One grows accustomed to the noises your pets make and what they mean. I own two Pitt Bulls who sound like they are fighting when they play, which scares most… but I recognise it for what it is.
This afternoon, I was at my desk in my office at home, and I heard what started off as a bickering type scuffle. I am aware of the neighbors and don’t like to have them be irritated by my hounds, so I hollered out the window, but it continued….. and then the ‘pitch changed’. ..
I bolted outside, and my two beautiful dogs were mauling my precious cat Marley. My Marley, who I have had for years and who is a part of me. We bonded in an unexplainable way when I became is owner – after he was shipped from pillar to post and cat homes and vets – UN-unwanted stray. His story… and the two weeks it took him after escaping the vet to make his way back towards my brothers house, crossing an 8 lane free way and losing his voice in the process… he is a giant soul.
I took him in reluctantly – being OCD about animal hair and the maintenance involved. But we bonded… almost instantly and he has always been close by. Always. He is the reason that I alive a few times over. In my suicidal lows, I would look at him and ‘stay’ because I didn’t know what would happen to him.
I screamed for James who came to my aid. I had managed to place myself between the dogs and Marley and James managed to pull the dogs off. It was hard to take it all in..
Marley was barley moving and he jaw was hung open and his eyeball was bloody. The extent of his injuries were hard to gauge because he was covered in blood and dog spit. I picked him up as gently as I could and carried in inside. His breathing was shallow and his pupils huge.
For a moment I was so angry that I contemplated killing my own dogs right there and then. I think the thing that saved them in that moment of pure heart broken rage was the expression of loss on James’ face and the fact that Marley required all of my attention.
Once at the vet, the nausea and the complete overwhelming fear that my Marley may die killed me and I broke down in the corner of the consulting room. My ability to ‘listen’ when I am that overwhelmed is non existent. But the ladies working on him where kind and patient.
He was given several large injections and a drip. His brain is swollen and if it swells too much he will seizure, and die. The window for ‘knowing’ what is next is three days. His jaw was crushed and his eyeball punctured. His back leg was also ripped and broken.
He was sedated and wrapped up in a blanket and taken away to where they keep badly injured animals. I could smell the cat pee on him,and it made me sick to think he was that afraid… my giant warrior cat was that afraid….
Bitten badly by the two dogs who he had slept next to, slept on top of, bantered with….
The image of him curled into a ball in the corner of the garden with my two tugging at him and in a frenzied state of attack will never leave me.
The vet explained to me that they will attempt to finish what they started and that I should re-home Marley. I wanted to be sick. That cat is like… a part of me. A part that I will die if they remove. I saved his life years ago, and he in return saved mine in my darkest moments.
Other option? Re homing my dogs? First – who would take two Pitt Bulls that had tried to kill a cat that they had NO problem with for 2 years previously. And Second – they cant be separated. Jack has never been on his own with out Lyra and cries for her when he doesn’t know where she is, so they would have to be taken together. The thought of them going to the wrong home…. kills me.
It kiss me enough to feel cornered into making a choice. Do I put them down because they will hunt my other animals – and maybe I wont be there to save them this time.
I have had a million versions of advice, from people who own Pitts andpeople who love cats – and to be honest – my brain hurts. This is not about IF I LOVE my animals. Of course I do. They are my…. babies. They have personalities that make my heart fill with pride and love and joy. But if Marley does in the next day or two from his injuries… will I be able to look at them the same way?
Will they harm other animals, children, people? My mind is blown because this is the first time that they have behaved like this at all. They have barked at cats, and they have yapped at others dogs – but NEVER have they drawn blood. Ever.
I am so torn. I don’t know what to do. I am too emotional to make any rational decisions. I cant re-home Marley. I wont. Not after his journey and mine with him. And my dogs… as much as they fart and chew my shoes and drive me mental… they are beautiful and… I love them.
My heart is aching and my brain is angry.
Will sleep and see what the vet says tomorrow.