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.)

12 Responses to “Gentle death”

  1. Cristen Says:

    awww, that’s awfully sad. So sorry.

  2. lisa b Says:

    sometimes the best, kindest option is a gentle death.
    for obvious reasons I have read a lot about this in recent years.
    It is always interesting to me to read the comment that sometimes we treat our animals better than we treat ourselves.

  3. daysgoby Says:

    Be gentle with yourselves. Piggie is at peace now.

  4. Mary Lynn Says:

    Purring can also be a sign of nervousness or anxiety. Years ago a cat of ours was hit by a car and badly hurt. As we drove it to the vet to be put down (poor thing had more broken bones than could possibly be fixed) I was amazed to hear it purring. I think it was in a state of shock, really.

    Cheers to Piggie.

  5. Jen Says:

    Cats purr when they’re in pain too, a comfort thing I think. Piglet’s not in pain now, that’s the main thing. I went through this with my 18 year old cat last year so I know exactly how hard it is but it is the right decision in situations like this. Thinking of you all.

  6. Sharon Says:

    Aww Man, I’m sorry to read this! But it does sound like it was time for him to go. I had to make the same decision with my first cat (about ten years ago) and it was awful. But it’s better than letting them suffer.

    Hang in there and enjoy that bottle of wine!

    BTW, I found your blog through “no time for flash cards”

  7. Deborah Says:

    My heart is with you. I had to make this decision a few years back with a beloved cat that was with me for 18 years. Its is not easy and to this day I still wonder if it was the right thing, even though I know in my heart is was.

  8. mamatulip Says:

    I agree with Lisa B. and I think that’s part of responsible pet ownership – knowing when it’s time. Still, it’s never easy. Take it easy; be good to yourselves.

  9. EWiller Says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words! I didn’t expect to be so reflective on an animal that I barely had a relationship with despite living with him for 6 years.

  10. Ernesta Rossi Says:

    I had to put my loved feline down when he got to the age of 17 – I thought I could handle it , but I could barely talk or see thru the tears when I got the vets’ ! So sad but it must be done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: