Wednesday, July 1, 2015

two kitties crossed the rainbow bridge

Today we had to say goodbye to George.  Unfortunately, old age kicked in; he was 16 years old.  My sister had his litter mate, Autumn, and Autumn had to be put down a few weeks ago due to old age.

It's so hard to know when it's the "right time" to say goodbye to our furry friends.  They can't tell us how they're feeling and whether or not they're suffering.  We're left to figure that out on our own.  In the last two cases where I've had to make the decision to euthanize a cat, it was easy to make the decision.  Both were were sick.  One was in the end stage of feline leukemia and it was time; there's no coming back from that.  The other had a tumor that caused full paralysis.  We could have had surgery to remove it, but it was highly likely to come back.  He was already 13, so why put him through all that so we could have an extra year or two with him?  It felt selfish. So, we made the decision to avoid any unnecessary pain and suffering.  In George's case, he simply started slowing down a lot in the last few months, lost weight, became hard of hearing, and slept a lot more than usual.  But in the last two weeks he really declined.  He was at the point where he couldn't get into the litter box easily; pretty much stayed in one spot all day whether he was sleeping or not; didn't come around for meals, although he would eat if we brought him to the food; and last night he started stumbling a bit.  I had been reading articles online about how to know it's the "right time." They said that it's especially tough with a cat, because they're masters at hiding their pain.  But one constant theme was that one has to assess the cat's quality of life.  If there are more bad days than good, it's time.  So, last night we decided it was time and made the appointment.  I'm glad we did, because today he could barely move at all.

Obviously I spent most of the night and most of today upset and I have a whopping headache because of it. Even though I knew this day was coming and I know I'm doing the right thing, the humane thing, it's still really hard.  I've had him for 16 years.  Even though he was a territorial cat and ruined so many things due to marking, he was still my baby.  One of the original cats I had.

What makes it even harder is that he's the third cat we've lost since moving to our new house last year.  Riley passed away in November from possible hemophilia and Prince was, we believe, the victim of a coyote last month.

I remember the day we got Prince.  He was in a cage with a bunch of young kittens; they were about 3 months old and he was about 6 months old.  It was a long cage and he was all the way at the end, by himself, as if to say he's too mature to be in a cage with these little rugrats.  We had already picked out a cat, Oscar, but I just couldn't leave Prince in that cage with a bunch of "kids."  So, we took him, too.  He was such a great cat.  He couldn't hurt a fly and didn't have a vicious bone in his body.  He never once scratched or bit anyone, or any of the other cats.  He just wanted to be pet.  We kept him inside for years, but he escaped several times. We finally gave up and let him out.  All was fine until last month when he didn't come in one night.  And that was it. We think a coyote got him, because he wasn't one to wander from the yard.  He always came in when we called him, and most of his time was spent sleeping on the patio furniture.  

So, goodbye George and Prince.  We will miss you both terribly. I'll try to think of you both at the Rainbow Bridge with Riley and all the other kitties we've said goodbye to over the years.  I'll imagine George walking over the bridge with no pain and his hearing restored.  And I'll imagine Prince trotting along beside him.  We'll meet again some day.

George (left) in better days.  Oscar is on the right.  



  1. So sad :( Sorry Dawn

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Having been there myself I know there are no magic words at a time like this.

    *hugs* to you and yours.

    1. Thanks. I know, it's hard. But just knowing someone thought about me is comforting.