At one time, we had 6 pets. 5 cats and 1 dog. Amber, the dog, was a long-legged, blondish red Shepard/lab mix. The cats were Mony, Katie Boobie, Baby and Chewwie and they were all Heinz 57. We accumulated the cats over several years. Amber was a rescued dog and she was 2 when we got her.
Three years ago, in 2009, we lost our first pet, Katie. I was sitting in the car waiting for my husband to go somewhere when he came up to me with a downcast look and said: “My cat’s dead.” I jumped out of the car and ran to the side yard where she lay in the sun, on her side with her tail curled. She looked like she had just fallen over, possibly from a stroke. She was 16 years old. I cried and cried. We took her to the Emergency Vet and had her cremated. My husband put a little stone bird that he’d found in the yard years before in a special spot, where she died, to remind us of her. The following year we lost Baby, to an unnecessary pet surgery. He was 7 years old. We had Baby cremated. That one hurt really badly. Baby was the first animal we’d ever had to put to sleep. It was horrible and I never wanted to do it again. We put a little rabbit next to Katie’s little bird in the yard to remember him. I prayed that the rest of the animals would die of natural causes. The following year, 2010, our dog Amber started to fail. She was 16 and we knew she couldn’t hold on much longer. We kept meaning to take her in and have her put to sleep but we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it.
One morning, we came out and Amber was gone. This was July 6, 2011. We were shell-shocked. We notified the neighbors via email that our beloved Amber was missing. Someone called us 4 days later to tell us they had found her up in the woods by a little pond, just laying on the sand. She had walked a long way to die by that pond. It was a beautiful spot. I didn’t even know that place existed. It had never occurred to me that aesthetics mattered to animals. It was private property and we were given permission to bury her there if we chose. We took her to the Vet and had her cremated.
When we moved from our house, we took Katie, Baby and Amber’s ashes and scattered them in the back-yard. I can’t bear to talk about Chewwie, but in September of 2010, he was also gone. That left us with Boobie and Mony. I couldn’t get used to Amber being gone. I still long for her and it’s been a year. Every time I see a dog, I want Amber back.
On June 24, 2011, we lost Mony. I remember because that was 2 days before our anniversary. She had a thyroid condition and went around yowling for days. She ate like crazy. She was somewhat quiet after we’d feed her but there was no filling her up. We knew it was time to take her to the Emergency Vet. You’re probably wondering why we always go to the Emergency Vet. Our pet’s deaths never occurred during regular Veterinary hours. When we got to the Vet with Mony, we told them we were there to have her put to sleep. They took her from us to get the IV going and they put us in the “Goodbye Room.” It was a separate room that was dimly lit and had a nice rug and nice high back chairs. They brought Mony into the room wrapped in a blanket and we sat there holding her, saying goodbye. The Vet eased himself into the room and told us that Mony was yowling because she was disoriented, that she probably wasn’t in any pain and that it would be just a matter of days before it got to her brain. It was time to put her to sleep. She was very calm as we held her. When we were ready, he inserted the drugs into her IV and she was out in a matter of seconds. She was no longer suffering. She was 18 years old. We had her cremated along with the others. It was very sad.
Now we have l cat left – Boobie. His kidneys are failing. He’s 17 years old. He cries a lot and talks now. He never did that before Mony died but now he’s the only one left and he’s lonely. All his friends are gone. The Vet wants me to bring him in for some blood-work to see how his kidneys are doing but I’m not going to do that. It will only make me more anxious to know that his kidneys are now working at 25% rather than 75%. I worry enough as it is. I hold him as much as I can, but I have things to do during the day. All he wants to do is sit in my lap. He doesn’t understand I have a life and sitting around with him in my lap all day is not an option so he sleeps on the couch during the day and on my lap at night. I try to make up for the loneliness he is feeling. At least he’s not looking for Mony anymore. That was heartbreaking. When Boobie’s time comes, I will be devastated. Not only is he my favorite cat, he’s the last one.
Once Boobie is gone, we won’t get anymore pets. It’s too hard to watch them die. I know people say the antidote to that is to get a new pet, but I don’t think we will. We had a good, long run with most of our pets and I think we’re done with that part of our lives. It makes me sad to think that, but I’d have a hard time convincing my husband to get another animal. But we’ll see. You never know for sure.