Tom's Not at Home Tonight

One of the things I didn't know about our new house was that we have a coyote and family of foxes living in our back yard.

A few nights ago we heard loud noises outside. The last one was sort of a crashing sound. I ran to the front door where I found Tom. He was very freaked out and had a painful looking limp.

He's limped before and usually gets over it in a few minutes. This time was different. Around midnight I took him to a 24 hour vet and a lot of poking, prodding, and two x-rays later, they explained that he'd blown out at least two of the ligaments in his knee. They also said he was a really friendly cat.

I already knew that but it warrants some explaining.

Christine and I found Tom at a friends house six years ago. We were enjoying a bonfire when this tiny, pathetic looking kitten, stumbled blindly into the fire. I grabbed him before he got burned and he sat in my lap and purred. His eyes were swollen shut from what looked like the worst cold ever.

When you have 20+ barn cats that come and go, they don't exactly get extensive medical care. It would cost the GDP of a small country to keep up, so sick kittens usually don't make it. Our friends went above an beyond for these cats, but Tom was too far gone. Such is the life of a barn cat.

Tom and I became fast friends so I asked if we could take him home. Over night Tom became part of our family.

Pretty soon his eyes opened up and he was getting stronger even if he was still on the small side.

Tom in the sink


He kept me company while I did school work.


Paul & Tom School Work


He single handedly knocked over our Christmas tree which is hilarious in retrospect.

Tom & the tree


He was there when Alex was born.


Tom and Alex


And he didn't seem to mind when Alex became the center of our universe.


2004-06-02_paul_alex_tom


As he grew up he behaved a lot more like a dog than a cat. He was never very good at jumping, he had the balance of a drunk person and he followed me everywhere.

I decided to tell him he was a dog and he seemed OK with it.


Tom


Tom has been part of our family for 6 years.


Tonight Tom is sleeping in a surgeon's office missing one of his back legs.

I got to decide between putting him to sleep, doing re-constructive surgery and going through months of recovery for a possible fix, or amputating his leg. Three horrible options forced into consideration by the life of constant pain that would result from my inaction.

I chose the answer that I think will give him the fastest recovery and best quality of life. It was the best I could do and it still sucks. He's a good cat and a good friend. Tonight he's well medicated and sleeping comfortably. Tomorrow I'll bring him back home to his family.


Tom Red Blinket