I knew this day was coming. I was pretty sure when Schindler/Chandler/Albert was returned to the shelter after being adopted by a family with other pets and small kids that he was never getting out. I learned yesterday that, sadly, I was right.
This poor boy had so much going against him, but despite all of that he had a personality larger than life. I took one look at him last year and fell head over heals for him. He was sitting in a cage with a bum leg and a huge notice of diabetes, and I knew immediately I had to bring him home if only for a short time.
I could not adopt him. I know my house limits and my first responsibility is to the cats that I have vowed to take care of. I considered it anyway, I tried bargaining with Jack, but he said that unless I could spend even more time with him it wasn't going to work out and short of quitting my job that wasn't going to happen. Yes, I have adopted some of the world's neediest cats.. and I love them beyond measure.
I brought him home with Abby - another diabetic cat who was also surrendered because of her condition - and he proceeded to pee on several items around the room, including the door... and still I loved him. I know he was just 'moving in' and trying to make himself feel at home. He only did it that first day; I might have felt a bit differently if he had kept it up.
He took to Abby like he was an old man sitting on a bench feeding the ducks and she happened to stop by. She was so fearful and I know he was a good influence on her.
|I matted up some fur I combed off Chandler|
Despite the attention he was still living in a cage. I did my best to give him time out of it, but I couldn't get in there as often as I would like. Others fell in love with him and did the same. Despite the attention he still seemed to be in decline. I mentioned it to the staff and he went for a check up. At one of those check ups it was determined he needed some digestive enzymes..
When that happened, I pretty much knew. He was diabetic which is a huge hurdle for anyone to get over. He needed supplementation for arthritis, and now digestive enzymes.. but his personality.. oh his personality.. he won so many people over.. everyone who met him loved him.. sadly none of us had a spot in our home for a boy with so many needs.. There was one woman who was a nursing student.. she would have been perfect for him, but she went to school in a different state and she felt there was too much travel to safely adopt him, never being sure where she was going to be when his insulin dose would come due..
Still I loved him, and still I hoped..
|trying to catch the butterfly wing shape on his back|
When I stopped in last Friday I was told that he had a seizure. The thought that it was time was bantered about, and my head agreed that it was most likely time (not that it was my decision) but my heart ached. I went and spent time with him. I held him, I kissed him. I gave him treats he shouldn't have had because of his diabetes but that he loved. I had hoped to be able to take him home for a few days once the decision had been made, and had made that known in the past, but apparently he went down hill so quickly that they decided it was best to just let him go on Monday.
I know that it is for the best, but that doesn't mean my heart doesn't ache. I wish I could have brought him home to sleep in my bed and fed him some real live dead chicken and let him gobble up those treats he loved so much before saying goodbye..
I wish I had known his full life story. I wish the people who let him go would know how his life ended, although I'm not sure they will care. I wish I had been there for him in the end..
But he was loved, his life and his spirit celebrated. There will be tears shed for his parting.
Dude.. I loved you.
|The last photo of him|
I have been trying to come up with a way to raise money for myself and some upcoming vet bills recently and asked my Facebook friends if they might be interested in naming a kitten for $20. There was much interest, but I wasn't sure if that might seem to be too much of a money grab. Well I've decided to do it and donate to the DCIN fund. The DCIN helps owners of diabetic cats with funds so they can keep their cats. Owners are far too often overwhelmed not only with the idea of diabetes, but the financial burden that comes with it. DCIN (Diabetic Cats in Need) can help with those costs. Right now they have a challenge going on for anyone who signs up for a monthly pledge for a year, it will be matched fifty cents on the dollar, so any contribution made will be increased.
It was suggested that maybe I should have an auction for the naming rights, but I'm going to go with the first six pledges (mom needs a name too). The minimum is $20 - but I'm not going to stop you if you want to send more *smile* - and once the total is in I will set up a monthly pledge with DCIN.
To name a kitten, send a gift via Paypal to Connie @ kittyblog.net. In the comments please note the name and the specific kitten if you care. I will attempt to be fair and do first come first served, but I fear everyone is going to want to name our winged boy and no one is going to want to name the mom, so if you could provide a second choice, I would appreciate it. If you don't care, please let me know that, so I can send you the photo of the kitty in need of a name and then you can pick. My only requests is that the name be family friendly and that it isn't impossible to spell/pronounce. If you don't have paypal, email me we can work something out.
I have often said, and I will continue to say, that diabetes is a disease I would never wish on any cat, but if you receive that diagnosis I want you to know two things. First, the learning curve is steep, but it is short! If you jump in with both feet you will be amazed at how quickly you realize that it wasn't nearly as daunting as you thought it was. Second, you will probably never have a closer bond with a cat. Caring for Em was something I will always treasure. I'll probably never convince anyone to go out and adopt a diabetic cat, but that will never stop me from trying... The need is so great.
So hopefully with this tribute to Chandler, we can prevent another kitty from being given up.