The Palliative Care Kitty That Surprised Us All: Meet Birdie.
Birdie Fun Facts:
When we met: 10/07/2017
Time it took for Mumma to decide to adopt me: Funny story… keep reading.
Height: A little smaller sitting, than when standing. ha ha.
Weight: Chonky Deluxe on three legs of purrfection.
Favourite Food: Chimkin! All the chimkin.
Favourite Hobby: Screaming in the hallway at 3am, then acting innocent when Mama wakes up to see if I am okay… then requesting a cuddle.
Occupation: Top Tier Yowler. Areas of expertise: Hallways and closets.
Birdie, where do I start? You were supposed to be a whirlwind of sorts. You were supposed to be in our lives for a week or so, at most. Here you are, nearly three years later; I can only hope I’ve given you the best years of your life.
Found in a yard south of Perth, you were handed into our amazing friends at the Mandurah Animal Facility. You came with no name, like so many.. With a HUGE cancerous tumour hitching a ride on your foot – your next stop was Cat Haven via Perth Rescue Angels. Yep, you’d already acquired quite a care team at this point. The diagnosis; not great….not even good. You had about a week to live, so Perth Rescue Angels posted for palliative care. No way I thought, that would break my heart. The alternative was that you would spend your last days in a shelter. So I signed up to have my heart broken. You had your leg amputated and I came to pick you up, and promised you the best week of your life.
Birdie; the most perfect name for someone who would take flight to the rainbow bridge before I would even get to know you. The first couple of days were filled with roast chicken, tuna and all kinds of biscuits to choose from. You had quite the appetite for a sick kitty! Roast beef was next on the menu, and more biscuits. The resident pets were keen to meet you, and a couple did – you didn’t seem to care. A few hisses here and there and you mostly kept to yourself.
Months went by, and now years. Here you are, still with us. You truly joined the sweetest meow crew about 6 months in, when you began venturing out of your safe space and swatting every pet within reach, but with a little love behind each one.
I can truly say I’ve given you the best I can, you’ve been spoilt daily. You do whatever you want, whenever you want. I’m glad I could offer you this, because in May 2019 we discovered you have cancer again. This time in your ear. (read more, here). So I did what anyone would do, I adopted you so that you know you have a family.
A more recent checkup in April 2020 tells us this cancer has progressed and for the third time in your life I’ve been warned you don’t have long to live.
Will you show us once again you’re invincible, Birdie? Probably not, but it’s already been another month and here you are.
Fostering a palliative care pet is a roller coaster ride. I would rush home in the early days to see if you had passed away while I was at work. I worried constantly. I got used to the fact that you either would pass away at home or I’d need to help send you over the rainbow bridge. I can’t say what will be harder now – would it have been losing you really early like we thought we would, or will it be when your time comes now… Neither.
I know you’ll break my heart eventually Birdie, but I don’t think it will compare to your broken heart when whoever you used to call family let you down. I’m so thankful for the teams at Mandurah Animal Facility, Perth Rescue Angels and Cat Haven for working together to bring you into my life.
If you have a pet you need help with, if you can’t afford a vet bill or just don’t know what to do, please get in touch with local community rescue groups, no-kill shelters or even the local council. There’s a lot of helpful Facebook groups, online forums and other places that can help too.
If you would like to support us, please keep in mind that I am not a non-profit or charity. I am simply sharing my personal feline rescue journey with the world.
Thank you for coming on this journey with us,
Birdie in the Mews: