Saying goodbye and dealing with the loss of a pet isn’t easy. This is how the conversation went today when someone mentioned we were sad and dealing with a death in the family.
Of course that is how the conversation goes when someone who doesn’t own an animal hears someone is grieving over the loss of a pet they owned. It never fails, and yet still turns me into an anger ball.
The decision to put an animal down is not an easy one by any means. In fact it’s downright awful.
Thomas is gone. We put him down a few days ago and I’ve been miserable, crying, hurting so badly without him.
I don’t care if anyone thinks it is dumb. I don’t care if I get laughed at because my eyes turn into Niagara just thinking of him. I just don’t care!
I got Thomas as a kitten. Just six weeks old, he was. My moms cat Suki got pregnant and had a whole bunch of fluffy balls, and honestly Thomas wasn’t my first choice.
I spent the night at my moms and was allowed to take a kitten home with me. I was super excited. See at the time I was single, no kids, living in a bachelor apartment in New West and I had a problem. I had mice. They didn’t bother me but I also wasn’t keen on waking up and finding the cute little kittens staring at me while at the foot of my bed. Kinda creepy. So I figured there was no better way to get rid of the little buggers than to get a mouse chaser.
All the kittens were on my bed before I turned in at my moms. I told them all I was going to be taking one of them home. I said whichever one of you is cuddling me by morning, that’s the one I’m taking. Then I closed my eyes.
When I woke up there was Thomas staring at me.
I got up from bed and went to the kitchen. That damn cat followed me everywhere. He wouldn’t leave me alone. Kept hopping up on my leg to be pet and meowing at me.
He picked me!
For the next 21 years Thomas “Sir Thomas” or Tommy Boy as I called him, remained my loyal friend, my confidant, my buddy and snuggle partner. He was there all through my twenties and thirties. Through the good and bad, he was always there.
When JJ was born, Thomas used to sit below his crib and meow whenever JJ woke up in the morning or cried for a bottle to let me know. He was very protective, despite the fact that JJ colored on him, tried to flush him down the toilet and basically tortured my poor furry friend. Thomas still loved him.
When I got married, Thomas instantly took to Corey (Forgetful Dad) and they became soul friends. He used to lay on Corey’s bad leg, licking his jeans as though he knew hubs was in pain.
And finally when Monkey was born, Thomas did the same thing. Used to sit below his crib for the first several months, warning me when baby needed something. And although he didn’t like it when Monkey grabbed his tail or tried squeezing his whiskers. Thomas was always good — never scratching or biting.
He Knew All My Secrets… I will miss him so much!
I know it seems stupid to many people, being upset over the loss of a pet, but my cat was one of my best friends. He knew all my secrets.
He licked my face whenever I shed tears of heartache.
He went through my divorce and the abuse I suffered.
He was there before my kids were born, before I met and married my hubby.
He kept me company through my loneliness nights.
And he had a way of making you love him, even for those who disliked cats. It was no use. You HAD to love Thomas. He just didn’t give you a choice.
The decision to put Thomas down wasn’t one I made lightly. But over the past year he’s been suffering. He lost the function of his legs. He got infections. He stopped eating properly and had issues with the bathroom.
Still, each night he would come to us and rub his head into my palm, wanting love. “Love Sponge” hubs called him because Thomas when he wanted love he wanted it and got it.
Goodbye my Friend…
I am going to miss you terribly Tommy Boy. I still wait for you to come and get me in the morning. I still think I hear you meowing, stuck in the closet again. I check to see if you have water – seeing nothing but an empty dish instead and my heart weeps.
Thank you for giving me all the love you did.
Thank you for being there for me through all these years.
Thank you for closing your eyes when it was time and giving me the okay, to put you out of your pain and suffering.
I didn’t want to let you go but you made it alright, kissing me and rubbing your head into my palm one last time…
And for those of you who don’t own a pet or have never dealt with the loss of a pet, and have no understanding what it’s like to say goodbye to one. It’s like saying goodbye to a family member, someone you’ve grown to love (like your child) who has always given unconditional love to you no matter what you’ve done or what you’ve been through.
I miss my cat and that’s okay.