February 20, 2009, I had to put the love of my life, my beautiful cat, K, to sleep. Last year around this time I learned that my he had an inoperable nasal adenocarcinoma (shortly thereafter I learned I had a primary bone lymphoma too). K and I both went through chemo-therapy for about 6 months (6 for me 8 for him). Anyway, his tumor returned sometime around December of 2008, and things have been a bit up and down with him for the last few months.
His breathing would seem to be blocked, then it would clear up. When he has trouble breathing he’s not much for eating, but when it cleared again, he’d be back into his food and begging for extra. Anyway I’d been lulled by the up and down nature of his illness into a kind of denial of what I was going to have to do, even as I was preparing to have it done. I’d notice the Sunday before I had to put him down that he’d lost about a pound of weight, and I found that worrying, but then Tuesday of that week when I got home from work he was waiting for me at the door, just like old times, and he raced me to his food bowl. His breathing was cleared, and he was a hungry boy. We cuddled on the sofa for a good part of the rest of the evening, and he came to bed with me for a bit before begging to be let out to roam the rest of the house. Wednesday was the same, and I was feeling pretty relieved that he was doing better, and maybe his tumor was even shrinking again.
Thursday though, I got home from work and there was no one waiting for me. I didn’t think to much of it though because sometimes he likes to sleep with my hubby (he works nights so he goes to sleep in the afternoon and my kitty generally naps all afternoon anyway). Anyway, I made myself a snack and sat down to do some computer stuff. When I finished my snack I noticed about 40 minutes had passed, and I was able to complete an entire snack with no visitor. So I popped into the study where he sometimes like to sleep under the desk and was confronted with my baby sitting in the middle of the floor dripping blood from his nose and mouth. The corner that he normally naps in was covered in blood, and he looked like he was in shock. That was the start of a horrible night.
By Friday morning at 8:00AM I made a call to Dr. Amy the Housecall Vet . K always hated going to the vet, and when he started getting sick in December and I realized I would most likely have to have him euthanized, I had started searching for vets who might perform that service here at our house. I honestly just didn’t want his last moments on earth to be that horrible combination of a terrifying drive to the vet’s office, followed by the trauma of being in a vets office with strange dogs and cats, followed by a lethal visit with a strange vet who thinks he’s feral. Luckily for me and K, I found Dr. Amy who comes to the patient. She had been over to visit him earlier in the month, and she was acquainted with his circumstances. I told her I thought it was time, and she came over shortly thereafter. She didn’t have an assistant who could help, but I was comfortable with helping her look after him. Still it was so hard. I was hoping she’d tell me she didn’t think it was time yet, that she might have something that would help, but I guess I always knew better.
My -inlaws came over to provide some moral support, and K didn’t even get up to do his normal inspections (even at his sickest in the past he’s never let a guest get by without a serious once over). He was similarly disinterested when the vet showed up, in spite of her having a big box full of stuff he could get into. He didn’t want Dr. Amy messing with his forearms too much (she shaved one to examine the veins), and she said there was no need to rush anything we could just take things slowly and let him adjust. I took him outside and walked him around the yard, because he always loved being in the yard. The doctor didn’t think we’d be able to get the needle in his veins without sedating him, so after he’d wandered around a bit (and been sick again) she gave him a sedative. When he started to get a little woozy I picked him up and cradled him on my shoulder, and he drifted off to sleep there. Shortly after that he was given a lethal dose of anasthetic and passed away with his little face cradled in my hands.
I’m so shattered by the loss of him, I just realized today that it’s been nearly 3 weeks since his death, and I still cry for the loss of him. My husband has been great, everyone has really, but I would do anything to have his sidle up and try to wedge himself into the nook between me and the sofa arm again. It was truly horrible having to euthanize him, still I’m relieved I could put a peaceful end to his suffering. I’m very greatful for Dr. Amy’s services, but it just breaks my heart that it had to come to that. Other than the tumor he was in great health, a really strong and vital little guy. His oncologist had told me last year that it would be like this, that the tumor wouldn’t kill him, it would just leave him in misery, and I’d have to make the call to end his suffering, but even with a year to prepare; I still feel so devastated. I miss him so very much, and I just pray that he’s at peace. Much love to you my sweet beautiful boy, you were such a blessing in my life; you’ll be loved forever and never forgotten.