Yesterday I had to take my cat in to the veterinarian. It was a sad series of events that led to this.
The night before she had wobbled as fast as she could into the house ahead of me. Which considering she was about eighteen years old, meant she was really slow, and I waited at the door until she went through. With arthritic hips it took her awhile to make it up the stairs to her dinner bowl and water dish. She made it and she was hungry. I’d put her out that morning since it was going to be a nice day. She had always been a vocal cat. She would let me know when she was hungry, wanted out, need attention… You understand.
When I finally got around to getting to bed, she was already there. Normally she would curl up on my hair ontop of the pillow and I’d have to remove her claws from my head as she got comfortable. But that night she did none of her usual things. Falling over the blankets and her legs she ended up using my arm as a pillow. I remember looking in her eyes and realizing her time was near. Very carefully I petted her and held her, letting her know it was okay.
About three o’clock in the morning I was awoken to a loud merow, and she fell off the bed scrambeling underneath. It was all quiet and I was unsure what was going on. When it finally started getting light out she was making noise. It took me forever to coax her out from under there without waking anyone else. After seeing how she was unable to walk I carried her downstairs and outside. I placed her on the porch, not really knowing what to do. I admit I was panicking. The last animal I had to put to sleep had been a hamster. I went in to let my parents know she wasn’t doing well and they asked me what I was going to do about it. (shock!) I didn’t know. I knew she was old, and she was probably going to need to be put down.
She had crawled off of the deck by the time I went back out. I carefully picked her up and put her on one of my shirts, then went and got her water and food.
I called the only vet I could find open on Saturday and made an appointment. I went outside to find her. The dog found her. She had crawled into some tall grass-like bushes next to the house. She was making some loud heart wrenching cries. It hurt to hear. Mom went out to listen and look, and she knew the same thing I had said. It was her time.
I wish I had just drove in and not waited any longer. My mom went with me. She drove and talked to the cat as she cried the whole way, bumps were painful. After a horendous wait, and numerous checks on the cat in the car the vet finally saw her. The vet listened to her heart looked at her circulation and was very careful not to move her. It was thought that she had a blood clot. The only humane thing to do was to put her to sleep.
My mom and I said our good-byes and with one last growl she was silent. I remember petting her head and looking at her eyes. She wasn’t there anymore. It was just a body.
Now that I look back on this a week later it doesn’t hurt so much. The room is still empty at night. I sleep longer and better, but it doesn’t feel right. I’m not ready for another pet. It may be awhile. Surprisingly it was easy to explain to why the cat needed to be put to sleep. Simply she was in plain, and it was merciful to grant her peace.