Tough Decisions

Sometimes, it is tough making decisions affecting the ones you love. And it is not always pleasant.

We have made one of those tough decisions recently; and that is, to say goodbye to our beloved 20 year old cat, Opus. After a vet appointment on Saturday, and after steadily declining health over the past year or so, we made the mutual decision with our vet that it is Opus’s time.

She is old. So very old. She is feeble. And she is tired.

A natural death for a cat is most often a horrible thing to endure. It is not usually a peaceful, “go to sleep” kind of thing. It is often painful, and agonizing, and unpleasant. We don’t want that for Opus.

After her vet appointment, with the prospect of heart attack or kidney disease or god knows what else waiting in the wings, we made the decision that we want the most peaceful, quiet end for our girl that we can possibly provide. So we have chosen a day next week, and our vet will come to the house, and here, in the arms of the people who love her most in all the world, Opus will go to sleep for the last time.

I cannot tell you how hard this is, although I am sure many of you may understand. If you have read my blog for any period of time, or know me at all, you know how much I love my cats.

But Opus, she is one in a million. She is the awesomest of the awesome. She has personality to spare, and she’s too smart by half. She is one hell of a cat. She has ruled my world for 20 years, and I have loved it. She has been with me through some horrible times. And she has been with me through some of the best, too. She has been my best friend.

I fought with vets to keep her alive from the age of 7 weeks. And we kept on fighting through various health crises throughout her 20 years. She’s a tough old broad. And I mean that in the best sense of the world.

But it is time to stop fighting, and to let her have some rest. She deserves as much peace, and dignity, and love, as I can possibly give her in the end, to repay her for being as good and faithful and loving a pet companion as any human could hope for.

In her crabby, peevish, funny little heart, she has loved me as much as is possible for a little cat to do. And I have loved her more than I ever knew it was possible to love a pet. And I only wish, looking back, that I had loved her more.

When her time comes, a light in my life will go out. A noisy, bossy, funny little light will go out, and the world will be a sadder place.

When she dies, a little piece of my heart will die with her.

So, over the next week or two, if I am not around much, you’ll know why. I am taking the time to say goodbye to a friend.

17 thoughts on “Tough Decisions

  1. Oh Cinn!

    This is such a beautiful yet heartbreaking post!

    I feel you pain…I have had my two girls for 11 years now and one of them is diabetic and I know her time with us is not long.

    Cats truly love even though they pretend they don’t…Opus sounds like a lovely companion over the last 20 years…not many other creatures love you thru the good times AND the bad…but our pets do!!

    Sending love and hugs to you all during this sad time.

    Rana
    who is crying buckets for your loss!

  2. Oh Gosh… this made me cry too. My cat, Duncan, just turned 10 on the weekend and I said a little prayer that he would be with us for another 10 years or more. He is definitely a part of the family. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that Opus has a safe trip to the “Happy Hunting Grounds.”

    ((((tears for you))))

    Heidi

  3. I’m sorry to hear that it is time for you to say goodbye to Opus. I know how much she means to your family. Your Vet seems to be right there for you when ever you need some sound advice and I think this is the right decision for Opus. She was getting feeble the last time we were there and I’m sure you have thought this through with the vets help. Hugs and kisses.

  4. Aw. The bossy, nosy cats are the best ones. So sorry that it is Opus’s time, but good for you for being strong enough to make that decision. (And hooray for your vet for being willing to come to your house.) Take care and hug all the furballs.

  5. So sorry to hear that you have had to make such a difficult, yet loving decision for Opus. She will be forever remembered with your blog name. I will be thinking about you guys and sending positive thoughts your way.

  6. Hugs and kisses to you all and Opus. You are so lucky to have had such a loyal and loving companion.

  7. I am so sorry that it is time for Opus to move on to that place where awesome pets go when they can no longer be with us. I don’t know what to say, other than that my thoughts are with you & your family, and that I’m glad she will be in familiar, comforting surroundings when the time comes. Peace, Opus.

  8. Oh Cinn, I am just a weeping mess over here for you and Opus. Thankfully you are strong enough to make the right decision for her, and you are so right, it is so much better for them to go peacefully, but it still doesn’t make the pain for us any easier. Lots of hugs my friend, for you and your best friend.

  9. I am so sorry about your Opus. Growing up we had a cat that lived until a ripe age of 18 and the day we had to let her go was so hard. She would walk with us down the driveway when we went to school and meet us when we came home. She would let us dress her up and would be patient with us picking her up constantly. She was so loving towards us even when she got so sick near the end. We still think of her today.
    My greatest sympathies are with you. Pets are not just our friends, they are part of our families.

    Kirsten

  10. I’ve been struggling with what to say to you.

    You know I care. And my heart is breaking for you.

    I just don’t have the words.

  11. I’m so sorry.

    I have had the good fortune of having cats in my life since I was born (three with us now, plus our dog) and I can only imagine how tough it is to lose a cat you’ve lived with and loved for so long.

    How wonderful, though, that your best friend will have a loving and peaceful end. That’s all any of us can wish for for our loved ones and ourselves!

    Karen T.

  12. I am so sorry that it is time for Opus to come to rest. She has obviously been a much loved member of your family, and obviously she has lived a full and happy life. I hope you guys are doing okay.

    Sweet dreams, sweet Opus.

  13. I’m really, really sorry. We had to do something similar a few years ago, only unlike you, we had to make the decision in the middle of the night at an unfamiliar animal hospital with a stressed-out doctor with too many patients. It was horrible, and I will probably never get over the feeling that I abandoned my best friend to a stressful environment. I’m glad you and your vet have had the chance to talk it over and be deliberate about it. I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anyone. I’ll be thinking about you guys.

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