Today, I took my 19 year old cat to the vet to be “put down” – euthanized.
It isn’t the first time that I have had to take a family pet when “it was time”. I wish I could say I have never had to make this decision.
Cassidy had always been my baby. We were married for 6 months and couldn’t take being in an apartment where we couldn’t have animals. One week after getting our house we called every shelter around – no kittens. We were determined or more like desperate to have kittens that I even started to contact pet stores. I had always said that I would never purchase an animal from a pet store or what I thought was like a “puppy mill”. But then again, I said we wanted pets. We finally found a store that had kittens and off we went. We had only lived in the area a year. We really didn’t know our way around. It was before we had cell phones or gps in our car. The store was closing soon and we called them for directions from a pay phone. We finally found the store and they had closed but they took pity on us and let us come in.
My husband has always been a orange cat lover. Of course, there was an orange kitten that caught his eye. I knew he was coming home with us.
In the corner was a small grey tabby tiger kitten being bullied by that orange kitten.
I have always been a sucker for anyone that needs to be taken care of ~ who needs a Mom & this kitten needed me.
I picked him up and he immediately started to nuzzle my hair and I was hooked ~ he was coming home.
and that made 2.
A week later ~ a co-worker of my husbands had told him about his litter of kittens ~ yep ~ you guessed it ~ and then there were 3.
Cassidy, Sundance & Kid Meow.
Almost 19 years have gone by ~ we have had 2 dogs, 6 cats, a horse, 2 hamsters, and numerous fish. Cassidy watched and accepted as we adopted each new animal.
Cassidy outlived them all.
Cassidy grew up my baby – always sleeping with me – snuggling my hair ~ hiding from most. Even in the past year when he was stone deaf as soon as he saw me walk in the room, he would meow and then jump up on the foot stool waiting for me to sit down in my chair.
He had been going down hill the past 2 years ~ he no longer was the big massive Tom. He looked his age. He had become an old man. Skinny, bony, stone deaf, loss of balance, difficulty with his bladder control, and then this past year he started to have kidney failure. I prayed that one night when he went to sleep he would just not wake up.
Why couldn’t one of my animals pass away peacefully in their sleep without me having to make the life ending decision.
I kept fighting the decision. I made an appointment a month ago and cancelled it. I wasn’t ready to let go.
A week ago – I saw him walking across the living room, jumped up to the sofa and walked to the back of the couch to lie down.
He was having trouble lying down. I had been kidding myself. I kept saying that when I saw that he was suffering I would take him.
It finally hit me. He was walking and trying to get comfortable lying down.
He looked like he had Fibromyalgia.
I couldn’t kid myself any longer. I knew how he felt. I felt every ounce of pain that he had walking, loss of balance, trying to lie down, to find a way that would give rest and not more pain.
I have had several conversations with others about taking him – there comments, “it was time”, “he is suffering” , “he is in pain”, “it is the right thing to do”.
Even that how “we treat animals better than humans by giving them a peaceful “out” of the pain”.
I don’t want to get into a religious debate as to whether suicide or “euthanizing” is a Sin or a humane way to end suffering. I am just thinking through my fingers. I don’t want to debate taking one’s life. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. I just want to wonder out loud. Writing is my way of getting out my pain.
In the same respect I have a Fibromite friend that is suffering. Her life is HELL. She is in more pain than anyone should ever have to endure. Her body is failing her and She has given up.
She has even tried to end things, which has landed her in a special “hospital”. Everyone wants to keep her from doing anything. Why? For her? For them?
I dont’ want to see her end her life and in the same breath – I don’t want her to live in this pain.
If we have a pet whom we love and there is nothing more we can do for the pain and suffering, we decide for them that it is “time” for them to die. We are making that decision. Not some higher power or whatever you believe in.
What gives us the right to decide to end their life?
If we have a family member that has zero quality of life left, that is in pain and suffering ~ We continue to find ways to keep them living. If fact, it is against the law to do anything but make them live.
Why is that? It is humane to “kill” our animals. It is considered suicide, murder, a sin when considering a human.
Cassidy and I were in the vet office waiting for the doctor. He just laid down on the table leaning up against me. Calm. He has never been so relaxed.
Whether you believe it or not ~ It was almost like he was relieved. It was humane, just a few seconds and my Cassidy was gone.
I am a Fighter and have many reasons in life to keep fighting.
However, when I am 90 years old and am tired fighting Fibro ~ it might be nice to be with my loved one ~ and fall asleep peacefully.
I am a Fibromyalgia Warrior – Living Life.