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…


~ by Serena on April 7, 2010.

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