Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Difficult Decision

I called SPCA to bring a stray cat away on Mon. I was unable to get transport to bring it to SPCA. If we transport the animal to SPCA vet clinic, at least we know the vet's decision after examining the animal. If SPCA pick up the animal, then we would not be informed what happened to it- whether it was put down or  if its condition is treatable.

The cat was not eating since last week. This week, it refused to take even water. It was dripping saliva badly. I have been trying my best to clean its mouth and body. As the stray was sick, it was getting dirty and flies were hovering around it. Then on Mon, there was bleeding in the mouth. I do not wish have it suffer and die a lingering death of hunger and thirst. I decided to call SPCA. However, when I took a last look at it before it went into the SPCA van, its eyes were clear. On Sun it could hardly opened its eyes. Eyes clarity indicates the health of the cat. So is it recovering? I am not sure if I made the right decision which decided its life. It had such spelled of mouth problem before, but it recovered within a week. It was still sunning itself and was drinking. This time round, it was much worst.

There was another stray which also had mouth problem. It was so skinny during its last day that it broke my heart. The next day, it was gone. Strays usually hide somewhere to die. So I told myself I will not let this happen again to another stray. I will do something to put it out of its misery early.

Both cats showed similar changes - they hid most of the day and turn up only for a short duration. They were passive and non responsive when call. Lost interest in food because they could not hardly eat. When they were healthy, they linger around the void deck and ran excitedly towards feeders for food and/or affectionate stroke. They ate eagerly, after which they laze around to sun themselves. One of them would sit in front of the lift so as not to miss any feeders emerging. It loved to butt head with other cats as sign of greeting. The other one would appear when it hears the jingling of keys when I opened the letter box.

Fond memories lasting less than a year. Life span of strays are short, on average 2 to 5 years. Healthy cats can live above 10 years. My pet cat at home is already 12 years old. Compare to the strays down stair, he looks younger. Clear eyes and mouth.

Strays do have a hard life. They eat all sort of things given by feeders. Some feeders out of ignorant give them left over food, chicken and fish bones with/without meat attached. This food is not only unhealthy but can cause mouth problem. The bone either damage the teeth or get stuck in the gum. Being unable to eat and drink is terrible. Its fate is sealed and it will linger for weeks suffering before death. No strays should go through such suffering in urban S'pore. If only strays feeders get themselves acquainted with proper feeding and diet of cats, such unintentional harm to strays would be avoided.

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