Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today. Was the day.

Unless you have loved a pet. I mean, really loved a pet, you need not read further. This will seem not worthy of the attention or emotion I am giving it.

That was your warning. . .

Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog that begged the question, “When do you say goodbye” to a pet. I woke up this morning with the painful answer.

It was today.

My dear cat, Winni, was 17-1/2 years old this morning. Her tiny little body had withered down to just barely 6 pounds. Today I watched Winni go.

Here is what Winni meant to me. What she represented in my world.
She and Charlie (her sister) were my first pets as a real live grown up. I took pictures of them like they were my children. I think I even have the kitten “brag” book of photos somewhere near where I am sitting. They were so tiny when we got them that they could crawl under the doors of our mobile home (yes, I said mobile home. On an alfalfa field. In Omak). I watched them grow, shred my curtains and I loved them dearly. They made many moves with us. They went from “country” cats to “city” kitties and back again. We lost Charlie to kidney failure 5 years ago. Yet another truly heartbreaking experience. But Winni. . . she’s been in my life every step of the way. Through countless moves, 2 babies, lots of laughter, lots of tears. She’s been the one constant.

And she’s one tough bird. She was always a little thing. We called her “skinny Winni.” Only about 12 pounds in her heyday. But tough as nails. A great hunter. A perfect cat. Never had an accident. Never scratched. Very loving. The best cat you could ask for.

I have watched her health ail for quite some time now. I kept doing everything I could do to make life easier for her. The final step was to move food and water down stairs because her arthritis made walking up uncomfortable for her. I put cat boxes everywhere. But she just didn’t use them. It wasn’t her. She was lost in a world of aging and maybe even pain she couldn’t tell me about.

So last night as I watched her stumble off the couch, barely catching her balance, I knew it was time. I knew without a doubt I was capable of putting her out of pain. I knew I was being selfish. I finally knew. I loved her more than watching her deteriorate any further. I told Dion to pet his cat last night. She laid with him for a while.

I woke up this morning with purpose. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going to do. I made sure the girls gave all the cats “some love” before they went to school. I called the vet. I made the appointment. I laid on the floor with her in front of the fireplace and petted her while she purred. And we stayed there until it was time to go. I held her on the table while they administered the “medicine.” My hands were the last thing she felt and my eyes were the last thing she saw.

I brought Winni home in a carrier on the front seat of my car. She was afraid of what lay ahead of her. I remember holding my hand close to her and Charlie, assuring them I would take care of them and everything would be all right. I took her “home” today in a carrier on the front seat of my car. She was afraid of what lay ahead of her. I held my hand next to her and assured her I would take care of her and everything would be all right.

She is at peace.


  1. So sorry Lori...makes me cry too! You took good care of her and she had a long wonderful life! It's so hard to say goodbye to our furry family members when we love them so much. The only thing worse than going through the pain of losing them would be to miss all the love they give us when they are here. It was time and you did the right thing. Love you!

  2. So sorry my dear friend! I told my kids when they got home and the girls were very upset. Karissa took a few pictures of her on New Years Eve when we were there. I'm glad she did!

    Winni was very well loved and you did the right thing. She is with Charlie and Bobby boy chasing birds and mice up in kitty heaven.

  3. I'm so sorry Lori... You were a good Mama to her & she did have a blessed & long life... but never quite long enough... She's definitely snuggling up with Charlie now... & feeling like a kitten again up in heaven... Thinking of you all... XO
    ~ Trisha