Gone Too Soon

In Columns

I remember the day our family considered adoption. Although we already had two kids, there was something missing. We asked ourselves if this was really what we wanted. After careful consideration, (we are getting up there in years) we decided adoption was the best. We went through the screening process of face-to-face interviews, filling out tons of paperwork, and having our home inspected. Passing all the criteria with flying colors the day finally came when we were matched up with a little one. 11 weeks old and a girl, but that was fine. We were so happy the day we went to pick her up that I remember it so vividly.

She cried so loudly all the way home and we could tell she didn’t like the ride in the car at all. She calmed down once she arrived at the house and we went right to showing her around her new surroundings. We decided to name her Jeanie Lynn and she was a bundle of joy from the get-go. We would set her down and let her play and she was such a joy to watch. Looking up at us with those big eyes completely melted our hearts. We got her special youngster formula food and she would ravenously finish every meal. Then naptimes would envelop and calm our romping nerves.

We had so much fun watching her grow up, and taking her outside for the first time was the best thing ever. She even tried to reach up and grab a bird as it flew by. We were so happy with Jeanie and never regretted adoption. You watch them grow, but you hardly notice any changes unless you haven’t seen them for a while. One day, Jeanie started looking depressed. When I really looked at her I could tell that she lost some weight. Her ribs were more prominent than ever. This alarmed us greatly so we went to the emergency room. Her appetite was suppressed and she just seemed lethargic. A nurse took some blood and after a brief examination, it was decided that we should return home until the blood work came back. We went home and waited for a call.

The next day the doctor himself called and divulged that Jeanie’s white blood cell count was sky high, her sodium levels were through the roof and her protein levels were non-existent. Ok, doc, cut to the chase, what does this all mean? It meant that her kidneys were failing. Jeanie has irreparable kidney damage and unless a transplant can be arranged, she will not last long at all. We were shattered. There was no way that we could afford the cost of such operation in such lean times. We don’t have insurance, and not nearly enough in savings, and already have a bill of nearly a thousand dollars finding out what ailed Jeanie which left us with only one alternative.

Jeanie graced us with her unconditional affection for 22 months. She had no idea what was wrong with her, but you could tell that she wasn’t the same. Fate dealt her a sham of a hand and yet she was as affectionate as she could be even to the end. With her grim outlook, we chose to end any possibility of future suffering. I told the doctor and he concurred and supported the decision. I chose to attend and we put poor Jeanie asleep the next day. This experienced blew me away with emotion. I watched Jeanie, who was purring away and looking back, as the liquid of permanent slumber entered her shriveled body. A little life that touched and brightened the lives of four flickered away. Good-bye, sweet Jeanie Lynn. A kitty, gone too soon.

Jeff Payne

blogger, videographer, pet-lover

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