Saturday, September 23, 2006

Whimsey August 9, 1989 - September 23, 2006

I made the excruciating decision to have one of my two cats, Whimsey, euthanised this morning. During his dental procedure today, the vet confirmed that he had several inoperable tumors in his jaw. She said I had the options of having the comfort of him around me but suffering in great pain or having her do the procedure now while he was in a peaceful sleep. I wondered several times today if it would have been better have let him come back awake before the procedure was done, but that would have only been for my benefit and not his.

This last shot above was taken yesterday evening at Pets Unlimited while we waited for the vet. Even when he cried out in pain as the vet examined his jaw, he was still purring. I have never known an animal that loved humans so much. Even cat-haters fell for his charm.

It has been sad to see his brother, obviously aware and sad about his absence. The past two days I could sense something different in their relationship, as if they were comforting each other and instinctively aware that their 17 years as brothers would soon end. And, thinking back over the past month, I saw the two of them napping together more often, obviously not for warmth. I know my time with the remaining cat, Bunter, is likely brief as well, and I am intent on giving him as much attention as possible.

At least my last moments with him were positive. Even though he must have been in great pain, he was still an unstoppable purr machine. Perhaps that was the hardest part of making my decision. How could I be the one to end a life that still exuded so much joy and love. Even as the vet or I opened his mouth to examine his bleeding jaw and he howled, he was still purring. I cannot say there was a blessing in this, but I know I made the right decision even if I regret it.

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