Pets who rule: I can't bear to put him down

Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013
sn dudley
MORE THAN JUST A CAT: Dudley and his asthma inhaler.

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My cat is a quake baby. He survived September 2010, Feburary 2011 and all of the 10,000 subsequent aftershocks. He's brought me laughter, affection, love and more recently he bought me to debt.

When Dudley was less than a year old, he started having fits. It looked like he was trying to hack up a fur ball but wasn't able to. These happened seven-10 times a night. They were scary while they were happening but after each 30 second attack, he would be back to his normal, happy, playful self.

A series of visits to the vet and nearly $2000 later it was discovered that Dudley was asthmatic. Everyone advised me to put him down. "A bullet would do the trick".

I couldn't do it. His quality of life has not been affected by this asthma and I couldn't bear to put him down unnecessarily. Sure, it was costly, but easily treated and since then he has been great.

That just about broke the bank, but I got through it.

Then one morning, Dudley came into the bedroom, dragging his back leg. He was yowling and hissing in pain and wouldn't let anyone near him. It was heartbreaking. We bundled him up in his blanket and whisked him off to the vet.

I've just had the news that surgery is required for a torn cruciate ligament and is going to cost another $1500.

It's apparently a very simple surgery and he will fully recover, but again the advice I'm being given is to put Dudley down. Again, I can't justify putting down a perfectly healthy (asthma aside) member of my family.

I have no idea where this money is going to come from or how I'm going to pay this bill but for me, putting Dudley down is still not an option. Am I crazy? To most people he's just a cat.

Has anyone else spent big bucks on their feline family? I think it's safe to say that Dudley definitely rules my roost.

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