Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Saying goodbye to the littlest family member

Astrid - Our elusive Calico (photo by @cbruntlett)
Last night our family experienced another first, but not one we celebrated. After struggling for most of the winter and spring to figure out what was wrong with our family Kitty, we had to make the difficult decision to say "Goodbye" to our 10-year-old Calico. As a family we headed to the vet to have a few last minutes of cuddles with our furry friend, and then, as the kids and my husband went to visit with come of the other cats being well-looked after at Cat's Only Veterinary Clinic, I stayed with Astrid, our sweet little cat, for one last cuddle as she fell asleep one last time. It was certainly hard to let her go, but we knew there was nothing more we could do for her, and that this was the best thing for everyone. I am immensely grateful to our doctor, who did all she could to help us and our little friend, and was so compassionate, even at the end.

In my lifetime, I have lost pets before. Our family cat when I was little eventually reached old age and time took its toll. When I was seventeen, our family became the owners of a gorgeous husky, who sadly, when he was little more than six, developed Cancer that was untreatable. In both these cases, I had long left home when our pets had to be euthanized, so while I was certainly sad, I was so removed from the situation. So when the decision was made this time around, I didn't quite know how to deal with it. I knew that my children should get to say goodbye, but how much would they understand, and should they be in the room when she passed.

In the end, my husband and I decided it wouldn't be a good idea for them to be in the room, but they did get to play with her before. Our eldest did seem sad, but I think because we had talked to her beforehand, she had maybe just accepted what was happening and had already had her cry. Our son, while seeming to understand what was happening, didn't appear to show any emotional connection to what was going on. He pet her, and said goodbye, and pouted a little, but once he left the room, was content and happy to play with the other kitties. So as worried as I was for them, they were actually more capable of dealing with the loss than I was. It made me jealous of the ability of children to just accept and move on, wishing I could do the same. But then, they're kids, and understanding the gravity of death is still such a foreign concept, and I'm happy for them to hold on to that innocence for as long as possible.

One last cuddle (photo by @cbruntlett)
So, a day later, I sit here reflecting on the time with our kitty. Even though she could be elusive and a bit anti-social, I enjoyed lots of cuddles with her. I will miss her insanely loud purring, and her cute little white paws, and know that in the coming days I will accept the loss and know that she had a good life. They may be small, and can't speak, but even the smallest of pets leave a mark, and Astrid will be missed and will always have a special place in our hearts.


  1. So sad. Poor kitty and at such a young age too!

  2. Sorry for your loss - pets become such a big part of our families!