by Janie Hopkins
(Chowchilla, CA )
Chance was 3 years old,the only surviving kitten in a litter of 4.
He was pretty much feral, not being around anyone but me. He rubbed against my legs, and liked to walk between them, like it was safe.
Recently he developed an abscess above his ear. It had been there well over a week, and was growing. It became severely infected, and although I kept trying to keep it open to drain, it would heal over and swell up again.
I was concerned about serious infection and harm it might do.
I took him to the vet, where they agreed it should be seen. They sedated him and took him to surgery. I got a call a short time later saying surgery had gone well, but as they removed the gas, he went into cardiac arrest and died.
To say I feel guilty is an understatement.
Now I am questioning everything. If I had been there would he have been less stressed and maybe this would have been prevented? Whether I should have even taken him in at all, that it would have cleared up on it's own, whether the vet was over his head in dealing with a feral cat, and whether he could have just sent me home with antibiotics, whether there were underlying health issues we did not know about that would have made him unsuitable for surgery.
I thought I was doing the right thing. I don't feel like that now.
He was a good cat.