Friday, March 18, 2016

We Come Alone, & We Go Alone.

On the morning of 11th March, I received a phone call from one of the stable guys saying that Karas was lying down unable to get up. It looked like he had a broken leg.

I went there immediately & the racecourse vets advised me to get him to a private clinic immediately as his limbs were cold. It was 9am & the nearest vet I arrived at only opens at 10am. I called the number on the shutters & to my disgust the vet refused to come in, did not offer any alternatives or recommend any other nearby clinic. He just listened to my shaky voice in silence, & even let a few seconds pass in silence after I explained my situation & said 'I don't know what to do'. To add injury to insult, at one point he even said he only opens at 10am, & even then, he has other appointments to see to. I don't think I've ever been so outraged & disgusted by such behaviour. But, more on this next time.

Subsequently, I called the racecourse vet again for a recommendation. He recommended UPM Vet Faculty. As I arrived & explained my situation, a vet assistant came out to have a look at Karas. He was mildly hyperventilating, & to my discredit I did not know that could be a sign of shock. The assistant did not deem our situation an emergency, so we took a number like everyone else. When the vet saw Karas, she too did not say anything about his rapid breathing or cold limbs. She did not seem to think that the situation was critical, just a broken bone to be repaired. I asked her if there could be any possible internal damage, she replied that by palpitation, she does not think so. So we waited, AGAIN, to go for an x-ray, then to see the vet again, which she then proceeded to go ask the surgeon if their schedule allowed Karas to be operated on during the next few days. Nope, full schedule. She gave us a list of private practices.

Off the list, I chose the St. Angel Animal Medical Centre in Puchong.

Again, the long travel time & because the UPM vet did not seem to think it an emergency, I took a number like everyone else. Dr Lya was our vet. She categorized Karas as being critical, which gave me quite a shock. Before this, nobody else thought to stablize his current condition first before addressing the issue of his broken leg. She recommended him to be warded immediately, at best they have to do another x-ray & blood test to see if his insides are good before they can even begin to think about a bone operation. I was still confident in Karas getting well. In hindsight, maybe I was a bit too optimistic.

Since it was nearing lunch time, I left him there in the oxygen chamber. It saddens me to think that the last of his sounds I heard were those in pain. I don't think the helper who transferred him from his box to the chamber was very gentle. & it kills me to think that I left him in the clinic alone, although I know that it was the best thing to do & there was no way he could be comfortable anywhere else with me.

Later in the evening, Dr Lya called to inform me that they had done an x-ray & that there were no internal injuries. Earlier she worried that his breathing was due to a torn diaphragm. This really brightened my spirits, but she said that they could not do a blood test because he was dehydrated & his veins had collapsed, so they gave him under the skin fluids & will try again later in the evening.

Around 45 minutes later, she called again & said that Karas had gone into respiratory arrest & they failed to resuscitate him. I went back in to collect him, & brought him back to the stables to be buried under a frangipani tree behind the stables. I like the thought of him becoming a beautiful tree soon. When I told my cousin about the reasoning behind my choice of location, she asked me if I would have eaten mangoes off a tree which Karas was buried under. It may sound sick but I would be more than happy to eat them. It's like everything would have come full circle & Karas would really be a part of me. In any case, how would anyone know that the fruits bought from supermarkets were not unintentionally fertilized with dead animal bodies?

It started to rain but thankfully it was just a heavy drizzle. I am grateful to those who helped me dig.

Everything was so sudden. & I am filled with regret that I did not push my case onto the vets. I know I did the best I could at that time, & that it is only with hindsight that one can learn what should have been done, what should have not been done, what could have been done differently, etc. So many what-ifs & all that. The monkey mind.

