Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This is a long, sad post on the death of our cat. Sorry to be a downer....but I needed to process everything.

It's only a cat, I know that, but she still made me cry, and I am not even a cat person. It is not like we had owned her for ten or eleven years. It is not like she was pampered and adored. But she was our cat. She was a member of our family and having to be the one to give the ok to the doctor just plain sucked. No two ways about it.

It was time. I know that. I knew on Sunday night when I went upstairs to check on her and she gave me a clear look. The look said that she was done. That she was ready. It was as clear as if she had spoken the words out loud. I do not claim to understand; I certainly was not thinking of putting her down, so it is not like I was projecting my own thoughts. But it was there. Clearly.

And so I called the mobile vet on Monday. Asked about getting an appointment to look at our options since Cammie hates going to the vet office. Wanted to see what we could do to keep her comfortable. Kitty hospice if you will. And so an appointment was made for Wednesday.

Only by this morning, Tuesday, I could tell we would not make it to Wednesday. I called the vet again. Looks way worse. Tumor was still the same, but she was suddenly incontinent and having a hard time walking. Her breathing was shallow and labored. She groaned at me instead of meowing. It was such a sad sound. I realize she had not eaten in the last day and probably had not had much water either. I sat with her and made sure she at least got a little water in her, but she was still working so hard to breathe. My heart ached.

Vet agreed to come today to see what could be done for her. Pain meds administered, an IV bag hung and started, Cammie perks up a little, but still can not catch her breath. I have to admit, the little kitty iv was cute, even if it was sad. We agree she is not going to get better. It is time to hold her and love on her and help her to let go.

I snuggle in with her and tell her what a good cat she has been. The vet and I laugh about teaching her to use the litter box in the car on our road trip to North Carolina, I remind her that she can run after all the mice she wants in her next life, where she won’t hurt anymore. And I cry. A lot. My nose is stuffy, my head aches and I cry for an animal that I liked to pretend I did not much care for.

But we did care for her. All of us. She was faithful and loving and she never asked for much except a warm spot on the bed to sleep on, a basket to scratch and an occasional patch of sunlight to nap in.

Sometimes it really hurts to be the grown up. To be the one to make big decisions; to have to tell your kids about the realities of life and love. I swore after my last pet that I would not get another because it hurts too much to love so much. And I still feel the same way. I imagine I will say the same thing after our next pet too.

Goodnight Cammie Clementine. You saw us through the busy years of three boys four and under. Not many cats would have signed up for that gig. I hope you know how much you were loved.


tania said...

Oh, Denise. That was so beautifully written. I am so very sorry to hear about Cammie.

Sending hugs xoxo

beth said...

I feel for you Denise. I understand the look and just knowing. When hubby and I moved to WA, we left our cat of several years with my parents since we were getting no pet housing. Cleo. She was a beautiful calico cat who loved to chat up a storm. A few Christmases ago, I was home visiting my parents. Cleo was not doing well. She wasn’t eating and was hardly moving about. She was at least 13. My mom and I went to the movies one night and immediately sought out Cleo when we got home. I swear she waited for my mom and me to come home before she died. We picked her up; she made some horrible noises and then she died in our arms. She waited for us and then she died. Still brings tears to my eyes. I so loved Cleo.

Denise said...

Thanks Tania for your hugs! And Beth, thanks for sharing your story...I'm sorry about your Cleo. They really do have a way of being in tune with us.

bandwidow said...

I'm so sorry Denise, it does totally suck to be the adult sometimes. Take care.

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