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.