Saturday, January 14, 2012

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED...

You may have noticed I haven't been posting/commenting as often as I usually do just this week.  Tuesday, I had to take our 16 1/2 year old cat, Smudge, to the vet to be...what's a kind word?  Euthanized?  Put down?  Put to sleep? 
He was old, getting so skinny and hurt so much (you could tell by the way he walked and didn't like to be picked up or petted much anymore), plus he was doing his business on the carpet instead of in the litter pan (he had 2 of them).  He ate voraciously and drank almost continuously and the only time he was quiet was when he was asleep or eating.  Although he ate all the time, he had lost 10 pounds in the last year, a sign of thyroid tumors. 
I think he was telling us it was time...
I felt it was my duty to see him off; I am grateful that the vet and vet tech were very caring and gentle. 

 I didn't realize how much I'd miss him.



33 comments:

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

You have often mentioned Smudge in your posts, so I felt I knew him. How sad that you had to do this, but what a kindness you did for him by alleviating his suffering. You did the right thing.

Hugs,
Susan

Tina Besecker Marohn said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. I too had to let go of my best feline friend last June and understand the difficulty. They never truly leave us though. Take care.

june in ireland said...

I've only just subbed to your lovely blog, and had already fallen in love with Smudge. I am so saddened to read of your having to make that heartbreaking decision. I know how you're feeling - over the years, I've had to, too. The most recent being three years ago, when my beloved Mollie girl (12 years old, but a 6-month old kitten in her heart and spirit) suffered three strokes, the last one being massive. Our vet advised us to do the kindest thing and have her put down, but as she was still eating and not crying out in pain and not seeming to be suffering, I hand-fed her with my fingers, and had her drinking water via an eye-dropper. Her vision also was lost via the second stroke, and couldn't walk without bumping into anything, but for me, it was no problem to just pick her up and carry her wherever she wanted or needed to be.

That lasted about ten days. Then, one night/early morning at about 4:30 a.m., she let me know that she needed to be with friends at the Rainbow Bridge. It was time, but it was heartbreaking. I held her in my arms while she alternately meowed loudly and then purred. My husband and I were crying, but telling her and reassuring her we loved her, and that it was okay to let go, and that we'd always love her. She passed away peacefully, knowing she was loved, in my arms, while I cradled her gently...almost as if rocking her gently to her final sleep.

I know your heart is breaking, and I know how much it hurts. But always know that our loved ones - be they the human ones or the furry, fuzzy kind - know and sense how much we love them, and how much they are loved. I know that my Mollie girl sensed this, even in the last moments of her beautiful and sweet little life. While I miss her terribly in the physical, tangible sense, she is still with me - in my heart, in my memories of her and all the great fun and companionship we had with her for 12 happy years.

In a very real way, she is still here with us. Her spirit lives on,, through her love for us and our love for her.

Smudge was telling you that it was time for him, as well. But he also knew how much he was loved. Keep that with you always, and he will always be with you.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. As I always have done when I've lost loved ones, I've lit e candle to help them find their way. I'll light a candle tonight for your beautiful Smudge, to help him find his way to his friends at the Rainbow Bridge. Do you know that poem? It's beautiful, and very, very comforting.

Maggie Latham said...

Rhonda, my heart goes out to you. I adore cats and like you have had to sometimes do the right thing…. but it still breaks your heart, all the same. He is such a lovely looking kitty…. you must paint the top photo in remembrance of him. Big hug and a silent prayer for Smudge.

RH Carpenter said...

Thank you, Susan. It's hard to know when it's right so you doubt yourself and feel horrid but talking to others I know it's part of owning any pet - they never outlive us.

Thanks so much for your kind words, Tina. I enjoyed viewing your latest works on your blog.

Carol Blackburn said...

So sorry to hear about Smudge. We had to put down our two dogs many years ago due to cancer and it was so sad. You know in your heart it was the best thing you could do for Smudge.

Irina said...

I am so sorry, Rhonda. I call them "close relatives" and they are, after so many years together. And cats, they are so special.
2 years ago I could not force myself to "put him away" and he was dying at home. It was horrible.
You did right.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

Oh I'm so very sorry Rhonda :( , words fail me [huuuug]

RH Carpenter said...

June, thank you so much for sharing your story of your little Mollie. You are so kind.

Maggie, thanks so much. I truly didn't realize how much I'd miss him but he was a cat who acted like a dog (even snoring when sleeping and woofing like a dog once in a while!) so he followed me around all the time. I know it will stop feeling so bad over time.

Thanks, Carol and Irina for your kind words.

