So Strong; yet so calm: Mary's Choice.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fellicia Has Died

Even as miserable she looked ,  the amount of suffering she appeared to be going through,  only reason I waited as long as I did before finally deciding to have her euthanized was her appetite.  Well maybe "appetite" not quite the right word here. Her curiosity, yeah, that's it, her curiosity for anything I was eating.  Except for wanting a bite or two of anything I was eating, she pretty much always preferred being left alone. You had to let her come to you.  Oh, she would let me pick her up to give her a hug and a kiss anytime I wanted to; but I had to be quick about it.

But this morning, and the rest of the day, she showed absolutely no interest in food for the first time.

Only two weeks ago, did we cuddle together one night for the first time; then every night since. It was Fellicia who decided, for some reason known only to her, sleeping in my bed that night. Maybe my bedroom was the warmest place in the house at night.

Of all the rooms in my house, the master bedroom has the least windows, square footage wise. By this point, she had lost so much weight, nothing but a walking skeleton covered by a fur coat still it's usual jet black in color, but now dull, matted, and even putting off a rancid smell due to mild seborrhea oleosa dermatitis beginning to appear.

And she should have had no reasons believing I would have chosen somewhere else to sleep that night just because she had chosen to sleep in my bed first that night; the way we both already knew Tater Tot probably would.  Although these two female felines have always gotten along; am not able recalling if ever these two sleeping together.

Before my black male cat Peckerwood got ran over by car one Labor Day Sunday afternoon, he was the one that got first call sharing my bed with me; with Tater Tot quickly taking over his routine once no longer living with us.

 As usual, Tater Tot always waits until I crawl into bed first and done deciding how much cover I want over me before jumping upon the bed herself then going through her routine deciding how much she wanting to cuddle with me. But that night, after Tater Tot jumps upon the bed, she just sort of freezes in place, stares at Fellicia for a few seconds, then quickly jumps off the bed.  Surprised me even more, that Fellicia slept with me almost the whole night.  Thought surely her usual "petting aggression" behavior would surely still kick in after I tried cuddling with her; even if not as quickly.  But she stayed.  And even seemed to enjoy the stroking of the underside of her neck and under the chin; rubbing one finger slowly back and forth.

Except for Fellicia now sleeping in my bed with me at night,  and Tater Tot having decided the sofa chair in my bedroom would do for her, the rest of Fellicia's routine remained pretty much unchanged; although no longer interested going outside anymore.

But this morning, this also had changed, as she stayed on my bed all morning and into the afternoon; curled up tightly the same spot without ever actually being asleep.

By the afternoon, began calling around to a few clinics, then decided to go with Clairmont Animal Hospital just down Clairmont Road near North Decatur Road intersection. Saw no point in any of the hospitals I've worked before.

The staff and Dr. Adams were very nice; but it did sort of offend me, no professional discount offered.  Until this one, and not counting Peckerwood,  have always brought the Telazol/Beathanasia combination that were my preference for feline euthanasia home with me; already pulled up in individual syringes ready to give when believing the right time for both of us. So far have had no problems doing this on my own.

In the clinical setting, yeah, would definitely be stupid not to have a technician hold the patient when injecting the solutions. That is, owners wanting to be present.

Couldn't help but laugh that day years ago I read an article in the news about a death row execution gone wrong.  Believe it was Ohio's State Governor, who ordered a moratorium on all capital punishment until a thorough review determined what series of events lead to a recent execution by lethal injection being considered cruel and usual punishment due to an intravenous catheter that had been improperly set.

Which by the way, is suppose to be extremely painful if any extra vascular leakage.

"Why can't they do it like the veterinarians do it?"
Laughed when I read this question asked by the judge presiding over these hearing/reviews trying to determine whether or not resuming with Ohio's execution of Death Row Inmates.

If only this judge could hear some of these story that occasionally come around of euthanasia performed by veterinarians that go horribly wrong.  For years I always thought these stories were most likely just tall tales.

"Do you still have your pet cemetery,"
once asked by an ex-boyfriend  ran into as I was just leaving a pool party and he was just arriving...
with his new boyfriend.

"Far as I know...they are still... all...DEAD!?"

