Eamon was diagnosed with arthritis many, many years ago. Over the past few years, I've tried all sorts of things to keep his pain under control, including prednisone, Adequan, gabapentin, fish oil, dasuquin and metacam. I bought him fancy heated beds, cushioned pillows, cooling blankets and getaway carriers. I used massage, soft music and focused play to help him work out kinked muscle.
Sometimes, these things worked.
Sometimes, like this weekend, they did not.
On Saturday, Eamon didn't eat anything at all. He wouldn't even touch the salmon treats he loves. On Sunday, he ate two bites of breakfast and stayed in his bed for the rest of the day. By my count, he was in the same position for 36 hours.
And this gentle, loving boy started biting both me and his canine and feline roommates when they came to comfort him. He's done this before, but this weekend, he took it to a new level.
Months ago, I put together a list of Eamon's favorite things, so I'd know just what to look for when he started to fall ill. These were the things on his list:
- Regular meals
- Kitty treats
- Belly rubs
- Dog play time
- Cat snuggles
Does that make me feel any less guilty for signing the paperwork to end his life? Of course not. It seems totally unnatural to pay someone to kill your cat. Like 99.99999 percent of pet parents, I wished that he would have simply faded away in his kitty bed on his terms, without prompting me to make decisions for him.
But at the same time, I'm thankful that I didn't force Eamon to stay in pain for one minute longer than was necessary. When he could no longer find the joy in life, I helped him to move onto a different plane. My job was to protect him, and today, I did just that.
But it's still awful.
You'll never know how much I miss you.