Back in January of 2000, my family suffered the loss of our furry friend, Tommykat. He was a stray cat that we began taking care of. Tommy remained an outdoor cat, but we let him in at night, gave him lots of love, and fed him. Our mistake was that we never took him to the vet for his vaccinations, and months later he got sick and left us. We still don't know what illness took our Tommykat's life and there were very few signs that he was even sick. We only see them in hindsight.
All that I can really remember now is the day that I figured out
that something was wrong...he came in the house one morning and was freaking out on everything! I called my mother (who was in another state) and told her everything that he was doing. So while I was on the phone with her she checked out the Internet to see what illness he could have matching his symptoms. The only thing that she could match was rabies. She told me to call animal control and have them come get him, because I have two small children. At this time he was trying to bite everyone that came near him, including me! So I got him to go into my room and shut the door and called them. They came to get him.
When the man came in the house he went to my room and said "This
is one sick cat. You can tell because he smells like sickness!". I had no idea what he meant by that because I never thought that Tommy smelled. He got him in the truck, by means that I didn't agree with, and came back to talk to me. I asked him if there was a way that they could check him for rabies and he told me to call and talk to someone at the clinic. So after he left I did. The woman that I spoke with told me that they could test him but they would have to send him to another lab to do this and that it would be a few days. I called everyday, crying and agonizing, to ask how he was doing and told them that if it turned out to not be rabies, that I wanted to come get him and take him to my vet to see if there was anything that I could do to help him so that we could keep him. They told me that was fine!!! I called back at the end of the week to see how the testing went and they said that the rabies test came out negative. I was elated and told them that I would be in later that day to come get him. Tommykat would soon be part of our family! That's when they told me that I couldn't come for him because they had to put him to sleep to run the test! You couldn't imagine what I was like when they told me this! They knew that I wanted to have him back, I had told them at least three times in the week that this whole thing took place. Never once did they tell me that they had to put him to sleep to do any testing!
I have been dealing with the guilt of this ever since. All that I wanted to do was help him, give him the love that I don't think he ever had, and instead I sent him away to Animal Control and they killed him!
So I decided to write a web page in honor of our beloved Tommykat, to share our story, and to do our best to prevent others from making the same mistakes. I was very pleased when Maxine asked me to memorialize my Tommykat as one of her Bridge Babies.