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#433: Saying Goodbye To Kitty

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

emoticon to all of you who responded to yesterday's blog about the difficulty we face when we need to decide what to do when our pets' quality of life deteriorates. You touched my heart and made an emotional time more bearable. I will thank you individually as soon as I can but please know that your comments blessed me and supported me as I made this tough decision today. emoticon

* * *

It was an early February evening a number of years ago when I stepped outside for a bit of fresh air before going to bed emoticon. It was cold and quiet, except for a pitiful meowing coming from under my car. That's when I first met Kitty. I put out food and water and watched her eat and drink but when I tried to pick her up the claws came out and she resisted. I put a folded blanket under the car hoping she would use it to lie on for warmth.

The next morning she was still there so replenished her food and water and this time, as she ate, I was allowed to pet her very lightly along her back and to scratch the top of her head, but she still wouldn't let me hold her. That night we repeated the ritual and I again rubbed her back and scratched her head.

The following morning, after she ate, she purred and rubbed herself alongside my legs. I reached for her and was able to hold her to me. I carried her inside and made one of the back rooms hers with a bed of warm blankets, her own litter box and food and water bowls. After two days there she scratched the door to get out. As she emerged from the bedroom my two dogs emoticon emoticon and two other cats emoticon emoticon (all strays also) took one look and went on their way. From that day on they all got along famously together and she never cried to go back outside.

With strays, we never know how they became a stray or whether they came from around the corner or from miles away. I knew, though, that my pet family had grown to five.

Last night about 11:00 Kitty became restless and agitated. I stretched out on the bed and held her. She looked around with wide open eyes as if she was seeing the room for the first, or maybe for the last, time. She nudged my chin a couple of times with her head as I talked to her and the other pets looked on. Finally, she stretched out and tucked her head into my shoulder and we fell into a troubled sleep about 4:30.

This morning she went into the kitchen and then into the back bedroom which I thought was a good sign. But she still wasn't eating or drinking and I became at peace with the idea that today had to be the day.

We went to the vet's emoticon at 10:30 and I had a long talk with the doctor. I became more convinced that I was holding out hope for Kitty to recover, a hope that could never be fulfilled emoticon. An I.V. of "happy medicine" was put into one of Kitty's legs and then, when I was ready, the doctor injected two syringes into the I.V. port. As I held my pet I saw her eyes very slowly close and a few seconds later she went peacefully to join the other pets that I have loved over the years.

Now, even though four pet babies remain, the house seems quieter and the tears are still flowing emoticon but my heart is comforted knowing Kitty is no longer suffering and because of the prayers emoticon and positive thoughts all of you offered.

I regret that the most adorable picture of this orange ball of love was too dark to print but here is my baby Kitty as we waited in the vet's office.

Please hug your pets extra tight tonight emoticon. Theirs is a special unconditional love we should never take for granted. I know I may have to make this decision four more times in the future, but I take solace knowing that you understand when I say Kitty was not just a cat but a blessed gift emoticon that was offered to me that saved her from a life alone on the streets and gave me years of unselfish love and companionship.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo YW84FRIDAY
    I'm so sorry for your loss. It makes me happy though to think of the good life that Kitty had with you (that she wouldn't otherwise have had) and of the love you had for her. You are such a kind, compassionate person and one of my very favorite Spark Friends.

    3705 days ago
    Thank you, first, for sharing your home with so many deserving and wonderful friends. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

    Know that you gave Kitty the chance to share her best years with you and your family.

    3740 days ago
    I'm sorry to hear about Kitty. I hope you're doing well and wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I will be giving my own cats some extra love this evening.

    emoticon emoticon
    3740 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/4/2010 10:05:01 AM
    emoticon I am sorry i am late with this but did not recieve notification of this blog! My heart goes out to you. xoxoxox
    3740 days ago
    I am sad at your loss . I know this little creature added Joy to your life while it was here. God will bless you for the good care you gave to Kitty while she was on earth. Peace be with you Lou. Hugs, Joy
    3741 days ago
    You did what had to be done, Lou. emoticon It's never easy. I'm glad you're able to blog about it; it helps when you're grieving over a loss. emoticon Vikki
    3742 days ago
    I just finished your blog from the day before. So i'm typing this with tears running down my face. yOu know I have 10 strays. You have seen my pics of my 16 puppy's. YOu know I feel all your hurt for the kitty. I have two cats, and my dogs. they are my children and nothing anyone says would ever change that. No lou, you pet was not just a cat. Kitty was your child. God bless you.
    3742 days ago
    Thanks for your compassion for the least ones ...
    3742 days ago
    Although I cried over your loss when I read your FB post, reading your blog did me in again. *tighthugs* My heart broke for you all over again. Mixed with that heartache, though, is a joy that Kitty brought a new dimension of family to you and you provided a family to her. What an enormous gift our furry kids are!! Love you, dear friend. I am already wondering who God is going to bring to your doorstep next.

