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10:06 pm - Sat 11.14.2009
Wracked With Guilt

Wracked With Guilt

Today I had Kipper, my cat, put to sleep.

He hadn't been eating for quite awhile, and had lost a significant amount of weight.

Yesterday, I got the call from the vet about the results of his blood work; Kipper's kidneys were failing.

It was likely a chronic condition, the vet said, and while it was possible he'd be better for a time with twice daily fluid injections (That I could learn to administer), Kipper was heading into the last part of his life, and things were not going to be getting much better from here.

I'm feeling very guilty tonight, because I screwed around longer than I should have, hoping his not eating was something I could "fix" (Like making sure roaches weren't getting into his food), and not something that was going to require a trip to the vet.

Then when I finally realized/admitted something was seriously wrong (Last weekend, basically), I still didn't do the right thing - I could have taken him to the vet last Saturday (In between my Saturday morning WW meeting and the party I was going to in the evening), or to an emergency clinic, but I didn't.

I basically treated this sick, starving animal, who'd been my companion, my friend, for the past three years, like a task that could be done whenever I could "get around to it", because I was "busy", because I was "tired", and basically because I didn't want to hear bad news.

I'm pretty unhappy with myself over that. My feeling right now is "Tough fucking luck if it was going to be bad news, Jim - You took responsibility for that life, and you needed to suck it up and do the right thing, however stressed or unhappy it made you. That was your fucking job".

And even the decision I made today had everything to do with me, and little or nothing to do with Kipper - I ultimately wanted to spare myself pain, emotionally and, yes, financially; I basically decided that "I can feel terrible today, putting him to sleep, or I can feel terrible some point in the near future, putting him to sleep...after spending thousands of dollars trying to prolong his life".

And I'm angry and frustrated - I want to be the guy who says, "Do whatever it takes for my buddy, Doctor", but I can't be that guy.

And it makes me feel terrible, because I'm so stressed about money and expenses I let Kipper suffer before getting him to the vet, and then put a very small price tag on his life once he was there.

Feeling, really, the same guilt I felt with my last cat, Leo, who died at the same age, of the same issue (Coincidence?) - I want to have a pet because I'm lonely (And cats are independent and relatively low-maintenance), and I take comfort in having the cat around, I grow to love the cat, but as soon as it actually needs me, as soon as it stops being "low-maintenance"...It's dead.

And I'm left thinking, "Jim, you might be lonely and in need of companionship, but if you can't deal with the inevitability of having a sick/aging pet, if you can't afford it, then you shouldn't have pets at all".

I don't want that to be the case. I don't want to feel like, "Not only can I not sustain human relationships, I can't even be counted on to take care of an animal in my care".

Happier memories of Kipper to come, but right now, I'm just feeling sad and guilty and angry at myself, and I have to go to bed (I'm subbing for Ben S. for two WW meetings tomorrow).


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