All rolled into one day. People tell me “wow, I couldn’t do your job, it would be too hard” and others “wow, your job must be a lot of fun”. Strangely, they are both correct, and as far as emotional toll, some of the best days and the worst days can be all rolled into one day. Today, January 17, was one of those days.
This is Sunday, he is about 10 years old and was recently diagnosed with nasal lymphoma. I heard horror stories about radiation from some friends. Sunday acts just fine except his hampered breathing and the mass growing between his eyes. I wanted to let him live out the rest of his time feeling 1/2 way good so I didn’t pursue any treatment. Today, I took him to see the oncologist because the mass is getting so big and yet he still acts like he feels pretty good. We were thrilled to find out that the type of lymphoma he has responds really well to chemotherapy and if it goes into remission, which a high percentage do, it could give him an average of 2 more years. Now, that is quite a long time when your average life span is around 15 years. So, we were all excited and feeling so hopeful that Sunday now had a good prognosis and he actually began chemo today (BTW, cats don’t have the horrible side effects that people seem to from chemo, another big plus! It’s hard to look at Sunday and not feel hurt and a bit squeamish because frankly, its hard to look at the masses coming from his face. BUT, its hard to watch anyone that is ill but that doesn’t mean you don’t try to help them get well if there is that possibility.)
Later today, we got a kick in the gut. Peanut was a cat that had been adopted out twice and returned twice, for no fault of his own, at that point, I decided that Peanut was no longer up for adoption. When he had been put back into the shelter both times, it was just so hard on him adjusting again. Both times, he thought he had a home, but didn’t. In 2013, a man looking for a cat visited our shelter and for some reason, zoned in on our Peanut and wanted to adopt him. Our front desk girls both told him, he’s not up for adoption and told him the reason. He just pursued it more, wanted to speak to the person that made these decisions, that was me. So I spent 30 minutes with the man, first of all I explained about him being returned and how hard on him that was. He appeared to understand and agree but proclaimed he wouldn’t dump him back into the shelter. So, then I explained to him that he had to be given an eye med every day and as long as he did that, Peanut’s eyes would probably stay well. I explained that we would provide the eye meds but obviously he would have to administer them and contact us when he needed them refilled. We were able to do one follow-up call to the adopter and he said Peanut was doing well and he wasn’t having any issues.
When the next follow-up call was made, the msg said it was not accepting calls. Our follow-up volunteer was worried, I was just hopeful that he wouldn’t have let me down and was maybe out of phone minutes etc. She tried several times to no avail. So, today our worst fears were realized when the adopter walked through our door to once again dump Peanut back into the shelter. Yes, we were happy he didn’t dump him on the streets but the worst part, he stopped giving Peanut the eye meds some time ago and he almost appears to be blind!! So this adopter just either lied during the entire discussion with me or maybe at that time he felt the need personally to make some grandiose rescue to make his own self feel better and after a while of caring for Peanut, he was just too selfish to continue to take care of Peanuts needs and just let him exist.
I keep pondering “With SO many cats listed for free everywhere and available at many other shelters for lower adoption fees and with no special needs, WHY WHY WHY would this guy choose to go through this discussion and convince me that he was going to be Peanut’s angel?? Why??? I just don’t understand. So, now Peanut is back with us, I am glad he is here and not dumped on the streets but I just don’t understand this adopters reasoning when he begged and pleaded and promised to care for Peanut forever. Now Peanut is started on many eye meds with more to come and back into the shelter. My heart is literally ripped out and stomped on. I have apologized to Peanut many times since this afternoon and there will never be anyone able to talk me into allowing him out on adoption again……..not the way this story should have played out. I am so sorry Peanut, please think good thoughts and send prayers that we are going to be able to save his eyesight. I just keep saying Why??
And then this little pitiful Tuna that was rescued by a Good Samaritan and brought into an Emergency Vet. They gave him care and then asked if we would take him into our program. Well, they said he was young and very sweet but didn’t prepare me for what I was going to be seeing. This little boy just barely survived and he still has a long way to go before he is well. What a sweet boy he is but is just so sad to look at right now. He is eating well, we are happy about that, just too bad that we cannot help him to blow his nose. Another sick kitty tough to look at. The tips of his ears will probably fall off from frostbite to them but he purrs and paw paws if you even look his way.
I am very grateful that we have all three of them and they are all getting care. I am grateful they have a place like HELP Humane that believes all life is precious but am sad that animals have to go through such horrible things and they are all dependent on the goodness of a human being willing to help them. I am grateful for the staff and volunteers that are so amazing and will help these precious babies to regain health and be surrounded by love and our supporters that help us to afford the vet care. I will be working at keeping that in my thoughts instead of the sadness about it. It wont be easy, but I will keep trying. Please send good thoughts and prayers for our babies.