Our cat has been peeing on everything. He especially likes the our bed sheets and my younger son's shirts.
Finally we took the cat to the vet and it turns out he had crystals in his bladder. I'm not going into the chemistry lesson of acid and base and crystals. Mostly because I couldn't follow the vet's explanation, but the bottom line was that we had to do medicine for three days and then special food.
For a while, the cat was well enough to follow Melissa around the house and cuddle in between the curl of her legs whenever she lay down.
The problem is we feed twenty barn cats. And two house cats. Three house cats if you count the outside cat that we can't keep outside. And four if you count the dog, who wont' stop eating the cat food.
So all the animals were eating the very expensive medical cat food, and before I could figure out what to do, the cat was peeing on everything again.
It turns out the cat cannot have any other food. So we would have to have only very expensive cat food, for all the cats, and every time the sick cat got table scraps, we'd have to get the crystal medicine again.
So we had to decide: Do we kill the cat because we don't want to buy expensive cat food?
No. That felt very bad.
So we waited a few days to try to figure things out.
Then the cat was in huge pain because he couldn't pee.
Now I felt I could put him to sleep for being in pain. A more clear cut decision.
The vet said if the cat can't pee he needs an operation. We watched him try to pee. He couldn't.
We sat the kids down and told them it was time for the cat to die.
We said goodbye to the cat. Who, by now, smelled a lot like I'd imagine something smells before death.
Melissa and I went to the vet while the kids and the Farmer dug a hole in our pet cemetery. (Does every family have one of these?)
The vet squashed the cat's belly and said, “We were able to clear the urinary tract and expel urine. So you just need to treat him with medicine and keep him on the special food.”
I looked at the cat. He was purring in the vet's arms.
I looked at Melissa. She was crying. “He's such a good cat,” she said.
It's true, he's a good cat. But we can't keep him on the special food. And we live in a part of the world where people shoot extra cats for fun — they don't adopt old cats with expensive dietary needs.
I asked the vet if she thought it was immoral.
The vet said, “I don't pass judgment.”
I put the cat to sleep.
Was it okay to put the cat to sleep? I don't know. But I'll tell you. It's why I like work so much better than real life.
In work things are clear cut. There is a goal, and you can measure which action gets you to the goal fastest. There are laws to tell you what you can do and what you can't do.
Here's a site that advertises online MBAs programs. They offered to pay me to link to them. Melissa said, “I don't know if you want to. You hate business school.”
It's true, I do think business school is lame. But so what? This is not an ethical issue. They are paying me.
Also, it's a great site. They have such a good marketing strategy: They create a great infographic that gives people a reason to link to them, and then they rank high on Google for the words Women in Business, and then they get referral money for getting women to pay for MBA programs.
I love this business. (And, based on how creative it is, I'm nearly certain that the person who thought of it does not have an MBA.)
Sometimes I think I want to be a stay-at-home mom. I want to just be with my kids. It's so nice to be with my kids. But kids and families are filled with difficult questions like, When can you kill your cat? It's so comforting to be able to wake up in the morning and answer the question: Who should I link to today?