I had my cat put to sleep last Thursday, and I must say it went much better than I had anticipated.
The day before I put her to sleep, I decided I would give her favorite treat to her (it was the only thing she would eat that day): tuna water (water drained from cans of tuna). Throughout the day, I cracked open three cans of tuna, and she lapped the water all up. She begged for more, but I couldn't find more in my cupboard. I felt guilty that I didn't have any more to give her. Why didn't I think of buying her more tuna ahead of time??
I couldn't sleep that night; sleeping seemed like such a waste of time when I could be spending more time with Missy. I could see that she was doing even worse than the day before. She could barely walk---it was obvious that her hips were hurting her badly. It was really hard for me to watch her in such pain. She drank a lot of water, but had to drink it lying down because she couldn't support herself anymore.
During those early morning hours, I lit a candle and read through the service of the dead (funeral service) from my old hymnal from church. Really, the "old Missy" was already gone, and I began the gut-wrenching process of mourning her death. It was really rough for me to read through the funeral service, and I sobbed and sobbed. After I read through the service, I read some Psalms from the Bible, and those words really comforted me. Between the Bible reading and watching my cat's health deteriorate before my very eyes, I began to realize that putting her to sleep was the right choice. I knew it was the best gift I could give to her. Missy would cry out in pain, and I told her that help was on the way. Just hang in there a few more hours and it would be over soon.
The vet came out to the house. Before she began the procedure, she explained everything to me. She was very kind and understanding. She gave Missy a muscle relaxant first so that she wouldn't feel the actual injection that would stop her heart. While Missy was relaxing, I said my final goodbyes to her. When I was ready (and only when I was ready), the vet injected the second shot. Soon it was over. My baby was gone. I wept.
I took some of her fur that they had shaved off of her front leg at the injection site. I saved her toys, and I put the rest of her things in storage. I'm thinking of putting her toys and some pictures of her in a shadow box to remember her by. I didn't want her body to bury or her ashes to keep or scatter. They would mean nothing to me. Even when I visit my mom's grave, I don't talk to her like some people do when they visit grave sites of loved ones. I know my mom's not there any longer. What I remember of her is no longer there. It's the same with Missy. She's gone.
The house seems so empty without her. There's no one to greet me at the bottom of the stairs first thing in the morning, or at the front door when I come home. I miss her terribly, but I know I did the right thing. I am certain she is in a much better place now, finally freed from her tremendous pain and suffering.
When I tell people that I put my cat to sleep, the first thing they typically ask is if I'm going to get another cat. People don't seem to understand the fact that my cat was a member of my family. (When a couple loses a child, you wouldn't dare ask if they'll have another baby right away.) It's as though people think that getting another cat could possibly replace the hole I have in my heart. I can't just go right out and get another cat. Not yet, anyway. I need time to grieve.
I found the only picture I have of the two of us together. It's something I will always treasure. This picture was taken several years ago, before my weight loss, and when Missy was in her prime.
If you read this far, thank you. I just needed to get this out.
Rest in peace, Missy.