Thursday, October 25, 2012

A loss in the family

It's a very bad day here... probably gonna be a bad couple of days...

Somehow, over the past couple months, we went from a three dog household; to a four dog (though one is just a temporary guest. Been meaning to post about her for a couple weeks and just hadn't got round to it. I'll do it in a couple days) and two cat household.

It wasn't intentional on our part, it just sorta happened.

Unfortunately, today we are one less.

This morning, I had to put one of the cats down.

The littlest member of our family, River the tailless wonder... Well, from the beginning, we noticed she had an unhealthy streak of daring to her. She would always be going where she she shouldn't, doing things she shouldn't...

Hell, it's why we named her River. It's probably how she ended up being a tailless wonder. Even the night she showed up, we had to rescue her from predators.

It could be charming, but also irritating, and at times worrisome.

Over the past couple weeks, she developed a very unwise and unhealthy habit of taunting the dogs. Running up to them, then running away; sitting just out of reach behind a locked gate etc...

Well, this morning, she was alternating getting into play fights with Badger (the bigger kitty; and he has got big indeed, swelling to garfieldian proportions over the past couple months), and running down the stairs to taunt the dogs at the gate (we have a gate at the bottom of the stairs to keep the dogs out).

Understand, we're talking about 300lbs+ worth of bully breed dogs, who are used to playing rough with each other (they draw blood, unintentionally, but somewhat regularly).

Now, I knew this was what she was doing, because I could hear it; and had heard her doing it a dozen times before over the past couple weeks.

Then things went south...

I heard her and the dogs start going back and forth at the gate; them sticking their noses through, her batting at their noses or sticking a paw through... Then I herd one of the dogs yelp, and her another one get a nip in at River a second later.

I know what that sounds like; it's happened before, and it's usually no big deal. Generally one of the dogs gets a nip in, then she just runs like the proverbial scalded cat, and hides under the bed or somesuch.

... but instead of running and hiding, for some reason, she fought.

... and dogs being dogs, they all piled into the fray.

At that point, Mel and I were up and running to get down the stairs (we were up in the bedroom), but there was already a three dog, one cat, furball going.

... and things ended up about as you would expect when a 5 pound cat starts a fight with three dogs that collectively weigh over 250lbs.

The dogs broke off the second we got there; and the whole fight lasted maybe 20 seconds from the nip to the end... but it was already too late.

I won't go into painful detail... suffice it to say, I know when it's not a survivable injury, and it wasn't.

At the end, I know she wasn't feeling anything when I put her down.

We're... devastated is inadequate. It's been two hours, and Mel has barely stopped crying. We both feel, just sick. Mel can't even look at the dogs.

It's hard enough to lose one under any circumstances, but like that... And we had to see it happen...

Yeah... it's gonna be a bad couple of days.