|My muse, Wren.|
|Oriole. In charge.|
|Playing with Wren.|
There are a few areas of Arthur's story that I find incredibly compelling and warranting further discussion.
First is the concept of organ transplant for pets. Next to cloning there isn't anything left that proves our affinity for our pets. Extending their lives with human equivalent medical and surgical options is a testament to our desire and ability to keep our pets with us for as long as possible.
The question has shifted from the impossible to obtain the service to the ethical of who is eligible?
|This is how I watch tv every night; |
Sharing the couch with a relaxed Magpie.
Of comfort to my moral conscious is the fact that all kidney transplant donors are shelter cats. Those cats need to meet certain criteria to be donor eligible, but they must also be adopted into the family whose cat is receiving the kidney and remain a lifelong pet. The prince and the pauper are expected to be on equal footing after they share a kidney of the same origin.
Is every cat kidney transplant worthy? Yes, of course in my eyes. Every cat is capable of eliciting and demonstrating as much affection, improving the quality of their owners and families lives, and for that there is no dollar amount to prove a pet's worth and value.
Do I think that the majority of the public scoffs at the idea that I share my home with 4 cats who are given access to as much of my home as every other human inhabitant is? Yes.
Do I think that many people lack the ability to understand why I am so crazy about my cats? Yes.
And, do I think that I would transplant an organ from one cat that I do not know, but would inevitably love as much as my others, to one of my resident kids? Well, yes, perhaps I would. I see my pets as my kids and it is my job and my responsibility to care for, protect, and provide what they need to live a happy healthy life.
|Jitterbug, in a rare frozen pose state.|
Where is my line?
Where is that point where I say this is too much? Having had a dog who underwent radiation therapy for a tumor that extended his life 6 months at considerable cost, I believe I would do that again. And for all of the difficulty Savannah's last year was, I would happily do that again. My dear old kitties had wonderful lives, even though saying goodbye was so terribly hard. For me, maybe there is truth in the knowing what the sadness for without that I would not know what the joy is. And for all of the many many pets whose lives I have been a part of, each pet and each story, whether they be long and thriving, or short and tragic there is always another chapter and often a sense of being a small part of a greater force in a mysterious universe.
Let me try to explain this.
Let's start with an easier topic to debate; Cloning. I have written about this before.
At some point there needs to be a long thought out discussion on not what is possible, but what is ethical.
Life isn't about cheating and stealing a way to live forever. Life is about learning to live and enjoy this time that you have. Don't wait until you are dying to realize that life was a precious gift. You get one shot, you know the old saying "life isn't a dress rehearsal," and the advice about doing the things on your bucket list now..well, there's truth in those words of wisdom.
Veterinarians know all to well that life is not fair. We watch puppies die of treatable and even avoidable disease and illness, (often because of just pure neglect and poorly educated parents). We see 2 year olds die of cancer. Cats die from fleas, lack of resources, or just because they serve no perceived purpose to their owner. Many vets are asked, and required to euthanize routinely.
Cloning doesn't get you your pet back. It gets you a close representation of them. Your loss still needs to be addressed like everyone else's. Losing a pet that you love is really, really hard. But the memories are yours forever, and the difference that you made in taking care of them changes the world in which you live in, forever. Getting through grief is possible, and loving another pet is also possible. They will bring new joy to your life if you can open your heart and let them.
For as hard as it was to lose my dear cat DC and my Savannah, and all of the rest of them, I have a new set of rescues who are happily living a life of pampering and bliss in our home. I miss my departed pets, as I miss my departed friends. But I wouldn't ask to go back and re-incarnate them into the shell of what they used to be. What I miss is the spirit and the soul of who they were, that never can be replicated, duplicated, or re-born. That is the gift of life.
Life isn't fair, but it does go on.
|My days at the clinic always include cat naps.|
Find more information on the University of Georgia's transplant program here.
For more information on stem cell use, research, and future use in medicine please see, Huffington Post here.
Or, See Pet Health Gazette and Jana Rade's blog here.
Previous blogs relating to this one;
Pete The Vet, Blog On Cloning.
How Many Sides Does Your Equation Have?
If you have a question about anything pet related you can ask a whole community of pet loving and dedicated professionals on Pawbly.com. Pawbly is free to use and open to everyone who loves pets.
You can also find me at the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet, or on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.