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Amber

Amber is no more.

He went at home, two weeks ago.

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Amber

This week I made a difficult decision.

For some time now… really the last couple of years, Amber, my Mom’s cat, has been less than fastidious with his toilet habits. Before we moved, I was just about at my wit’s end about having to constantly clean up after him, about his using the carpet for a toilet more often than not.

Finally, I tried a lower box and a litter designed for older and long-haired cats and it seemed to work. He often peed outside the box but as long as we put down absorbent pads, he kept it more or less to the vicinity of the box. There were a few accidents on the new hardwood floor and once we moved, he seemed to be staying on the special mats in the bathroom. Until the last two weeks….

He started peeing in various spots in the living room and dining room and in Mom’s bedroom and then pooping, as well.

I finally put my foot down.

As much as I love Amber, I simply cannot add cleaning up after him to my already long list of daily chores. I told Mom that it is time. He is somewhere between 16 and 19 and suffers from arthritis, has a bad heart, and the peeing is probably a sign that his kidneys are failing. During our last visit to the vet with him, I spoke about his drinking and peeing all the time and she had felt that this was the likely problem. This week I went in to talk with her and I said that I would be bringing him in in the next few weeks.

Amber on the farm

Mom says she understands but I know how painful this is for her. He is a lovely old fellow and a loving companion for her. The two spend all day on the couch together and he sleeps in her room at night.

I just can’t continue. Quite apart from the added frustration and work, there is the smell. Some nights I have to spray perfume around my room and burn incense so I can sleep. I can’t bring anyone over to the house and have to warn any servicemen who come. Mom, of course, doesn’t smell it because like many older folks, her sense of smell is diminished. Sometimes I think she doesn’t believe me. And she always says “What about that stuff you can spray to discourage them from peeing…” Firstly, I would have to spray it all over the main floor and secondly, I am one of those humans who can smell it and it makes me puke… literally….

I have done what I can and, as the vet said, judging from his last visit, this cannot be comfortable for him. He is likely experiencing discomfort.

I just feel horrible about having to make the decision and about telling Mom that he has to go.

There really is no other option. No one would take him because of the toilet habits and sending him to a farm is just cruel. He is in his dotage and all he wants is someplace warm to sleep away the days. This is really the only option, much as it breaks Mom’s heart (and mine, truth be told…).

I took him in for his grooming to make him more comfortable for the next two weeks.

Inscrutable

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