Friday, September 11, 2009

"On the Sixth Day..."

We live near a busy street that sees high traffic, there is also a grade school on this street right by our house. On my way to work last today, I saw an animal on the side of the road, and at close inspection, I determined that I thought it was a small cat. I see things frequently, and I am always attuned to them. (Yes, I am one of those people that slams on their brakes for squirrels and bunnies). I sometimes well up when I see a squirrel or a bunny, or even a raccoon or opossum near the side of the road, and I swerve to avoid the deceased ones that are in the road.

(When I was nearly 9 months pregnant, I was driving and saw a black Labrador on the side of the road, who as I passed looked me directly in the eye, and I swore if I hadn't just left my dog, I thought it was Diez standing there. It was so eery that I had to convince myself Diez could not have made it to the corner, and he was safe at home. I always carry an extra leash in the car, and I pulled over, and after going to a few houses, I was able to take him safely back to his owners. Turns out he was just a few houses down, but he had snuck out while there were repairing their front door, and they were happy someone found him and brought him back home).

I thought I was probably going crazy, and this was probably not a kitten, but probably another wild animal, or something else entirely, I was hoping any way...I pulled off to the nearest side street that I could, and it seemed like I was a mile away from the animal, and panicking I took off running down the sidewalk. A gardner near by, stopped his lawn mower, as I shouted that I thought an animal had been hit by a passing vehicle. He went back to mowing the lawn. As I came up on the animal, which was not that far away after all, my worst fear was coming to life, as I did infact realize that it was a young cat. A black cat with a faux diamond collar. And, it was not in good shape. The evidence was around the young cat. I panicked, and tried to quickly determine who I should call. I had nothing to move the animal with, and I feared that I would injure this animal more by doing so. I stayed squatted near the side of the road, as the location of the animal was far away enough from the curb that someone might hit the animal again, not seeing her, as the cars passed frequently by.

As fate would have it, I had done something to my phone the night before and deleted all my contacts and pictures-resetting my phone. My first instinct was to call my vets office, and ask them who to call, or if I could bring it in. But, I no longer had their number. I called 411 and the operator asked me what listing I was looking for, I told her I honestly didn't know, I said I don't know who to call. I told her quickly what had happened, and she said I have a number for animal control, I bouffed at her remark, and said they'll just put her down. I thought that the Emergency Clinic was only open after the vets offices have closed for the day, so that was not an option. I said give me the number for the humane society, and she remarked, they'll will just put her down as well. So, since we have been dealing so much with our vets due to Diez's current battle, I called our vet office, and after being put on hold, as the secs pass, every sec I'm worried is hurting this animal's chances to stay alive. While on hold, a man pulls up in front of me in his truck and gets out, I ask him if he has something I can wrap her in, bc I get the feeling I am going to have to transport this animal to the vets office my self if she is going to live. I am determined to save this animal! He nods, and runs back to his vehicle to get something.

In the mean time, the vets receptionist gets back on the phone, and I explain who I am, and start to tell her what happened, when I hear a voice behind me, and it is Diesel's Vet! I am flabber-gasted and am thinking, "Wow, what service!" I tell the receptionist, "Never-mind, Dr. Burke is here" and hang-up (she probably thinks I'm crazy!) Who would believe that! Dr. Burke tells me that she saw me by the side of the road, and pulled over. I turn to her, and take her hand, and say, "Oh, Dr. Burke look what's happened, can you save her?!" as I am near tears now. Dr. Burke determines that she thinks that she is dying and it is too late. I am crushed. I am ready to loose it now, and am thinking over and over in my head what I could have done to possibly save this young cat's life, did I get here too late, what could I have done differently? This is someone's baby. She probably snuggles and rubs up against her master, purring and mewing. She probably likes to bat a ball, toy mouse, or string, or lay in the warm sun. She probably keeps the foot of someone's bed warm, or comforts a child.

In the meantime, another woman comes up behind me and states that she works for the emergency clinic in town, who I know works with Dr. Burke, so I tell her that Dr. Burke is here also. Then another woman that lives nearby comes out and says that she thinks she knows whose cat is is, so Dr. Burke goes to the house she indicated. Then another women comes up and states that she is a nurse, and she says that she thinks that the cat is passing. I knew she was close, but I was hoping we could still save her. She is moving, but the nurse informs me, and I can guess, that this is normal during the last stages of life. Dr. Burke comes back and wraps the kitten up in a towel that the Emergency clinic worker provided, and the owner comes over with a box, and my heart is breaking for her. Dr. Burke explains, and as the owner puts her into the box, she starts to cry, and I just break down, and tell her how very sorry I am for her loss, and wish there was more that I could've done. I wanted to ease her pain, and make it alright, but I know I can't. I realize that I was with this cat though her last breaths of life, and most of it was spent trying to find some way to help her, when I should have been soothing her. I think it was too late by the time I arrived, but I can't help thinking if only I could have done more, gotten there sooner. I desperately wish I could have done something to save this cat.

Watching this cat take its last breaths of life, was a very surreal experience, and one I'm sure I will not surely forget. All of us, concerned, pulling for her, fighting for her. How many lives had been affected by this young cat's life in her last moments, in one day alone. I must say I was glad that Dr. Burke was there with me, I was thankful for that. We walked back to our cars together, and she stated, "I hope you have a better day, " and I said, "you too."

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