The rest of the story

About 6 weeks ago I posted about the most difficult duty any pet owner has-when is it time to let go and send one on. On Christmas Eve, we had to send Thing on ahead.

It was a harder decision than I had feared, because at the end, despite the fact that her little body had mostly deserted her, despite the fact that she wouldn’t drink or eat, despite the obviousness of what needed to be done, she didn’t want to die. I’ve seen pets who were ready to leave, and she wasn’t.

I held her as the vet gave her two injections, one to sedate her and one to stop her heart. It didn’t take much or long. She was really hanging onto life by a thread at that point. She passed on at roughly sunset and on Christmas Day at sunset we buried her close to Ethyl and the rest.

Thing in better times.

3 thoughts on “The rest of the story

  1. My wife "adopted" a wandering cat (who looked remarkably like your pet) and named him "Schroeder" … this was about 30 years ago, and don't ask me why the adoption or the name, it was her whim and I supported it.

    We had the cat for about a year, and one day I found it in the back yard, sick and dying. We did what we could to make him comfortable, which wasn't much. My best guess was that he had been poisoned; he was "semi-feral", which means he went where he wanted and came back home when he wanted. This time, he came back to die.

    We did try to get him to a vet, but he only lasted for a few hours and there was no place we could get him into a vet in the mid-December night when we found him.

    I never liked Schroeder. He was even more anti-social than I am, and he tended to scratch and bite … but he always showed up at meal times. In his way, he made himself a member of the family. I think I admired his independent streak. (Dogs are pathetically loyal, and have a goofy smile; Schroeder never smiled.)

    Schroeder was a fighter, and (I suspect) a lover. Neighbor cats grew their families after Schroeder went on his nightly prowl. He use to sit on the backyard fence and yowl … either his fight song or his lover song, I never knew the difference but apparently the other cats in the neighborhood tell what he was after.

    We stopped taking in pets after Schroeder died in his make-shift bed in the basement, by the furnace. I buried him in the garden, in the back yard, where he had his greatest conquests. It took a while to get out of the habit of listening for his YOWL!

    We bought a cocker spaniel (with papers!) for $300 the next year, but neither of us took to him. We finally found a little girl in the next town who needed a blond cocker who couldn't seem to keep his tongue from lolling out of his mouth in his eagerness to please.

    We never took in another pet. I was uncertain whether it was because we feared he would be another Schroeder … or because he would not.

  2. Not the sort of thing we are meant to become used to, facing it repeatedly notwithstanding. Know where you are, friend, and feel for you.

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