As one of my sons cradled our dying cat at the animal emergency clinic a few days ago, we sobbed as the medication entered his body through the IV port in his left front leg. I was grateful for the vet’s forthrightness; Jinx was in end stage renal failure which she estimated had begun some 6 months prior and after which point his little body had worked hard to compensate. She was matter-of -fact when she told us that his quality of life was now poor and told us we had made the right decision in having him euthanized. In less than 30 seconds we watched our 17 year old little black cat pass away. And that is just a very odd situation; knowing that life has simply stopped.
We had several minutes alone with him afterwards in what they call the ‘quiet room’ before the veterinary assistant returned to take him back into the treatment area to remove the IV. But it was surreal when she returned with Jinx wrapped discretely underneath the towel in the whicker basket we’d brought him in. Part of me knew he was no longer alive but another part of me was shocked that he was already covered up and put away. We humans have a hard time with death.
The next morning I couldn’t bear the thought of just placing his little body into the ground so I found a pillowcase and gently placed him inside it. We took turns holding him for one last time. And after a brief ceremony we buried him in a part of the garden where he used to roam. I can see it from our kitchen window which I’m not sure I’ll get used to. At this point though it’s best not to focus on his last few days but rather remember all the joy he brought into our lives. Goodbye Jinx. I love you.