It hasn’t been a good year for my animal friends. Many of my human friends have been dealing with the loss of a beloved pet, or caring for an elderly sick pet. A friend of mine from the dharma center is dealing with the exact same issues I was over a month ago – do I end my kitty’s suffering? Is she really suffering? What does she want? What is the right thing to do for her in this life, but keeping in mind her future lives? Most Buddhist teachers will advise you not to euthanize (though I am starting to hear some soften on that stance). As with anything, it all comes down to our motivation. If we put the animal down b/c running a kitty hospice is too time consuming, messy, etc., then that is probably the wrong motivation. The decision shouldn’t be about us. What is in the best interest of the animal – in not only this life, but the next?
The last few days have been tough for my friend – Scout was in crisis and in the hospital again. The outcome was not expected to be good, so the vets advised euthanasia. After much soul searching, she’s opted against it, and seems to be adopting the middle way. For now, she is doing kitty hospice – the cat is medicated, and relatively comfortable. This will leave time for prayers and powas, and to just love bomb the damn cat. She has reserved the right to euthanize when and if the animal’s suffering cannot be contained by meds. She’s asked me to be there with her when that happens. It still feels a little raw for me, but I agreed. In the meantime, I need to go show her how to administer sub-q fluids. Maybe that is my calling, Feline Hospice Consultant?
On another feline note, Buffy O’Feral hasn’t shown up for a meal in close to a week. I hope she’s OK. Maybe she found another source of food. Maybe, as my boyfriend suggested, she’s on an adventure (uh, yeah, a real Tom Sawyer that one is). I don’t know. I can hope for the best for her, but accept that she may be gone forever. I just hope she’s not injured and suffering somewhere out there, or starving in someones basement.