The Cat Who Lives On The Kitchen TableWe have four cats, none of whom are technically mine, but I'll leave you to guess who cleans the litter boxes and fills the food dishes.....
"Girl Cat," our lone female cat, age 13 years, had her thyroid removed over two years ago (see previous blog). Before then she was an agitated mess and terrified "Devil Cat" who decided that the best defense was a good offense. He and the other two cats kept Girl Cat from the food dishes and (worse) from the litter box. Even after her surgery, they continued to ostracize her and attack her, perhaps because she also developed diabetes and must smell funny to them.
We kept her in the bathroom, but she was lonely there and chewed off the moulding from the door, so we started letting her out for part of the day. She seemed happiest on the kitchen table, and the other cats left her alone there.
Eventually we put her cat bed there and began to feed her there. It seemed easier to carry her to the litter boxes rather than isolate her in the bathroom. We became quickly toilet trained, learning exactly when to carry her to the boxes to prevent accidents (which you don't want on your kitchen table or in the other cats' food dishes-brilliant revenge, but not in the kitchen).
So now Girl Cat lives on the kitchen table.
This may make me seem very heroic as far as pet care is concerned, but I'm not, really. I can tolerate giving up my kitchen table and carrying the cat to the box, but I would not be able to tolerate daily toileting accidents. We decided not to give Girl Cat insulin because she'd hate getting shots and also because we would have to arrange our entire lives around the 12 hour shot schedule. I won't pay for surgery unless there is a good chance it fixes the problem, like the thyroid surgery was supposed to have done. If I'd known she'd still be ostracized, I might have chosen to have her put to sleep instead.
There are limits as to how much money I will spend. One of our cats potentially was a candidate for a surgery costing thousands of dollars with no guarantee of fixing the problem (urinary problem). Luckily he did not need it, but I would never have spent so much money on a sick cat, not even a beloved one. I won't even pay for expensive lab tests and Xrays unless I know that it will make a difference in deciding how to care for the cat.
We once had a cat who needed subcutaneous fluids, but to poke him with a needle once or twice a week gave him such trauma that we decided to stop and just let him live out his life. He lived in comfort for a couple of years before finally failing. This was an important lesson for me. I'd never put an animal through torturous treatment merely to extent the pet's life a year or two. Better for me to let the pet live out life comfortably with whatever time is left to her.
So, even though I don't like to have a cat on my kitchen table, I'm willing to put up with it.
How much have you put up with to care for a sick pet?
Have you ever had to choose between care for your pet and being able to afford the cost?