Off Topic > Feel Like Crap-Cat Died on My Watch (14 replies)
Feel Like Crap-Cat Died on My Watch
by Sunsilver on 21 June 2012 - 11:20
|As some of you know, I own a boarding kennel There's this very nice cat that's been coming here ever since I bought the place two years ago, and probably for a long time before that. He's 12 years old, and the owner is a young guy who obviously is very fond of him.|
I noticed he was drinking a lot of water, and peeing a lot, but didn't worry too much about it. I've seen end-stage kidney failure in cats, and they get very, very thin before they die. This cat was a normal weight.
He did seem a bit lethargic, but it's been hellish hot here, and he was still eating and drinking and using the litterbox, so I didn't worry. I just made sure I kept the water bowl topped up, as he was drinking a lot. The cat kennel is in the basement, and it's nice and cooll down there, so he definitely wasn't suffering from the heat.
Last night, I found him lying stone cold dead on the flloor of his cage. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. Then, of course, the guilt came rushing in.
I should have noticed something wasn't right with him. I shouldn't have let my summer helper be the one to look after him the last two evenings: I should have done it myself, and maybe I'd have noticed something wasn't right with him.
Now I have to make the phone call to tell the owner. I didn't do it last night, as it was so late when I found he'd died.
Crap. Poor Tiger!
by laura271 on 21 June 2012 - 12:37
|Jeez! The call to the owner will be very difficult.|
I live nearish to you and you are absolutely correct- it's really hot here right now (in the 90s F or 30s C)! You just described both of my Germans - lethargic, drinking tons of water, panting, and peeing a lot. Bosco is acting like he's going to explode from the heat!
by beetree on 21 June 2012 - 12:39
|So sorry, sounds like the whole situation is sad. The cat went naturally, so don't fret. You weren't neglecting the animal. Cats are good at being alone when they feel like dying. I hope the owner takes it as well as they can, I'm sure it will be a hard conversation to have. |
RIP, Tiger, you were a respected customers beloved cat.
by muttlover25 on 21 June 2012 - 12:55
|So sorry to hear about Tiger thats a really hard situation. I too own a boarding kennel and thats definately the worst call to have to make. Its good that you've had him in the past and he wasn't a new client at least you have some experience with the owners. |
by Sunsilver on 21 June 2012 - 14:03
|So, I called the contact number the owner left. I can't believe what I found out: the contact has NO way of getting hold of the owner!|
What if I'd noticed the cat wasn't well? Would this person (I think it must be his sister) have the authority to let me take it to the vet, and spend possibly hundreds of dollars on its treatment?
Good gravy, if you're going to leave an EMERGENCY contact number, at LEAST make sure the person has some way of contacting you!!
He won't be back in town until the 29th, so the person I talked to said it was okay for me to put the cat's remains in the freezer until he returns. (I have a spare fridge in the basement that I'm not using.)
The summer helper said the cat looked just fine the last time she saw it, and was eating and drinking. I've had cats most of my life, but have never had one die suddenly like this. And he was 10 years old, not 12.
If it were my cat, I'd be tempted to have a necropsy done! He must have died shortly after I looked in on him yesterday morning, because he was cold and stiff by the time I found him.
by fawndallas on 21 June 2012 - 15:01
I am sorry for the call you have to make. RIP Tiger
by Red Sable on 21 June 2012 - 15:34
|So sorry Sunsilver, I know how you feel.|
I remember when my it was my daughters turn to bring home the class 5 yr old guinea pig for March break, and it started peeing blood. So, I called the vet, and he said it had crystals in its urine due to being fed rabbit food it's whole life (not enough Vit C). Well, a few days later it died. Ugh. That was a hard phone call, and on top of that, I paid the vet bill.
by muttlover25 on 21 June 2012 - 22:25
|I hate when you call to ask questions or have concerns and the emergency contact has no clue plus can't get ahold of the owner! Thats happened to me with the kennel too, its very frustrating and forces me to tell every client that I'll go above and beyond for their pet and that we are in charge if their contact doesn't take charge. Not good.|
by beetree on 21 June 2012 - 22:31
|You can now make a note to yourself, to next time, always verify the "emergency contact number". Live and learn.|
by brynjulf on 22 June 2012 - 00:22
|So sorry to here that Sunsilver. We have all had to make that call once or twice in this business. It's never easy. Our thoughts will be with you today.|
by GSDtravels on 25 June 2012 - 05:11
|I'm sorry Sunsilver, that must have been hard. I'm sure there's nothing you could have done, but it's natural to second guess ourselves and wonder. Don't beat yourself up, he went peacefully, evidently.|
by Bhaugh on 30 June 2012 - 02:12
|If it makes you feel better, a good friend of mine asked me to watch her aged ferret. She had NEVER left the ferret with anyone before and said she was confident I would take good care of him. He died! Luckily she took it well and dropped him off for creamation. It was horrible to say the least.|
Let us know how it goes. Not much you can do "when its time to go to the bridge"
by Sunsilver on 01 July 2012 - 05:11
|The owners (a man and his son) came to pick up the cat today. I told them what had happened, and they accepted it without a problem. They are going to take the cat to the vet for disposal of the body.|
They were aware of the excessive drinking/peeing, and said the cat had an infection (not likely IMO!) They were going to have the vet investigate further when they came back from holidays. I did talk to the vet (as I mentioned earlier) and, of course, he couldn't reveal details due to privacy issues. I am sure he would have treated the cat before it came to be boarded if the problem had been an infection. There were no traces of blood in the urine, and the cat wasn't leaking urine anywhere. (And I've had LOTS of experience with bladder infections in my own cats.)
And now I've got a cat in that looks like the dead cat's twin brother. He hasn't eaten or used the litter box in the 24 hours he's been here. The cat cages are built with 4 levels, so the cats can get some excercise and get up high where they feel safe. Tonight, I dragged out a step stool, as the cat wasn't being co-operative, pulled him off the shelf, and deposited him next to the litterbox. I wanted to make sure he was able to reach it without problems.
I then went to feed the two other cats we currently have boarded. By the time I'd done that, the tabby was back on the top shelf, with the litter box and food still untouched!
That darn cat had better at least pee by tomorrow morning! I don't want to drag a cat off to the vet on Sunday!
by Bhaugh on 03 July 2012 - 01:09
|Cats are horrible for starving themselves. Good thoughts for you and your new board.|
by Sunsilver on 03 July 2012 - 14:13
|The new guy's doing okay now.|
He doesn't like the bedding I've put in his cage, though, and he keeps knociking it into the litter box and peeing on it. He's also peed on the floor.
The other two cats (which are caged together) have decided they don't much like their litterbox either, and are pooping on the floor, in the far back corner where I practically need to go down on hands and knees to reach the poop.
I see a cage redesign coming in the very near future....