Teresa, I know what you mean even if you can't voice the words :) Thanks so much.

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Rhonda,
Condolences are never enough, but you have ours, anyway. We've been through this ourselves and can certainly empathize with what you're going through.
It sounds like you two are true cat people and as such, it won't be long before you'll be posting photos of a beautiful new kitten. Nothing helps quite as much as new life in the home.
Sincerely,
Gary.

jgr said...

Rhonda,
I'm SO sorry for your loss.
Being a huge cat-lover I know the pain you're feeling. May you find comfort in your memories and in knowing you did the right thing for him.

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Rhonda, I'm so sorry for your loss. Sweet kitties do let you know when it's time and luckily we have the ability to end their pain. As sad as it is to let go, I've found it always helps me and them to be there during the process. May time heal your loss and good memories warm your hearts.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Gary, for your comments. Right now I'm saying no more pets - but one never knows. I did donate the cat carrier to the vet's office before I left so I think I was pretty sure about that. Time will tell. Maybe some travelling this year more than last so that decision about someone new will be put off for a while.

Thanks, Jane and Pam.

I so appreciate everyone's comments. I'm cleaning my art room (needed it!) and doing some more wet-in-wet studies to share later - if it turns out halfway decent.

MB Shaw said...

Oh dear Rhonda, I am so very sorry. Such a hard time.

SpinningDownUnder said...

Words cannot adequately express what we feel sometimes, but I am sure that cat-lovers everywhere understand what is in your heart, and that Smudge knew that you were helping out of love. He also knew you had the courage to do it and trusted you to know when the time was right. This is the bravest and most heart-breaking thing we can ever do for our furry family, and there will always be a place in your heart for the kitten he once was. Wherever he is, he is so proud of his mom!

Jeanette said...

I'm sorry to hear about Smudge. We have animals in our lives for so long, they become strong attachments. When they go, the adjustment is difficult.

Smudge had a good and long life with you and I know you have many memories to treasure. The photos are lovely and perhaps in time, you'll create your own image of him and smile when you see it.

conservativelybohemian said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your Smudge, Rhonda. I know how this hurts. I hope he is happily frolicking and waiting to one day be with you again.

Ann Buckner said...

(((((Rhonda))))), so very sorry to hear about Smudge and glad you have so many memories.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Mary Beth, Jeanette, and Sherry :)

SpinningDownUnder, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave such a kind comment. I checked out your blog and smiled when I saw the cat of the day photo :) I know nothing about spinning but I know it's an art form in itself with all the obsessions we painters have with new doodads and tools and colors :)

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Ann :) He was so much like a dog, always waiting at the top of the stairs (or at the door) when you came in, under your feet as you walked to the kitchen or down stairs, etc.; his presence will be missed.

Kevin Neal said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss. Anyone who has had a pet, especially one for many years understands the tremendous sadness that one feels when they finally have to say goodbye. Just knowing that you gave Smudge a great long life is something to ultimately feel good about. Take care.
Kevin

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate those kind words.

Caroline said...

It is so sad to hear about dear Smudge, what lovely photos of him. My cat Angus is not well and will have to take him to the vet tomorrow he is getting old too. Made me feel very sad reading about Smudge I hope you paint him one day he looked a beauty.

RH Carpenter said...

Caroline, I hope you come home with good news from the vet for Angus tomorrow :) It's hard, seeing them get so old and have so many problems - like watching our parents aging, in a way. I have a veterinary medical book that says, at age 16, Smudge was the equivalent of 95 in human years.

http://carolking.wordpress.com said...

Aw, I'm so sorry Rhonda. Smudge was a cutie.

Jane said...

Oh that's sad Rhonda, but it was an act of love and surely the best for Smudge. I had to do the same thing to my very sick and old dog some time ago. Heartbreaking!...but you just know it was the right thing to do.

Jane Minter said...

rhonda so very sorry to learn you had to part with smudge take good care jane

Caroline said...

Thanks Rhonda, at home now waiting for the vet to ring with the test results. It is amazing to think about the age of cats isn't it. Wonder if you will do a painting of Smudge he would make a beautiful painting.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Jane, Carol and Jane. Caroline, I hope it's good news!

Cathy Gatland said...

Oh, Rhonda, I missed this sad post with my computer breakdowns - I'm sorry you had to take this decision, the best one for Smudge but doesn't make it any easier for you. Big hug

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Cathy. I hope your computer gremlins are slain now!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Being owners of two
beautiful cats (a Ragdoll and Burmese Blue), my heart feels for you.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Joan :)