Jan 16, 2009

Mortality and Pets

We have two cats. Big, fat, beautiful Joon and smaller, fluffy beautiful Benny. They have been with our family for 7+ years. They are so integral to us that none of us can imagine a house without them.

Yesterday I came upon 12 yr old Joonie drooling and in pain. He's got bad teeth - a fact we've known for a while. He was in the middle of losing one that morning and "talking" to me looking for relief. I didn't quite know what to do for him so I called the vet and dropped him off for an evaluation.

Turns out that Joon has such bad teeth that they must all be extracted. The hitch is this: $350 - 700 to proceed. Where would we come up with such money? Yes, they would space out payments for me, but that's $700 I can't use to feed or cloth my kids, to build my home business, to improve or repair our home/car/life.

In the end, we made the decision to put him to sleep. I would take the kids to say goodbye in the morning. That was today, Friday. We arrived en mass and they brought our baby out to us. We loved on him, took pictures, cried. Then I stepped into the hall to speak with the nurse.

I just couldn't do it. I couldn't let go of this little life that has so much love for us and us for him. I brought him home.

He still hurts, I'm sure. The vet described him as an old, sick cat. He told me what I need to watch for and that I will know when it's time to let go. The girls, especially Curly Girl, are relieved. Joon has spent much of the day on my lap, purring and rubbing his sore face on my arm.

I told the kids that it's only a short matter of time before he needs to be put out of pain. So we'll love him while we can and make his life as easy as possible.

And still I wonder - did I do the right thing?


Gururaj said...

Pets seem to be heavy on the purse
Dog Stair

Anonymous said...

I know you posted this a while ago, but I just had to express my empathy for your situation. This is why I have an inherent distrust of vets to a certain extent because I know they need to make a living but I don't understand how they could just not help an animal in pain because the owners couldn't pay. Not only that but when I moved from PA to VA, vet fees about quadrupled. For the same services! I have three cats who were no problem to care for in another state but I can barely afford check ups which inevitably run $200 a visit, not to mention the extra services they try to sell me every time such as $1,000 teeth cleaning. I don't envy your situation. We had to put our dog to sleep last January after she could barely get up to go out to the bathroom anymore. It took us a while to admit it was time and then afterwards we wondered if we hadn't been a bit selfish. I still miss her every day. My thoughts are with you.

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