Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Musings: Farewell, Sweet Boy

Chico 12/24/08 - 11/3/14

When we bring an animal in to our home and invite them in to our hearts, the promise we make to love and care for them includes the entirety of their life.

Which includes the end of it. And sometimes, when to end it.

The decision to send our beautiful Chico across the rainbow bridge is long delayed. My human heart wasn't ready to listen to the cues he's been dropping for over a year.

Which is how long it's been since he came to Joe for his morning cuddles.

Months since he's come to sit behind me on the couch to bat me in the head and demand a belly rub.

Weeks since he's eaten properly, used his litter box to pee or come out of hiding to do more than eat a little and smack Luna in the head.

But oh, the times I did catch him out and managed to pet him. He'd purr and show me his belly. I convinced myself he was fine.

So I cleaned the pee from the carpets a dozen times a day. Ignored that the usual measures to correct it weren't working. Pretended not to notice his hips sticking out and hours anti social behavior becoming the norm.

Until I heard him crying. Saw the drooling and the blood in the stool. I took a good look in his eyes and saw how tired he was. Even then, it took me a weekend and a break down to bring it to Joe so we could make a decision.

And as is often the case, the right way was the hard way. We made the hardest decision for us and the best for him. To let him go.

Last night I slept on the couch to see if he'd come to snuggle me to sleep one last time. When Orion woke to nurse the first time he hadn't. When I laid back down I cried and whispered that I hoped I was doing the right thing that he was ready. And bony paws crept over my legs, across my belly and settled a purring lump on my chest. And we slept, soundly,  knowing it was the last time.

And so today, we held our boy a few last times. We held him teary eyed as the wonderful vet who cared for him prayed over him and for us. We held him as he took his final breath, so quickly and quietly and sobbing told him we loved him. The injection had barely started and he was gone, he'd been hanging on for us. Our sweek half feral boy.

We brought him home to bury in our yard, tonight with friends who have cared for him and grown to love him as we have.

We'll celebrate our little boy who we've kept on borrowed time for 6 wonderful years after he was plucked half dead from the snow. I'll cry over his rabbit soft fur, his mustache and chest patch which made him so unique. Remember how he purred so hard that the couch would sometimes vibrate, how he'd curl up on my chest when I was sick and purr me to sleep as he did one last time last night or nuzzle in to Joe's beard.

We'll laugh remembering when he was neutered and the vet had to do more than a snip because his testicles were "ridiculously big", making Joe exclaim 'that's my boy! ' At how he would fetch Nerf darts like a dog and roll dice that fell on the floor. Dice cat rolls a critical hit! And marvel at his ability to hide in the smallest spaces.

We'll mourn. We'll cry and we'll miss him. Luna and Molly will grieve in their own ways. But I'll know we gave him the best life possible, loved and spoiled him and kept our promises to him.

Until the very end.

Good night, my sweet Chico. May there be many a cupboard to hide in and hunt mice from across the rainbow bridge. Maybe you'll finally catch that red dot.

 I love you.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss! But this post leaves me wondering if you never took him to the vet to have him checked out this whole time..?

    1. We did. Thousands of dollars worth of visits to get his bowels unblocked, to put him on a special diet and meds. To get special pheromones to try to correct litter box issues, to tear out carpets, to try everything. When I say ignore, I mean I knew what I should do, in the back of my head, but I didn't.

      In the end, no amount of money, medicine or love can stop organ failure. :(

    2. I see, and I'm so sorry. Losing a furry baby is heart breaking.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how difficult it was. I will soon be facing that same decision with my precious girl who is 22 years old now. Several years ago when I had to put my little birdie to sleep I found a wonderful There is wonderful support to be found there. They also hold a candle ceremony on Monday night for pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge which people from all over the world participate in. I found it very comforting.

    1. That sounds wonderful, Mary. I think I'll join in on that. Thank you.

  3. I was crying loudly by the end of this post. I believe cats can love us in a way no other animal can. They are the most magical of creatures. Your boy was special and adorable. I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been where you are now, six times and each time it was so hard. I knew it was the right thing for them, but saying goodbye was unbearable.

  5. I am sorry for your loss. Nothing is worse than putting down a pet. I've lost three cats in my life times, two we put down (17 an 21 years old) and one was taken from us too soon by a coyote a couple months ago (15 years). Its so much easier when you can say good bye and hug them farewell. Losing Cleo without knowing for sure how she felt, what her final thoughts were, or if she knew how much I loved her even though I had to leave her with my mom and dad is the worst feeling in the world. Hugs and well wishes being sent your way.

  6. I'm so sorry. The loss of a pet is the loss of a family member. I wish you peace as you mourn.

  7. Oh Danni. I'm so very sorry. For the loss of Chico and all the heartache of trying to help him and watching him fade anyway. He was well loved during his short time on the earth. Now he will run and play and chase things in green field and nap in a bed of catnip across the rainbow bridge. Blessed Be, Danni. May peace come when you're ready.

  8. Oh, this is so sad. I commend you for doing what was best for him. That is true love. Our little furry friends live on in our memories, in the stories.

  9. My heart goes out to you for your loss. ♥ It is never easy to lose a dear friend and family member. May your heart soon know peace and may Chico be blessed in the Summerland.

  10. It's hard saying goodbye to our furbabies. How fortunate he was to be loved so well during the time we lived.


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