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I had to put the little kitty to sleep today

Saturday, August 18, 2012

When I was 16, I went with my parents to put our family dog to sleep. It was, until today, the hardest thing I've ever had to do...but she had been sick for years, and unable to walk, and my parents finally knew that she was suffering and keeping her alive was selfish.

I got home at about 3 am Thursday morning, and both cats were fine. They both played, and cuddled, and I gave them lots of love and a couple of treats. There was absolutely no sign that Little Kitty was suffering or getting worse.

But yesterday, I got home from a board meeting to find her completely disoriented and unable to walk. She couldn't get one paw under her at all, and was walking sideways on it. She stumbled and couldn't walk in a straight line...and when she fell over, she peed right there. My roommate said that she had waited for me to come home, and maybe she's right. But after watching my family dog suffer for years, a big part of me was relieved that it had happened so fast. She had just been playing the night before, and then it all caught up to her.

So I knew that if she made it through the night, I was going to have to make a hard decision today. And she did. She curled up on the pillow next to me, and never cried or showed that she was hurting. But she stumbled into me, and luckily too! Because then she just started walking off the side of the bed, not getting ready to jump down, but like she forgot it was there. She vomited more than once, and had a couple of accidents, so I knew that whether she was crying or not, she was not okay anymore.

So this morning, I called the vet. They made an immediate appointment for me, knowing the kitty's history. And I wrapped her in a blanket, put her in my lap, and went to the vets office. They were incredibly nice, and I held her the whole time. She never got scared, her heart rate never went up -- I was holding her, so I could tell!

The vet told me that she was surprised at how long Little Kitty had lasted. After three months, with late stage renal failure and hyperthyroidism and all the other problems, she had thought that the kitty would have been gone much sooner. The vet put in the needle, and hugged me before administering the injection.

I was really worried about having to go to the garden party afterward. But I knew all of the volunteers, they had heard about Little Kitty's troubles, and they were so considerate. They all hugged me. And then I got to focus on feeding people, and talking about the food I had cooked -- black bean burgers and potato salad. And there were dozens of kids there who have a community garden plot, who told me about the veggies they grew and how they had learned to make salsa and pickles out of them. Watching those kids running, and laughing, and having a water balloon fight while running through that garden was truly cathartic. It's almost impossible to mope while kids are laughing, so I'm really glad I went and did it instead of going home and crying.

I'm home now, and Miss Kitty knows what happened. She guarded the little one all last night, and yowled when I took her this morning . And when I got home, she jumped up on me and sniffed, then looked out the door to see if Little Kitty was there. Then she put her head on my shoulder and purred, and let me hold her for almost 15 minutes (this cat does NOT like to be held). So now, we're okay.

I almost always wonder if I'm doing the right thing, but this time, I know I did. Little Kitty went fast, she was happy and playing with me less than 48 hours beforehand...and even though it's hard for me and my roommate now, we can't regret bringing her in and making sure she was well-loved and had a home and a family for her last three months.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Little Kitty will always have a place in your heart.
    2013 days ago
    I am so sorry for your loss. We just had to do this last Thur with our 14 1/2 yr old dog. Never easy to say goodbye but necessary when they are suffering. emoticon
    2014 days ago
    You absolutely did the right thing. You've been doing the right thing for that kitty from the moment you first laid eyes on her. She is very lucky she came upon you so that she could have a comfortable and dignified ending to her life. Losing a pet is so hard. Thanks for being so kind to this little cat.

    2014 days ago
    Sorry for your loss!!
    2014 days ago
    You provided kitty with a lot of love and affection the last few months. Sorry for your loss and praying for comfort. emoticon
    2014 days ago
    Little Kitty had the best home she could have for the most important time of her life.
    2015 days ago
    Thank you for giving her a loving and caring home to spend her last days in. It's too bad she was sick, but I am so thankful you were there for her. Purrs. emoticon
    2015 days ago
    So very happy you were there to take care of her and be with her. You gave her much needed love during her final days. That is something so very special.
    2015 days ago
    Oh no : ( Reading this just made me start to cry, I am so sad for you having to go through that. I love my cats so much, and it's going to break my heart some day when they have to go. I'm glad you had the sense to take her in, you're right - you couldn't let her suffer. I'm glad she was calm for you, I'm sure she loved the time she got to spend with you and all of the love you gave her. I hope you're doing ok, and I'm glad you have Miss Kitty to keep you company. Hang in there.
    2015 days ago
    I am so sorry! My prayers are with you!
    2015 days ago
    Falon here is a link to The Rainbow Bridge poem. You will see her again someday.

    You might have to copy and paste the address since blogs don't have a link key
    2016 days ago
    Oh Falon. You did do the right thing, and in the best way possible. My heart goes out to you, dear.
    2016 days ago
    Sorry to read this. My cats are my children, and I was tearing up reading this. I feel for you. emoticon
    2016 days ago
    Thank you so much, everyone! I knew this would be coming, and that it was the only thing I could really do with her so sick, so that makes it easier.
    2016 days ago
    That's super sad but I'm so happy she was in a safe loving home. You did the right thing. Hard as it is.
    2016 days ago
    I can't imagine the feelings you had to go through, but what a lucky little cat to have had you while she did.
    2016 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2016 days ago
    It's always hard to lose a pet. I put my dog down in July. Big hugs!
    2016 days ago
    What a lucky kitty to have found a loving home and family for her last months. I am sure she knew she'd found the right place.
    I cried for your little kitty today, and will hug my kitties extra close tonight!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2016 days ago
    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy sayinq1g good bye to a friend. :(
    2016 days ago
    Oh Honey, I'm so sorry to hear this.

    I know how sad it is to make this decision.

    As tough a decision as it is, you never want to see a beloved pet suffer and you know that you gave Little Kitty a safe home and much love during the last months of her life emoticon
    2016 days ago
    I am so sorry. Tears are running down my face as I am typing. You did the right thing and you gave her a wonderful life and a wonderful big sister (Miss Kitty). Take comfort in knowing how wonderful she had it with you and your roommate. A lot of cats would not get that chance.
    2016 days ago
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