Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 137 Home 127 - Xin Xin is well; and some thoughts on her

I had sent Xin Xin to the vet for her monthly check up on 20 Oct. Her vitals are okay except that her heartbeat is now approximately 220bpm. That is a concern as it had increased from last month's 180. But there is nothing we can do right now except making sure she gets her heart medication on time (so far all on time without missing a single dose). We had also increased her heart medication dosage as advised by the vet as she has gained another 100g this month. So as not to overstrain her heart, we have been advised not to play with her although she can play on her own if she wants.

She had been happy this past month. She had found herself a new toy, ie, the Wife's cloth hairband, and had been batting it around the room whenever she sees it. Sometimes she will also meow non stop while carrying it in her mouth. We have no idea what that means at all as this is the first time she is exhibiting this type of behavior.

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And on the topic of Xin Xin, a close couple friend of ours asked us over dinner the other night why we did not consider putting Xin Xin to sleep. We were quite astounded over the question as we thought they would understand.

They are close friends. We are close enough to go on 3 long overseas trips and 2 sea cruises together in the past decade. We meet at least once or twice a month for chit chat and updates. They are also childless by choice, like us. We knew each other in school, were in the same course and graduated together more than 10 years ago. Even our job scopes are somewhat similar although mine has changed a little 3 years ago.

But what is different is that they do not have any cats or dogs like us. They had wanted to keep a dog a few years ago but the thought of taking it for a walk daily sort of put them off. They do have a tank of tropical fishes though.

On the other hand, our family grew from having Kim Kim as the sole cat to now having the 5 of them with us. We treat them like family, like our kids. Their welfare has on the top of our mind, especially now that Xin Xin has heart and kidney problems.

Our answer to them was that Xin Xin was never in pain all this while and if she had been in constant pain without a cure in sight, we would have considered easing her pain. Even when she was hospitalised, the vet had told us that she was probably feeling a dull ache in her and that she was feeling poorly. Although the chances of her surviving was very poor, we opted to fight with her until it is very apparent to us that she will never make it through another day. We were very fortunate she pulled through without suffering much excpet for the uncomfortable drip and daily sub-Q injection for the first month.

It was a given to us that at least one of us must be at home on any particular day to give her her twice daily medication until she leaves us. That means we have to forgo our annual overseas trip as there is no way we can get help to medicate her twice a day and also coax her to eat her renal food, usually by hand. Both the Wife and myself did not even discuss about Xin Xin. We had the understanding that we will do the best to make sure she is well and does not suffer.

Maybe it is because we treat her and the others like family. We worry when they have poor appetite. We worry when they are sick. We worry when they eat too much and become a walking bowling ball like our Kim Kim. But we are happy when they do well, when they chase each other around the house, when they come to us for chin rubs and head butts, when they clamour around our feet for their food. Yeah, I think it is because they are our family and that's why we have never considered not fighting together with Xin Xin. But we will willingly let her go if she is in constant pain with no chance of recovery.

I guess it is difficult for an outsider to understand the bond and attachment we have with them. To some people, it is difficult to comprehend why we are willing to spend so much money and effort on Xin Xin's treatment. Xin Xin - a cat, a longkang cat picked up from the street. Not our human child. But she is our child nonetheless, though with a little more hair all over her body and who will forever rely on us to provide her love, warmth, food and shelter.

But she gives us so much more in return. More love. Much more love than we could have ever given her.

I am not sure if they understand our reply. We hope they do. Because we will not be able to go for another overseas holiday with them again until Xin Xin moves on. But we are willing to sacrifice those holidays for another year with her.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad Xin Xin is ok. She probably thot the hairband was a bird or mouse, her hunted prey. I know of people who have pets but their decisions on certain matters puzzle me. Simply I think human does not like troublesome matters that translates to responsibilities. My kitties are my family and I make sure that they are well, safe and happy.


8:38 AM, October 29, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

i am glad to read of your response; it shows you care and you do indeed love your felines as you would your children. Thank you for being so special to them.

10:08 AM, October 29, 2008  
Anonymous Jane said...

I am glad to read that Xin Xin is doing well. I hope this continues.

It's very hard for those with no connection to animals to understand how we care for them as family members. The only way for them to understand is to have experience of this love.

12:39 AM, October 30, 2008  
Blogger san said...

Jia You Xin Xin. Be well and be happy :)

For what its worth, we amigos and san think you did well in your reply to them. It is impossible to quantify love between animals and people. It is just there :)

1:27 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger My furry friends said...

I agree with what you said. It is hard for non-pet lovers to understand the sacrifice we are willing to make for our cats. Most will find that it is not worth it to spend so much time and money on a pet cause they think its only a pet. when my Orange got fractured pelvis, we've never thought of putting him to sleep and only thoughts of getting him better. To us, they are part of our world, a necessity we can't live without.

11:48 PM, November 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right about the overseas holidays!! When my child got married overseas, i did not go to wedding dinner-a bit too much i know. Now i dread for any new addition-which wld mean g'ma's extended duty away from my pets ;( I have not visited child once!
My dog has heart problem. Everyday it has a pulse is a blessing. Supplements like taurine, CoQ12 may help, best to check with yr vet.

11:28 AM, January 02, 2009  

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