My teenage daughter and I came to Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley last week to look for a companion cat. I recently adopted a terrier puppy and wanted to introduce a cat. Terrier's are notoriously territorial so I knew that I didn't have a large window to adopt before the pup would reject a cat. I was looking for an adult cat who had lived with dogs.
We visited every cat and there wasn't one that we connected with until we found Willow's cage. As soon as we opened the door she came out to great us. She purred and licked us. I checked her profile card and it listed her as a 6-year-old female who had lived with dogs... PURRFECT! There was a note on her card that she had a medical condition that any adopter would need to be willing to take on and I should talk to customer service.
I found out that Willow had bloody urine and the AHS was unable to find out what was wrong. They had treated her with antibiotics but she wasn't responding. They wanted to do a urinalysis but hadn't been able to collect enough urine. They suggested that any future adopter would need to get an ultrasound to insert a needle into her bladder to collect the urine. Obviously there was a cost to that. She seemed to be well liked. Several of the customer service reps commented on how much she was loved. She had been placed on hold 5 times already and the adopters decided not to take her because of the condition. She is a very sweet cat.
I called my vet and discussed what could be causing the condition. They thought it was one of three things. One, she had an infection and needed to be treated with a different antibiotic... easy. Two, she had crystals and would need to have a diet change for the rest of her life. Or three, she had a large stone in her bladder that she couldn't pass and would require surgery. Surgery would cost over $1,000. I felt I could certainly live with either of the first two. Prescription cat food wasn't really that much more expensive than premium cat food. If she needed surgery, I figured I would have another difficult decion to make.
I had almost decided to pass on her when my vet called back and asked if I would adopt her if they performed the ultrasound and absorbed the cost. I thought about it for a minute and said yes. I thought if she needed surgery, I would deal with that when it came up. She was a sweet cat and a perfect addition to my family. Besides, she had been at the AHS for almost a month. It didn't seem like anyone else was willing to adopt her with a medical condition.
The customer service reps at the counter were so excited that I was adopting Willow. They had to call some staff at home to let them know and they all seemed moved by the vet's generous offer. They made sure she was comfortable and had everything, including the cutest blanket available, and brought her to me.
The cat and the puppy aren't sleeping together yet but they tolerate each other and seem to be respectful. The puppy just wants to play and the cat will accomodate to a certain extent. I think they'll become great friends. I am grateful I took the leap and adopted Willow. I found out last week that the vet was able to collect a urine sample without an ultrasound and that the culture came back as positive for infection. She's on a different antibiotic and appears to be doing well.
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