It was my daughter’s 11th birthday. Family and friends were arriving in less than an hour to celebrate with cake and ice cream. The new kitten, a birthday present, was curled up on the bed. My husband Tom checked on the kitten and discovered Shadow was barely breathing. The kitten was at the vet the previous day for the mandatory checkup required by the Animal Rescue League. After a quick call to the vet, Tom rushed to the animal hospital with the kitten. Tom returned in time for the party but the kitten remained with the vet.
The kitten was very sick. The vet offered Tom a choice…treat the kitten and hope he gets better or euthanize the kitten. It was my daughter’s birthday. Tom told the vet to start treatment. On Friday night, the kitten had a 30% survival rate. We received an update on Saturday morning. The kitten was eating and appeared to be responding to the medication. The kitten’s survival rate jumped to 50%.
The vet informed us the kitten had to be sick at the time of adoption. I called the Animal Rescue League and told them about our situation including the financial output needed to help the kitten get well. The first thing the staff member at the ARL asked was “Did you buy pet insurance?” Since the first visit at the vet was included in the adoption fee, we did not think there was any rush to buy insurance. The staff member told us we could no longer buy pet insurance because the kitten had a pre-existing condition. To be honest…I doubt that we would have purchased the pet insurance anyway.
A few hours later, the Director of the ARL called with a solution. Euthanize the kitten and pick out a new one at no charge. Cold. This was not a shirt with a torn seam or an electronic game that malfunctioned. A week ago, when the ARL were encouraging an adoption, they wanted my daughter to love and care for an animal and make it part of our family. Now they wanted to dispose of the kitten and exchange it for a new one. According to their website, the organization claims to be the “County’s Largest Shelter in Size and Heart”. I don’t think so. My daughter was attached to this kitten. Shadow was her birthday kitten.
By Sunday morning, the kitten was pouncing around again. Shadow is coming home tonight.