26 Jan 2008
A life passing
We euthanized our cat, Camus, today. It seems such a strange way to say it. But easier than “we took a family member to be killed today.”
I guess it had been coming for a while. A long while, really. He’d had feline mega colon for years. Mostly we’d managed it medically, giving him 4 different medications1 twice daily. Still, cleaning up errant poop or vomit wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. Occasionally, we’d given him enemas. But finally, he’d pretty much given up and started to shut down. The serious downslide happened while we were away for Christmas and boarding him. He’d gotten backed up, and had to be given an enema. But then he refused to eat and had to be hospitalized and force-fed. He regained some strength and verve and we brought him home. But from that time on, he ate little, and slept lots. He lost weight, and even got to the point where he had a hard time keeping his hindquarters up and stable during standing.
This morning, while we were cleaning up more of that errant poop and vomit, we decided on another trip to the vet. They were able to see us right away. (Carolyn and Camus went alone. Sam and I stayed home.) The vet checked and his colon was empty. This was no longer the standard “he got backed up” problem. It was time to make a decision; lots of invasive (and expensive tests) on a clearly aging and ailing feline -vs- a gentle easing of his suffering and a passage on to the next life2. Carolyn brought Camus back for some family time and “is this the right thing?” consultation. We pet him, told him we loved him. We opened a can of tuna to give him the water from it — a perennial favorite. We then all took him back down to the vet and stayed in the examination room as the doctor administered the fatal shot. We’re having him cremated though I’ve no idea what we’ll do with the ashes.
The void he leaves behind feels immense, and I’m tempted to try to fill it with cookies or booze, even knowing that neither will work and both will leave remnants I won’t want to deal with. I’m glad we have each other to share the loss with as well as the fond remembrances. As eulogy, I (and Carolyn?) will leave a few Camus stories here in the blog over the next few days. Mostly they are short ones. Mostly they are personal, having meaning only for us. But they’ll have a place to help honor the feline that was a part of this family for almost thirteen years. Sadly, even to his dying day is name was both fitting and butchered by caretakers. As we were waiting for the final visit from the vet we overheard the assistant letting him know that /kay-muss/ was in room 3.
Rest in Peace, buddy-cat.