It didn't really hit me until I got to the vet's office. As I signed off on the papers a wave of emotion swept over me. He would soon be gone. I would be leaving this building without him. This furry face would no longer wake me up or welcome me home. Part of me wanted to turn and head out of the office right then and there but that wouldn't have been the best thing for my buddy.
But I knew it was the right thing to do. He had slowed down over the last year. He dropped some weight, which was good. But soon he couldn't jump up on the furniture. It took him a while to figure out how to make smaller jumps to get where he wanted but he did.
And I was happy with that. Until about a week and a half ago I noticed he was breathing heavy all the time. Cats just don't do that. I didn't think too much of it at first. But soon it began to bother me. I knew I should take him to a vet to take a look at him. Soon I noticed that when he began to purr, it sometimes sounded like a gurgle. Again, not a good sign.
Then he stopped eating. That was the final straw. He lost was little fat was on him in a week. He layer around more than a cat would. Based on the advice of a friend, I decided to take him in once the weekend was over. I wanted a couple last days with him.
Thankfully the vet couldn't see him on Monday so I got another night. My selfishness was rewarded. I really just wanted one last morning waking up next to him. Petting him while the clock was on snooze and feeling his happiness.
The vet made things easier. He took a look at him and told me right away I was doing the right thing. He asked how long he had been like this and I told him about the breathing and how he stopped eating. The vet said that he had fluid in his lungs. They could correct that but it would only be temporary. He'd have a couple more days, maybe a week or two but he wouldn't recommend it. Again the selfish side of me wanted to do it but that part was instantly squashed. I would never have my friend back the way I wanted him. I was fine with that. I didn't want him to be in pain. As far as I could tell my cat wasn't in obvious pain though maybe the heavy breathing said otherwise.
The vet explained the process of what he would do. The first shot would basically put him out. Ten seconds after it was administered he was gone. Yes he was breathing still but he was drugged out of his gourd. He was that weak. I felt relief knowing this was over but still felt tremendously sad.
Later in the day, I found myself looking over to the couch on more than one occasion. I kept looking to where he would usually be. I knew that wasn't going to be the last of it. I was missing him badly.
Today was better but still felt sad inside. The cat was with me for 1/3 of my life. Over 2/3 of my adult life. I was used to him being there.
I miss him not sleeping on the top corner of the bed. I miss him waking me up in the morning so he could eat. I miss not hearing him crunch on his food. I miss him greeting me when I got home from work. I really miss him missing me when I was gone for a couple days. I loved how he meowed a lot like a kid telling me what he did when I was gone. It showed how much he loved me.
Rest in peace Pumpkin. Thank you for making my life happy for so many years.