Archive for November, 2009

Gentle death

Friday, November 27, 2009

I struggled with what to title this post, and then I googled ‘death of a cat’ and up popped some articles on dealing with grief and deciding on euthanasia and there it was. The title.

So the cat, Piglet, is no more.

The last few weeks saw him lose body weight at a startling rate, a by-product of not really eating anything, which was a side effect of what we assume was an intestinal blockage.  There was a decision not to treat the blockage as he was already an elderly cat.  He was also limping and had lost much of his fur as well.  A colleague told me this week that cats are very good at masking their pain. We kept thinking that he seemed to be okay in spirit, that he was still purring.  Apparently this is deceptive.

This afternoon, his last day, he followed me out to the front door as I let the dog out.  So I let him go outside too. And he sort of became his old self again, sniffing the plants, wandering around the bushes, settling down in the leaves.  And he seemed happy so I left him there.  And went out.

I returned home a couple of hours later and he was nowhere to be found.  Which is not great when there is a set vet’s appointment.  I called for him and searched in the dark.  I left the gate on the top of the stairs to our deck open as I knew he couldn’t climb over it anymore.  In the summer, he could still jump the whole thing.

I apologized to Mark as I assumed he was going to have to cancel the appointment.  He admitted that he was sort of relieved, as it would make telling the boys that the cat went outside and didn’t come back an awful lot easier if it wasn’t a lie.

But he found him.  He was under the deck, cowering, unable to even walk up the stairs.  Mark wondered again if he was doing the right thing, as he brought him into the house to get ready to go.  Then Piggie walked straight into a wall and stumbled into the kitchen.

Yes. It was time to go. A gentle death. Peace be with you.

(Mark’s upset. That was a hard decision for him. We’ll crack open a bottle of wine later and say cheers.)