Until yesterday, the cats outnumbered the people at the Evil Lair. Carl, the big fluffy tuxedo cat, hadn't been doing well for the better part of 2 months. Looking back, he wasn't the healthiest pet I've ever owned. After years of multiple procedures, medications, & additional care, Phil & I had a tough discussion last Sunday about how much more we should do. We took him to the vet one last time on Tuesday & she was very compassionate about the whole thing.
Our vet is Dr. Palmer & she works at VCA City Cats in Arlington, MA. VCA City Cats is great for us inasmuch as it's T accessible; has ample parking; is not terribly expensive; is linked up with the 24 hour vet hospital in Woburn (for late night emergencies); has convenient hours; & has a really cool/efficient/knowledgeable/dedicated staff. Carl was one of those cats who often needed the chain gloves (:-|) but he liked Dr. Palmer & her staff. She is a bit of a cat whisperer.
Dr. Palmer recommended a vet who makes house calls - Dr. Johnson from Lincoln Veterinary Services. If Carl needed another consult or if we decided it was his time, she could help us. As the week progressed, Carl was declining quickly. Yesterday (Sunday), we decided not to wait any longer. Our options were to wait until the vet office opened on Monday; go to the emergency vet; or call Dr. Johnson. We decided to call Dr. Johnson & she was available within a few hours. She was AMAZING with the whole thing.
Side note: while we passing the afternoon waiting for Dr. Johnson, our dear friend, BGR, texted me, asking if we were up to anything devious. Phil had been pretty upset all day - Carl is technically his cat & he made the decision. As soon as he saw BGR's text, he started laughing, "I just hired a cat hit woman to take out my cat. Does that count as devious?".
I won't get into the details but I was unsure what to expect from the whole thing. When I made the call, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask a lot of "operational" questions. That's actually why I am writing this blog post - maybe somebody will stumble upon it & perhaps it will be helpful? Basically, she came to the house with her doctor bag & examined Carl. She validated our decision & explained the procedure (3 shots). In the end, she was at our house for under an hour. She wrapped him in one of my sweaters that he liked to sleep on & took him with her. The procedure cost $400 & she takes cash, checks, or credit cards. Luckily, I've not had to price this out before but I *think* this was a fair rate - especially since it was a weekend & it made things a lot easier for both us & Carl one last time.
I love animals so much but this is the real downside - you rarely outlive your pets. Oddly, while I am sad about Carl's passing, in some ways, it's a relief. He had been sick for so long. I can see the 2 other cats are definitely relieved...I was not expecting that.
Aside from the vet recommendations, I have a couple of other cat recommendations that have worked well for us:
Bench & Field Cat Treats - Our cats are somewhat picky & prefer to hover around the dinner table for scraps vs. eating their own food. These are the only cat treats they like.
Target Brand Unscented Cat Litter - It's no worse - and quite frankly, no better - than any other cat litter on the market. We've tried ALL of them. For $6, it's the best deal in town.
Cat Box Mat - I got a really cheap shower mat that looks like this; cut it in thirds; & placed a third in front of the cat box. The webbing seems to trap any extra litter as the cats step out of the box. It's been super helpful with keeping the area clean.
Hypno Mice - I have NO clue what's in these...but one cat carries this toy around in his mouth like it's an actual mouse he caught. Ridiculous & hilarious.
As always, if you have any cat recommendations, I am all (pointy cat) ears in the comments.