Clinton the cat, my house companion for the past twelve years, has been very ill. A friend set up a GoFundMe to help.
Many of us experience the joy of having pets. Whether they be cats, dogs, hamsters, parrots, or fish, however, those who’ve had the opportunity to adopt an animal will tell you they’re family. That’s how Clinton was to me.
Like all cats, Clinton spends most of the day sleeping. However, he often hung out with me whenever I was in the kitchen or even when I sat down to eat because he would try to steal food from my plate. I especially love it when he sits beside me while I write. I’m always moving his head off the keyboard because he uses it as a pillow. My favourite moments were when he’d chase the neighbour’s dog off my side of the back balcony. He also loved to nap at my feet whenever I was in bed. Clinton the cat always made me happy.
Roughly nine days before I wrote this, Clinton the cat progressively stopped eating, and he appeared to be breathing louder than usual. Even when I looked into his eyes, I saw something was wrong. I brought him to the vet and explained the situation. She ran tests and ruled out fever or heart problems. However, the x-ray scans showed an accumulation of fluid around his left lung. This meant one of two things: an infection or possibly cancer.
I was devastated.
When she told me that one option would be to take Clinton to the emergency vet for a complete test at $2000, I nearly fainted because I could not afford that. If I had that money, I would’ve taken him to the emergency vet immediately. She then gave me a second option, where she would prescribe him antibiotics for a week. If his health improves, then it will rule out cancer. If his health continues declining, I may have to consider putting him down.
This was the worst news I’ve had all year. I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up on Clinton. This is a little guy I’ve raised from when he was a 4-week-old kitten, who’s never had any major health problems. I knew from the day I rescued him that the day he passed away from either sickness or natural causes would come. I just never anticipated the emotional impact it would have on me would be this severe.
While I was at the vet, I posted a photo of Clinton and me and posted it to social media. I received many phone calls and texts from close friends who voiced their concerns. One of my social media friends and reader, Jill Delbridge, saw the post and asked me if she could set up a GoFundMe to help out Clinton. Since I was too distraught to think about fundraising, I gave her permission. I want to remain positive but know the importance of preparing for the worst.
I cannot predict how much will be raised. However, if it surpasses the goal I set–which is a very conservative amount, it will help offset some of the expenses needed to get Clinton the cat the proper medical care he needs. In the meantime, all I can do is give him all the love and care he needs. He usually responds by either head-butting me or blinking his eyes at me, which is how cats say: “I love you.”
I don’t usually ask for much, but if you help by donating or sharing this campaign, it would be greatly appreciated.
Russell Brooks is the author of four suspense thrillers. Clinton the cat is Russell’s loyal assistant.