Older citizen coaxes female kitty, whom she has been feeding on her back porch since kittenhood, into her house. Calls around to find local cat Caretaker to help her. Local cat Caretaker arranges contact with Wildrun. Wildrun says "sure, we can get Pretty Girl (aka Tribble) fixed." Pretty Girl comes to Wildrun and has uneventful spay. Charms us with her cute little dancing front paws. Right before Send Home Weekend, Pretty Girl is drooling a bit. Goes to vet, comes home with meds for calici virus. Over the weekend, Pretty Girl is not doing as well as she ought, although better. Monday, to vet again. FeLV test is positive.
Owner says "I'll keep her for the rest of her life if you get her better."
Pretty Girl gets fluids, antibiotics, pain meds for her mouth ulcers. Is doing pretty damn well! Wildrun calls owner to arrange to bring Pretty Girl for an owner visit. Caretaker will be there too.
Morning, Pretty Girl is doing fine.
Afternoon, Pretty Girl has passed away. Where that morning there was a lifted head and bright eyes, that afternoon there is silence.
Wildrun calls owner to tell her. We are both numb, but the owner more so because, of course, she loves her pretty girl. She sent her pretty girl away to have her life improved, and she never came back.
Wildrun calls Caretaker to tell her. Caretaker will visit owner. Brave, brave caretaker.
Pretty Girl is mourned by three women who really, really wanted her to live. Four or more, if you count the veterinarians and staff involved.
And most of all, the woman who opened her back door to let her in.
Wildrun heads out to a bar in Owego, because, you know? Life sometimes just. plain. is. sad.