Saturday, June 04, 2005


My cat died today.

It's my fault really. She was sick, and I waited too long to take her to the vet. She was jaundiced and had liver function problems. She barely moved while on the examination table, and seemed to be laboring to breathe.

I could have spent $1800 to take her to a specialist, or spent hundreds this weekend to build her strength back with IV fluilds and force-feeding. But on Monday, they would have needed to do more tests to see if she could be treated.

My mom said when I told her the cat was sick, "You may have to put her down." That was actually the first thing my mother said.

I keep looking at the pillow on my bed covered with her hair, knowing that she'll never rest her head on my hand or touch my face in the middle of the night or chirp at the birds.

I don't want to talk about it really. I don't want anyone to look at me, because I don't really want to have to explain what happened out loud.

After the regular vet this morning, I took her to the emergency vet. The emergency vet explained all the procedures involved in keeping her over the weekend, and showed me the estimate.

I couldn't even say out loud What if I decide to put her down? but the vet understood my body language, and told me about that. I spent about ten minutes alone with Scully, telling her how sorry I was, and then told the vet that I wouldn't be admitting her for treatment.

So the doctor asked me if I wanted to be present for the shot, but I couldn't do that. And she said, "Do you need more time?" I said no, and she picked her up to take her away. When she got to the door I asked her to wait. I went to my girl and I kissed her on the head and said "Goodbye," and then took an empty cat carrier home.

Then I went and got a hug from my dad and came home to sleep most of the day.


Dean said...

I'm so sorry, Kate.

I truly believe that allowing Scully to go in her natural time is kinder and more responsible than trying to keep her alive.

Would that we could treat humans with the same respect.

sxKitten said...

I'm really sorry. It's got to be the hardest thing about owning a pet, having to make that decision. We've decided not to treat our aging dog's various ailments - not because we don't care about him, but because I believe from his point of view that the treatment would be worse than the symptoms. You can't explain to an animal why they need needles and pills, or surgery, or to be taken away from their home to be left at the vet, the scariest place they know.

I personally don't think death is such a terrible thing, especially when an animal has been sick. It's far, far harder on us to make the decision.

Diva said...

Oh Kate, I am so sorry.

You're wrong though - it's not your fault. You loved her and I'm sure she loved you.

EdWonk said...

This is awful news. Beloved pets are family members, and we feel their loss all the more keenly because many times there is little that can be done. I think its that sense of helplessness that hurts the most...

Janet said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your cat. I can only imagine what that feels like. I miss my ex's cat all the time, and knowing that she's still alive and ok doesn't really help matters much.

Carmi said...

I am so sorry to hear abous Scully. Know in your heart that you did the right thing for the right reason: heroic treatment for animals is not remotely close to heroic. When things go from bad to worse, they deserve the dignity of decisions like yours.

It's been just over two months since we put our cat, Shadow, down. I still think I see him when I'm writing late at night. I still feel him climb into bed with us before settling down at our feet. I still have no idea when that missing will ever end.

But in the end, we're better for having had them at all. I'll say a prayer for you and for Scully. May thinking of her bring smiles to your heart.

Carmi said...

I'll also apologize for my horrid typing tonight. Major thunderstorms are moving into the area. I'm rushing through my work - obviously too quickly - so that I can shut down before mother nature does that for me.

Kate said...

Thanks, everyone.

I'm still having a really hard time. I would imagine I'll be seeing her out of the corner of my eye for quite a while.

Of course, the worst part is thinking that I could have done something to prevent it. And, you don't have to say it, "Hindsight. . ." Still, it feels that way.

spaceneedl said...

kate, we lost a much-loved cat in 2001. we never had to make the tough decision, because she wandered into the woods one day and died.

i went in looking for her, found her in a ravine, and oh, i don't know, this and that. the most remarkable thing about her passing was how much i cried for her. i'm not a crier, you see, being a manly man and all, but i cried for a week. shoot, i'm getting all choked up writing about it now.

it sure would be nice to have her back...

Kate said...

Yeah, it would be nice to have her back. Thanks.

And this felt slightly inappropriate, but I had to say:

Just don't start crying now, 'cuz if you cry then I'll cry and we'll get everybody else crying too.