When the moment comes...

gareth

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A note for those who have lost a cat, or are worrying about when that moment comes.

When we decide to share our lives with a cat, we are making a decision to break our own hearts. That's not melodrama. At some point, that bundle of fur will get under your skin. It doesn't matter how big and tough you are. I've seen British Army Special Forces soldiers cradling their beloved cats with tears in their eyes, hoping against hope that something will put off that fateful moment when they must part. I've seen busy mothers of five children who rule their household with an iron fist reduced to bawling children because they miss their cat. At some point, that cat will work its magic. Its eyes will connect with yours. Its head will rub against yours. Its heart will connect with yours. At that point, you secretly swear your devotion to the animal. It comes under your protection, and you will sacrifice anything to keep it safe. In return, the cat will share that look with you. The one that says "I love you too". That's a special gift, and unless you have been loved by a cat, it is a meaningless one. But if you HAVE been loved by a cat, then you know the value of that gift. It means that the cat will give you a lifetime of love. They will literally spend their entire life in your company. You will feed them, protect them, keep them warm and safe. And they will give you their entire life.

Their entire life. That's their commitment. And what is yours? Easy, you commit to the knowledge that at some point in the future you will be given a terrible decision to make. That decision will be the last you make for your cat. That decision will result in a transference of pain and suffering. You will take away all the pain and suffering of your cat, and you will begin a process of pain and suffering yourself. That's the price for the look. When they look in your eyes with love, that terrible decision is the price. It's a moment that all cat owners dread, but a moment that comes to us all.

So should we feel bad when our cat passes on? Of course we should. We are losing someone we loved, and someone that loved us. The grief will be terrible, but it will be transient. It WILL pass. You will then be left with memories. Some of these memories will bring you tears. Some of these memories will make you laugh. But the pain and the suffering will fade.

So when the moment comes, you have to find a strength within yourself. You're about to do something incredible. You're about to give a display of love and devotion rarely equalled. You will be given a decision about whether to allow your pet to suffer and thus save your own pain, or whether to remove all pain and suffering from the cat, and take it on yourself. If the time is right, you will know, and you will make the right decision. And then you should be so proud of yourself. In the midst of your own grief, and suffering, you should take such strength from the knowledge that when the moment came, you decided to choose your cat's welfare in favour of your own. What greater love can any pet owner display?

So for those that think they have to make that decision soon, take strength. Know that your moment has come. The moment where you wrap up all the love and devotion you have for your cat into one incredible moment and do what's right. For those on the other side of that decision, then well done. I'm proud of you, and your cat would be proud of you, too. Your cat is forever pain-free. You are in pain, but I promise it will pass. Don't worry, some of us know how bad that pain is. You are not alone, and we know how much it hurts. It's terrible, but it will pass. Then you will have the memories, which you should treasure.

I like to think one day I will be re-united with my pets. There will be no crashing together as we run towards each other as in the rainbow bridge poem. There will be no kisses. We will simply give each other that look. The look that says "I love you, and now I know how much you love me"
 
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howtoholdacat

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Thank you for writing this.  That time is coming very soon for me.  Friday is in advanced kidney failure.  His blood work Monday showed he's on the very brink of what he can tolerate.  Though he still seems happy and is up and moving about, he's not eating and I know our time is limited.  I could have never asked for a better friend.  I remember all the times he has has comforted me and now as I encourage him to eat, poke pills down his throat, stick him with needles and help him through his day, I know that the things I do for him can never repay the friendship he has given me.  He will not suffer when his time is near because I will not let him.  It's the least I can do for the love he has shared with me.  I cannot imagine life without him but I know that after I grieve, it will be ok.  I, too, believe I will see him again and just as we were friends in life so we will be again when I go to join him. 
 

tntrouble456

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Jennifer...I am so very sorry about Friday. He surely could not be in more loving hands, though.

Brenda
 

kmd

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I am grieving deeply for Elmo, our 10 year old who had congestive heart failure. Yesterday, we had to euthanize him because the heart disease caught up with him and the medicine no longer gave him the relief he needed. I have never had to euthanize one before and I needed this message badly...

Thanks...
 

georgespal

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Thank you so much for sharing this. We had to put our George to sleep a few days ago, due to a large growth that was growing inside him, and we didn't find it until it was too late. It was so sudden, and he was only 6.5 years old, so we are just in a state of shock from losing our friend.

But I can totally agree with what you said - George gave us all his love and his entire life, short as it was, and after all the gifts he has given us, the final gift that we could offer him was a relief from his suffering. Now we have taken on that suffering ourselves, but in time I hope it will ease, so that we can enjoy all the happy times that we had with George while he was here.

I look forward to the day when I will meet him again, and will carry him with me in my heart until that time comes.

~GeorgesPal 
 

catmom5

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Thank you for this gift. I know that the time is coming when I will have to make that decision for my 16 year old girl, CJ. She got sick in November 2006 from the poison pet food and I can tell that her kidneys are failing. She has been a fighter and I promised I would fight with her, but I can see that she is getting tired.

I will remember these words when that time comes . . .
 

feralvr

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So beautifully said. A worthwhile read and yes, it is true but so hard to handle..... that when we take on a pet - we are going to eventually have our hearts broken when we lose them. but the time we have with them makes it so worth the pain in the end when we have to send them to that bridge. :sniffle:
 

blueyedgirl5946

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I can only say Amen to the words you have written.  We have lost two of the sweetest dearest cats ever.  Our hearts are still broken.  It never changes.  One just learns to live with it.  In spite of the heartbreak, I wouldn't change a thing.  Max and Speedboat, you are loved and missed dear boys, forever.  In the meantime, we give our hearts to two more cats, Mattie and Muffin.  The love they give us makes it all worthwhile.  Thanks for posting this.
 

jcat

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It does. We had to have our beloved Jamie euthanized on March 1, and Gareth's words make it somewhat easier to deal with it. Thank you, Gareth.
 

cailea

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Thank you, so grateful to find a place full of people who truly understand that these were not "pets" but an equal member of the family and grieved for and missed as such.
 

di and bob

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It breaks my heart to see so much heartache, I'm glad someone brought this thread up for us to read again and to help with the pain. It's been four months since my Chrissy died and it has lessened somewhat, and then I'll think of something she did and bawl again. I'm finding comfort in trying to comfort others, the only bad thing is I know from experience how terrible it is to find peace and forgiveness, because we ALWAYS blame ourselves for the should haves/ could haves.
 
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gareth

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Wow, I rarely visit TCS these days as I'm just pushed so hard for time running an internet forum myself, however, it was awesome to login and see one of my own posts still visible. Thanks so much for everyone's kinds words, and I hope my own words enable you to see that there will come a day you think of your lost pet and smile again.
 

kmd

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Glad to see you passed through, it helped me tremendously and has been copied and sent to others, labeled "Gareth"... Thanks...
 
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