Thursday, June 5, 2008

People are whacked

*Warning: rant ahead*

I am so mad right now I could spit. Or say inappropriate, unladylike words or something. Fiddlesticks. Jockstrap. Fart.


Nope, that's not helping. Here's the thing: Mr.Q & I are (in case you haven't noticed) cat people. We've been known to get a little carried away, from an outsider's perspective, when it comes to our beasties. When I was in university, I often lived on cheap rice and generic cornflakes, while the cats got the good food. The way I see it is this, though: When you adopt an animal into your family, you take on an unwritten contract with them. You get fuzziness, company, protection, comfort, warmth, pest control - and you provide security, food, and responsibility for their health and well-being. That's just the deal. And as the one with the opposable thumbs and the credit card, it's up to the human to uphold the contract.

Mr.Q is, if it's possible, even more of a cat person than I am. He comes by it honestly: his father, despite his burly, sometimes-obnoxious redneck persona, was the biggest marshmallow since Stay Puft, when it came to cats. He (my father-in-law) had this big, beautiful, fluffy, spitfire demon of a cat named Angel who travelled with him when he was away on long work contracts. When my FIL passed away four years ago, Angel kept my mother-in-law company - wouldn't let anybody else near him, in fact, just her. In the beginning, it sometimes seemed that the cat - and his connection to her husband - where what kept her going.

Now, my MIL and I don't have the closest relationship, but we try pretty hard for Mr.Q's sake. And as impatient as I can be, I'm not heartless. So when she called late last night to say that Angel had died, I was quite upset for her. What had happened? I knew she'd been concerned about a cough he'd developed, she'd said as much when I saw her last month. Was it kidney failure, a blockage, cancer? Poor cat...poor MIL!

Then again, maybe not. When Mr.Q got off the phone and told me the story - well, I've rarely seen him so angry. Here's what happened. Angel developed rapid, shallow breathing, and stopped eating, drinking, or using the litterbox, for three days before MIL took him to the vet. Three days. How much fun must that have been for him!

Finally, she decided to take him to the vet - to have him put down. Not to be checked out, not to see if there was anything they could do. Nope, she just decided that was it for the cat. The friend that took her tried to convince her to at least ask the vet if the cat could be saved. Nope. The vet asked if he could treat Angel and take him to the SPCA, if she didn't want him anymore - at no cost to her. Nope. She'd paid to have him euthanized, and that's what she was going to get.

Now, don't get me wrong - I know all too well how expensive vet bills can be. If it came down to it, and my cat was suffering, and there were no financially feasible options and nothing else I could do - I would have him put down. But this wasn't a question of money. She was given a choice, one that would cost her nothing, and she chose to kill the cat.

And it's not the first time she's done it.

I just don't know what to think about human beans sometimes. It makes me want to not get out of bed, some days.

(I do know that I am reminded, yet again, that I am very grateful for my own family. We may be a quirky bunch, but we're not batshit.)


Jeanne said...

Oh, Lord.

I have a horse that is insulin resistant (like diabetes). Sugar is toxic for her. One meal of your standard sweet feed causes instant lameness as in, "give me a wheelchair, I'm done" lame, so she's on a special diet and as long as it's consistently maintained, she's about 97% sound (a little stiff some mornings but aren't we all).

I board, so it can be a challenge to get them to stick with it and at my last barn, there were discussions about her condition. I won't go into the whole story, but the atmosphere became so tense we had to move.

One day shortly before we bailed, I found out my horse had been off her diet for a few days because the barn manager had decided it was "too much of a hassle" and "diet isn't that important, it's her feet causing the lameness". My horse was once again severely lame.

Well, there was a boarder out there who is a real b*tch, very volatile by nature, and she initiated a confrontation with me about my horse's lameness. She railed at me to "put that horse down or she'd call the ASPCA on me and have me arrested for cruelty to animals".

I was horrified. I also had a TEAM of experts on the case, and they all agreed that the diet DOES work, that she WAS improving, and that it IS imperative that she avoid sugar at all costs--I had evidence supporting my treatment plan but this woman was insane.

I found a new barn 24 hours later and moved my horses over night and my horse has been on her diet consistently for a year with absolutely POSITIVE results--ie, NOT LAME ANYMORE. Gee, I guess maybe diet DOES have something to do with it.

Of course, consider the source of the confrontation. The woman who blasted me out of the park is the same woman who had two very nice middle-aged mares who had long lives and usefulness ahead of them, but one of them developed a MINOR, completely treatable issue with her feet requiring a few weeks of stall rest (and then she'd be good as new) and the other had a minor but cheap and treatable condition, so...

She just decided that paying board for a horse she can't ride for six weeks was a waste of money, and instead of paying $200/month board per horse, she paid the vet $500 or more to have them both disposed of--and had two brand new horses within a week.

Didn't even bat an eye.

My deepest sympathies for you regarding the loss of Angel. May God forgive your MIL for this.

no-blog-rachel said...

Good god. I just got the worst, somewhat sick feeling when I read this. Poor Angel. Rest in peace.

Sue said...

That's so sad. I don't understand why if given an option that costs her nothing she turned it down and STILL went ahead with it. wow

Jelaina said...


Rabbitch said...

If you're taking up a collection to have your MIL put down, please let me know. I can spare $100 or so in the middle of the month.

Syd said...

Holy crap! Why didn't she offer to give Angel to you and Hubby?! I know people like her and avoid them...Hubby and I have been together for 37 years and a lot of those years we went hungry so that our Fur-faces could eat and see the vet when needed! And we have not regreted it one bit! Right now we have two senior citizen kitties..the male is 21 and the female is 18, both rescue kitties at age 1...they are our family, if they stopped eating...holy crap! She let him go 3 days of suffering! and the vet felt he could be treated! I am with Rabbitch, I'll kick in for a MIL put down fund!

Anonymous said...

holy crap! i'm pissed off now! between your story and jeanne's - that's just wrong! I take my "contract" to my puppy seriously - I would so be a crazy "animal" lady if I could!

Rebecca said...

Argh! How horrible! It makes me so angry and so sad to see what people do to animals.

Barb said...

I don't even have words for how depressed I am by this story. That would pretty much finish my relationship with THAT woman forever. I mean, my MIL is completely certifiable but even SHE would never do anything like this.

I'm going to bed now for the rest of my life.