    3742 days ago
    My sympathies on Kitty's passing. I will indeed give my Maggie and extra hug. Thank you for giving Kitty a painless, dignified end to this part of her journey. It is the best last gift you could give her.
    3742 days ago
    I've got tears reading this. Pets are soooo precious. It is almost exactly what my little Ewok went through. On the way to the place to have him put to rest, he was alert and responsive. I thought, wow, I'm wrong to do this. But when the vet saw him, she hugged me and said, "It's time." I hugged him goodbye and sobbed in their little grieving room. Out in the parking lot, I thought I'd run back in to change my mind, but I knew I was being selfish. I also knew it was too late. Sometimes I think that the pain of loss is not worth the gift of loving. It's just so very difficult. I really enjoy your blogs. Thank you!
    3742 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I will definitely give my cats some extra love tonight. Your story is beautiful. Thank you for loving Kitty.
    3742 days ago
    Sorry about kitty, we are here for you Lou. I am listening to the "memories" song in my head as I read your blog. Might be a good song to listen to as a way to comfort and help you accept. Victoria
    3743 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6035648
    My prayers are with you.. In time, you will be able to think of Kitty with smiles instead of tears.. Our fur babies truly are a gift.. emoticon
    3743 days ago
    God Bless You. I took in 4 strays years ago also. They all have passed from various diseases now. You are in my prayers and kitty also.

    Wendy emoticon
    3743 days ago
  • BREEZY85
    i am so sorry for your loose. i hold my Sassy extra close every night and morning as she is 16 and treasure every moment with her.
    thank you for sharing the story of how Kitty became one of the family.
    3743 days ago
    Lou, I want to add my 2 cents worth to all these other comments. You are much loved by many, and deservedly so. You have a huge heart and it shows in so many ways. Taking in strays and giving them love, a comfortable home, and food is just one of them. Nancy
    3743 days ago
    Bless you Lou, I know it's hard . .. know our hearts are with you . . . .

    emoticon emoticon Jan
    3743 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6400103
    PFFFFF Lou you made cry with your blog.! I dont have any pets at the moment but we did when i was younger and i know what it feels like to put your pet to sleep!

    3743 days ago
    You are not crying alone tonight, Lou...many tears are being shed at the loss of your furbaby. Losing a beloved furbaby is not easy and nothing that is said will ease your grief. Just know that many prayers are being said and that you have wonderful memories of Kitty. I am glad you found you those years ago... You loved her unconditionally just as she loved you!!!
    3743 days ago
    I'm so sorry for your loss, Lou. What a great dad Kitty had in you!
    3743 days ago
  • 0309COOKIE
    I'm sorry for your loss Lou. I know the pain of losing a furbaby and my heart goes out to you today. That was a beautiful story about how you and Kitty came to be. I do cherish every day I have with my Punky as he is truly a gift from God that He has given me to take care of and love.
    3743 days ago
    I'm very sorry to here about your loss. Our own kitty just passed just over a week ago. We found her in a construction site and were able to love her for ten years. Because we are cat people and for the kids my husband stopped at a house with a free kittens sign and now we have two new babies to bring joy to our lives. We will be thinking of you and your Kitty. emoticon
    3743 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    I enjoyed reading how Kitty came into your life and how you took the time to develop the relationship. All too often we are too busy, too preoccupied and miss the needs of others.

    I thought of you and that orange ball of fur many times today and I had a feeling that you would be making this sad but necessary decision today.

    Lou, my prayers are with you tonight. You are not grieving along, my friend.
    3743 days ago
    I cried when I read this post. It is so hard to lose a fur kid, and it doesn't matter how many you have still in your life... each loss is the loss of a special friend and each loss leaves a giant hole.


    3743 days ago
    3743 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    I read tonights blog with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat for a kitty I never met, but one who love and trusated you and you loving her too. Do hope that in the time you will have many fond memories of Kitty and less pain for losing her.
    3743 days ago
    Hugz Lou!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Beautiful blog, and very touching, and I am sure, very healing for you!

    You are one lucky man to have as many supportive friends as you have... but, I think luck has nothing to do with it... it is earned and well deserved!

    So blessed to have you in my life... I am praying for you!
    3743 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    3743 days ago
  • KPACE7
    Thank you for sharing your story. I too have a yellow stray who I treasure.
    3743 days ago
    Lou, you gave Kitty such a wonderful life. I'm so glad she found the right car to hide under! emoticon emoticon emoticon Thank you for the beautiful story. Your heart may be in Florida, but it's as big as Texas! emoticon
    3743 days ago
    I know how hard it is to have to put a pet down. We had to put our male dog down in 1996 because of cancer in his liver. I bawled for days afterward. He was such a character and I still miss him today. He was a airdale standard poodle cross and I called him muffit. They become part of your family and your life. Thank goodness you were able to give kitty a good home. Yes we comfort ourselves that our pets are no longer suffering. I have 2 budgies so I wont be hugging them. But I did buy them a honey stick to show my love.
    3743 days ago
    I'm so sorry about Kitty. emoticon

    3743 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Kitty was very lucky to be loved by you.

    3743 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    3743 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8301081
    3743 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    So sorry to hear about Kitty. emoticon
    Know that you are in my thoughts and heart. emoticon
    You said that Kitty was a blessing in your life - I am sure she saw you a blessing in her life too.

    I also consider you a blessing in my life - getting to know you through this computer of mine is a gift I treasure.
    3743 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5710470
    This is really touching and I am sorry you had to go through that.

    My Karloff and I will be thinking of you tonight.

    Kitty had a beautiful face.
    3743 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8689328
    Again, you made me cry! Thank you for sharing. I know that your other animals must feel strange without the little kitty.
    3743 days ago
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