Our sweet hairless cat, Alex, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. His foot had become very swollen and painful and over the last week started bleeding a lot and had a not good odor. We knew he was in a lot of pain despite the pain medication, but it’s still a hard decision to make.
One of the nice thing about being a family of veterinarians is we are able to do such things in the privacy of our home without having to set an appointment or work around someone else’s schedule. Alex was euthanized on our bed, his favorite place, while I held him. He went peacefully and we had time to grieve with him before Sean brought him back to work.
We told the girls earlier in the day what was going to happen and read one of my favorite books on the subject of pet loss for children, Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant. It talks about going to heaven and how well cared for the cats will be, but that they will be able to still watch us and visit when they want. It’s a good book for young children about a difficult subject.
We didn’t feel they were old enough to be present for the actual euthanasia, so we did it after they were asleep, but they did get a chance to say good-bye to Alex. Sammy was heartbroken and pet him a lot. Ella said prayers for him. Penny doesn’t quite understand yet. She asks about where he is, so she knows something happened, but doesn’t understand exactly what. It’s a lot for a little mind to figure out.
We will all miss Alex, but me especially. He was the cat I always wanted, a Sphinx. I’m still getting used to not having him curled up against me at night and not having him growl every time I shift positions. I’m still waking up when he needed to be carried to the litter box every night, not because he couldn’t get there himself as he did during the day, but because no one likes to get up in the cold at night and it’s just so much more convenient to go on the bed and then move a little.