So far none have showed up scratching at the back door, or sitting just outside the kitchen on a window still, wanting to be let back inside .

Anyway, the overall experience of being just another profit already seemed to confirm even more having made the right decision, when little over three years ago deciding it was going to have to be me performing my own intervention; that continuing the practice of veterinary medicine not the future for me.  



 It surprised my how caught off guard I was receiving this sympathy card from Clairmont Hospital after Fellicia's euthanasia.  Wasn't expecting it.  Had totally forgotten about these standard issue sympathy cards that follow up with each euthanasia.  How I always hated it when they came around for me to sign.  How it irritated the fuck out of me, why everyone felt they had to write something rather than just sign them. How they all sounded the same except maybe with a word switched around here and there. How all I would do was just sign my name...still!

Then I get one just the way they should be done; except I not sure which difficult time Dr. Adams is referring to:  the loss of Fellicia or me rebounding from the mid-life crisisf?

Honestly, would have rather the professional discount.  That would have been an acknowledgement of genuine sympathy related to the stress of our profession instead of a card automatically generated by the staff up front then brought to the back for the doctors and technicians to sign.

But while there, Dr. Adams and I did chat a little bit.  Found out she was not only a Liberal, but also an  atheist who's husband was a Catholic.   That certainly didn't add up right, but didn't call her out on it.

In all fairness to Dr. Lavell at The People's Pet, did ask as I was being check out, how much their "home euthanasia" cost.  The receptionist quoted me $300.00.

Still the $155.00 charged me for a home euthanasia by a veterinarian not only whom I have done relief work for at her hospital near Northlake Mall, but also the clinic from which I adopted Fellicia.  Thought I was doing them a favor, in the beginning, adopting this feral kitten out of a litter trapped wild.  Of those kittens, she was the only one they were having trouble finding a home.  She was just too wild compared to the others and would not tame up enough to be cute, cuddly, and playful...adoptable!

There was a reason they named her Bat Girl.  She would hiss and strike at you with her claws extended every time when trying to pick her up.  When business was slow enough and records written up, I would get her out of the cage and just sit with her on my lap at the desk while reading or making phone calls.  Was hoping she would eventually get used to being handled, relax, become a little curious, maybe even a little playful.  But all she would do was make herself as small as possible trembling.   

After two weeks of always seeing her frightened at the back corner of her cage;  feeling sorry for her, decided to just adopt her myself. 

At that time, having recently just euthanized Dusty, my nineteen year old cat,  thought I had talked myself into going pet less for awhile.  Was getting tired of cat hair being everywhere, and the occasional inappropriate urinations! 

Dusty was the third cat of three I acquired shortly after moving into this house 1995.  Take that back.  Third cat I acquired after Troy moved  in with her, then out without her.  Dusty originally started out in San Fransisco.  Then moved to Birmingham, Alabama.  Then into my home with Troy.  Eventually age caught up with all three of them, Dusty being the last.      

Fellicia broke that resolve becoming the first of what became another trio of felines.

Anyway, I wanted to just purchase the injections and give them myself at home.  But I told Dr. Lavell I understood if she didn't feel comfortable doing it this way since I didn't renew my Georgia license.  Without waiting for her to answer, I suggested I could go ahead and purchase the injections while I was there, with her bringing them with her to my house when she got off work.  Then I could give at least the Telazol intramuscular by myself since she was still feral and did not take to strangers. 

Apparently Dr. Lavell didn't get what I was trying to imply.  Instead of swinging by my home that evening after work, she made me an appointment for the following afternoon.  It was only after going through the whole routine did I realize how much I was being charged.  

Went ahead and pre-paid the invoice.  Thought about it through the night.  Called back the next morning and cancelled the planned euthanasia.  

Just couldn't do it.  Felt I had been slighted.  Would rather a complete stranger make the profit off this euthanasia.

As there was a religious as well as a racial conflict at this hospital contributing to my recent crisis,  told the receptionist, since Dr. Lavell was the one claiming to believe in a God...
decided to just watch and see how her god would let this cat die naturally without intervention. 

But, in the end, just couldn't do it.

Chickened out.

Two down.
One to go.
Then free to leave whenever I please.

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