I got up early yesterday morning because I had to get two of the outdoor cats to the vet for their respective surgeries.
As I said, one has been living on the screened-in porch and one in the outdoor enclosure.
Catching the little feral girl was hard, but I was finally able to scare her into the crate without having to actually wrestle with her.
She is the cat who's been recovering from herpes and was now due for a spay.
The other cat was going in to have his teeth cleaned.
My husband and went back to the vet that evening to pick them up and pay. Usually they bring the cages out to you, hand you the meds and send you home.
This time they invited my husband and I to wait in an exam room for a doctor.
The tech brings in Biscuit (the dental) in his cage and leaves. Then the doctor comes in and tells us that the other cat just now died while they were getting her ready to go home. He says he's going to do a post-op exam and find out the problem and will we wait.
So we wait a bit and his assistant comes in and tells us that her intestines had been filled with fluid and that she had FIP. It's a hard to detect, untreatable and unvaccinatable viral infection.
So, here's where I am now. I have a colony of ten cats who I have to assume, all have this virus. Some are showing the sniffly signs, some aren't (apparently there's a wet and dry version of the virus to complicate things).
We have to have all of them destroyed.
I've been taking care of them for two years now and have to admit I've grown somewhat attached. They're so sweet. And animals are my super soft spot. This is making me really sad and I can't think about it too long without tearing up.
My husband was raised on a farm and has a more practical attitude. He says sedate them and then shoot them between the eyes. I tell him I equate guns with violence and can't do violence to something I love.
I ideally want them put down with drugs and sedatives. The way I see it; I have to live with the memory of their demise for the rest of my life and $300.00 is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.
He says I'm being too emotional and that shooting would be just as quick and painless if done right.
I told him that if he goes and decides to do anything like that, then do it when I'm not around and don't ever tell me anything about it.
I just absolutely could not do that.
I will admit though, that both of us are experiencing some relief over the situation. We've agonized over what to do about the cats when it comes time to sell the house.
You can't sell a house that comes with a built-in colony of cats. And we didn't want to take them all with us, even if we had a lot of acreage.
At least with this scenario, we know there was no option. We get a clean slate.
But the erasing is going to be so painful.