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Bootsy's Page

Last Updated: 4/26/08

A picture of Bootsy amongst my stuffed animals, taken 3/17/93.

Picture of Bootsy, helping me do homework, February 12, 1989.

Bootsy and Tootsy on my bed on 12/21/95. Next to them is a clipping I took back then of two Maine Coons that reminded me of them.

Bootsy was the love of my life and my first pet (that I cared for). She was born around 6/12/82. Boo was adopted from a pound on 8/14/82. She was a loving, gorgeous, longhaired calico (orange, black, and white). In 1994, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died May 4, 1996. I paid for four expensive, dangerous operations for repeated removal of breast tissue and cancer. After the tumors kept returning and there was no more skin to do suturing, the vet said he would not operate again. I did not seek another vet. One tumor broke the skin. I had to bathe her open tumor and keep her on Baytril for the last few months of her life. She lost her ability to move. After she suffered quite a while, I told her it was okay to die. Only then did she die.

[An anonymous person posted in my guestbook that I was a horrible person for "letting" her suffer. My response is the following. When should I have murdered her? When diagnosed in 1994 (after which she had MANY happy days)? When I decided on no more surgeries in 1995? When she could no longer hop on my bed? When she could no longer get up the stairs? When she could no longer walk straight? When she stopped eating a few weeks before dying? When she no longer knew who I was? I certainly could not have made that decision. I could never have lived with myself if I were the cause of her death. Where there's life, there's hope. I think it would have been selfish of me to have her killed so that I would not have had to spend the time and money that I did to try to save her. Certainly, I wanted her to live forever but I do not think I was evil for not murdering her myself. I believe in dying naturally. While I do not believe in life support in most cases, I also do not believe in killing. Perhaps, an exception would be if one of my animals were hit by a car and mutilated but still alive but I am not sure if I could even kill them then. When Tootsy (see below) was diagnosed with diabetes, the vet asked me if I wanted to put him to "sleep." I said no way, and he lived for three more years with many very happy days for him. I am reminded of a bumper sticker from the Alley Cat Allies. I says, "Cats don't sleep, they nap. Spay and neuter, don't euthanize." They are referring to healthy cats but I feel the same way about the elderly and ill cats for whom I have cared.]

Boobie, as my brother called her, was not spayed until the age of four. She was finally spayed due to her aggressive tendencies at the time towards my brother (she had something like psychomotor epilepsy where she would have seizures that made her try to murder him many times and me once). If she had been spayed before her first heat, she most likely would have never gotten cancer. The vet never informed me (a child of 10 at the time) of this danger. Bootsy was an indoor virgin, so why spay her? Well, it may well have cost her years. Her cancer could also have been partially caused by regular use of the hormone drug Ovaban to control aggression, our well water (since a rabbit also got breast cancer), or genetics. For over a dozen years, every morning after everyone was fed, she would hop onto my bed, purr her heart out, kneed her declawed feet on my face, and wash away all my problems. Since her death, my life has gone downhill (from repeated successes to repeated failures). Our souls were intertwined. To me, she was not just a cat, but my surrogate mother, adopted daughter, and best friend.

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