It has been a week since I had to have my cat Echo put to sleep. I still get a little teary about it. He was so young…
I know some of my friends think I’m crazy for being so upset about a CAT. An ANIMAL. But most of them do not have pets or particularly like animals so I shouldn’t expect them to understand.
It was just so out of the blue. He’d been acting strangely all weekend. Monday morning my roommate dropped him off at the veterinarian for me and a few hour later the doctor called and told me she couldn’t find an obvious reason for his illness and would have to do some blood tests. She also wanted to keep him overnight because he was dehydrated and had lost a lot of weight in the last few days. Still I was expecting that he’d be able to be fixed. It might be expensive, but it would be worth it.
Less than 24 hours later the doctor called me again. The news was grim. He was in kidney failure and his ketone (I think – I was in a bit of a state) levels were crazy high. Like five times normal. Still I was thinking, OK it’s going to be expensive. I was right, it would be an expensive treatment that might give him another six months. Another six months spent having to be given daily subcutaneous fluids, administered by me, repeated visits to the vet and me back at the same place in six months with a very sick kitty.
I lost it.
I was at work.
I couldn’t stop sobbing. Messy, loud, uncontrollable sobbing. Luckily I work with my dad and brother so I was able to get it out.
I had a big decision to make.
Rationally I knew what I needed to do. Emotionally I was having trouble making the decision. It took four hours but finally made the call. I was going to get to see him and say goodbye first. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be with him when they gave him the injection. How selfish of me? I let him die with strangers! I hate myself for being too weak to be there.
When I went to say goodbye he looked like he’d lost more weight, even hooked up to an IV and being flushed with fluids. He was also drooling uncontrollably. But as soon as I picked him up he began to purr and the sobs started again.
He was my baby. The sweetest cat you can imagine, not one of those hissing bitchy cats that hates everyone, but a loving cuddly companion who liked to lay in the crook of my arm, taking affection when it was offered but never demanding it.
My mom was with me though it all and we took him to her house for burial. The house I grew up in, in the country with lots of space. He was buried near a blooming plum tree not far from the grave of my parent’s beloved dog, Bob.
My dad had dug the grave before we got there so there wasn’t much to do but put him in it and cover it with soil. My mom is working on a marker for his grave.
I miss him.