My little buddy Junior is developing some problems with his hind legs. He is no longer jumping or able to push off with his feet, so he’s vertically challenged — unable to jump on to the bed, or other simple things he used to be able to do with ease.
For most of his life, he was never as agile or good at jumping as Rio. Junior was always a little reluctant to jump to high places, but could make it when he wanted to. So now that he has complications, there might be a deeper reason why Junior wasn’t as acrobatic as bengals usually are.
This weekend, though, he showed the first signs of real difficulty with his legs. Saturday morning we noticed him walking funny, and realized that he could no longer jump or even stand on his hind legs to grab a treat (something he loved to do). Since then he has been getting a little better, but he still can’t jump or stand, and spends an abnormal amount of time sleeping in one spot.
Vet said his xrays were fine, and he is otherwise normal — proper reactions in his legs, etc. I paid for a full bloodwork including pathogen testing so we’ll see how that comes out, but I suspect it’ll be pretty much all clear. The next steps will be trying some general antibiotics, doing some blood titres to check for toxoplasma (I think I got that right) but other than that we’d start getting into some pretty expensive testing — MRIs, neurological examinations, etc.
So one thing I’ve been struggling with is how much to spend on the tests, and how much I am willing to pay before it’s too much. It’s not an easy decision.
My left brain tells me that spending thousands of dollars on a cat is pretty ridiculous. My heart tells me that Junior is basically a kid, and I signed an invisible contract when I adopted him that I’d take care of him for better or for worse.
So as easy as it would be to pretend not to care and not spend the money, I don’t think I could ever do that with a clear conscience. I mean, there may come a time when his quality of life is so poor that he’d need to be put down, but we’re not there yet and until then I’ll fight for the little guy.
But for animals and pets in general, it’s a tough question — how much is the life of a pet worth? Why isn’t it worth as much as a human life?
And I ask myself, why is it that we even have to equate the two in the first place? They seem to be disjoint on the grander scale in life. Comparing life and dollars doesn’t seem to add up.
So Junior is fine for now — I hope this is the worst of it, but I fear he will be a crawling kitty someday in the future and I will have to make some tough decisions. Until then, I will just do what I can and appreciate the time I still have with him.
Lots of things in life have a price tag, yet there’s so much you can’t sell or buy back.