So a month ago I reminded myself how much I really suck as a wife and mother. A month ago I was feeling an immense amount of guilt over the unfortunate death of our kitten. I was the one who saw his photo online and just had to have him. We didn’t know that he already had Feline Infectious Peritonitis. He lived for eight months and was with us for 3.5. Since there is no cure and the progression of the disease seemed to be fast for him, the decision was made to euthanize him before he really began to suffer.
Though my husband was not initially fond of the idea, I thought a pet would be good for the boys because they seemed to be at each other’s throats a lot lately. I thought he would force them to work together for his well-being and it worked. I should not have given that job to a kitten, but I did, because I suck. Watching the boys’ collective sadness over the diagnosis made me feel so guilty and question why had I been so selfish. My eldest begged me to ask the vet to drain the fluid from the kitten’s abdomen so that they could play one last time.
It has taken some time to let go of the guilt I felt for bringing that kitten into our family. Though the second vet thoroughly explained FIP and that there was absolutely nothing that I could have done to prevent it, I still felt really guilty. My husband tried to “shake me out of it” by reminding me that the situation really was not about me at all. It was about us as a family learning how to cope with a tragedy. He argued that we should focus on the fact that we gave that kitten an incredible 3.5 months full of love. Dealing with the death of a pet is a part of life, a part of learning to deal with other difficult times.
Meanwhile, during the week that we were dealing with our kitten’s diagnosis, an old friend had reached out to me because she thought we might be looking for a playmate for our kitten. She volunteers at a rescue and invited us to come take a tour. Eventually I explained what happened to our kitten and she told me that there was nothing that could have been done. I don’t know why but hearing that from her made me feel better. Two weeks later we went for the tour though I was not sure if I wanted another cat though the boys clearly did. My husband thought we should definitely wait a solid month or so. We got to the rescue facility and I spotted a cat that I thought would be a great fit for our family. He was skittish and he had been there for a long time and no one knew why because all the volunteers swore he was a great cat. We went home empty-handed that day which was a good decision.
We returned the following week with my husband. Since I suck as a wife and mother, I had my eldest son put the disinfected cat carrier in the back of my car. I just figured that somewhere between the house and the shelter, I’d convince my husband that now was the time. I didn’t have to do anything of the sort. After a while at the shelter, he comes to me and says that if we want THAT cat, we should make our move. I hugged him tightly and he asked if I had the carrier in the car. Oops! He knows me so well. Long story short, we took two cats. One came home with us but the other came later. Now the two cats are getting to know each other. I can only pray that neither has FIP and I will try not to worry; it’s completely out of my hands anyway.