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2:35 pm - Sun 12/22/02
The Rock, The Hard Place, And Me

The Rock, The Hard Place, And Me

The news on Leo continues to be frustrating and upsetting...

When the vet heard that Leo wasn't eating, and had thrown up a couple times, I was told to bring him back in (He stayed over last night, for another $80).

Here's the frustrating part--He's eating at the vet just fine, so apparently something's put him off eating here at home (When asked, I couldn't think of anything that had changed in the apartment, but then I remembered that when Mark and Jane visited, I moved his food, water, and litter box, from the "dining room" to the kitchen, and never moved it back. It's a move all of six feet, but maybe there's something about the new location he doesn't like).

Anyway, he's doing one more night at the vet, so they can monitor him and get his strength up a little more (Apparently, he did throw up there this morning, which they were a little concerned about). They said he was "quiet but alert", and described his condition something like "fair-to-guarded, but not grave". But of course, if I can't get him to eat here at home, "fair-to-guarded" will quickly become "grave".

While talking to the vet this morning, she suggested the possibility, if things don't improve, of shipping him over to a place where round-the-clock, more intensive care is available.

I didn't even ask her how much that would cost. Feeling tremendously sad and guilty, I said that I was up for one more overnight, then I'd take him home, and if he still wouldn't eat here, for whatever reason, that was probably going to be it. I just can't keep doing this, financially or emotionally.

The last time I'd spoken to someone from the vet's office, I started crying over the phone; I was so frustrated and upset over watching Leo be so sad, and obviously starving, needing to eat but not eating, while feeling the pressure of all this money going out with very little trickling in.

But anyway, the decision's made. I'll get him tomorrow, and do the best I can to make him comfortable, and try to tempt him to eat, and give him whatever medicine he needs to get, and hopefully, he'll be okay.

If not...

It's at times like this when I marvel at how little I know myself, even after 22 years of keeping a journal...I've implied in here, more than once, that I haven't gotten much out of having Leo these 11 years, that I'm not "cut out" to be a pet owner, that I made an impulsive decision way-back-when that I've since had to live with, basically because there wasn't any way to take it back.

But whatever my motivations, whatever I'm "cut out" for, the fact is that I've had this little animal for almost all his life, and a big chunk of mine. And just because I think I've been pretty deficient as a pet owner, it doesn't mean I don't care.

I'm not feeling like crying all the time just because I'm stressed about the money. I am, to be sure, but that wasn't what made me lose it over the phone to the vet; I may have sometimes "fallen down on the job", but I've never lost sight of the fact that I'm responsible for this animal. And the fact that I feel like I'm failing him, that he's suffering because of something I've done or have failed to do, is hurting me more than I have words for.

And if I have to have him put to sleep because I don't have the money to care for him the way he should be cared for, that's going to be devastating to me.

Right now, I would very much like there to be a God, and I'd like him to help me...


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