Hello, we’d like to share a story from one of our fellow bloggers, Brittany aka Blissful Britt…
Every Life Deserves a Fighting Chance
In July of 2017 I said a painful goodbye to the cat that I grew up with. His name was Shampy, and I was eight years old when he entered my life. Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, but something about having them around for 2/3 of your life makes the process a little bit harder. He had kidney disease, and when we found out 6 months prior to saying goodbye there was nothing that was going to stop me from making his transition over the rainbow bridge more comfortable. Not even his “geriatric” title. He was the ripe age of twenty.
Some might think the easiest thing to do would be to euthanize. For me, this wasn’t an option. Despite his age, he was still spry and energetic. I did whatever it took, regardless of cost, to make him comfortable. For 6 months, every couple day’s he and I made our way to the living room where he patiently allowed me to stab him with an IV needle to administer fluids under his skin. This cat was an angel.
As time drew closer to July, he was clearly deteriorating fast. I’ve made a lot of difficult decisions in my life, but none come close to the decision to send my Shampy over the rainbow bridge. It’s hard to swallow the thought of taking a life, but I pray he comfortably fell asleep and peace was brought to his struggling little body. Words cannot describe the pain this kind of goodbye brings. Pets are family, and when you bring one into your home you’ve made an unspoken commitment to treat them like any other member of your family. I miss him every day, but time helps heal this wound as it passes.
Fast forward to NYE 2017.
I was on vacation visiting my dad when I received a phone call from my mom. I answer with a carefree attitude when suddenly she starts talking fast. What I was able to mentally digest were a few words that sent a chill down my spine and brought tears to my eyes, “Brittany, Little is in the hospital. It’s life or death.” Little is my other cat, a nine-year-old male, black as midnight on a moonless night. He is the closest thing I’ll ever have to a child, and while Shampy was more of the family’s cat – Little is mine.
It’s hard when your cat needs emergency surgery, it’s even harder when you’re thousands of miles away from him. I thank God my mom noticed his odd behavior and took him to the emergency clinic, where it was discovered he had a blockage in his urethra which was preventing him from urinating. To make matters worse, this clinic was unable to remove the blockage and discovered he had a bladder stone lodged in his tiny little manhood, and would need to be sent to a specialist – 40 miles away.
Everything happens so fast when an emergency arises, you barely have time to breathe let alone to think.
The vet gave me two options – send him to the specialist, which would cost a few thousand dollars (on top of the $1200 we already paid) or euthanize him. Those words struck my bones like the first chill on a cold winter morning. He had 12 hours to live before he would die. Without hesitation I said no. This cat was too young to accept death as his fate, and when I brought him into my house I made the commitment to take care of him. I just said goodbye to Shampy 6 months ago, I wasn’t ready for another goodbye.
Bless my moms heart for taking care of all of this for me, on NYE of all nights, and bless the emergency vets that work on a holiday. Upon arrival at the specialist my fur child was immediately taken into surgery. The bladder stone blocking his urethra was able to be pushed back into his bladder, where it was able to be removed (along with three other stones) by the surgeon. The painful total for this day from hell was over $6000, but the emotional scar I would have carried had I prematurely taken his life would have been far more painful.
To counteract some of the costs for this procedure I started a GoFundMe account, with little to no expectations. I started by posting to my Facebook page, and within minutes my friends began to donate money to his fund. I then posted on my blog, and continued to be blown away by the support I received. Each donation brought a waterfall of tears to my eyes, and I realized this cat was continuing to save a piece of my soul even when he was on the operating table.
So often I walk through life with negative self-talk, never asking for help. I’m always there to help a friend, but when I’m in need I isolate myself and struggle through the pain alone. Life is meant to be spent with others, and to accept support when needed. This process changed my heart in ways I didn’t know needed changing. I felt love from friends and strangers I’d never felt before, and I felt inspired to stop focusing on negative issues and focus on other people.
It’s been a little over a week since his procedure and he is recovering well. He’s eating like a grizzly bear, finding ways to escape his cone of shame, and urinating successfully. The prayers have worked. I’m still a far cry from my goal, but my heart has bloomed like a flower on a warm spring day. This cat has saved me from so many heartaches in life, it was time I did whatever I could to save him. I am excited for the day I can pay it forward to friends or strangers, because regardless of species, every life deserves a fighting chance.
You can find out more about Brittany and get an update on how Little is doing on her blog.
If you like to share your own stories, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading