Monday, August 16, 2010

The Right Decision

This is Tuah [malay for lucky] and this is his story.

I found him lying by the side of my car at the hospital's car park. There had been an increase in the number of stray cats being abandoned at the hospital, I think even the Radicare has given up.

He was unusually quiet on the way home, just sitting there on the passenger seat, unfazed by the moving scenes as the car drove past.

He was skinny, with white patches on his chest and paws and had a kinky tail. The moment anyone would come close, he would be rubbing his head against your hands, attempting to purr but somehow falling short.

I noticed how indrawn his tummy was but attributed it to his undernourished state. His breathing looked strange - it was as if he was fighting to get the air in. Sometimes even his nostrils would flare. He looked hungry but would only eat a mouthful each time.

The local vet had said he had a respiratory infection and had given tablets for a flu. I tried giving it to him but failed miserably - on hindsight, it was probably a good thing.

So the little orange kitten made a 450km journey from Kelantan all the way to Cheras to see Dr Lum. Xrays showed that most of his intestines had been pushed into his lung cavity, thus causing him difficulty in breathing. He would need surgery but he might be too small to wake up from the anaesthesia.

I debated with myself and Abg - is it fair to let him go through the pain of an operation knowing there is a risk that he may not survive it? But if we were to refuse the op, would he be in a lot of pain in his final days? The vet had suggested a euthanasia injection but I couldn't even consider it. We may think we dominate this world but who are we really to decide when this kitten dies?

I almost called to cancel the operation but I felt uneasy. I knew money wouldn't be a problem though I am sure other people would call me insane behind my back. So I surfed the net and got other pet lovers' experiences and sought advice from another cat lover - she offered me encouragement and support no matter what I decided; her cat had once been in this situation so she was the ideal person to seek advice from. I thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Tuah is now about one week post op and is doing miraculously well. He has a huge scar on his now fat belly but he is still very beautiful to us. Whenever we would keep him in the carrier, since we didn't want him jumping around and bursting his sutures, he would just sit there quietly, only mewing softly whenever he saw us walking near. I would let him on my bed and he would rub his head against my hands and my face. Before, I never saw him sleep because he would get breathless whenever his head is laid down but now he can. I would watch him sleep - his breathing now no longer laboured - and seeing him well gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

He purrs now - loudly and continuously - is he saying thank you, I wonder?

I am glad it was the right decision.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nonsensical ramblings

I wanted to write about my latest cat - Tuah - I've even got the story all written up but phone cables have been mercilessly ripped off their poles in my kampung and TM sees no urgency in replacing the lines. Mentang2 la takde VIP duduk kat sini. Cuba buat kat Damansara macam tu.....

Anyway, this means that my internet adventures have been limited to office hours - I've gotten myself one of those wireless broadband thingy and am now trying to use up my allocation before the end of the month.

I'm oncall. My first one of the fasting month. It's pretty quiet now; there is a case of a dead baby being found in a septic tank or something, I'm not much into details. The smell wafted quickly throughout the emergency room and stuck itself to your clothes and someone even vomited.

What desperation is it that drives us to do such cruelty? Was it fear that threw their sense of decency out the window? To think that one can get rid of it and expect to live a guiltless life?

I wonder about these things - even when my kittens have become too many for my cages and depleting my kibbles far too quickly than I would have liked, I still do not have the heart to throw them away. I keep thinking about how hungry or how cold they would be, how lost they would feel without their mother and it breaks my heart.

So, how can one do this to something that have been surviving in you for the past nine months? It puzzles me completely.

Maybe deep down I'm just a sentimental old fart.