Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My cat companion died

I wrote a year ago about my cat getting sick and showing signs of liver disease.  At that point, she was taking treatments but the constant pills, liquid meds, and bland food were making her an unhappy cat.  So, I decided to discontinue treatment and allow her to live well as long as she could.  During the summer, my cat was losing weight and despite giving her the highest fat and calorie foods we could find, she wouldn't gain weight.  My parents held on to her after we returned from Peru but she declined rapidly over the last few weeks.  

I'm very grateful my cat could spend the last weeks of her life in a warm house since my husband wouldn't let her in our house.  On Saturday, I decided to have her euthanized.  And on Monday, I called and found a vet that did house calls and that made all the difference.  Kitty was able to sit on her blanket on my Mom's lap in the same living room she'd grown accustomed to.  We were all around her, talking to her when she got her final injection.  We then carefully placed her in a box, drove her home, my husband dug a big hole, and we buried her underneath a shade tree.  I placed a wood cross as a marker because Kitty's a Christian, I baptized her myself. :)

I was walking down memory lane last night and it's amazing to think about all the experiences I've had, the life I'd lived for thirteen years, she was with me.  She gave my life meaning, literally when I lived in Washington DC.  When things were bad there, I was so grateful to have a purpose, that I could take care of her.  When we lived together, just the two of us, she would lie next to me in the morning and we'd curl up together. Sure, the fur got everywhere but it was worth it.  

I don't think caring for a sentient being is much different than caring for a person in that responsibility for life remains the same.  I really struggle with the idea that we can decide when an animal and actively make it happen.  For the last several days, I felt guilty knowing that I knew when she was going to die and cheating her out of knowing it, too.  

But, my husband tried hard yesterday and supported me through the experience.  I'm left with wonderful memories.  She was a rockin' cat and a lot of people who met her, said so.  She wasn't perfect and neither was I, and when we were alone yesterday morning, I apologized to her in failing to do the best I could for her.  I'll miss her and always treasure that unique, special relationship.      


  1. So sorry. :( Losing a pet is so hard. But it sounds like you did the right thing, and it is so wonderful that you have all those special memories.

  2. Sorry N about the death of your cat! I am particularly fond of cats as well and my childhood cat lived to be 16 and we had to put her down the same way you did - at home, with the vet there, etc. I know it was the most humane way to do it, but it still stunk and I miss her even now. It is amazing how constant of a companion animals (and in my experience) cats can become and all of the emotions they share with us. St. Francis, pray for us!

  3. Awww, I am so sorry for the lost of your sweet cat! I've never lost a pet but I can only imagine how hard it would be! Praying for you!

  4. I, too, am a cat mama and my heart is so sad for you right now. It's amazing how much comfort they can bring to us. Your kitty is with St Francis, I'm sure of it.

  5. Thank you so much, ladies! Your sympathy is so touching and your belief that my sweet cat is with St. Francis is beautiful.

  6. My dh and I had to put our beloved cat down last summer...we took him to the vet..this vet was really good to him and us and this vet had tears along with us (I shared with her that this cat was our "child"). He had health issues and we got to a point where we couldn't do anything but watch him suffer. So we did what was best for him...he was only 6 years and we had him for 5. He helped me through a lot. I will never forget that feeling when I realized he was gone...it happened so quickly. I still miss him even though we have adopted two kittens last summer. We love them too but they can never replace our first cat.

    Thanks for sharing your touching story. Our pets are family members and we have to mourn them as well.