Friday, 19 February 2016

LIFE: On losing a family pet


A month ago I got home and found our cat crouched in the corner of our kitchen, in a pool of wee, foaming at the mouth.

I set about washing her in the sink, trying to open her mouth to see if anything had got caught in there - sometimes a bit of fur would get wrapped around her tooth or whatever and she ended up dribbling - but this time she wouldn't open her mouth, or meow, or hiss at me whilst washing her.

I dried her off and tried her on food.

First little cat treats, then soft catfood in gravy, then a little flake of mackerel. She wouldn't open her mouth and the foaming/dribbling was still continuing.

I rang the vet. I took her over there. They said nothing was stuck in her throat. They gave her three shots - one of a steroid, one of a multivitamin (because she was so small)  and one of an antibiotic. I took her home.

I hoped, sadly, that if she was going to pass away, she'd pass away overnight in her catbed in her sleep. I hoped and prayed and hoped some more. Or that she'd miraculously begin eating and drinking and we'd continue on with life as normal.

I set my alarm for 7am and worried myself to sleep.

7am came and she was alive. But completely not with it. I found her collapsed, quite stiffly, in the litter tray.

At 9am, after a rush to the vets again, the vet turned to us and said, 'I think it's time to let her go'.

As much as I feel guilty about the pain she was in whilst I couldn't do anything about it, the only reason I can find as to why I cried so much at that point isn't because I felt guilty at all, but a super amount of relief that I wasn't going to be put on the spot and made to chose to put her down.

Our cat was eleven; she'd been dumped at the end of our farm track when she was about three months old; she was the runt of her litter (or a fine specimen out of a litter of runty type kittens); she'd had a leisurely life alongside my family. It was time.

There comes a point in every animals life when it wants to crawl into a little hole and accept the darkness that's overcoming it.

At 9am that Saturday morning, I accepted that darkness too. And I cried for the next two days.


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