I have a love-hate relationship with a cat.
Around 2005 I lost one of my aunts to a massive heart attack and when we were going through her things someone mentioned that we needed to find her cat, Babe. So, we all searched and I found her in the neighbor’s garage and I had to coax her out to figure out the next move. I expected that she would just go to my parent’s farm and live out her life there. But, instead someone mentioned that they were going to take her to the local pound and they could put her down.
I grew up without the benefit of living on a cattle farm so I have a more compassionate view of animals and the thought of killing them for no other reason than that someone just gives up on them is mean and stupid. Pets should be cared for or placed into a home where they can be cared for and only in extreme cases should their lives be ended. So, when I heard this I decided to take her home with me … mistake number one.
Without a carrier, the cat was put in a box and rode beside me in a pickup cab for three hours and the whole time she whined and I nearly just let her out to fend for herself. (I should have just done that.) Once home, things were not much better as she really didn’t like the company of my other cat and two dogs. She came around though after awhile.
From then on I moved twice and in both of those moves neither cat was allowed to go outside although they did try and succeed a couple times. When I got to my current home I had to put in a fenced yard in the back as I was going to be gone for a few days without my dogs and I needed a way for them to get outside without me. Because of this modification to the house, the dogs could get outside but so could the cats. Cliff, my orange tabby cat couldn’t figure out how to get out of the fence but Babe got out on a regular basis but would always come home.
Over the years I’ve had to deal with losses that were, at times, really really hard on me emotionally. In 2008 I had to put down my Beagle, Ace, as he was full of cancer and would no longer eat or move. In 2012 I lost both my cat Cliff and my Schipperke, Digbee to sudden illnesses. Then in 2013 I lost my best friend whom I had known since 1995. Through all of this Babe was still going along, being an oblivious cat.
Babe is now over 17 years old from near as the vet and I can guess. She has had most of her teeth pulled as they had rotted and her kidneys are starting to shut down. She’s stone deaf and when I would let her out, I would have to follow her so that she didn’t get out on a road where she might get hit from not hearing the oncoming vehicle. She has been getting thinner but her appetite is still good and really likes it when I can afford to feed her the canned food. Cats can live over 30 years depending on the situation and although to a cat lover this sounds great, I’m not particularly fond of cats but rather I tolerate them rather well. I would much rather be all affectionate towards your cat and not have it be my cat. But, since I have this failure when it comes to caring for the lost or abandoned, I got myself into another issue.
The spring of 2015 a calico cat was hanging around my house and I gave it some food that Babe wasn’t eating. The weather was still especially cold for that time of year and I could see that the cat was laden with kittens so I decided to let her come into the house … mistake number two.
Babe got along with the new cat rather well and before long there where four new kittens starting their lives here. Babe was fine with the mother but she was not happy with the additional kittens and even less so as they grew up. Eventually she was batting and hissing at them to get out of her space and eventually they learned from this. I managed to give two of the four kittens away and kicked the mother cat out with the hopes that she wouldn’t return, but she did.
I would let the mother cat in from time to time but when I saw that she was starting to plump up, I tried to keep her outside as much as possible. One day she came in and her one eye was damaged and I tried to give her medicine and kept her in the house for a couple days to see if it would improve … mistake number three.
So, now I have four new kittens as of September 5th that I am trying to give away. But in the fray of it all Babe was getting harder to deal with. Since she cant hear me it was pointless yelling at her and also she couldn’t hear herself so she was especially loud and very annoying. There were many times I really wanted to take her to the vet to have her put down, to save both of us. Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to actually carry out the act.
I’ve since been correcting some of my errors. The mamma cat is now fixed so no more kittens and her eye has been removed because there was no saving it. As mentioned before I’m trying to give away the kittens, I will even give away the older ones if someone wants them. Heck, I’ll give away the mamma cat too should someone need her.
As for Babe, well this is why I am writing about this now. Today I had my arguments with her and after a bit she went to the door and wanted out.
After about ten minutes I saw her walking from the front of the yard up to the porch and I left her out there because it was nice and sunny and the porch would be warm. That was the last time I saw her.
I’m really concerned but I can’t do anything about it. She can’t hear me if I call out for her. I drove around. I left the porch light on for several hours.
I guess that was goodbye.