Back in 2007 I had to euthanize a cat because he had severe anemia. Because cats are so good at hiding illness (or because we fail to differentiate a lethargic cat from an older cat that sleeps a lot), I didn’t see Dave until it was too late to determine the cause and provide much treatment. Understandably, the owner was very sad to have lost Dave and wrote me this letter afterwards. Although it was written seven years ago, the message is timeless and important for us all to hear. If you have a cat that hasn’t seen the vet for a while, please call and make an appointment today!
Sept. 20, 2007
Dear Dr. Scarlett,
We are miserably heartsick without Dave Kittyface Cat. Dave had such a wonderful personality packed into such a small body-the house seems so empty without him.
Please caution cat parents about getting their babies regular check-ups. When Dave moved in with us, I considered bringing him in for a look-over, but then I thought, “He’s not an outdoor cat, he’s not been exposed to other cats, what disease is there for him to catch?” I wouldn’t even allow family dogs in the house to upset him. And I did not bring him to you, and now he is gone-much sooner then he had to be. My poor boy should have had twice as many years to live.
Why I never researched cats in general, I have no idea. If I had, I would have seen the maladies that could have befallen him with no fault of his actions or us at all. I did not know cats’ systems were so different, so delicate, until I started to research his illness, to see if there was anything I could do to help him survive.
Please tell cat parents I beg them to get their kitties regular check-ups, with blood tests as often as you suggest. If you had found the anemia earlier, maybe you could have diagnosed Dave’s illness before it, and I, by my lack of action, killed him I thought I watched Dave like a hawk, but failed to see he wasn’t eating for several days-poor Dave had to have lost half his weight in those few days. Such a little boy needed every ounce to fight for his health, and because I looked but did not see, Dave passed away.
I have enclosed a small collage of Dave-you can see how precious he was, and why I can never forgive myself for not thinking, not paying attention. All I can do is beg others to do what I did not.
Thank you for everything,