Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Sad Day

This has turned into quite a tough week. The cat in the pic above is Zamboni, a feral cat who had been hanging around our barn for months and months. At first he wouldn't let anyone come near him, but I slowly gained his trust through lots of gentle talking and quite a few cat treats. I had gotten within half an inch of him, but hadn't actually pet him.

About two weeks ago, I noticed that his ear was hurt very badly -- there was a large flap and a lot of blood and pus. I knew he needed to get to the vet. Long story short, Heather is a cat whisperer and we got him into a crate last Wednesday night. I took him to the vet, who cut the flap off, thoroughly cleaned the wound, gave him a two-week antibiotic shot, and started him on Revolution for ear mites. He told me to clean the wound and put Neosporin on it every day and I made an appointment for this morning for Zamboni to come back and get shots and a "ball-ectomy."

The first night, I put him in the bathroom,
opened the crate, and stepped out. When I
came back, I couldn't find him anywhere.
He was hiding on the top shelf
of the linen closet!

The week that he spent at my house, Zamboni turned from terrified of people to total love bug. I would sit in the bathroom with him (he stayed in there to keep away from my kitty Phoebe in case he was sick) and pet him and pet him and peeeeet him. If I stopped, he would meow and rub against me and roll over on his back to have his belly rubbed. He was such a little lover and a huge goofball.

This morning when I took him in, I had this nagging feeling that Z-man's feline leukemia or feline AIDS test would come back positive and he would have to be put to sleep. I told myself I was just being paranoid. When I took him in to the office everyone made a huge fuss over him and commented on what a striking and handsome kitty he was. I said goodbye to him and headed home.

A few hours passed and I didn't get that phone call. I figured everything was good and I would be able to pick up Zamboni and take him home, for good this time. That's when the phone rang. It was my vet and he said that Zamboni had done great during surgery and had been recovering well. Then he suddenly had a seizure and died.

Of course, I went in to say goodbye to Z. I told him I'm sorry that this happened but I'm so glad that I got the chance to spend time with him. I told him I was sorry that I wasn't with him 'til the end. Even though I only spent a solid week with him, losing him was heartbreaking. It's just never easy -- animals find their way so deeply into our hearts so quickly. It's both the greatest joy and the heaviest weight.

Unfortunately, I only have crappy cell phone pics of him. I know this has nothing to do with Salem, but I felt that Zamboni deserved to have his story told. He was the most gorgeous, wild-looking snow-leopard kitty I've ever seen, a big tough tom cat that was the sweetest little guy once he trusted me. Z-man, I'm sure you'll have lots of good company over there on the other side. I'll miss you.

Lounging on his little bed in the linen closet. The first
few days, he had to be up high
(since he was a wild kitty and height = safety).
Eventually, he started coming down more
often and I made him a little bed on the floor, as well.

*Thanks to Ruby for helping me with the pics!*


eventer79 said...

Oh no! I am sniffling now because I lost my bestest buddy ever, Nemo kitty, to a seizure at age 7 last summer and I miss him so much.

On the bright side, hanging out in your house and getting petted and sleeping curled up in absolute safety was probably the best week of Zamboni's life, so hurrah for that!

Golden the Pony Girl said...

awww that is sooo sad! I am glad it is Friday because this has not been your week! You are such a kind soul for taking him to the vet, I don't know many who would take the time/money to do that for an animal that does not belong to them (some people refuse to do it for animals that DO belong to them!) He was one lucky Tom Cat!

Frizzle said...

Yeah, Solo, I keep telling myself that same thing. He ate non-stop, was warm and cozy, and had plenty of kitty scritches and treats.
I wish things had turned out differently and I do feel some guilt over this; but, as others have pointed out, at least he didn't get hit by a car or die of a blood infection from his injured ear. He died in the best veterinary clinic around, surrounded by people who genuinely care for animals.
So sorry about your Nemo kitty. I remember when that happened, and that it was just so sudden and out of the blue. I'm sure he, too, appreciates the life of luxury and love that you gave him.
Hey, they say suffering makes you a better person, so we must be getting pretty angelic by now. ;-)

Rachel said...

So sorry to hear this story. You are a great person for making his last week safe and comfortable. I hope your heart is comforted knowing that.

Squeaksmom said...

He was beautiful, thank you for loving him!

Brooke (FBX Adventures - In Parenting) said...

If you wouldn't have taken him in to get fixed the first time his ear would have gotten infected and he would have suffered for a lot longer. He knew love for the first time in his life, and that's what matters! He was a beautiful cat! Sorry you've had a sad week. I hate those! Thinking of you!

baystatebrumby said...

Oh, this was not a post I enjoyed reading at all. It makes me so upset for the Z man! Personally I take great comfort in the love you had for him. I agree with Denali--you gave him love for the first time in his life and that is truly beautiful. I'm so very sorry that he died.