Tuesday, December 16, 2008

7 Seconds


Ever feel like you are living in an active pinball machine? Yikes! One day up..scoring high..pinging all around and the next day or moment even... gutter ball right through the middle,

I think this transitional time with mom has caused me to feel this way and because it is now mixed in with the wonderful Christmas season and having lost other people I love that there are highs and lows. And I know...that is life and I have been fortunate that life has been good with only a few skirmishes here and there. I do know to be grateful and appreciative of all that is good. Then again..sometimes...some things just suck! I am sorry and don't mean to be rude.

Yesterday was one of those days until I rallied back.

We had to have the cat killed.

Okay...yes...I am being dramatic... but that is what it felt like and I am not sure it is not a death sentence... or tortuous for her at best and perhaps an injection where she is sleeping in 7 seconds would be a mercy killing for her and she will be out of her misery. I honestly don't know.

Some of you may remember that I was concerned with what to do with my mothers cats. I didn't think we could take one because of our German shepherd and cat. i was wrong. It turns out my mother's cat rules them. Too funny! And go figure. I will post about him another time.

Then my neighbor agreed to take her but after 2 weeks...she called me Sunday to say...it wasn't working out with her. She is profoundly timid and hides...ALL the time. So she would find a place and stay in it all day. Like behind the freezer in her basement, in a closet, under the sofa, And they were okay with that until the cat peed in her husband's closet when she knew where the box was. She only came out for my mother and the last month for my son when he was in the apartment.

So yesterday... my husband and I surrendered her to the local pound. She is beautiful, spayed and 8 years old. But she has this fear of people and so even if she isn't put to sleep... I am sure she is stressed beyond her limits.

My husband carried her in in the carrier and I walked behind him...reluctant to go in, but thought i should. And so tears streaming down my face... I went inside.

No one was out front but the dogs were barking and the cats were crying and our cat was cowering in the back of the carrier. Then this Bubbly lady came out with a big smile and I cried even more.

She was sympathetic and reassuring but it didn't help at all. But my husband knew her from his childhood. She was the younger sister of one of his friends and I had met her a couple of times. So they hit it off immediately and I was glad for my husband because I know he felt badly about the cat too.

A woman with 2 kids and came in holding an orange cat and kitten. The tears just kept falling and I really didn't care about anything but the fact that I was giving up on this cat, was worried about her and felt like I was betraying my mother who thinks (when she remembers) that my friend has her.

So the shelter lady asked me to keep filling out the form and told my husband to bring the cat back. I finished the form real quick and went right back there.

My heart broke even more ...because I saw all these cats, mostly adult... in cages... meowing loudly. And... even more disturbing... yet simultaneously sweet... most of these cats were poling their paws through the cages to get our attention and when I moved closer they were trying to touch me.

I cried even more.

The woman said..."Look at that big old orange Tom (he was HUGE). We just keep him. We don't have them all put down." But the man I had spoken too said "I'm not gonna lie to you. If they don't get adopted out, they do get put down." I just smiled faintly at her. I know she was trying to help me feel better.

One young cat who's fur looked like the silver lining of a cloud...so beautiful was putting it's paws through his cage and doing flips up against the cage for me.

These poor kitties were STARVED for attention and DESPERATE for rescue! I went up to each of the cages and met all their paws with my fingers and let them try to nuzzle their noses on them.

The woman and my husband were being most patient with me and I was still crying through all of this. But then I had to take Dolly out of the carrier and I scooped her up, held her close and then sobbed. I could feel her little heart pounding and she nestled in close to me. I think if she could of vanished through osmosis into my body she surely would have.

I told her if I were a teacher... I would bring the class on a field trip there. She said some schools do and that the one of the high schools has a mandatory 20 hours of community service that the seniors have to put in at the shelter. What a terrific idea!

I just could not let Dolly go. I saw the look on my husband's face and knew he wanted me... but I could not.

So, holding her close and still crying...I walked around to all the cats again and laughed and cried. laughed at their antics. Cried at their plight.

In retrospect...walking to these cats with Dolly in my arms must've been even more distressing to her.

And then I put her in her cage.... a bottom cage on the end of the far left and J shut the door.

I cried even more and said some things to Dolly. Then I realized... all any of them had to sleep on was a thin layer of newspaper over the steel cage. So I asked the woman if we could leave this soft blanket for her to sleep on.

She said no, but that she had a blanket over there she could use. I didn't believe her and so I offered again but she said she would put one in there. I still didn't believe her and maybe they feel it isn't sanitary, etc. I let it go.

Still crying... I turned to say good bye to Dolly. My husband already went out the front door. I stopped at the door into the cat area, grabbed it, leaned on it and just cried as I stared only ay her. I just couldn't leave... but I did.

I thanked the woman and cried all the way to the minivan. I cried almost all the way home.

My husband tried to help me feel better by saying well maybe because she knows us, she will look out for Dolly. I would like to believe that... but I just don't.

As soon as we got home...I just fell on to our bed and cried until I fell asleep.

I got it out of my system... although I will never forget her little face looking back at me from her cage. :(

She had a good life with my mother who gave her wonderful and loving care.

I have to tell myself... 7 seconds ... 7 seconds and she is asleep.
I had never been in a pound before.

After that experience...I will not be so quick to adopt a little kitten or puppy without first checking out the local pound.

It's too bad all the no kill shelters were full.


Elaine said...

Oh, Seaspray, the tears are just streaming down my face.

Sage said...

Seaspray it is hard enough to watch your precious pet die in your arms through old age, but it must have been more tortorous to have left Dolly there... I hope she has a rescuer soon. {{hugs}}

SeaSpray said...

Hi Elaine and Sage - Thank you for your support. My mother loved animals her entire life and often gave out of her need to help them and so I feel I let her down but it was not possible to have 3 cats here. We wrestled with surrendering the older one because she is 9 yrs younger but found it more difficult to part with him because he is such a presence and in his old age could not see him in a cage either.she seems to have a pained life ...seemingly phobic.

But knowing how afraid she is ..is torturous.

Yes it hurts when pets die. They are members of the family who bring a lot of joy and round the family out.

And they are a responsibility and people should not take pets if they aren't willing to care for them. I am not talking about where people painfully have to give up a pet because of unfortunate circumstances but rather people who on a whim get an animal and then on a whim get rid of it like it doesn't have feeling, etc.

Cats are aloof, with some friendlier than others but when I saw them with their paws reaching out...it was almost more than I could stand.

Thank you for the hugs and I am sending some hugs back. :)

Elaine said...

Oh my dear, I am sorry I could not write more in my earlier comment, but I could not think straight I was so empathising with you.

All I can say, is that you have done what had to be done, and you have so many other areas of concern....

Meantime many {{{hugs}}}

SeaSpray said...

Aww..you're sweet Elaine. Thank you. :)

peggy said...

i didn't know she was put to sleep :(

SeaSpray said...

Hi Peggy - unfortunately..unless someone miraculously rescued her...she probably was. :(

If I ever get another cat...I will check out the local pound first. It was heartbreaking seeing the cats reaching out to touch us through their cages.