Pooh was our sweet, adorable, and very vocal cat. She’s been a family member since the kids were little. When the boys moved out, she became my cat. She often slept under my side of the bed and when the dogs weren’t around, she’d sneak up for a snuggle. She was older, but could leap our 6″ fence in one take and did several times a day. Nothing about her showed her age.
Yesterday she became gravely ill. I snuggled her through the night and called the vet first thing this morning. I knew it was bad, so I called Alex at school to let him know his kitty was very ill. When Alex comes home from school, Pooh is his constant companion. She adored him so much she actually drooled in his presence. He’s the only one she did that with. He would have taken her to school with him when he moved to a house, but he was worried the unfamiliar surroundings would be tough on her.
I took my sweet baby to the vet this morning. By the time we got there she could no longer walk and had blood coming from her eyes and nose and her urine was bloody with clots. And yet, the amazing young vet made me feel like he could fix anything. Sadly, he couldn’t. Turns out my baby had a heart condition, one that she probably had from birth, and one that goes from symptom-free to death in a matter of hours. There was nothing to be done, she’d continue to throw blood clots and continue to decline for another day or two, but she wouldn’t survive.
I made the terrible decision to euthanize her. The vet, I’m sorry I don’t remember his name, and his wonderful assistant asked if I wanted to be present. Yes. Had I ever done it before. Yes. Could they call someone for me. No. The assistant checked me out from the room so I didn’t have to go to the front counter afterward and they charged me only for the euthanasia, not the office call. They couldn’t have been more kind or caring. The last time I had to make this horrible decision was our sweet Missy. That experience was horrible.
The vet took my baby out to put in a catheter and they returned with her a few minutes later. They gave me all the time I needed with her and made sure I was OK with the decision. The vet was just about to administer the meds when the door opened and my amazing husband walked in. I had no idea he’d be there as he was on duty today. On top of that, he was acting Battalion Chief so him getting time off would have been impossible, I didn’t even ask. My husband wasn’t a fan of the cat. She irritated the heck out of him – followed him around and “talked” to him all the time. My husband would tell her to shut up which just made her talk more. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.
We told him quickly about her heart problem and he gave her a pet, said good-bye, and wiped a tear from his eye. I know he’ll miss his little shadow, no matter how much he’ll protest otherwise. We snuggled her as the meds took action and until long after the vet said she was gone. I asked that they keep her wrapped in the quilt I’d brought her in. They said no problem and wrapped her tenderly and took her away.
God I loved that cat, and I hate that one more link to my children’s childhoods are gone, but I know it’s the way of life. But I have to say, it sucks.
Special thanks to the fantastic vet, assistant, and caring staff of the Renton Landing Banfield Vet Smart. You made a horrible situation sweet, serene, and although I still wish she was here, the right thing for her. Thank you.
A Pets Prayer
If it should be, that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then, you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can’t be won.
Don’t let your grief stay your hand,
For this day more than the rest,
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We’ve had so many years,
What is to come can hold no fear.
You’d not want me to suffer, so
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me to the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you’ll see it is a kindness you do for me
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.
Don’t grieve it should be you who this thing decides to do.
We’ve been so close, we two, these years,
Don’t let your heart hold tears.
SMILE, FOR WE WALKED TOGETHER FOR AWHILE.