My friend Amy went on vacation last week, so she asked if I would feed her cat, Martin. (Martin was thought to be a boy when he was found, until it was discovered at the vet that she is, in fact, a girl. But the name stuck.)
The first morning I visited Martin, she met me at the door and “talked” to me the entire visit.
The second morning, she leisurely meandered out from the bedroom when I put out her food. I chalked it up to her being tired – or just stiff since she’s 14 years old.
The third morning, I noticed she hadn’t eaten any of her food from the day before. She just didn’t seem right, so I texted Amy my concerns. Apparently Martin gets depressed and doesn’t eat much when Amy’s out of town, but she asked if I’d check on her again after work.
“Martin?” I called as I went up the stairs that night. Martin was lying on the bedroom floor on her side, seemingly having seizures. “Martin!”
I tried to wake her, but she was comatose. “It’s going to be okay, sweetheart.”
After a quick call to Amy, I gently cradled Martin in my arms and placed her in the cat carrier I found in the closet. “It’s going to be okay, Martin. I’m going to get you help.”
I rushed her to an emergency care vet. I sat in the waiting room, overcome with emotion. I felt so helpless – and guilty – as her caretaker for the week. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I imagined my girls in that situation.
The vet emerged about 20 minutes later and explained that Martin’s kidneys had shut down. He assured me that it was not my fault – and that there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. The seizures I thought she was having was actually her jerk-ily trying to get up when I called to her. She was so dehydrated and weak that she (obviously) couldn’t.
Unfortunately, Martin didn’t make it.
I cried and cried. My heart hurt for Amy, who lost one of her best friends – and didn’t get to say goodbye. As traumatized as I was by the whole thing, I was strangely glad that I got to bear that burden so that Amy didn’t have to see Martin suffering the way I did.
I went home that night and loved on my girls a little more than usual…