Jan 21, 2011

Tabbyco Remembered

beautiful feral cat tabbyco, a tabby tortie mix. Lost to veterinary malpractice, rest in peace

I was sorting through some of my older photographs, trying to sort and clean-up a bit, when I came upon this picture of Tabby-co, taken perhaps a few days before she died.  I believe it is previously unpublished and I wanted to share it with you.

Named for her unusual and pretty coat that is part calico and part tabby, Tabby-co is the only cat I ever lost to veterinary issues arising from the consequences of spay surgery. Emotionally, it made it hard for me to trap more cats, knowing that I could be killing them. It still makes me sad when I think about it.

One might wonder why a vet, who is supposed to love animals, would act in a way that could cause a cat to bleed to death. It isn't that I think she doesn't care about animals - quite the contrary. And sometimes stuff just happens. But sometimes preventable things happen too.

I think that preventable casualties happen for the same reason that pilots crash airplanes full of people: The pilots don't want to die, you know, but they get too used to taking risks. They take a risk one time, and nothing happens, so they keep taking bigger and bigger risks. Pilot error is the number one cause of fatal airline crashes for this reason.

In the case of vets, the risks I'm talking about could be hurrying through surgery because they have other things to do, using too much anesthesia to push things along, etc.. Nothing happened the previous hundred times they rushed things, right? But like those ill-fated pilots, eventually it goes a step too far and lives are lost. I'll never know exactly why this happened; I'll just have to live with it.

Tabbyco was one of the smartest, most curious feral cats ever. She was the kind of cat that really should have been a pet. And even though she was a feral, we miss her terribly.


Tabbico Investigates