Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coping with the loss of a pet

My beloved Duke has lymphoma. I adopted Duke back in England when he was six years old along with 2 other cats; from day one, he has been my baby. His beautiful black and white fur and a gorgeous white "smile" that he has makes my day brighter. After taking him to the vet after having a weird spell, they told me that they found a large tumor in his stomach. Well after $900 worth of tests and x-rays, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. I didn't know what to do and after getting support from a number of people from craigslist, yes, craigslist, I decided to let nature take its course. I can't tell you how hard it has been, knowing that my baby is slowly being taken away from this horrendous disease is just incomprehenible.

He still has an appetite, thank goodness, still wants to cuddle and do his normal routine; holding the shell of what used to be Duke is INCREDIBLY hard, he is just bones and losing weight faster than I could imagine. I picked up steroids for him at the vet which I have been told will shrink the tumor and make his life more comfortable. I know the day will come (and it's approaching fast) that I will have to make that decision to put him down, but I don't want him to go. I know it's selfish, but the thought of coming home and not ever seeing him again or holding him or hearing his meow, is too much to bear.

I'm gradually doing better (yeah, right) and the more I talk about it, the easier it is becoming. I'm trying to find the best way to have him put to sleep and I know for sure I'm getting him cremated and keeping the ashes in an urn until my other cat, Toddy, passes away. I found a small silver paw that is on a chain and can hold a small amount of his ashes. I know a lot of people would roll their eyes at that but I don't care. I've had him for seven years, he is MY baby and is a part of my life forever.

I guess knowing he is going to pass away as opposed to waking up one morning and he is gone, is a lot better, I've been able to prepare myself for almost 2 months now. I just don't know how I'm going to be once it's finally done. Relieved? Devistated? Crushed? Probably a combination of the three.

Watching my gorgeous baby waste away is so difficult so I know the time is coming for me to have him be in a better place, and I will be happy for him and know in my heart he is in heaven.

Still, trying to prepare for this just plain sucks.

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