Second life

CW: Animal death

I didn’t have to euthanize my cat, by the closest shave possible.

My friend Viv, who lives in Canada, has a mother that apparently has connections all over and knew some people in Phoenix. An hour before the appointment, they told me their mom was in contact with someone in my area who was interested in Ava. My first response was obviously anger and denial, because it was too late right? A perfect solution couldn’t just fly at my out of nowhere. I tried to tell them, it was too damn late for that. Connie privately told me that it was never too late and I should take this chance, don’t panic, that it’s always worth trying, I’ll regret it if I don’t try. I knew they were right.

So Vivian and I start messaging this guy frantically explaining the situation. He doesn’t respond. The hour ticks on by and I lose hope again, of course it wasn’t going to work, why should it? I yelled at my dad something about hating adults that don’t check their messages often. I gather Ava up and my dad and I drive to the vet and I’m already crying. It’s too real, she sounded so mournful and I couldn’t help but already grieve. I’m still checking my phone every two seconds, hearing Connie’s voice in my head saying it wasn’t too late, it wasn’t too late. Still no response. We arrive at the vet and my face crumbles, I couldn’t speak, let alone breathe, so my dad talks for me. He doesn’t have to say what the appointment was for, the nurses knew. He asked if I wanted him to be in the room when it happens, I shook my head. I was dissociating so heavily, hiccuping and trying to explain to the nurse in the little check up room why I had to put down a perfectly healthy, young cat. That the humane society would’ve euthanized her anyway, that I had done everything I could.

I was left alone in the room with Ava. My breath wouldn’t stop hitching, but I apologized anyway, over and over again, how sorry I was for all of this.

My phone dinged and my heart jumped. He messaged back, “Sorry I didn’t see this until now.” Yeah, buddy, I know. It wasn’t even him who was interested in the first place, it was a coworker of his. Giving more details, he finally said, “If the alternative is putting her down my coworker will take her depending on the fee you’re looking for.”

I push the office door open and gesture to my dad to come in and he looks at me in confusion. My face is scrunched and I can’t get anything out for a second and he thinks they’ve already taken her, that she was already gone. I choke out that there’s someone who can take her, despite her behavioral problems, that I’m talking to them now — I start hyperventilating. My eyes were rolling and he grabs my shoulder, saying, “look at me, breathe,” and I’ve never been more thankful to my dad.

I get a hold of myself and start texting them back frantically, asking if their coworker is sure, because she needs a lot of patience and love, and, “I don’t care about the fee, I don’t want anything.”

“Yeah my coworker is sure.”

My chest seized so tightly with hope, I think I made some kind of strangled noise because my dad hugged me. The vet opened the door the next second. Explaining this all to him, I probably looked like a mess, but he had the purest look of relief on his face. I ask him if he can give me ten minutes, just ten minutes to talk to this coworker and figure out what to do, and he said of course, take all the time I needed, the euthanasia could be held off indefinitely. I type back, does this coworker live in Phoenix? How soon can they take her? “She was suddenly added to the conversation, responding immediately that she did indeed live in Phoenix and if I could wait 15 minutes for her to get off work to call.

Fifteen minutes is enough time for me to calm the hell down enough to start creating rational thoughts again. After that time passes, she texts back asking what vet I’m at, that she’ll meet me there. Giving more details and a picture of Ava, it’s apparent that she’s been wanting a new cat, that she’d make it work. I’m so flabbergasted by this entire thing, I agreed to give her the small cat tree I bought with my own damn money when I was living alone. It took her 45 minutes to arrive, apparently from the complete other side of town, in rush hour traffic. The vet closed around us and we ended up introducing them outside. Ava had no idea what the fuck was going on, suddenly being passed around from her to her friend. She’s got a kind face, young, has a stable job, and another cat that is apparently very tame. The urinating problem didn’t phase her at all as that big of a deal.

“I’ll be honest, this seems so serendipitous, I was just wanting a new cat!” I couldn’t have agreed more.

They followed us to our house and I run inside, gathering up everything I could possibly think that she’d need. We gave them cat food, toys, four months worth of her medicine, a litter box and fresh litter, the goddamn cat tree, all of her paperwork she came with, I wanted to give them more. No, of course I didn’t want a fee, I just wanted someone to love her as much as I did. She hugged me and my mom and shook my dad’s hand, assuring she’d be well taken care of, and I trust her, we’re even friends on Facebook now. Ava was upset, but she was alive and I was so thankful I couldn’t even express it properly.

And they drove away. Just like that. I was two minutes away from euthanizing her, if he had responded any later… It feels so much like fate to me. Like a fucking miracle. The fact that this happened through Vivian, who lives in Canada, the best friend of Connie, who I met on twitter a year ago, it’s so ridiculous and wild that all of this played out the way it did. I couldn’t be happier.

Later that night, I hugged my mom tight and she said, “I feel like I can finally be excited about your top surgery.” I felt that way too, like an enormous weight was lifted off of me.

So, I’m not religious, but I spent a good solid seven minutes thanking whatever was out there for this. Between Ava and the top surgery, I feel so overwhelmed, but so fucking happy and so appreciative to my loved ones who made this solution possible.

Today I’m going to prep my room and buy some post-surgery necessities without the weight of grief hanging over me. Needless to say, I’ll be in good spirits on Monday.


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