Friday, August 13, 2010
The Hand-Me-Down Cat Moves On
I knew yesterday what I would likely have to face today. That didn't make today any easier. It was out of my hands and in God's, but I still had to make the decision and say the words. I told him before we left this afternoon that it was time for him to leave his failing body behind, that it was time for him to move on and seek a new life in a new healthy body. He seemed to understand. I hope he did.
Ebony stopped being able to eat yesterday. What he did eat or drink came right back up tinted red. We discovered today that he had a giant growth inside his abdomen that hadn't been there just a couple of weeks ago. That, combined with his hyperthyroidism had reduced his quality of life to an intolerable minimum. I couldn't bear to have him end his life in pain and starving, so I asked the veterinarian to put him to sleep. I would have wanted him to do the same for me. Just so you know, though, that doesn't make it any easier a decision.
It's not like he and I didn't try to get him feeling better, though. We tried pills to get his thyroid problem under control, but they only made it worse. They we tried some transdermal medication applied to the inside of his ear. He got his last dose of that yesterday evening. It wasn't helping. Still, I medicated him and brushed him and put antibiotic gel on his gums and cleaned up after him. It was difficult, trying to help him and not seeing any results, but I didn't really mind. He seemed a bit more comfortable and I think he was happy to be getting all that attention, even if it wasn't helping him very much.
I think he was ready to move on. He seemed to be okay with my explanation of what to expect this afternoon. I know it was the right decision, but that doesn't really make it any easier. I miss the little guy. He was grouchy and whiny and petulant and he didn't really like to be touched unless he was in your lap, but he made himself at home here as best he could after a lifetime of being moved from place to place, and if you held him in your lap and brushed his thin little body gently, he would purr and purr. He was a good companion to Carol's mother and father for many years, and that is his legacy. I am grateful that we were able to make his last few months as good for him as possible. He got as much love and care as he could handle, and he was blessed with interesting, good-natured companions. We should all be so fortunate.
So, goodbye, Ebony. You had a good long life surrounded by people who loved and cared for you. You got to live in lots of interesting places and meet lots of wonderful people. Be at peace now. Take a moment to rest, and then move on to your next life with renewed hope and a healthy body. Farewell, Ebony. You will be missed.