I don't know, yet I know why all this is happening. But why did Karas have to go through so much pain & suffering? Why? Why now??? Since I stopped working at the stables, we only hang out for half an hour or an hour max every day. I didn't want to bring him home because of my housemates & Dogg & cars & all that. I thought he would be safer there, & with other cats. I promised him that we would be together again soon. I know although he always put on airs & acted macho, he missed cuddling & taking naps with me. He craved that closeness, yet he did not like to be near me when the other stable cats were around me as well. I had plans to have an animal sanctuary in the future, & of course for Karas to be there too. He would have loved it. Maybe he would have loved any place, as long as we were together. Although he was physically a cat, he was very loyal & most times not very cat-like.

I regret many things. & I would do anything to get him back. He was always a fighter, even when he got feline influenza the first few weeks he stayed with me in Ipoh. All my other cats who caught it at that time did not make it, but he survived. He even survived the traumatic move to KL when my other cat Tibbs did not. I guess that's what hardened him so much that he could not or did not want to form friendships with the other cats in the KL stable. Losing your close companions all the time numbs you.

He had a huge bubble of personal space which he highly valued, yet he would sometimes, when there are no other cats around, & the environment is right, we would sit together. Most days, he would give me sandpaper kisses as I petted him. Before this, I never knew that cats would lick humans. & I am deeply honoured he trusted & valued me enough to consider me more 'lick-able' than his fellow felines. More on his weird un-catlike shenanigans in another post.

I find it disgusting that people would hurt animals. & it is even more disgusting that people are not passionate & dedicated about their jobs, especially people who work in the healthcare industry. I am really appalled at how the first vet handled my call. He was not interested to help Karas. Me, I am a firm believer that people cross paths for a reason, & anyone who crosses paths with me who needs help, I give it best I can. Maybe I was meant to cross paths with a 'bad vet' to finally open my eyes to the evils of the world. & I am also disappointed that the UPM vet did not know how to differentiate between urgent & important treatment.

I am disappointed in myself too, for all the reasons I stated above & much more. I'm sad that our last few hours together were filled with anxiety, travelling around, uncomfortable-ness for him, & I was not there during Karas' last hours. I hope he will forgive me for that & everything else. I'm glad though that he is not in pain anymore, & that he will not have to suffer the pains of bone surgery, rehabilitation, & lifelong disability. That is my only consolation.

Never one to smile for the camera.

I know that he would not want me to be sad, & to celebrate his life & the four beautiful years we had together. But it is hard. I know I always talk about self-acceptance, loving yourself, & all that Yoga Sutra stuff but the real test comes when something happens in real life.

Not only is it a mirror on my own inner state, it also shows me who my real friends are, & who really actually gives a shit. Nobody really gave a shit about Karas, & who really gives a shit about me either?

Deep down I understand that 'we come alone, & we go alone', & that at the end of the day, nobody is responsible for me, & I am not responsible for anyone else. But it is a hard truth to swallow.

Again the Universe is destroying me ego. It is really giving me such a tough lesson this year. It has been going on for one & a half months now. My ego still hangs on to the fact that I am the director of my life & that everything must go according to my plans & wishes. But lately the Universe keeps destroying things that I've worked hard for, things which I've put more than my fair share of effort into. It's like they say in Malay, 'Manusia hanya boleh merancang, Tuhan sahaja yang menentukan,' (Humans can only plan, God has the last say'.

On the other hand, I've been getting good opportunities in yoga & other areas of life which I am interested in. It's all too overwhelming though. I just want to disappear & have a change of environment for a while.

This is the last photo we took together, about two weeks ago.

Be good out there, Karas. We will meet again. I love you very much. & I miss you the most during the times of the day we used to spend together. I have many plans which will benefit many, they will all be in your name, but it is also for the other animals I have crossed paths with & will cross paths with in the future. They have been on hold for a long time now, I guess you would want me to start things off ASAFP so that it picks up faster & is of benefit to more beings.

I hope I will do you proud.

& to the rat bastard - either human, spirit, or animal - who did this to Karas, I have a very big bone to pick with you. I know it was not an accident. I know.

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