OK. I need good moral guidance on this. We have two cats. Both are quite elderly. One just this last weekend started acting very odd. He seemed to stumble when he would walk and kept trying to put his head in corners. It was very odd behavior.
We have not had these cats to a vet since they were kittens. They’ve always been healthy and are both indoor cats. And frankly we didn’t (and don’t) have the money.
We did not bring him to the vet at the time, but checked with some people we knew. We were pretty convinced that his time had come. Everyone we talked to said to bring him to the vet right away. Then they went on to talk about diabetes medications daily and kidney transplants. This is not the kind of treatment that we could afford. After talking with my father (who was a little more reasonable) he said just bring him upstairs with you and keep him comfortable and love him. Which we did. We determined that he was blind after observing him for a day or so. He wasn’t eating at all and not really drinking much. It didn’t seem like he was peeing either. Like I said it seemed that his end was near and we decided to just keep him as comfortable as we could until he died.
Now it’s several days later. He is basically unable to walk. He is definately blind. He will drink water when we bring it to him. And now he’s started urinating wherever he is since he can’t move well or see.
My question is if this is not the end of his life, but the beginning of a long disability that would require our family to revolve around bringing him water and cleaning up his urination, what are our moral obligations to him. I know this sounds awful and uncaring. But I also understand that animals are not humans. And that the obligations are different. However we also understand that God gave us the animals to care for and we do not want to shirk a duty that we have to this animal. We would go into debt trying to pay for care for this animal. Our budget is tight. We have no savings for anything! Help…