I know this is very much outside the scope of my usual posts, but I need to share some thoughts.
One of our cats, Snowflake died today. We had to have her put to sleep. She was at least 18 years old (we'd had her for 14) and was a good and social cat. She was the first pet I ever bought for one of my children. She was H's cat.
But H is working for Disney right now and hours and hours away and I almost didn't burden her with the decision. But in the end, I needed to know that she understood. No, really I just needed to hear her voice. Even if she's 24, she's still my baby. Well one of four, at least.
Snowflake had reached the end of her days. We'd noticed in the last week she'd not only stopped eating but dropped too much weight (not that she was ever heavy). Then we noticed she'd stopped drinking and was trying to crawl away and hide. Last night, my son and I got her to eat, but her breathing was ragged and her legs really weren't working.
We said a lot of prayers and we started preparing the younger kids for what we might find.
When the Vet tech took Snowflake's temp and saw how low it was she got the Vet right away.
I don't know other peoples experience with Banfield Pet Hospital (they're linked to Pet's Mart), but we've had wonderful people to help us whenever we've had to take them a sick animal.
Essentially, they told us we could take her home and her heart would probably stop in the next 24 hours, but she was dehydrated and mostly unaware of her surroundings.
I didn't want to say goodbye, but I couldn't let her suffer.
Let me digress here, that even though I'm a husband and father and I'm going to be 42 this year, knowing that I had to be a foundation for my family and lead them through this was terrifying. Being an adult is hard and more and more I am gobsmacked how well my parents did these things. And I'm not saying my wife didn't pull her weight, her strength is different and we try to balance our strengths and bring out the best in each other.
Banfield let us take our tearful time with her. She got to perch on their sink and watch a trickle of water come out (her favorite thing in the world was to drink water from the tap, but she could only watch it now).
The great people at Banfield even took the kids for a bit and let them color and lovingly explain what was happening to her.
The tech who worked with us was sobbing as bad as the rest of us.
The Vet even broke into tears, too.
Snowflake was so dehydrated that they couldn't use a traditional IV method, so we couldn't stay with her for the very end, but I know she's in a better place.
She's not suffering and we will always be her family.
I know its just my cat, but I've cried so much today that I keep thinking there are no more tears left. But they keep coming.
It's not just the loss of our pet. It's having to walk my children through death. We've all been very blessed and haven't been profoundly touched by the end of life, but today we had to face it.
Except for being one short, this time.
Snowflake, may your tummy never no hunger, may your face always have someone to scratch it, and I hope there is a fabulous sink to drink an endless stream of crystal clear water from!
You were a good and dear cat and we love you.