Losing a Pet

anita & splinter

It’s always a sad day for the family when a pet must be euthanized. Splinter suffered a stroke more than a year ago. He emerged from it blind, and a bit impaired. He adjusted to our new home pretty well, and would take the hallways and open rooms at a good pace. But in recent weeks he had lost weight, stopped grooming himself (and he used to be an extremely fastidious animal), been very undiscriminating in eliminating, and even his brother Count had stopped chumming with him. One of his favorite perches had been on the fish tank. But my wife mentioned he fell off the tank three times on Tuesday. He never did that.

My wife said the vet was very understanding and helpful. She reminded Splinter he could be off to play with his brother King now. I suppose he can look up Kermit, too.

The young miss seemed to take it pretty well. She insisted on accompanying my wife to the vet yesterday. The remaining two cats cuddled in the kitchen window all evening yesterday. Maybe its mourning. Maybe they overheard that they each have a check-up appointment on Friday.

Photo above of the little prince in his favorite position.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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12 Responses to Losing a Pet

  1. Dear Todd and Family,
    From one “Cat” family to another, our deepest condolences. Wendy and I have had cats since meeting in ’73, and have gone through many such scenarios many times. It never gets easier whenever and however pets pass; but their presence occupies a very precious and necessary portion of our hearts and lives.
    Let your kitties cuddle for years, and enjoy their purring.

  2. Lee says:

    So sorry. Losing a pet is wrenchng experience.

  3. Lee says:

    “is a wrenching”

  4. Holly Hansen says:

    So sorry for your loss. Rest in peace good cat.

  5. Liam says:

    My sympathies are with you, from experience.

    My lasting memory: don’t drive back from the hospital after this at 5AM on a December morning on the highway by yourself.

  6. Fran says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is hard, so very hard. Prayers for you as all.

  7. crystal says:

    I’m so sorry to read this, Todd. It’s really hard to lose these friends. I hope Kermit and Splinter keep each other company til we get there.

  8. Anne says:

    Sorry Todd and Family. Years ago, I had the sad job of driving our (my husband’s before we married) cat to the vet for the final time. Our daughters, now grown, can still remember the day and time I drove off with him.

  9. Michael says:

    Thanks Todd and condolences. My wife and I lost our dog of almost 15 years this last winter and it is still hard. We often talked about how she was a sacramental for us. When everything else in life was going poorly, we could always count on her to cheer us up and remind us what is good about life-enjoying those whom we love, enjoying good food and fun and a good belly rub. We are better people for being entrusted with her care.

  10. RP Burke says:

    And condolences from here too. I married a cat as well as a woman. She (Kitty) was an ornery thing who knew to be exactly nice enough to keep from being sent to the violin string factory; and as an extra bonus, she hated our daughter – I watched her once jump out from behind furniture to scratch her.

    No matter. It was very sad to lose her, and she had the good grace to die in her own bed. She must have had a stroke the last full day of her life, and when I came home that evening she struggled so hard to get to my lap that I picked her up and put her there where she curled up for an hour (60 times her normal amount of lap sitting). It was good-bye, a little grace from her that was rewarded by her dying not in the vet’s office but in her own bed. I hope to be so lucky.

  11. Todd:

    My condolences. He looks like a sweetie.

    I recently had to do the same thing with our Pippin. On her last day, we let her out in the garden in the sunshine and she walked slowly about and came back to life a bit (no need to worry about her running away) but I was up most of the night with her – and like you, LIam, ended up driving her to the all night vet clinic in the wee hours because she seemed so miserable.

    She was 19 – a remarkable age for a cat and hadn’t really shown her age until the last couple months. We used to tell her that she wasn’t supposed to be jumping around like that – didn’t she know that she was at least 100 in cat years?

    Although we have two new cats now, (brothers) i still tend to call them by her name sometimes and things they do regularly bring her to mind.

  12. Oh how our animal companions burrow into our hearts and brighten our spirits. Peace to his kitty soul and to the family members who mourn his passing.

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