He's Leaving My Life Today
By B. Gallatin
Published: October 16, 2007

I suppose it's a good day to die. That's what I'm telling myself as I put my cat and old friend of twelve years into the carrying cage to take him to the Vet to be euthanized.

He has no idea what is going to happen on this day because for a year and seven and a half months I have put him in the cage to go ride to the animal hospital for them to give him subcutaneous fluids. If I can hold myself together he'll just think its all routine.

Just before this past weekend he took a turn for the worst. He was vomiting most of the day Friday and lost a half a pound since Thursday. A half a pound doesn't sound like much but when you only weigh nine pounds it's a lot. I know how much weight he lost because he is weighed every day. I had not looked closely at him in a long time. I suppose because of the normality of our little daily routine.

He is presently sitting in my lap as I write this as he has many times over the years and I'm looking hard at him and he looks terrible, so thin and his once magnificent fur coast isn't smooth or shiny any longer. It's clumped into spikes and dull. His eyes, those beautiful gold green eyes, look cloudy. I'm thinking, how did this happen so fast.

Saturday the Vet did a blood work-up and said, "The uric acid level in his blood is high and his kidneys have nearly shut down completely." He went on to say, "He's suffering, nausea and a headache and there is nothing else I can do for him." I asked if it was time and he nodded yes. He gave me some pain medication for the weekend to give him to make him more comfortable.

I ran outside of the building like a child to try and stop this reality and sat down on the bench and cried like a baby. I knew when I started taking him that this day was coming and thought I was prepared emotionally. I am not. The appointment to put him down was made for today, Monday July 10, 2006

All of the sweet young girl techs at the Vet came outside, one after the other, and gave me a hug and gathered to praise my efforts of bringing him every day for fluids saying, he was lucky to have me as an owner because most clients would not have brought their pets every day. One of them said my cat put up the good fight. I guess there is solace in knowing I did all I could. One tech even offered to come in Monday on her day off to do the deed because she is the one who most times gave him his fluids.

However taking him in today, alive knowing I will bring him home dead to bury him this very same day is one of the toughest things I've ever had to do in my life.

My wife and I spent the rest of the weekend loving on him, feeding him special treats knowing it would be his last.

By the time you read this he will have been gone. I have chosen a spot in the woods he loved, at the edge of the lawn for his final resting place under an oak tree. My wife has picked out a tiny bronze statue of a cat with angel wings to place on the site. I will miss my old friend terribly.