We will miss you, maow maow (RIP Felix, 1997-2012)

22 May

Yesterday was one of the saddest and hardest days I’ve had to face as a cat owner/lover. We euthanized our beloved cat who we spent the last 15+ years with.

He had a good life. I have to keep telling myself that and think of the positive. He chased birds. Slept in our beds, ate our food, sometimes. He even fathered a few litters I bet. He was the most caring cat I’ve ever owned. He’d bite my husband when we fought. So silly. He’d be by my side when I was upset and sobbing. He was very affectionate.

He was the first cat my husband and I decided to get as a pet when we first moved in together. We named him Felix but always called him a variety of silly nicknames. Harry Larry was what my sister called him, moaw moaw is what I always called him, cat, kitty, my baby. He truly was our first fur baby. When we when to look at a litter of kittens, he was the super furry black and white tuxedo cat hiding under a chair. We thought he’d be the “mellowest” one. He was so cute. And yeah, laid back. And feisty. And a fighter. Always chasing down birds and other cats in heat.

He was fiercely loyal, for a cat. I’ve never seen it in any other animal I’ve owned. And I had *many* cats and dogs growing up. Even the surviving tabby whose been with us 10 years isn’t attached to us like he was. He had empathy and was protective. What cat does that?!?! As I was loosing it in sobs at 1am last night when everyone was asleep, I noticed he wasn’t going to be there to see if I’m ok. To meow at me and rub against my leg. I am going to miss him so much. I get teary-eyed just thinking of him.

In the end– he was very ill and starving. Could barely walk. That’s the part that kills me. It is still so fresh in my mind. Something I won’t forget. The stumbling around the house. The dazed look in his eyes. He clearly did not have any desire to eat. I tried everything. He would just howl. A sick, guttural meow. It sounded like pain. Then he would get up, walk a few paces. Lay back down. Yaowl some more. Not fun to be around. But I felt like I had to be there. I felt remorse. A deep and painful guilt. He needed me. And I wasn’t there for him until he was *really* sick.

And did I let it happen? Partially. Was it unavoidable? Probably not. We didn’t bring him to the vet until we *had to* because we just didn’t have the money. His foot became infected. Was bleeding all over the house. Had an operation (that we couldn’t afford) and the vet said he had a clean bill of health. He recovered surprisingly well. Only just started to have kidney issues. Ok, fine. This was barely two months ago. He was sent home with antibiotics and kidney meds. Twice a day.

Then we were told to move as our house sold. Thus the madness began and he and our grey tabby had to be ignored. I noticed a few things though. First, he felt lighter. His hips narrower. Second, he became a scavenger. Eating off the table if I left food for two seconds. Drinking out of the toilet. Stupid me was just annoyed with him. I even contemplated giving the two of them away. Wow. Can you believe that? Take him to the vet. No, this didn’t occur to me. Not like we had the money. I also was supposed to give him antibiotics and his kidney meds. It was so hard I just stopped when we had to move. There was no time. Now I wish I made some. Not sure it would have made any difference, though. And really, I have to give myself some grace. No one is perfect. Two-year-olds are a lot of work and distraction. I have to keep that in mind, too.

This is the part of life that gets me. Not being aware until it’s too late. Not seeing things for what they are. If hindsight was 20/20 blah blah blah. I just wish he didn’t suffer as he did. I wish husband and I weren’t in such goddamn denial. We were actually surprised when the vet said we will only have a small amount of time and we should enjoy time with him. Fat chance. It’s hard to spend time with a dying cat. There is nothing worse. If you ask me.

We decided to euthanize only if the vet said we should. His tooth was bleeding too, just to make it worse. He lost almost half his body weight. Horrible. 3 days after the vet gave a pain patch (which was totally useless) we made another appointment. My husband knew they’d recommend putting him down. We did. But wimped out on staying for the procedure- which sort of bothers me. I wanted to be there in his last moments. I had my toddler to worry about and felt like it was wrong to stay. My husband had no desire to either. So we said our goodbyes and left him in the exam room. Luckily the staff was caring, gentle and best of all, prompt. The exam room was clean and bright. I knew they’d treat him right. I could not stand to watch him die. It was just too painful. I think we did the best we could for him. In those last moments, my husband could tell he wasn’t all there. It was the right thing to do and I hope he is in peace now, wherever he is.

I love you and miss you so much, my moaw moaw. RIP Felix 1997-2012.

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