Saturday, April 04, 2020

I saw her twice today

There's a stray cat hanging around my condo building. First I saw her disappear under a car in the neighbor's driveway. She moved so fast, I thought I'd imagined her. Then, when I went downstairs to get the mail,  I saw her on our porch. I was trying to figure out how I could get her up here and keep her segregated from Connie and Reynaldo -- social distancing is the order of the day for cats, too -- when the clanging of our elevator spooked her and she ran away.

I didn't chase her. Even if I did catch her, I didn't see how I could keep her comfortable and safe until I could get her to the vet on Monday. (If the vet would even be open on Monday.) Reynaldo is 16 years old. That's the equivalent of an 80 year old person. Now he still leaps and runs around and I believe that, except for his history of kidney trouble, he's healthy. But he's my responsibility and I have to be careful what/who he's exposed to.

Similarly, I have to protect Connie. She's 7 (or about 45 in human years) but she's had myriad health troubles. She has a chronic upper respiratory infection that manifests itself in runny, light-sensitive eyes. Her eyes are bright now but it's taken vigilance to get her healthy and keep her healthy. Plus, she's been exposed to FIP, a form of (wait for it) feline coronavirus. The vet advises me that she can live a normal life, until the opportunistic virus turns a simple malady, like a cold, into something fatal.

I made eye contact with the cat on my porch. I know I could care for her and come to love her. But I can't right now.

At least it won't be too cold tonight.

She looked very clean and healthy. Maybe she belongs to some unwise owner who let her roam and by now she's found her way home.

Because I can't save them all. I want to, but I can't.



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