Pets are a great thing, it is hard to argue about that. Some people see them as a nice addition to the own life, others see them as companions, many see them as full family members (specially dogs and cats).
Along the years i wander on this planet, i had quite some pets. Budgies, Lovebirds, Ballpythons, Mices, Rats, Fishes, Geckos and Cats.
Let me tell you a little bit about our current “family”.
My personal desk companion is a little crested gecko that has recieved the name “Spike” (like our lil purple gem fetishist). At the time of writing he is 4 years old, in gecko terms he has become an adult officially on december. If nothing unordinary happens, he can reach an age of around 25 to 35 years, under very good conditions even more. Spike is a very photogenous lil bugger and not a bit shy, yet he prefers rather to be watched than to be touched. His habitat is a bit larger than the recommended minimum size and sits right at my desk at home where he can watch me play games or join me in a session of netflix / crunchyroll.
Then there are three cats, who go by the name of “Neko”, “Kiki” and “Nora”
Nora is the youngest of the three. She was one of these “accidents” that happen when a female cat runs away, has a little rendez-vous with a wild cat and then returns later at her owner to drop some kittens. She is probably the most shy of the three and by far the most talkative. It is almost guaranteed that once you call her name, she responds with a meow and if you keep talking back, so will she. Nora is also always hungry. No matter how much food you provide, she always calls for more, even if the bowl is still full. “Better be safe than sorry and ask for more” is kinda her motto, day in day out.
Kiki and Neko are siblings. Kiki is the alpha of the three. She might be the lightest and smallest but she is the toughest and makes it clear to the other two who is boss! She is very clingy towards me, when there is no one else around, she will immediately come to me to show her affection. Every morning when i step out of the bed, she demands to be recognized and if i do not give her at least a short head scratch, she will be bitchy towards me for the rest of the day.
Neko was the only male of the three. He was a big gentle cat, never agressive, always tolerant to everything that our daughter did to and with him. Very affectionate. Neko was focused on my wife, she was his big momma and he was her lil baby. When she went to sleep he always slept on her back or on her chest. He was also the most caring. When anyone in our home was sick, he was the one to come up and lay on the lap of whoever was sick and just purred to show that he is there and cares. Neko had a very sensitive stomache and responded to some foods with puking, also his kidneys were a tad dented you could say. Nothing to worry too much about, still had to be considered when feeding. He was more of a dog/tarantula than an actual cat. When he wanted to play, he fetched a toy and dropped it before your feet and when you threw it, just like a dog he fetched it and took it back to your feet. The tarantula part is due to his fur. He lost SO MUCH HAIR but never went bold even the slightest. I have no idea where he got all that fur from but it just never stopped coming, even when combing him for hours! Oh and he loved to play fire detector! When a pizza or a toast got a bit “darker” and he got the slightest bit of smoke, he went into panic mode and howled around to alarm everyone in the district…
Last friday i was working remotely at home. Around lunch time he puked again. Only this time it was bloody. At first i thought, maybe a gastritis.
Only that he immediately collapsed.
Adrenaline started rushing through my body.
I quickly put him into the transportation cage and ran to the vet.
My muscles were burning as i arrived.
The vet tried to stabilize him to properly check what is wrong.
I was ordered to go home in the meantime.
Three hours later they called me, they can’t do anything more with their limited possibilities and he has to be rushed to the vetmed hospital (which is the biggest and best in austria) but it will be very expensive. For now it looked like a damaged Pancreas.
I did not care about the money, a family member was at stake.
I rushed him to the ER.
As we arrived there, Neko was a bit more stable than before.
We waited in the waiting room for our turn.
Suddenly meowing again.
He again started to puke blood.
The nurse saw that and immediately took him first priority into the ICU.
Then it was waiting again.
After an hour or so, i was called in by a doctor.
They diagnosed blood poisoning, maybe from something he ate, maybe from a damaged pancreas.
Neko had to stay there for the night to get properly stabilized, X-Rayed and possibly for some surgery. The total costs, around 2k to 3k €. I could care less about money, fuck vacation, i dump all the money here if they can rescue my family member.
So i went home, without him.
Again waiting for a phonecall, for news.
The call came around midnight.
Heart pounding. Can they help him?
“We are sorry, despite all we do, we are loosing him and we just can not find the cause for the blood poisoning. His blood pressure keeps sinking and is already at a point where the organs are not properly supplied anymore, despite us constantly pumping blood pressure rising meds in an attempt to get him back up. Last time he cought up blood, it did not came from his stomach but from his lungs, his blood became so thin, he started bleeding everywhere. We can try if you insist as his owner but he is just suffering, there is no way to get him back. It would be best to lay him to rest.”
Lots of tears…
“Yes. End the suffering. We do not wish him to suffer unnecessary.”
So he was euthanized at the age of 10.
When he puked blood in the waiting room and was taken into the ICU, that was the last time i saw him. At that point i did not even say “goodbye” or “goodnight” or “see you tomorrow”, because i really did not think about seeing him for the last time at that point. That does haunt me quite a bit still.
We always loved you Neko. You will never be forgotten and we miss you already very very much. Rest in Peace and enjoy all the catnip wherever you are now.
Kaputnik and Family.