Hey guys, I know I’ve been MIA lately with my big move to Louisiana along with starting my clinical year of vet school, but I just wanted to share this story/reach out and ask for positive thoughts and prayers.
This little guy came into the clinic tonight when I was helping out in the ICU. He was found in the middle of a field and a Good Samaritan brought him in to the teaching hospital because he thought we could learn from him. The doctor on duty proclaimed that although he is perfectly healthy, his congenital deformity makes him pretty unadoptable (he was born with those spaghetti legs, they are not broken). So he stated that he would euthanize the kitten unless any of us wanted him. He said if they took it to a shelter, it would be euthanized on arrival because of his legs. I was interested because I didn’t want the kitten to die, so I asked him to let me think about it. He gave me until the end of his shift to decide, and said he wasn’t passing the kitten off to the doctor on the next shift; it needed to be adopted or he would euthanize it.
Now, I know that this doctor may sound like an uncaring asshole from the way I’m telling the story, but I can tell you that he was very nice and in fact does care about the animals under his care. However, in a hospital as big as the one I’m at, if you kept every bleeding heart kitten that came through the door, there wouldn’t be space for actual patients. Being a vet means making hard calls or we would all be on “Animal Hoarders”.
So I decided to give the kitten a chance. I named him Lieutenant Dan, got him some kitten food, and brought him home. He’s currently in a wire dog crate in my bathroom because he’s unvaccinated and I don’t want him near Charlie or my dog Beckett (I haven’t talked about him much because he was a family dog living with my parents but I brought him with me to Baton Rouge and he’s doing great here!)-
Here’s the crappy part of Lt Dan’s story. I suspect he may be incontinent. He has a bob tail that points towards his head, and between the funky legs and the short tail, there is a good chance the nerves to his bladder and/or poop region are messed up. He hasn’t pottied since I got him, so I don’t know for sure. It’s encouraging that his hind end is clean, but like I said, that short tail and bad leg combo is not encouraging.
So if he is incontinent, I will have to bring him back to euthanize him. There is no way I would be able to care for him for the next year with my schedule. It’s unfair for him to be in a diaper or in a cage for an entire year, especially when I’ll be gone for 12 hours or more at a time. And I can’t take on the commitment of a diapered cat for the rest of its life. It’s not like my schedule will slow down after I graduate vet school.
However, if he IS continent, he stays! I’ve already talked to one of the doctors about getting his hind legs amputated. He moves around fine with just his front legs, and I would probably get him a little wheel chair.
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope that Lieutenant Dan can control his bowels and bladder. And if any of you think I’m a horrible witch for condemning him to death just for being unable to control when and where he eliminates, I’ll tell you that I am considering his quality of life. Yes it breaks my heart that he may have to die. I may have saved his life today only to watch him die on Monday and that sucks balls. But I wanted to give him a chance when nobody else would.