Making A Hard Choice

Tonight I had to make the choice to end one of my pets suffering and this was very hard but an act of kindness. My sweet kitty, Tom, was a member of my family for over ten years. Some ignorant person dropped him off at my barn starved to the point that he could barely stand up. I immediately started feeding him and found something very unusual in his actions. Even in his great hunger for food, he would always rub against me and give me a soft meow before eating. His "Thank you" for caring and this brought tears to my eyes more than once.

Tom appeared female in outward appearance and even my vet thought this when I took him for shots and a check up. I made the appointment for spaying and then my vet found out that Tom had no internal defined sex when he was on the operating table. Thus the name Tom as best guesses was that he was more male then female.

Tom grew into a very large adult cat and loved to nap a lot as most cats do. He did not like going outside. Felt safe inside due to his being abandoned and lived a good life. Pure white with touches of dark gray and the most beautiful eyes that reflected a kind and loving soul. One of the most beautiful profiles and a cuddly nature.

Over the past few days, Tom slept a great deal and I was not worried as he did this a lot. This afternoon I heard him crying over and over and picked him up and he was in obvious pain. Labored breathing so I called my vet but staff had left for the day. Tom continued to cry in my arms and I could not let his pain continue all night until the vet opened in the morning. Taking him to Pittsburgh would have cost me hundreds of dollars at the animal emergency clinic. Money that I do not have. So I had to make the decision to put him down here where he had been loved and had lived for over a decade.

Tom is buried out behind the lower pasture. The small animal cemetery where other beloved pets are laid to rest. He joins Charlie and Bandit. Annie and Tinker and Chico. April and Sam and Ozzie. At peace in the lower meadow where deer come out to play and graze in the early morning and late evening hours. Where the gentle winds blow through the meadow flowers. Sheltered by the trees that grow to the edge of this small plot of remembering and tribute.

Many of these pets were abandoned and not young when they came into my life. I could never turn away a hungry creature. Twenty years of living here has meant the passing of loved members of my family and I am always so sad at their leaving but I know that they were loved and fed and cuddled, however this still hurts me. A price that is a part of loving any living being.

Goodbye my sweet Tom. I miss you and will remember how you always came up to me and gave me thanks for caring enough to give you a home.
dartist dartist
56-60, F
10 Responses Aug 6, 2010

Running across your post this morning was exactly what I needed. Amazing how that happens. I'm facing this exact decision with my beloved dog, Taffy. It's so hard to know when to let them go and it's breaking my heart to say goodbye to her. She is refusing to eat now (and this is a dog that lived to eat) and I know the decision will have to be made very soon. <br />
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I have been so lucky (blessed) to have her in my life for almost 12 years now. She is the sweetest dog I've ever had and I will miss her more than I can say. She will be buried, with the other pets we've lost over the years, in a wooded alcove on our 20 acre farm where she loved to run and play.<br />
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My heart is heavy.

Losing a dear and beloved pet can be a greater pain than losing a person. I believe this is because pets give us so much love and acceptance in the time they are with us. They never care how we look or how much money we earn and they are always happy to see us walk through the door. If heaven has no animals I do not believe that I would be happy there. Peace,D

I now have two sweet shelter cats and they bring such joy into my life. Thank you for reading and your comment. Peace,D

Thank you for your love, I am lucky enough to be friends with 4 cats and 2 dogs. Their love gives me hope every day. If you question the existence of a soul, look in their eyes. Bless you and may you find love with another friend.<br />
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I am very sorry for your loss. May your lovely kitty rest in peace.<br />
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I believe that those who have touched our lives whether human or creature, never truly die but live on in us and through us. In other words, the love we receive is passed forward. God bless the caretakers. Never give up... and never stop loving.

My cat and dogs are my family and it is sad to see them grow old or be in pain. I have loved many<br />
of an abandoned cats and dogs. One of my precious cats died in my home with me by her side<br />
and praying for the angels to assist her to the other side. I was by her side when she took her last breath here on earth. This was 3 years ago in October. I still miss her. I felt so privileged to have her in my life and be by her side at the end. She still lives in my heart.

This is a lovely thought Christyna and one that I will remember. Thank you for this. Peace,D.

Thank you both for understanding that the loss of a pet is a loss of family. Pets never judge us and never care if our hair is messy or if we make mistakes in our lives. They greet us with such joy even if we have stepped out for a few moments. They have a sweet innocence and live with joy at simple things in life. <br />
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The hardest parting was when one of our horses had to be put down here in the yard by our vet. Jill was over thirty years old and had been a part of our lives for over twenty years. All of us had to leave until her body was removed and that was terrible. My daughter fell on her body sobbing and even my daughter's ex boyfriend came to help my daughter through her grief. His great act of kindness to all of us.

Putting a pet to sleep is our final act of love. Sounds like a beautiful place to be buried. My cats Whisky, Sqeaky and Ears were buried in my backyard. I was always sad that for the dogs (big dogs), this was not possible. But I still feel them around sometimes, Bear, Sam, Piglet and Bagheera.

Your story reminds me of the time when I had my last cat put to sleep. I was bawling my eyes out and missed her so much. <br />
I took home many years ago from a couple of drug addicted teenagers who fed her only when they had the money or remembered :(<br />
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I now have another a tabby cat very similar to her in looks but not in character. (from an animal shelter)<br />
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My old cat has her final resting place under a rose bush in my rockery.