Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Shitty-Ass Weekend.

Courtney and I had a horrible experience this weekend.

It all started on Saturday when we went to PetSmart to buy a fish or two. Some dogs were there from a no-kill animal shelter. One in particular caught our attention, he was a four year-old Chow/Shepard mix. He was very low-key and had a big smile on his face. We took him outside and he was very playful. When you pushed on his rear he would roll around and playfully growl (very reminiscent of my last dog). The one thing that was different than Jaik was that he was a physical powerhouse- he was very well-built and was capable of pulling you around if you let him. Ultimately, he reminded us so much of Jaik that we decided to adopt him.

We took him home and expected the typical Dill-has-a-hissy-fit-with-a-strange-dog experience. Dill is our male cat and he hates everyone but us. Sure enough, Dill hated him and the dog seemed to react the way any dog reacts to a cat that hisses- he wanted to chase him around. We ended up putting both of our cats on high ground and allowing them familiarize themselves with each other. The whole experience was very normal and what we expected.

Chris and Heather came over that night (something we had been trying to plan for months). We grilled outside and they seemed to like the dog as well. At one point Dill went outside and the dog immediately chased him. Dill reached high ground about 10 feet later and we all chuckled as the pair continued to stair at each other. Courtney and I both agreed that Dill was the issue and that the dog would be fine once the drama was over. A couple hours later Chris and Heather went home and we decided to go to bed.

We figured it would be best if we would lock the dog in the bedroom and let the cats have full roam of the house. I was laying on the bed with the dog and Courtney was still up and about. The dog jumped down and stuck his head under the bed, I presumed because a cat was still in the room. The next thing I know I hear Courtney screaming and I jump off the bed to see the dog's mouth clamped onto Kitty's head and neck. Everything that happened next was in slow mo.

I yelled the dog's name ... nothing happened. I struck the dog twice ... nothing happened. The dog clearly wasn't playing around and wasn't letting go. I didn't know what else to do so I worked my hands into the his mouth and began trying to pull his jaws apart. In what seemed like an eternity, but what was more likely 10-30 seconds, I pulled as hard as I could. Eventually the dog opened his mouth and went right back to being the calm dog we had experienced all day. I drug him into the shower stall and closed the door.

What I saw when I came back into the room is a scene I will never forget. Courtney was laying on the floor next to our mostly lifeless cat (her tongue was hanging out and she was breathing rapidly). There was blood all over our hands, the carpet, even the wall. Kitty was bleeding out of her mouth. Courtney was hysterical (understandably so) and cat hair was everywhere. I stood there for a moment in complete fucking shock. I kept thinking, "What the fuck just happened? How the fuck did this just happen?"

I got on the upstairs computer and began looking for 24-hour vets. I was so freaked out and after a couple of minutes I just couldn't find one (this should have been an easy task). I remembered that Dusty & Niki (good friends and neighbors) had recently dealt with taking their dog to a 24-hour vet, so I called their home phone. Now I can't imagine what it must have been like to be woken up at 3 AM with this story, but Niki was in front of our house a couple minutes later waiting to drive us to the vet.

We took Kitty to the vet and explained what had happened. They took a bunch of X-Rays, gave Kitty steroid shots, and then put her into an oxygen chamber. When they finally let us see her Kitty looked the same as when she had been hurt. She did recognize us however, and tried to meow (along with moving her front legs a little). It's one of the saddest things I have ever seen. She ended up dying a few hours later from brain swelling.

When we went home I took the dog outside and started cleaning up the carnage that was our bedroom. We returned the dog the next day and the shelter volunteers were very apologetic. They insisted on paying the vet fees ($360) and offered to let us adopt another cat or dog and no cost. We told them that adopting a new pet wasn't a high priority on our list and went home.

I don't know how to really close this story. Courtney and I feel very responsible. Kitty was only 5 years old and she died a horrible tragic death at the hands of a dog we brought home. I know you're not supposed to play the blame-game, but it's hard not to think we could/should have prevented what happened. I guess it could argued that the situation was inevitable though (both cats, neighbors dog, who knows). It also still freaks me out how quickly that dog went into kill-mode and then back out of it. I always felt sorry for old dogs at the shelter. Nevertheless, that's the last time that Courtney and I attempt to do something about it.


Kitty

2 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for both of you... what a sad, fucked up situation. Kitty, wherever you are, we miss you.

    ReplyDelete