Today I had to do one of the hardest things ever in my life and have my cat Blaze put to sleep. We made it down to San Marcos, California to see her primary vet and after discussion and a lot of thought and tears I had to let her go.
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Blaze was born in Vancouver, Washington in the fall of 1990. I met her in the spring of 1991 at the local SPCA shelter when I went to adopt a second cat to keep my first cat, Mala, company.
The shelter there kept animals for seven days before putting them down; I was introduced to Blaze on her seventh day and put down a deposit, then waited 24 hours to adopt. I brought her home and she met Mala for the first time. Mala was a people person: she loved to be held, brushed and even slept under the covers in bed most nights. Blaze had been abused by whoever had her before me. She was afraid of any unanticipated noise like a knock at the door or a toilet flushing. This is one of the few pictures I have of both my cats. It was taken in Mexico when I lived there in 2000-2001.
Blaze was exactly the opposite around other animals. She would chase poor Mala around at will and even attacked a poodle once when we lived in Georgia, when it made the mistake of crossing “her” yard.
Before I became a truck driver I moved around a lot and the cats came with me, naturally. Blaze had racked up something on the order of 20,000 miles with me out on the road before she came on to the truck earlier this year, and 60,000 miles or so since. As with the other moves, she took it all in stride.
About a year ago she had a growth removed from under her left eye. The tissue was tested and the results came back positive as a Mast Cell tumor. In dogs this form of cancer is very aggressive, whereas in cats it generally progresses slower.
After she recovered from the operation I flew her down to Mexico during the summer while I worked my last IT job remotely. Here she is trying to cope with the jet lag:
Then in the back yard keeping a lid on things:
Of course, she always kept an eye out for interlopers:
Blaze was spayed before I adopted her so she has no progeny. Unfortunately, feline and canine pet overpopulation requires the killing of approximately 16 million cats and dogs each year here in the US alone. Today, along with Blaze, roughly 40,000 other cats and dogs had to be put down. If you truly consider yourself a cat (or dog) fancier please adopt them from a shelter, have them spayed or neutered, and avoid subsidizing commercial puppy farms.