Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Cody’s Cat: Part 3 of 5

Filed under: Fiction — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

“The creatine levels are higher. So are the phosphorous and calcium levels. Have you been giving her the binder?” Cody nodded. “Yeah, is it not working?” The veterinarian shook her head. “There’s only so much it can do. Tiger has been fighting kidney failure for…” she flipped through the folder, “…wow, have we been dealing with this for two years?” Cody nodded. The vet continued, “Listen, Cody. You’ve done an amazing job keeping Tiger going for so long, but these levels are nearly toxic. Any other owner would have had her put to sleep by now. The fact that you’re willing to give her subcutaneous fluids as often as you do is above and beyond what any normal pet owner would have done. Maybe it’s time to have her put down.”

Cody looked at Tiger on the examination table. Her greasy fur was sticking out in all directions. She looked up at him and rubbed her face on the cat carrier. He replied, “She’ll tell me when it’s time.” Doctor Chinsky nodded. “Yes, you’re right. They usually tell their owners when it’s time. She still eating?” Cody nodded and pet Tiger. “She’s taking forever to eat, but she IS eating.” The vet looked at the sheet of paper that described Tiger’s blood in its basic components. “Well, for any other client, I wouldn’t do this, but for you, I think you can handle it.”

She walked to the small refrigerator and took out a small syringe pre-wrapped. “This is pentobarbital. It’s what we use to euthanize pets. If Tiger tells you it’s time, you should use this. I wouldn’t normally do this, but you have enough experience. Now, this is a little different than the sub-Q fluids you usually give her. You have to hit a vein with this one.” Doctor Chinsky approached Cody and handed him the small syringe, but he pushed it away. She continued to talk, “This is enough pentobarbital to put down a large dog. You don’t need to give her the full dose, but just in case you don’t hit a vein the first time, you’ll have a second chance.” Cody opened the door of the cat carrier and allowed Tiger to walk in. “I’m not taking that. If she needs to be put to sleep, I’ll bring her here.”

His vet argued with him, “What I’m trying to tell you, Cody is that she’ll probably not last the weekend. Her levels are that high.” Cody walked out of the room and up to the desk to pay. He talked to the vet tech at the desk, “I’ll need another case of k/d food, a bag of Normosol-R, two 60 ml syringes and ten needles.” Doctor Chinsky followed him to the desk. “There’s a new flavor of k/d food. Why don’t we give you a few for free? You can buy the case next week.” Cody’s large hand started at his forehead and wiped his face all the way to his chin, hiding his tears in the process. “Sure, whatever.” He held the box of supplies under one arm and carried Tiger in her carrier in the other. The cold air blasted him as he awkwardly opened the door.

Cody's Cat: Clean out the carrier by Laura Moncur 03-19-07

He released Tiger into his apartment and immediately took the carrier into the bathroom. She hadn’t been able to hold her urine on the trip home. He washed the carrier and then grabbed Tiger for a quick wipe-down with baby wipes. Her accidents were so frequent now that he had gotten cleaning her down to a science.

By the time he unpacked the supplies, he had calmed down. He put the Normosol-R in the refrigerator. As he sorted the syringes and needles, he noticed that Doctor Chinsky had put the pentobarbital in the box with the rest of his supplies. He considered throwing it away, but he put it in the fridge just in case. He didn’t want to think about losing Tiger, but he didn’t want to think about her suffering over the weekend waiting for the vet clinic to open.

He opened the new flavor of k/d food, but Tiger turned her nose up at it.


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