Monday, September 14, 2015

The cat blog post I never wanted to write: My cat died today

Eamon the brown tabby in his cat bed
At 4pm today, less than an hour ago, my sweet 14-year-old cat took his last breath, while he was resting his head in my hands. It's a horrible, horrible day. And it's been a long time coming.

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 
This weekend, he didn't want to interact with anything on his list. It was his time.

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.

 Eamon the cat rocking a bright pink collar
For now, I'll just say good night to my sweet, silly, precious old man.

You'll never know how much I miss you.

8 comments:

  1. Oh, no, we are so very sorry for your loss. It's the kindest, bravest gift that humans can give our feline companions to let them go like that, and he was clearly a very special cat who had a wonderful life being loved by you. Many purrs and hugs from all of us.

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  2. I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved boy. WE understand. We live for the moments of joy and affection and we die a little with them when they leave us. Hugs to you!

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  3. I am so very sorry. We just let our eldest cat go as well. You write so clearly about your kitty's life and his ending. May he find a gentle pain free path and be safe on the spirit side. I hope he visits and gives his regards, time to time.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. Hugs to your family.

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  4. While it has been more than a week for you, I am just seeing this post now, and wanted to tell you I too am very sorry to hear of Eamon's passing. It is always hard to lose someone you love, even when you know it is absolutely in their best interest. May the wonderful memories come and ease the pain of his passing.

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    1. Thanks so much. It's still very hard, but I'm working through it. All of the support really helps.

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