UPDATE (9/28): Clive did not make it. He was in immense pain and was put down very early this morning. Please the latest update post for more details.
This is a page to raise funds for an 8-year-old orange tabby named Clive. But first, a little backstory...
My name is Patrick, and I'm ... a guy. I have a wife and 3 kids. And the last few years of life have been tough. I held down a steady job for 4 years, but in the last year I started feeling really, REALLY worn down, worn out, and unappreciated. I felt lost and like no one would find me. I was depressed, and even though I was taking paxil, it didn't stop me from having a pretty severe breakdown.
After a week in a mental hospital, when I got out, one of the things my psychiatrist suggested was adopting a pet as a "therapeutic aid." My wife and I adopted two cats: Clive (est. age 8) and Freya (age 3). Freya immediately bonded with my wife. Clive was my buddy.
He's helped me through some really hard times in the last year. When I felt lost or confused or lonely, he was always there for me. He's a handsome man who loves belly rubs and chin rubs and ear rubs and he purrs at the drop of a dime. Just the sweetest, most wonderful cat ever. And when I was laid off from that steady, well-paying job in April, and as I've applied to dozens of jobs and received only a few interviews and zero offers ... he's been a solid rock, a safe and familiar place amidst the hell of the outside world and the noisy (but lovable) chaos made by my three children.
He understood me in a way no human could. When life just seemed bleak and terrible, he was there as a comfort and as someone who understood. He had spent a year of his life in an animal shelter, and who knows how long before that on the streets.
Exactly one week ago, Clive threw up a whole bunch and we didn't know what was wrong. We took him to the vets, and they determined he hadn't urinated in days (this we did not know, 2 cats 1 litter box). He had a "blockage." Possibly a kidney stone, possibly some other problem.
They had to put a catheter in him and sedate him and do all sorts of crazy stuff. That first bill cost $700 and was footed by some meager savings account funds and a loan from my own parents. After that, they said he had to urinate on his own, and if he didn't, we'd have real problems.
We brought him home, and monitored closely. He couldn't pee. I watched the guy stand in the litter box and wait and push and struggle and meow in pain ... nothing would come out. It was heart-wrenching.
The vet gave us two options:
1) a $1500 surgery (on top of another $500 we'd already accrued just for more catheters, sedatives, antibiotics and steroid shots to reduce swelling). This surgery essentially turns his physical goods into a more female shape. It allows for much easier urinating (this "blockage" problem typically only affects male cats), though it might also lead to some incontinence. He'll also require a special diet that is 6x the cost of the food he'd been eating before.
2) "put him down" -- euthanize him
I told the vet flat-out that we didn't have the money, but that I couldn't ever bring myself to put down a guy who's only 8 and, other than this peeing ordeal, is healthy as a horse and just the most wonderful little guy.
The vet then offered this solution: I would relinquish ownership of Clive to the vet. They would perform the surgery. If the surgery was successful and he survived, he would then be put up for adoption among a select clientele who are willing to pay top dollar for "rescue cats" -- that new owner would pay for his surgery and all other expenses.
I knew what the right choice was, so this morning I signed the papers. Clive is no longer a legal part of the family.
But I haven't been able to eat or sleep. I've been crying like a pathetic little child all day. I can't write (one of the few activities I have that I usually enjoy, and can sometimes bring in petty income). I can't think of anything but him.
He underwent the surgery today, and we don't know if it'll be enough to save him. I'll update this page constantly with any new information.
But here's the thing: I want to pay this bill. I want him back in the family where he belongs. His last year with us he's just been so wonderful. We brought items to him today before the surgery: a red blanket and a pillow that he loved sleeping on. It broke my heart watching him sniff those items, the only thing that were familiar to him in that sterile office.
I've never publicly begged for money before. But I'm begging you -- I need my Mister Clive back! If you can spare anything to help foot the bill so I can re-adopt my little guy, it would mean the world to me.
Feel free to ask any questions, and again, I'll update more as I get more info from the vet clinic. I'll also add pictures and video if people would like to see more of Clive (the default picture I've added is my wife and Clive together at the vet today).
-- Patrick Gann (and family)