I live with a big orange tabby.  I have no idea how old he is.  He was an adult rescue.  He has been extremely friendly.  Crawling all over anyone who comes to visit.  He’s big but not fat.  For years his weight has hovered between 17 and 19 pounds.  Over the last couple of years, he became less playful and started napping more.  In the last couple of months, the naps have become more frequent.  A couple of years ago, he had a bout of pancreatitis.  He didn’t like the pills, but he was better after a few days.

Monday, I fed him some canned food and then left for work. When I came home, it was obvious he had been unwell on the bathroom floor.  He still drinks water but has ignored food since.  He was never much of a bed cat, but last night he curled up with me.

A week ago, I had a notification he had a wellness check due.  It’s now scheduled for August 22nd!  That’s how busy local veterinarians are at the moment.  He has an emergency visit today.  I telephoned yesterday, but there wasn’t anyone available to see him in the afternoon.  I just hope he makes it through this morning.

I suspect the crisis of animal care is related to a couple of things.  One, a lot more people live in our valley and make demands for pet care.  Two, we aren’t graduating enough animal care specialists.  When I was a young guy growing up in rural America, becoming a vet was a ticket to a very good living.  Today, I wonder if the allure has faded.  It’s not easy to look into innocent eyes and know you have to put the animal down.  It’s also terrible to watch a fuzzy friend fade away.  You get a sense of helplessness.

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