Friday, July 25, 2008

Take another little piece of my heart now baby....

Some of you may be aware that I had to put one of my cats to sleep last week. She was 16 years old and other than the extremely debilitating arthritis that had grown worse from year to year, extraordinarily healthy. She got very bad at exactly the same time Peter was diagnosed. And in fact, had their revealing scans on the same day. I remember quite clearly speeding like a mad women down 93 from a Concord Hospital with my almost deaf husband (they forgot to give him ear plugs for the MRI) so I could get there before the vets closed. Peter unable to stand or sit comfortably at the time stayed in the car while I got the news about Katie.

It was horrible news for the cat and even worse news the next day regarding my husband. Concerns for dearest Katie understandably were set aside for the next 8 months. And after Peter's death, I was determined to not lose anymore beloved members of our family. I am a firm believer that loss when possible should be rationed out. A little water added to a boat over time is manageable, too many waves at once sweeping over your boat, filling it up, will sink it to the bottom. I was not going to let my family sink.

Now here is an excellent example of seeing only what you want to see. As a Vet Tech I saw animals with terrible injuries feigning wellness. Dogs with broken legs wagging their tails, grinning from ear to ear. Cats purring away with terminal crush injuries. Katie obviously hurt over these two years but hid her suffering, purring constantly. Despite the fact that I knew better, I refused to accept her pain choosing to see her purring "happy" self. But when it got so bad she hardly ever stood and it hurt me to watch her walk, I knew it was time. The kids were told and the deed done.

I had known it would come to this. I had hoped I would be able to give her more quality time. I had hoped to spare my kids further pain for a little longer. But hoping is living in the future, and the present reality of her suffering slapped me upside the head telling me I needed to do this. My little Hope party didn't like the present it was given. And I was pissed as hell that Peter wasn't here to help me deal with it.

Peter and I picked out Katie and one other of our cats together at the Buffalo SPCA over 16 years ago and it still seems so wrong that they had both out lived him. And not to get too teary, but it is hard to accept another piece of my past with Peter is gone.

And now for my public service announcement

Never give cats aspirin! It will kill them. They lack a special enzyme many animals have to break it down. It is extremely toxic to cats. There are a few acceptable options only available through your vet to help a cat in pain.