I lecture, and counsel people in this process every week, practically every day. I mean on average I at least do a few euthanasia a week, and or help people make the decision. But all my training and experience did not makes it all that easier when it is my turn. My gut said that I should have done it a week ago, but my heart just wouldn't let me. I kept holding on that he would start eating and bounce back. Then he went blind (secondary to his kidney's not working anymore).
He wasn't eating, and couldn't even find his way around. Of course a blind pet is very acceptable and not a reason to euthanize (many can have great lives). But, a 17 year old cat that hasn't eaten much in 2 weeks, is in renal failure and whom greatest joy was sitting in the garden was now in a lot of pain and disorientated being blind. I knew that we had to say goodbye.
I took him to work and in between appointments we euthanized him. I cried at my desk, ate a cupcake and then saw appointments for the rest of the day. I drove home with his empty carrier. And grumbled when I pulled up to the driveway and saw the neighbor cat sitting in my garden (Dumb cat, that is where my cat usually sits not your stinky self!).
Life goes on. I try to keep it in perspective, especially with the September 11th anniversary here. All the same I keep thinking I see him out of the corner of my eye. Pawing at the door to come in. Jumping over the fence to land on my hydrangea to get some pets. I have to remind myself that I don't need to feed the old man by himself in the upstairs while the rest of the pets are down stairs.
I really could use a long run in the woods. With the leaves turning, and that cool crisp fall air. The type of run that I can forget about myself and the world for a little bit of time. Just listening to my feet hitting the earth and my breath. And then I could stop by the lake and the tears could pour out for awhile. Eventually I'd get back to the car sweating, tired, and feeling like some of the tension and emotion was drained from me.