in which time is spent trying to convince a small creature to survive

last week my bff found a stray cat, and my upstairs neighbours took her in. she was all skin and bones, but seemed like she’d just been neglected, and looked so much like gamin (my ex’s cat, who lived with me after we broke up and then moved to the neighbours when i went to oz, where he continues to live, very very very happily) that trying to help her wasn’t much of a choice. they even named her: sybil, after the character from fawlty towers.


typical facial expressions from sybil at left, and gamin at right

when she began refusing liquids as well as solids, they tried force-feeding her with syringes of water and milk, but her condition continued to deteriorate. i took care of her on friday afternoon for a couple hours, and it just about broke my heart because it was exactly like when my old cat allan died: trying to convince this small creature to take the things it needs to survive when it really doesn’t want to. still, even at that point, i saw hope in the way that she fought my ministrations, weak as it was.

sum and capt. pestou took her to the vet right after that, and came home empty-handed: it turned out that she had a large tumour in her abdomen, and was in a lot of pain. how very sad. at the very least, we can all feel good about having provided warmth and care during her last days, even if we were misguided in our attempts to keep her going. the vet who saw her is an amazing and caring individual, and assured my friends that she would have a humane euthanasia, which is better than her dying from cold or dehydration on the streets.

it makes me appreciate how healthy the rest of us are, humans and pets alike.  sure, we’ve all been suffering from colds and upset stomachs and what-not, but for the most part we’re chugging along just fine.  knock wood.

rest in peace, little one.

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5 responses to “in which time is spent trying to convince a small creature to survive

  1. oh god! i haven’t even read this yet, and it’s already making me sad. i think we need to do a memorial ceremony for the cat next weekend. i feel a bit traumatized by the whole event, just because i had so much hope for the little guy. we should do something nice for her. she had a rough life i think.

  2. i am your bff? sweet!

  3. this is so sad! i know that maybe this happened so that we could help sybil out of her suffering- i mean i’m kind of talking about fate here, but whatever i think it WAS because she literally stood in front of my bike and wouldn’t move, just looking at me and meowing- maybe the reason that she was trying to get found was for assistance in moving on….it’s super sad, but i don’t think we could have tried any harder, and i don’t think that there could have been any better people taking care of her- from me being a worrywort cat magnet, to the amazing compassionate neihgbours, to you and oats, to the vet, who is the sweetest guy ever. many animals in distress would be lucky to find even one person like that, and think of how many nurturing people sybil had. she was totally a sweetie, and i’m sad that i won’t see her get healthy, but…even though she definitley had a fighting spirit, she also seemed really content to just rest by the heater and sleep….i think that she was just looking for an end to the pain, cold, hunger…and we provided that. so…yeah. we will miss you sybil (aka ‘bones'[affectionate]).

  4. We all did what we had to do and we did the right things. There is great comfort for me in dignified and painless death.

    When we asked the vet what it would cost to put her to sleep, he shook his head without ceremony and said: “I won’t charge you for this.”, like it would have been a crime to do so despite the long process. Because she was so emaciated and in so much pain, he tranquillised her first, then put her under general anaesthesia and then put her to sleep.

    There is also great comfort in knowing people like him, his staff, and you -my friends- exist.

    I miss her and feel cheated, I thought she was meant to be in our life, but I know nothing else could have happened. Fate? Yes.

  5. Heartfelt thanks to your friends, the vet, and you, for the kindness and compassion you have shown Sybil. She is finally free now.

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