This sweet soul came into my care in September 2015 straight from “death row”. He was merely hours; if not minutes, away from certain death. Poor Chance had been left alone in a carrier; abandoned in an apartment when his owner moved out. He had spent countless days in the care of Animal Control, receiving ongoing medical care; only to have his fate decided when his condition did not improve.
From the moment I picked him up, he laid on the charm. To look at him, you wouldn’t have known his urethra was completely blocked and that he required emergency veterinary care. I drove him straight to Dr. Sharon at Mountainside Animal Clinic and he was provided with the expert and loving care she is known to give each of her patients. He charmed the staff at the clinic during his stay there and happily came home with me once he was no longer in danger. His personality was simply wonderful despite the hardships he had endured in the weeks leading up to where we now stood. Chance took an instant liking to my young son; just three years old at the time. He would sleep close to him, protecting him throughout the night, and giving my son the comfort of having someone close by. This provided us with many cute photos through the baby monitor and occasionally the scare that my son may have Chancey pinned underneath him. Those nights we would quietly call to Chance over the video monitor and we would quickly have the reassurance of his glowing eyes as they turned upward to let us know he was more than okay. He was in kitty heaven. He was such a loving pet.
A time came when Chancey was adopted into a home where a lovely older woman bonded and loved him dearly. Sadly, he was returned about a month after when the husband decided he was not interested in helping to care for Chancey and despite his wife’s sobbing, he came back home into our care. We loved having Chance back with us and continued to enjoy his company. He was pampered and spoiled rotten like any pet should be. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a special place in my heart for him, but I always knew there would be someone who would be his proper match and he would have a true home to live out his senior years.
When a second adopter came along, we were thrilled to hear his adopter was a vet tech, and had experience with cats that were prone to urinary blockages. It wasn’t a week before I got a message saying that Chance had had an accident on the living room floor, a behaviour that had never occurred while in our care or his previous adopter. Just a couple days later, he was back at our veterinarian; his urethra had gone into spasm and was clamped shut. We had to consider the option of altering his gender should initial medical attempts fail.
Throughout this, Chancey remained the perfect patient. Everyone loved his gentle and happy demeanour. He was always a favourite at the clinic. Needless to say, we were all relieved when Dr. Sharon was able to pull him through without the gender surgery and after a lengthy stay, he came back “home” and back into his role of protecting my son from the scary things that only four year olds dream of.
It was pretty safe to say I had determined at that point that Chance should become our pet. I believed Chance was trying to tell us that he WAS home and was happy in his room with his buddy.
About a year ago, I had another adoption request for Chance. After weighing all options, I felt maybe this was finally the home for Chance. I brought him into what would have been his new home, even stayed to comfort him for two hours, yet he went into respiratory distress and made it altogether clear that he wanted to go back “home”. With the potential adopter in tears, I apologized and brought Chancey back home once again. This time, I said to myself, is the last time. Chance is mine. He is ours. He wants to stay in my home, in HIS room, the only room where he has felt safe and loved.
Over the year Chance began to lose a bit of weight, which we attributed to aging. His appetite remained great, he had a lot of spunk, and he was ALWAYS happy. There was never a time when he stopped purring or kneading away. On the nights when I had the pleasure of sleeping with him, he kept me awake. All. Night. Long. He was borderline obnoxious simply wanting to be part of you. He was simply the most wonderful pet I have ever had the pleasure of loving.
Losing Chance has been a shock. An incredible, heart breaking, and gut wrenching shock. The loss I feel is tremendous. It’s difficult to convince myself that I did what I could, that it wasn’t my fault, and that I could have done more. His death rips at my soul like he was my very own son, my child. As much as people may think these animals don’t have feelings or that they don’t hurt like we do… I beg to differ. I feel and KNOW differently. I have seen the hurt and the pain in their eyes. I have seen how they suffer. I have seen the look of fear on their innocent faces, fear from the vivid memories from which they can’t escape. I know in my mind how happy Chance was. He loved HIS room. For the residents who lived “outside” HIS room, they knew HIS room was off limits. As a senior, he had fight in him like that of a Tomcat defending his territory. At times I have been shocked at the viciousness he would show another who dared to enter HIS room. Even my dog knew HIS room was off limits.
Today, my dog could sense my deep sorrow. She whined as she looked up at me, she knew I was in pain despite my ability to keep myself in check. It wasn’t until I went into HIS room once again that I began to sob. I hadn’t been able to enter HIS room for days after he passed. I just couldn’t do it. I have a family to look after, and of course, if I deny the truth, I don’t feel the pain. But I knew it was time for me to go back in HIS room so I could face the truth and feel the emptiness. Chance deserves the tears and my broken heart. He deserves all these words I write and more. I gave him his name because he got a second chance at life. Little did I know, I was that second, third, and fourth chance at life. He chose to come back to me each and every time he had a chance.
When I brought him in almost 4 years ago, I never would have thought how much of an impact he would have on my life and that of my son. I am beyond devastated over losing him and hope I gave him all he needed and more. I am heart broken that he didn’t die in my arms and instead chose to pass away peacefully in the night. On Good Friday I remarked to my boyfriend that Chancey appeared as though he was trying to tell me something, he had come down to the main floor that day to say “hello” to everyone. This was out of character for Chance, especially the sweet greeting he gave to my dog; someone he was not particularly fond of… He lay down at my feet and I took his picture. His eyes were always particularly striking, one of his most handsome attributes. His eyes told stories I was never meant to hear, but they also showed me a happiness he likely felt he’d never feel.
I love you Chance. I wish I could hold you one last time.