Hello all, I'm new to this site, though I've browsed it over the last year or so.
I just lost my best friend, Winston.
He was getting old and creaky over the last year, and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism around March.
He took the medication, no problem, but it didn't really help him. The last thing I wanted to do over the course of his decline was subject him to getting stuffed in the crate and suffering the dreaded car ride to the vet over and over again.
I wanted him to feel safe and be as comfortable as possible as he slowed down.
Just last Wednesday, he was purring and able to climb up on my bed. But his breathing sounded funny, and it had me worried. By Friday, his right rear leg was giving out a little, and his breathing was labored.
I realized that he was entering the end stage, so I called my mother's house call vet, to have him come over this past Monday to put him to sleep.
But on Saturday, his wheezing turned into whimpering, and it was breaking my heart. I had the vet come on Sunday instead.
I took some solace when the sedative set in, because his whimpering stopped.
The sound still lingers, and I'm wracked with guilt.
I told him I loved him and gave him a kiss goodbye, and let the vet come in and administer the final dose.
He put Winston in a bag and that was that.
17 years, and even though I'd been preparing myself mentally for his death, it has still hit me like a freight train. I live alone, and enjoy my solitude. But not this kind. The place feels hollow.
He and I had been through a lot together. I moved 5 times over his lifetime, and he always adapted quickly, because he was with me, his buddy.
Winston had a great sense of humor. He was very affectionate in his way. My favorite thing he'd do was curl up under my arm on cold winter nights.
Sometimes he'd tap me in the face when I'd overslept.
When he was an outdoor cat, he'd always come to my whistle.
Sometimes he'd put his paw on my hand.
He'd always greet me at the door when I'd get home from work.
He was fascinated watching me brush and floss, for some reason.
Sometimes when I'd walk by him, he'd try to trip me up!
He really liked being spun around on my office chair. In fact, I gave him a spin on Friday night, and he loved it, despite his state.
Winston was a constant, judgement-free companion.
He helped me stop drinking, he helped me stop smoking. He was there through some dark days, always full of love. He may have just about saved my life.
I grew up with cats and dogs, and my family still has cats and dogs.
Winston stood out from them all. He was a real character, a real ace.
I know the hurt I feel will subside, but I'm crushed right now.
I know there was no other way. It was his time. I know all the reasons why his death makes sense.
But logic doesn't help much. I've just got to go through this process. Having this site helps, and having likeminded folks read this helps, so I thank you.
Maybe in a few months I'll get a new cat.
But out of respect for Winston, I can't replace him right away.
He's irreplaceable, anyway.
There will never be another cat like him, ever.
I'm honored to have been his friend.