"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Pets, Part 2

I can't believe I have to write this, but Dad's other cat, Chuck, passed away this morning. That's both little babies gone in a month. I think that losing Tabby, his companion, was harder on Chuck than any of us would have thought. It seemed that he's been depressed the past couple weeks, and then, like Tabby, he got much worse, very quickly in the past day and a half. 

There's our boy. Seducing those ladies one last time with his little wink. 

Dad was with him, and it didn't sound like that peaceful of a departure. I'll spare you the details but I'm sure that Chuck wasn't really "there" at the end. Tabby was Josh's buddy, but Chuck was mine. I was going to leave work early today to go say goodbye, but I just headed home instead since he's already gone. 

I did get to have a nice little moment with him after Tabby died, which I'm thankful for. He had been so weird and standoffish in the morning before we took Tab to the vet. He knew something was up with Tabby and was very skittish and didn't want to be petted or held or anything. When I brought Tabby back to Dad's, I made sure Chuck examined the box and smelled it, hoping he would get some sense of what had happened. And then I sat in the chair for a few minutes and he jumped right up and layed down and started purring. He was a completely different cat from the morning, back to his normal self, and he made me feel a lot better. 

We were hoping he would hang on for a couple more years, but a few weeks was all he could handle. I didn't want all dad's companions to be gone in such a short amount of time, and right before the holidays, but we really don't get to choose those types of things do we? 

Last night Brian tried to remind me of something we heard at church a few weeks ago: Chuck wasn't OUR cat, he was GOD'S cat. It made me feel a million times worse at the moment because it sure felt like he was my cat! But this morning on the way to work I was praying about it and decided to just thank God for giving Chuck to us for 12 whole years. He could have decided to take him back much sooner. And I can totally understand why he'd want him--Chuck was the most loyal, loving, wonderful companion to us (and especially my dad). But instead he let us have him, and love him, and get all that love back in return. God will be so happy to have him home. 

Some things we have taken away from this experience: 
      1) When your pets do something wrong--don't be so hard on them. They're just being themselves. They're not little people who you can train to obey all the rules. They animals! :) The less you yell the easier it is when they're gone to wish you'd done things differently. So happy Chuck was such a good boy. 
      2) If your pet is getting close to the end and it doesn't look like they're going to make it, take them to the vet and have them put to sleep with a shot. Chuck's end wasn't peaceful in his sleep. We had no way of knowing it would be like this, and so fast after his vet visit yesterday afternoon. 
        But if we had really thought carefully, we probably could have come to the conclusion that the blood tests weren't going to come back with a direction for a magical cure. At least not when you have masses in your abdomen. We did the best that we could with the information we had, but believe me, when it's time for my babies to go, I'm now going to take them to the vet at the beginning of the end (maybe towards the middle....) instead of the end. I think we've all learned from this it's just the most humane thing to do. Because you just don't know when their health is going to turn on a dime, like Chuck's did. 

I ended Tabby's post with a list of her favorite things, and I'll do the same thing for Chuck: 

Cream filling from donuts
Caramel candies (you know the little square ones wrapped in clear plastic?)
Being brushed
Annoying Tabby until she leaves your lap so he can take her place
Pretending like he's going to fight the stray cats outside
The fireplace
Playing fetch with Hershey kiss wrappers and stuffed cows

(Am I forgetting anything Joshua?)

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! Make sure you're sending them my dad's way too--he just lost a very special little buddy. 



  1. I'm so sorry Meg :-(. You're totally right - we keep our pets around for US, not for their well-being when they get sick! Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.

  2. So sorry for your loss Meg (again :(). My thoughts are with you and your dad during this difficult time. Hug your two feline babies extra tight tonight; I know I will do the same for mine.

    Don't beat yourself up over not getting him put to sleep. I also plan to have mine put down when I know they are at "the end". But the fact of the matter is that hindsight is 20-20. We don't always know it is the end, and they can't tell us. As much as we don't want them to suffer, we also don't want to rob them of any quality life they have left, and sometimes, miracles or healing happen. Sometimes, as you say, their health can also turn on a dime in a good way. Look at Charcoal. A year ago, when he got really sick, many people told me to have him put down; yet, a year later, by the grace of God, he is alive, well, and completely healthy again. So, you just never know. You just have to do the best you can for them, out of love, and you did that. Chuck knew you never would have wanted him to suffer. He knew he was loved, and that is the best you could have done for him! Hugs!


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