Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bailey R.I.P.

Last Monday I had to put my cat Bailey to sleep.  He was fifteen and a half years old, and I'd had him since he was a kitten.  He was also the first pet that was entirely mine.  His health had been slowly declining over the past year or so.  His kidneys were beginning to fail, and I found out that he had thyroid problems during his last check up several weeks ago.  The thyroid condition caused him to lose weight until he was literally skin and bones.  (Right before he died he weighed just over 5 pounds, where he weight 20 pounds or more in his prime.)
The Sunday before, he could barely walk, and he had stopped eating.  All he would do is lie down and whimper.  I took him to a great after-hours animal clinic.  (The first after-hours vet I've ever been to that didn't try to screw me over or play on my emotions to run up tests!)  They gave him a cortisone shot but told me that it wouldn't be long before his misery outweighed his quality of life.  The next morning he was even worse, and so I made the sad decision that it was time to let him go.  I called my regular vet and made an appointment for that morning, and my kindly mother volunteered to go along with me.  Everyone at my regular vet was incredibly kind and sensitive from the moment I walked in, especially the doctor.  He said Bailey's kidneys had all been shut down, and all he had left was misery.  I had planned to stay with Bailey while they put him to sleep, but the doctor convinced me not to.  He says he learned not to have that be his last memory with his own pets and has a colleague do it for him after saying his farewell.  I said goodbye to Bailey and gave him a kiss.  When I left, he was lying on a towel they put down for him, and the vet was about to give him a sedative before administering the euthanizing agent while the vet tech was gently stroking him.  Afterward, she told me that he passed quietly.
Goodbye, Buddy...
I cried when I took him to the vet, but I really broke down the next evening when I found myself fixing food for only one cat.  Bailey was a "naughty" cat, always getting into trouble and tearing things up.  But he was my much-loved little kitten, and I will miss him.