Sunday, July 11, 2010
Rest in Peace Ambrose
Lately this has become the animal welfare blog of doom and gloom. Everything is shite. Nothing inspiring and uplifting to report. I haven't been having much luck with my rescues these days and today was no better. This year, so many of my posts are titled "Rest in Peace _______". Is it bad luck? bad karma? Just a real shit time for homeless animals in Malaysia? Or is it me? Maybe my best isn't good enough for these critters anymore. My awesome rescue and rehome record seems to suddenly have been scarred by numerous failures. Anyway enough whinging. I want to tell you about Ambrose.
My dear friend M2 and I headed out to lunch and an interview together yesterday afternoon. I was rummaging through my gigantic bag for my phone when M2 suddenly braked, stopped the car and cried out. I looked up to see a heartbreakingly skeletal cat struggle to slowly limp across the road. He was obviously extremely weak and desperately ill. I brought him into the car, set him on my lap and M2 immediately drove us to the vet. Ambrose lay down on my lap during the drive. He seemed relieved to be with us. We think he was an abandoned pet because he was very tame. He didn't struggle. The poor thing was extremely filthy, his tail and hind legs caked in dried up diarrhea. He smelled awful, was half bald, emaciated, seemed to have one functioning brilliant blue eye (the other was so infected we couldn't see it at all) but we could see that he was actually a great beauty. A short hair seal point Burmese or Siamese kitty.
We dropped him off at the clinic and Dr S promised she would call with an update after feeding Ambrose and running some tests. M2 and I rushed into town for our appointments, thinking about Ambrose all the time. After my job interview, I received a phone call from Dr S. Ambrose had tested positive for FIV. He also suffered from numerous secondary infections. Jaundice, widespread fungal infection, eye infection, flea infestation, extreme malnourishment and dehydration. What could we do for him? We didn't know. Could we find a home for a middle-aged cat with aids? The only sure thing was that both of us couldn't keep him nor afford his longterm care. FIV is contagious, we both have other pet cats, we're both in shitty financial spots right now. It seemed like all we could do was euthanize him but it was an awful thought.
We went back to the clinic to visit Ambrose. There we were told that he had a good appetite and had eaten whole cans of hill's prescription a/d by himself. During our visit we let him out of the cage and sat on the floor. He was so weak but still he crept up onto my lap and lay down. I was so touched! We'd only just met once earlier during the rescue! But he remembered me and my lap. Aww.... I wanted to cry. We decided to leave him at the clinic overnight and either come back in the morning and have him put to sleep after he had enjoyed some comfort and satisfying meals, or we would come back with the good news that we had found someone to adopt him or sponsor his medical bills. That night I sent out messages pleading for help for Ambrose. WM from local dog rescue ngo Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better responded that she could help sponsor Ambrose's medical care. I was so relieved that someone cared and wanted to help us! The financial help would enable us to keep Ambrose at the clinic longer and buy more time to find him a home.
I woke up the next morning to two missed calls from the clinic on my phone. I immediately had that feeling of dread. I knew what was coming. They wouldn't have called unless something was wrong because they were expecting me to visit Ambrose in the morning anyway. I was right. Ambrose was dead. He had passed away sometime in the middle of the night and was already dead when they checked on him in the morning. Major disappointment and sadness. I thought that he would recover from his secondary infections and be fine and just be a kitty living with FIV because his appetite was so great! i thought that was a good sign. His death is so unexpected. I really thought we could fix him up. But we are glad that he had some good meals and a safe place to lay his head last night.. Maybe that's why he felt it was a good time to go? I don't know. As usual I had to see the body and say goodbye. I pet him on his head, stroked his fur, and told him I was sorry. Rest in peace Ambrose.