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Saying goodbye to a pet....this time, it was for real

So, a few weeks ago I took a break from blogging.

The week before that we were on vacation.

Well two days before we left for vacation, we had to put our 14 year old cat/friend/brother to sleep.

How to say goodbye to a pet


It was heartbraking.

It was an easy decision that was made by the vet.

It came down to quality of life, and life was a matter of days.

It was a relief.

This is how it played out:

I picked the girls up from their playdate and took them home and told them Sampson was very sick and he wasn't coming back from the vet. They've known for months he wasn't a healthy cat. For years we called Sampson "Fat Cat" but he hasn't been fat for about a year. They asked if he was dying. I said yes.

Then I explained what the vet had said, and that it would be best to put him to sleep where he would not feel sick, and not have any pain. Then I had to tell them we were driving there that night to do it.


The Mister drove to meet us but hit traffic. I called the vet and they said they would stay open as late as we needed them to. I headed off to the vet what I thought would be perfect timing but no, DC traffic never makes it easy. We had to wait for my husband to get there. Waiting and waiting and waiting....the girls lost it.

Then, he got there. And we went into a private room and got to say our goodbyes.

This was hard for the girls, but surreal.

What do you say? How long do you hold him?

How. Do. You. Say. Goodbye?

The girls were in tears.

I was detached. I didn't feel sad. I just felt empty.

My husband too was sad, but calm, and just dealing with it.

We both have had to do this before.

We both have had to say goodbye to people who were very close to us....our fathers.

Once you've had to find the words to say goodbye someone you love, to someone very close to you, to someone who will never see your children grow up or be there to give you important advice, and hug you when you think you've totally screwed up as a parent... saying it to a cat seems, well, easy.

That may seem harsh, but I just couldn't go there.

Not after where I've been.

Not yet.

But I had to BE there for my girls. And we did it. Together, as a family, we said goodbye.

And I'm so proud of them, and proud of us for how we did it.

Death is part of life, and everyone deals with it differently.

And that's ok.

The important thing is to deal with it.

And a week later, after we came home from vacation, I missed Sampson and I cried.

I finally said goodbye.


Reader Comments (5)

I'm so sorry. Such a sweet kitty. It's so tough kids, but a sad part of growing up. I linked the photos i took when i visited, should be visible to all. let me know if it isn't.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlinda

thanks Linda! If anyone wants to see the photos click on Linda's name and you'll see link to the photos listed as her website.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanine Nickel

I'm so sorry. For all of it.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStimey

I am so sorry for your loss. We had to put one of our cats to sleep a month ago. My two oldest children wanted to be present, so I let them. It was hearbreaking, but they were able to have closure. It also gave me an opportunity to discuss our family's beliefs on death and God. Thank-you for sharing your story and the beautiful pictures.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda C

Aw - thanks Jean, thanks Amanda!
It hit me but then it was over quickly. Now I'm used to it and happy that I'm not using an entire roll of paper towels each day picking up his throw up and poop all over the house. He's got to be in a better place!

July 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterJanine Nickel

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