It's been a bad last couple of weeks as far as the family cat goes. She has had problems hitting the litter box, she has been sleeping 18-20 hours a day, and dropping weight fast, despite eating a couple of cans of food a day. The last week or so, she has been letting go with this heart rending cross between a howl, a meow and a cry 3 times a night. After a couple of weepy eyed talks between my wife and I, we decided that the time had come to end it.
Today at 4:30, I drive her to the vet, and stayed with her until it was all done. It was the hardest thing I have gone through since I spent a night at the hospital with my wife as she fought to save our first pregnancy. That was 9 years ago, and I guess in the big picture if bringing my cat to the vet to be put to sleep is the worst thing that happened to me in 9 years...that's not a bad life.
It also wasn't a bad life for a cat. She made it 17-18 years, the last 9 of it being loved by an amazing family(modesty is not one of my strong points). What hurts is knowing that I made the pragmatic decision, and not the emotional one. I am sure that whatever was effecting the cats health might have been medically treatable....but my wife and I had to face the hard economic reality of the situation...as folks waiting for a house to sell in one town, hoping to buy a house in a new town...how much money could we really afford to spend on keeping an old, old cat alive? I mean...say it was diabetes, which signs pointed too as one possible cause....did it really make sense to be roped into giving her insulin shots(at gosh only knows what cost) to stretch her out another 6 months?
As people out in Arizona and across the nation come to grips with what happened out there over the weekend(and heck, what happens to good people in a variety of ways EVERY DAY, so I'm not even thinking of ranting anti-gun, just trying to put things in context)...it probably seems lame for me to lament a cat who was allowed to go peacefully...but she was my cat darn-it.
Maybe tomorrow I'll catch up to the real world and start paying attention to all the wonderful progress our new Congress and the rest of our governments are making in the new year.