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Our beloved little cat was put to sleep this morning. I’m not sure exactly what time — between 9.15 and 10am, somewhere. Naturally, we’re all distraught. I think it was the right thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s not upsetting. It is. No one ever wants to lose a loved one.

After my post on the sixth, Caper did not eat again. She refused. There was nothing that would entice her, and nothing we could do to force her. She’d drink a little water now and again, but touched nothing else. No cream, no mince, no bacon, no fish, no cat food. She considered stealing Tigger’s cat food at one point, which was encouraging, but she decided against it, which was not.

She also refused to clean herself. Her eyes were leaking some kind of goo, and she wouldn’t wash her face. At some point she fell asleep in her litter tray, and she allowed a gob of poo to stick to her tummy for maybe two days before we realised the cause of the smell. She spent a lot of time hiding under my parents’ bed. She appreciated our cuddles, but she didn’t seek them herself — we had to find her and force cuddles on her. This wasn’t characteristic of Caper at all, a cat who enthusiastically plants herself on the lap of any and every visitor.

Basically, it seemed that Caper had given up on living. She refused to eat, clean or pursue cuddles. She was going to starve herself to death, in filth, and possibly alone. We obviously didn’t want her to die, but it seemed to be what she wanted, and we didn’t want her to suffer a long, agonising death like starvation would have been. Hence her final trip to the vet this morning.

I’ve cried a lot over the last three days. Last night I cried as I held Caper in my arms. Caper and I have had a long, long tradition in which she’s slept in my bed almost every night since I was nine. Prior to grade three camp, Caper ignored my little sister and I; as a toddler Emma had liked to pull her tail, and Caper got in the habit of avoiding us both. When I disappeared for the two nights I was at camp, Caper was deeply concerned and when I came back, she gave me lots of cuddles so I’d never be tempted to go away again. Every night, for just over seven years. But last night was going to be the very last night. Our long tradition was coming to an end.

Then this morning, I cried as I realised it was the last time I’d cuddle her ever. Of all the thousands of cuddles I’ve given her over the years, this would be the very last. I tried to make it the best cuddle I could — the cuddle of a lifetime! — but she was so thin and weak and unresponsive that it didn’t really work. And then I cried as I put her in her carry-case, for her last trip to the vet.

Luckily, we do have another cat. Tigger is much younger than Caper was, and extremely healthy. He’s also been somewhat neglected for the last week. While we tried to make Caper eat mince, Tigger got cat food. He’s not very bright, and he didn’t actually notice. He did notice that Caper was being preferred for cuddles over him, though, and often wandered around the house going “MEOOOOOOOOOOW” to try and ensure we hadn’t forgotten him. Anyway, he’s been more than happy to comfort us today. He doesn’t like cuddles (and I’ve had the scratches to prove it!), but he likes being stroked, and he likes to rub heads with people, and he likes playing games with string. That’s been really nice, having another cat to shower with affection.

So. That’s what’s happened today. For the most part, I’m quite calm — either I’ve used up all my tears, or I’m coping well, or both. I’ve even been cheerful a lot of the time. That said, I still know I’m going to miss my little cat very much, and I don’t know how long it’ll be before I’m truly over it.

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8 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry about Caper. Poor thing had a good long life with you and with lots of cuddles. And it’s good you have Tigger, and Tigger has you, to help you get through this. Hope you’re okay. Hang in there.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, but trust me, what you did this morning truly proves how much you loved her.

    I understand more or less your feelings, for exactly 9 years ago today, we did the same to our 13 year old boxer dog. It was a huge blow, of course, but we knew it was the best for her. She was blind and kept falling down the stairs all the time. It’d had been unfair and selfish to let her suffer a few more months in that state.

    Also, from what I read, she had a long and happy life at your side. She was a very lucky cat to have you as her owners.

    I hope you feel better soon, and for now, just enjoy Tigger’s company and cherish your memories of Caper. Those will never go away.

    *Hugs*

  3. Thanks, both of you. 🙂 Caper was three years older than I am, so she has lived a very long life. I have many happy memories of her, as I’m sure she did of all of us. Tigger’s making sure to keep us company. He led me on a tour of our backyard this afternoon, though it may not have been entirely selflessly motivated, because some birds kept trying to swoop us. 😛 Anyway, we’re coping.

  4. Oh no. I’m so sorry. Stories like this make me sad. They remind me of the time when my friend’s dog was put to sleep. That was a really hard time for her and probably the only time I ever saw her cry.

    I hope you’re okay…

  5. I’m so sorry about Caper. She sounds like she was a very sweet, sweet kitty. It sounds like you did the right thing so she wouldn’t suffer any more. She’s giving you mental cuddles from kitty heaven, where she eats all the bacon she wants. *hugs*

  6. Jess, I’m so sorry about Caper. It is awful when a loved pet reaches the end and, although it’s a hideous decision to have to make, you’ve made the right one.

    You will miss Caper and you’ll probably think about her a lot. My elderly cats are still in photos on the fridge and I’ll probably have a bit of a cry if we ever move from this place, as they were with me in every house and flat I’ve lived in. Grieving for pets can be hard, as it’s not something a lot of people acknowledge or understand, so give yourself time (and give Tigger those headbutts).

  7. Thank you, everyone. 🙂

  8. aww not caper..she was so cute :(. Emma told me the news in choir yesterday. I fell so sorry for you Jess.

    😥


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