My 15-year-old cat Poco developed a growth in her jaw last November. X-rays and biopsy showed that while it was non-malignant, it was eating away absorbing the bone on both sides of her mandible, so that her chin was essentially gone. The only option was surgery that might give her another 6 months but she would have to have a feeding tube in her stomach and be kept inside - Poco could never have handled not being able to go out.
She lost weight slowly at first, and her grooming suffered. Then she lost weight rapidly, but was still climbing the fence to our cat-lady-neighbour over the back to loudly nag for treats, she was still bright-eyed and still affectionate. Cat-lady-neighbour was concerned, but I let her know that I was taking her to the vet regularly for monitoring.
I gave her pain-killers, mashed her food and gently syringed pet-milk and broth down her throat. I bathed her for the first times in her life so that her fur would not get too matted with gunk. But she still kept getting thinner. Last weekend I decided it was time to say goodbye, and that on Monday I would tell the vet to send her to sleep.
I saw her climb the back fence in the morning, and when I went to call her to me so I could put her in the cat-carrier, she didn't come. She didn't come in for her evening meal either. I can handle the thought that she decided to find a quiet place and never wake up.
Today I spoke to my neighbour. She called the RSPCA on Monday without consulting me and told them to take Poco away to be put down. She told me that she told the RSPCA that the cat had an owner, the RSPCA person knocked on my door and couldn't raise me, so they took my cat away. I was horrified, and what's more I knew she was lying.
I rang the RSPCA, and they were told to come and collect an injured stray. Their policy is to contact owners in such cases and give the owners the option of being with their pets while they are given the injection. That bitch over the back fence stole that moment from me, where I could stroke her softly to sleep while remembering all my cherished times with Poco from the very first time she danced out to sniff my fingers while her sibs hid nose-twitching under the daybed in the house full of children who gave her to me.
I hate my neighbour.