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.