This is a hard post to write, but one I have been thinking about for the past week. I guess I just had a feeling that a chapter in my life was about to come to an end.
Tonight at 8:40pm, I held my cat (Oreo) in my arms as she quietly fell asleep, then passed away.
My cat has been an important part of my life for 20 years which is more than half of my own lifetime. She has been with me when I was young and stupid, to when I was still young and a little less stupid. She was always right beside me through tough times, heart ache, good times and everything in between. A silent shoulder that I leaned on and relied on.
I have been crying now for the past four hours, and I’m sure that the coming days will bring more tears.
Over the past six months, she has been very slowly losing weight, and in the past couple of days, her back legs just don’t seem to move properly. I have been afraid to take her in to the vet because, as my husband put it, at 20 years old, what isn’t wrong with her. I turned to the internet and looked up everything from cancer to articles about diabetes in older cats. Then I decided that since it looked as though I was going to lose her; the least I could do was fight for her and look her monster straight in the face. If she was hurting, or dying, I needed to know why. If I woke up one morning and she was gone, I would forever wonder if there was something I could have done.
So today, I took her in. I cried the whole way there. I knew she wasn’t coming home. Somewhere inside, I knew I was saying goodbye. I had moments where I thought she might be fine. Maybe it was an easy problem that had an even easier solution.
The truth is, after speaking to the vet, there really wasn’t much wrong. She was actually a very healthy cat for her age. But what was wrong was a biggie, and there was no running from it. Everything else came back fine, except for her kidneys. She had kidney disease, and it was progressing to the point where she was starting to suffer some serious complications.
Then came the options, and the guilt with the possibility of choosing the wrong option. It took me a long time to decide, but in the end, I chose to euthanize her. I won’t post any justifications for my decision here. We all need to make our own decisions and be good with them on our own. I will say that it is the hardest decision I have had to make in my life so far and one I will think about every day.
I sat with her for a while before making the decision, then I sat with her for a short time before it happened. I told her everything I wanted to say to her. Then the vet came in and sat beside me. I held her in my arms, kissed her head and told her I loved her, then she was gone.
After, I sat with her for about 20 minutes and held her in my arms. I talked to her a little bit more, then I let her go. She will be cremated with a blanket I made for her years ago, and will come home with us soon.
I had 20 wonderful years with her and I still found myself wanting more time. No matter how much time we have here, it is never enough. I had to remind myself about when she was 17 and winter set in. I remember wishing that she would see another summer, and she got to see two more. I need to count my blessings, but it is hard to not want more time.
I will miss you every day Oreo. Thank you for being a part of my life.