Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Tribute

Okay so if feel like a bad blogger. I've been consumed by our cat issues for about three weeks now. It's over now, we had my friend a vet come out a put him to sleep on Friday night. He hadn't eaten in five days so it was time...probably past time.

I'm a big proponent of euthanasia, Mark was a little harder to convince. He was there for the shot to make him sleep but not for the overdose of anesthesia...he couldn't do it. So I sat with him. I'm glad I did. The needle went in and before the vial was emptied he was gone. I find that very comforting. I've been a part of this decision (or indecision) three times before but never been present for the death. It made me more sure it can be the right thing to do.

The first time was my childhood dog Snickers

We got him at the him at the Humane Society when I was ten. I had BEGGED for a dog for about two years. He lasted until I was twenty-two. By this time he had congestive heart failure, coughed constantly and fainted frequently. We took him to a doggie heart specialist in an attempt to "save" him. I was against it after a point but lost the fight. I kind of checked out on him at some point because I couldn't bear to watch it anymore but couldn't convince anyone else he was suffering. He finally died one day curled up in his dog house. I swore I'd never do that again.

The next time was a friends cat. I lived with them at the time. He was 19 and in kidney failure. They had a port surgically implanted in his back to give him fluids. He spents months with it flopping around on his back. He howled when they gave him the fluids. He had seizures too. Finally they were going on vacation and leaving him in my care. I said no, that I wouldn't do it and they needed to find him other care. He too finally died.

Then I went with these same friends to Arizona to visit one of their friends. The first night their cat dragged himself home after a three day absence, yellow. Obviously in liver failure. They put it in a back bedroom. I burned all my bridges with these people, shrieked until they took the cat to an emergency vet and put it out of its misery. I had to get a hotel room by myself for the remainder of the trip and wasn't invited back.

I'll admit it, I pushed Mark a little bit into this decision when Bismark finally went downhill. He probably resents me a little for it. I know there are those who say that people have to make the decision in their own time.... I can't agree. I will not watch an animal suffer and will ALWAYS advocate on its behalf. I hope someone can do that for Lola if I can't..... in 20 years or so :)

Can you smell those bridges burning?


Travis said...

You are brave to take a stand for suffering animals.

I remember losing my dear friends over the years and it was so tough.

I dont think I could be there in the moment as it happened.

dog grrrrl said...

Unfortunately it's part of having to take over those "grown up" responsibilities:( I also think (oooo I'm probably going to get in trouble for this) that in some instances women are better at dealing with all that life and death stuff.

It was in my family, Dad was logic and was emotion and feelings.

You can be there if your pet needs you, trust me.

Kristin said...

I hate it when it gets to that point, but you are right, better to end the suffering. I can't imagine making that decision about my lovely cat.