Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stamford

Stamford died this morning. I know it's for the best, but I miss my friend, even in his worst state. I just wish I had his ability to take an awful situation and find positives in it. He lived more than 15% of his life shut in our bathroom because he couldn't control his back half and use the litter box, but up until Sunday, if I went in, he would 1) make a spirited effort to escape and then 2) start purring as if there wasn't a happier cat in the world.

There was so much wrong with the whole process. I'm furious with the veterinarian's office, who failed to give us test results last week when they were supposed to, failed to respond to six phone calls and two emails trying to get them this week, and then when I just drove in person to confront them (and took Stamford with, knowing that at this point, it made no difference what the results were), they assured me someone had called Sarah's phone on Tuesday and left a message. That message? That there was a problem with the blood work and they needed to draw blood again. So despite the purpose of this test being to ensure there wasn't a non-FIP cause, something that could be eliminated (if not reversed), they allowed his condition to get exponentially worse so that even if they found he was just absolutely laden with parasites, I'd have had a hard time not going forward.

Not only did they not call with the "we screwed up" news, but then today, they took him away to sedate him and put in the catheter and it took so long that by the time he got back to us, we think he had already died from the sedative alone. We don't know for certain, but either way, it's just frustrating. They sent in a vet tech to tell us he was very riled up and that's why it was taking so long -- but he hasn't been riled up in days -- and if he were, I'm not sure how you'd tell, given that he had no use at all of the back half of his body and wasn't particularly strong with the front end anymore. Each night this week, I felt like there was at least a 50-50 chance he wouldn't live through the night -- and had reached the point that I sincerely hoped he wouldn't, so he could end his suffering without me having to be the one responsible for his death.

The other cats weren't upset with me when I got home -- I expected them to find the return of the empty carrier concerning, but they seemed more concerned for me. Now, I wonder if Stubbs expects to see his brother, as he's spent all day and night in the window looking out, but it may just be that the weather is nice.

I know this is going to be hard for me, I'm not particularly gifted at dealing with anything sad, but I think the saddest thing for me is that I don't know of anything that shows that we had Stamford. Now that I've cleaned the bathroom, it's like he never existed. There's nothing left of Stamford's short life but a Christmas stocking, a white towel that got put in his carrier after one of his vet visits (because he'd peed in the carrier on the way over there), and precious few pictures (the result of me being lazy and never having reason to know it'd be over so quick). I don't know why it matters, I certainly am not going to forget him, but it upsets me.

I now promise to move on to posting vapid shit in the near future to satisfy the whims of all 10 people who ever stumble across this.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Reading this made me very sad. But I think the important thing is not so much the physical traces Stamford left behind, but what you carry with you inside from your short time together. I'm sure Stamford cherished the time he had with you.

I wish I could offer you anything to ease the pain right now that I know you're feeling right now. I know it's of very little comfort, but you are in the thoughts of your friends.