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18. MORAL DECISIONS

When the quality of life for pets & animals deteriorates, tough decisions have to be taken to prevent needless suffering.

Lillo & Starvin Marvin

05/05/10

We were alerted to a lovely cat called Lillo on one Italian trip, who we had seen before as a healthy & energetic cat. She had been either poisoned or battered by a dog (or both!). She had holes and bruising everywhere & was in agony. The struggle to tell the vets that the animal was suffering & needed to be put to sleep, was not a new one. Time & time again, the mentality in Alghero of "we are vets, & need to cure the animals not kill them" results in needles suffering. It was agonising trying to comfort & watch this poor cat who suffered for two days, then died in the car while I was rushing him back to the vets.

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2007

Marvin first attracted attention, when he was noticed moving through gardens in zone 2 of South West London.

At first he was assumed to be someones pet, but then a wound was noticed to his eye. Combined with his extremely recluesive nature, the suspicion arose that he was a feral who was in need of medical attention. Time passed & Marvin, having been noticed by a cat rehabilitation volunteer, consistantly avoided human activity. He was routinely observed moving along the streets, weaving around the bins with intent, but going almost entirely unnoticed.

Water was left out for him & gradually increasing ammounts of food encouraged him regularly into an enclosed garden. One day after his meal while he slept in the sun in that same garden (next to the catmint), the one & only photograph was taken of him. There was only a few moments before he bolted again, having realised that he'd been noticed. (shown on the right on this page)

Posters were raised to try & find an owner, but nobody came forward.

Eventually, after gradual encouragement as described in trapping, he was safely & securely taken to a rescue center. It became immediately obvious that Marvin was a true feral & on closer inspection, it was clear that he was in very poor condition. His eyelids were badly torn & had healed so that one eye could never close. He had open & infected sores - burst abscesses, which are common in stray or feral cats as they are caused by bite wounds during fights. Marvin was underweight, obviously a fighter & he was very aggressive towards people when confronted with us at close proximity. He was clearly un-accostomed to being anywhere near humans - at least not on friendly terms - but he needed ongoing & prolongued medical treatment. He was also getting on in years & F.I.V. +. (meaning he had a deficient immune system, so he would struggle to fight off his infections & illness)

It was heartbreaking, but the kindest thing was to put him to sleep.

It would have been torturous for him, if he were forced to endure captivity & handling for necessary treatment.

Had he been left to his own devices, he would have degraded slowly & died uncomfortably, but that was little comfort.

Sometimes tough decisions need to be made!

R.I.P. Marvin

R.I.P. Lillo

Lillo suffered as the decision to put him to sleep was not taken

Lillo suffered as the decision to put him to sleep was not taken

Marvin

Marvin

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