When I was home over the Christmas holiday, I had more time to notice how my 19-year-old Ragdoll Chloe spent her days. She whimpered a lot, hid behind furniture, slept most of the time, and when she tried to walk to her food or water, she stumbled and fell quite a bit. I even found her a couple of times lying in her own urine. I decided then that if she lived through the weekend, I would take her to the vet on Monday to have her put to sleep. On Christmas night and the remaining nights I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag so I could snuggle next to her, since she could no longer sleep on the bed.
Monday came and I took the day off work so I could spend as much time with her as possible. I picked her up to hold her on my lap while I tried to read something. I felt such a heaviness over me that it was difficult to stay awake. So I stretched out on the couch, holding Chloe close to me, and fell asleep. We slept that way for four hours. Then the sun shone through my living room window right where she lay. I sat next to her while she basked in the warm sunlight and was comforted knowing she had a pleasant last day.
I fed her and got something to eat myself, did a little work and then put her back on my lap. I read a bit to take my mind off of the painful decision, then I just watched her, trying to take in as much as I could, petting her all the while. In case she could understand, I told her she was more than a great kitty; she was my best friend and I loved her.
I talked to her all the way to the vet and in the waiting room. The vet assured me I was doing the right thing, which comforts me in hindsight. I brought the blanket she had been sleeping on so she would feel more at home and she lay on that while the shot was administered. I kept talking to her and petting her, as she rested her head on my hand. She went to sleep within seconds. Seconds later the vet said she was gone.
This blog is difficult to write as I struggle with feelings of guilt, overwhelming sadness and missing her. Writing it down is supposed to help with the healing process. I hope it somehow helps others who are going through the same painful decision and loss of a beloved pet.
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