2 weeks ago, I had to put my oldest cat Duncan to sleep. Anyone who has followed me for a bit has heard about him at least once…I even did a post about him & my other cats during a 30 days challenge a while back. Even in that post he was showing signs of the end coming but thankfully we had a few more good months.
About halfway thru last month tho, there started some clear signs that it was coming soon…very soon. There were a couple of days where he would barely eat or drink & I finally told him if he didn’t start at least eating I was going to have to take him in & put him to sleep. So the next day he started eating better…just like he’d heard me & realized “Oh crap she means it I better get with it.” Well then our air conditioner died, & we had the hottest days of the summer a couple of weeks after that had happened. He got so hot that I was laying him on the desk & not only putting cool water on his pawpads & ears but wiping him down with a cool damp cloth every 20 minutes or so…& forcing him to drink cool water once an hour or so in an effort to keep him from getting heat stroke. He was showing all the beginning signs & we really didn’t think he was going to make it but lo & behold…he did…by some welcome miracle.
On the 18th…things were doing fine that morning…he’d been extra lovey for the last few days & wanted attention & was purring when I held him for the first time in a couple of months but I figured it was because he seemed to feel better since he was still eating & drinking just fine. I got home, & he wanted on the desk so I put him up here. He stayed up there, drank some, loved my hand some while he laid there, & ate a little bit, but then wanted down. After he got down, I noticed a hand sized wet spot on my desk which should not have been there. So I followed him into the bedroom, since he always sleeps on my bed if he wasn’t in here with me at the desk, & saw numerous spots on the bed as well. I spent the next 20 minutes laying in there with him & by that time…i knew the time had come. My first cat, Bit, had died of kidney failure, so I knew what I was seeing & wasn’t going to make him hang on till the bitter end. Especially not when anyone could tell he was miserable. So I called the vet’s office, & scheduled the appointment for that afternoon after I got done with work & my son got home from school.
My son had to hold him while we drove to the vet’s, & even he knew it was time because Duncan didn’t do anything other than reow his unhappiness at having to go somewhere again. Even once we got there, he didn’t try to get away or make alot of noise, just some token wiggling & grumbling to show he was still there & with us. My dad had gone with us so all 3 of us went in the room where I held Duncan while the sedative took effect, after the vet looked him over & listened to what I had to say & agreed it sounded like I was right. She was 1 I hadn’t dealt with before but I’m glad it was her because she handled it all beautifully…caring but to the point. I hadn’t stayed with Bit when she was put to sleep but this time…I was still petting him till she told me he was gone. I just couldn’t watch even if I was there & trying to love him till the end because…he gave me so much the least I could do was be with him the whole way.
Thankfully…there has been no guilt at all because the look in his eyes before I called the vet…he was ready…& I think he’d known it was coming for the few days before & was doing what he could to get that last bit in before it was done. That explains the sudden need for me to hold him for an hour at a time…him purring while I was doing it…why he was insisting on sleeping on my head & arm so much the nights before…we were both ready which has made it so much easier…I guess as easy as something like this can be. *chuckles* I’ll admit I’ve gone thru a few napkins while writing this since I use those instead of Kleenex but I thought it was time. It still hurts & I do miss him but…he had a good life & enjoyed it I think & i think he’s happy wherever he’s at now. The other 2 cats have been a help as well since thanks to them I’ve been able to let go as well as I can until we get his ashes back.
I remember the little scrawny kitten he was when my ex-boyfriend’s mom gave him to us, I remember the huge cow he became after my ex brought him to me because his ex-girlfriend hated the cat, & I remember him laying his head on my shoulder just looking at me like I was stupid…purring the whole time because even if he thought I was being stupid he was perfectly happy to be there. He was my baby & there’ll never be another like him & he won’t be forgotten. Thank you Duncan for being there.