Friday, February 3, 2012

Goodbye Old Friend

Last night I had to do one of the toughest things any pet owner ever has to do and that is to make the decision to put my cat down.

My cat was 20 years old and I'd had her for the last 12.  She was battling the final stages of kidney failure and had deteriorated badly over the last few days.  She also had a small mass in her stomach that was probably cancer. I could have tried to give her more time by giving her IV fluids at home but nothing was guaranteed and I didn't want to put either of us through that.

Growing up I always thought of myself as a dog person.  My good friend John and his wife were starting a family in the late 90's and had two cats that they could no longer give all their attention to.  I'm not sure how the discussion happened but my brother and I took them both in.  At the time we were living in a shitty apartment but had room for them.  It ended up being one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Growing up as dog owners we didn't know what cats were like but they both ended up being really great pets.  Cats are definitely easier than dogs to take care of and yes although they worked and played on their schedule they still gave the same unconditional love that any beloved pet gives.  That is probably the greatest thing about a pet. You give them some attention and care for them and they return it back ten fold.

Max is one of the final links to my youth.  When we got her I was recently out of the Army.  My brother and I were both starting out with entry level jobs at the time and 12 years later so much has changed but Max was the one constant and I'll miss that a lot. Looking back Max and her sister who died four years earlier taught me that I'm actually a dog & cat person.

I don't know when or if I'll get another pet. Losing them is so tough. I hate going through this every time but I remember all the good years.

My girlfriend Michelle went with me last night and I can't repay or thank her for doing that.  It's tough times like that when you really see what a person is made of and she was there for me.  Also a special thanks to Dr. Reese at TLC in Leesburg, VA  Dr. Reese is a cat owner and lover herself and was very caring and compassionate with Max until the end.  I have no idea how Vets deal with that day in and day out but I'm very glad there are those that go into that profession.

Goodbye Old Friend...Thanks for always being there.

1992 - Feb 2, 2012