14 October 2009

The hardest decision of all

I can't believe that I started this blog over two weeks ago and haven't posted since.  The last two weeks have been very difficult as I had to face the agonising decision that all pet-owners dread..

Chivers, my beloved cat and faithful companion for the last 17 years, had  to be put to sleep on 29 September. Chivers has been with me through all life's ups and downs. Divorce, house moves, illness, job changes - he was always there and a very special cat.  He used to follow me like a dog, often meaning I'd have to pick him up, put him back in the house & lock the cat flap so I could go out without him following & risk being run over! He'd also raise his front two paws to let me  know he wanted to be picked up and cuddled.

Although I thought I'd prepared for the moment and spent the whole Sunday with him, nothing could have prepared me for the range of emotions I felt on the Monday when the inevitable became reality.

Thankfully my husband drove me to and from the vets. I really wasn't in a fit state to drive. I wanted Chivers last minutes to be peaceful and I definitely didn't want him to die alone. I couldn't hold back the tears in the waiting room, and as they know me so well at the vets, I was ushered into a separate area (I'm sure I was off putting to the other clients).

Unfortunately, Chivers last moments weren't as peaceful as I'd hoped - or as quick. His left leg was shaved and the lethal injection started, then his vein blew. The vet tried his right leg and the same happened. In the end he had to be injected in his kidney. I cradled him the whole time until he passed away. I left the vets in streams of tears and also covered in Chivers' blood.

I know it was the right decision - he'd stopped eating, lost a fifth of his bodyweight, wasn't able to enjoy his usual activities and was suffering with chronic arthritis, renal disease and thyroid problems - but it didn't make it any easier.

I decided to have Chivers cremated and picked up his ashes this week.  I've a keep-sake box which contains his collar, some locks of his fur plus some of his ashes and I've ordered a grave marker so he can be buried in his favourite sunbathing spot in the garden.

I dearly miss Chivers, he will always have a special place in my heart and his spirit will live on.  Each day gets easier and I still have Tazzie and the hounds to consider.

 Chivers & Mina snuggled up

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how the myth got started that there is a relief in the person/pet/loved one not suffering any longer. When my grandmother died after 2 years of Alzheimers, I didn't feel relief at all, I wanted her back even though she hadn't recognized me for years. We put our greyhound Ginger down when she was diagnosed with cancer and my husband, myself and our other greyhound were all morose for months. It's just a really tough time. So sorry about Chivers. Sounds very special. (Twitter - Search4Google & WyattTheQuiet(Greyhound)


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