It can be frightening, really, if one stops to think about it for a moment about how brief a pet’s life is when compared to the span of a human’s life time. When I adopted Tigger from Hubby’s mom back before he was hubby the thought never entered my mind that she wasn’t always going to be there with me. As years wore on and my life’s circumstances changed she was always right there, a static and predictable aspect of my home life. It seemed though, that there was always room for more love in my life. Anyone who knows me will agree that I’m an un abashed animal lover and if I could I would open my home to many more than I currently have. Which is why when Hubby and I moved in to a house we adopted a dog, and then six months later another cat.
I feel a bit guilty, in retrospect, for being selfish and bringing more animals into our home, but at the time I couldn’t have known how Tigger would react. With the two other animals in the picture and vying for Hubby and my affections Tigger became more reclusive choosing to spend her time alone in the sleeping in the bay window or on the back of the couch in the other room rather than in my lap or on the cushion next to me. We joked that she was just becoming a crabby old lady cat, but I made sure that her spot next to me was available at night, and most times she took it.
A month ago Tigger started throwing up every two hours or so and acting very lethargic. It wasn’t like her at all, and it worried me. Hubby and I drove out to the emergency vet hoping it was something easily cared for. After two hours and inconclusive x-rays we drove home with her still sick and instructions of hopefully care for her to make her better.
The next day Hubby came home for lunch to check on her to discover that she was still throwing up regularly. He took her back to the emergency vet to have blood tests done. Her blood pressure was so low they had difficulty drawing her blood, but what little they did get confirmed that she had developed feline diabetes and her body was essentially shutting down. I was at work, crying my eyes out trying to decide what to do. She was my baby, she had always been there for me even if she didn’t know why, and here I had put her life in question because I wasn’t paying attention. Maybe that’s just my guilty conscience talking.
In the end my amazing boss drove me to the emergency vet so I could be there with Tigger and Hubby and make the decisions necessary. Ultimately, it came down to five days in the veterinary ICU and a lifetime of two insulin shots a day for her or end her suffering. If money hadn’t been a factor I would have done anything possible to make her healthy again. But, as it is with everything in life there are no guarantees. And as I held her, and looked down at her I asked her what she wanted. Unquestioningly, I know she wanted us to let her go. So, we did.
Ultimately, she lived a good eleven years and was a very happy spoiled cat for most of them. I know we made the right choice to let her go because it was what she wanted. I still miss her terribly, but I know she’s in a better place now.