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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Ending...

Regular readers may recall my post a few weeks ago about my cat who has been sick. I had narrowed the possibilities to either inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal lymphoma. For the last several weeks I have been treating him for IBD. Unfortunately, he hasn't responded to therapy, and is getting worse. He can't hold down any food, and many days doesn't even want to eat. He is emaciated and down to nothing but skin and bones. His behavior has changed, and he is obviously weaker. At this point I don't have many good choices, and it's killing me to see him waste away and suffer. Tomorrow I am going to take him to work with me and put him to sleep.

This is a very hard thing for me, even though I understand the necessity of it. He will be the second pet I have had to euthanize as an adult, and in a way harder than the first time. I've had several weeks to ponder this moment and watch him get worse. And this time I have my kids to consider.

My wife told them when she picked them up from school, and I talked to them again when I came home. Our daughter (who is 6) took it especially hard, crying for about 30 minutes the first time and about 10 the second time. I think that both of them understand what is going on and why we need to do this, but this is the first time they have lost a pet (our last cat died when our son, now 8, was 1).

Perceval has been with me for 16 years, longer than any pet or even person I have ever known other than my immediate family. He has been a constant presence for a little less than half of my life. He was always the sweetest, calmest, kindest cat I have known. I will never forget him, and will miss his gentle paw reaching slowly to touch my arm to get attention.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

3 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry. You're kids will be fine, it's great that you are open with them. I had to have my old dog euthanized in February. It still hurts, and yet I'm comforted when my kids mention things that remind them of her (like when we went to her favorite park last weekend).

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. This has always been a comfort to me..

    "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."

    By Irving Townsend

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  3. Chris, I am so sorry about Perceval. He was a really great cat. Jeremy and I had actually had the conversation a few weeks ago that if we could guarantee that any cat we got would be like him, we would get one in a heartbeat. He was a sweet and beautiful cat, and I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. We'll be praying for you and the children.
    M

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