Well, Frank, I guess you aren’t going to die today.” We went home and you ate some kitty fud.
Fast forward to July. We-you three elderly cats and the puppy with their mother were watching TV in the loft upstairs. I had put an empty bowl of ice cream on the flat top of the loft banister to remember to take it downstairs. You do have a bad habit of checking out my feeding dishes, er, bowls. My eye just glanced over to the flat top just in time to see your paws on the top and nothing else. The paws went off, and in a microsecond, I heard a body hit the stairs. I screamed and ran down to find a dead cat. But there you were, alive and crouched on the floor and still. I touched you, and you cried. OMG!
I called the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and told the woman on the phone I was coming in pronto, and would stay with my cat.
After all the struggles over the years I’ve had with you, Franklin, about getting into a carrier, you walked right in.
I broke all speed records to get you to the hospital.
CSU now has a Patient Liaison. She is wonderful with crazy people, when the resident introduced herself to me as did the new senior student. They only took you away from me to do an exam. You were fine, but I wanted to see a film of your chest and spine. Totally normal.
I took all the paperwork home with you, now in the pouring rain. Thanks for the hundreds of dollars I spent. All the stuff on the balcony is off, but I can’t keep you off. Has this happened before? How would I know?
Still good ‘ol Charlie Brown, er, Franklin. Charlie Brown was my very first cat. Now, you sleep next to my head, purring and cuddling all the time. You are an old cat, so is your brother, and so is Matthew, who is seventeen.
I remember when I told Dr. Kainer, my anatomy professor, that I decided to go into feline practice. His comment? “That’s good. It’s hard to kill a cat.”