patent123
Thursday night I said farewell to my beloved Papa (senior Siamese cat).  I worked full time for a city stray animal shelter when I came a crossed him.  A police officer had just brought him in and he was a mess!

He was a bag off bones weighing in at 5lbs, his breath was HIDEOUS, his teeth were rotting, and yet he purred and howled demanding loves. I had never had a cat before they were never my go to pet.  I liked them but dogs were my go to. That night any time I walked past the in take room he would start his howling up.  Finally I relented and went in breaking rules and picking up the new guy.  His purr was so loud, he started kneading my shoulder, rubbing his head into mine, and just loving into me.  So that night I got very little work done, got covered in way to much hair, and fell in love with my first cat. 

The cat went on to be called "no name" Not because our shelter was cruel at heartless but because he was such a lost cause.  They were simply waiting for someone to come euthanize him.  That sounds cold hearted but that is how bad of shape he was in.  He couldn't eat, he was estimated to be in his late teens, and he was emaciated. Every time he saw me through the window though the howling would start up.  Every time I heard the howling I would cave and take a break from work to go see him.  Even when I was in that room to clean he would ride on my shoulder to snuggle.  It was during those moments we developed a special bond.  He never warmed up to other workers the same way there was something between us that was special. Eventually I realized his special needs and I started to syringe feed him watered down pate food. I convinced the shelter to let me take him home for $50, and our vet that works with us saw my efforts (that was 10 years ago and I was 19 then) and he offered to perform all necessary vet work to get the old man back in working order for a flat fee of $100.  It was that day I made a deal with a vet, signed papers, gave a name to a cat, and took the old man home to die. 

It was that day our journey began. Old man became Rickety Cricket AKA Papa. He ended up needing 95% of his teeth pulled, a slew of antibiotics, fluids, specialized food, and time but as promised the vet went above and beyond for only $100. As time progressed the old man gained weight and went from 5lbs to almost 10.  The vet went from estimating his age from around 17 to maybe around 10...and he started to defeat all odds! My hospice cat who I took home to die and live out his final days ended up becoming a long term companion for almost 10 years. 

Our bond stayed as strong as it did that first day.  He loved to be held like a baby wrapped in my arms.  At night he loved to be under the covers tucked into my side.  At night while watching tv if he had it his way he would curl up in your legs under the blanket! He enjoyed strolls out in the sun on his harness or sitting in the window on her perch.  He loved waking me up at night to howl for food or to get under the covers for snuggles. 

This past year though he started to decline more and we made steps to accommodate him. He started to prefer to sleep in the basement more and more. It was there we put his heated beds, space heaters, food water, boxes, and blocked it all off from the dogs, but cut holes in gates so he could come and go as he pleased.  He would continue to come upstairs for visits up until these past 3 months.  It was then that he stopped all together.  

This past month I took him in for his regular blood work.  I was told his levels looked AMAZING the best they have ever been. 2 weeks later he stopped using his box so I took him in for a steroid shot to help with his arthritis which has progressively gotten worse.  That seemed to help.  A week after that his eye filled with blood.  I took him back and was told he was partially blind now and it was likely due to high blood pressure. It was Thursday I heard a howl that I knew wasn't right.  I went to check on him and found him hunkered down with his face dipping into his water bowl. His breathing was labored and he was wobbling back and forth like he was drunk. I scooped him up hoping he was only winded. He snuggled into my arms and relaxed a bit and acted like he was going to fall asleep.  (this is what he does falls asleep in my arms) I went to put him into his hut and instead of crawling in like normal he fell over onto the floor howling gasping for breath. 

It was then I knew it really wasn't just being winded.  We chose to call the emergency vet to meet us.  I knew he wouldn't be coming home so we all as a family went in to have it confirmed.  Papa was in failure so I made the decision and held his little head as he passed. 

I'm at peace knowing he had his second chance, knowing I did everything with all the vet visits, I gave all the hugs and loves I wanted, but I still am heart broken that his little head no longer peaks around the corner. I still occasionally think I hear him talking from another room. 

I also chose to let my 6 year old daughter be present.  When our dog passed she was at daycare.  She came home to an empty house and still struggles with it today.  This time she came, she watched, and she got to be with her friend as he went.  She misses him but shes much more accepting of it.  We told her the shot makes our friend take a nap, at night god comes down and takes their spirit to animal heaven.  Our friends then wait for us until we can be with them.  She accepted this and trust that its true. She keeps her dogs ashes in her room and asked to have Papas in there to.  I told her she could so she made him some art work.  I feel for her but I'm glad I let her take part in this journey. I thought it would crush her but I see it helped her heal in a way. 

Its such an odd thing to adjust to a new routine. To not have that old friend waiting for you.  
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Ginger4256
What a wonderful story!  I am so sorry for the loss of Papa.  You loved him and did everything you could for him.  He became part of a family when everyone had given up on him.  Amazing!
Yes, I find it very hard to change the routine I came to love with my Boo.  Thank you for the story of Papa's life.  😉



Boo' s mommy
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Sil
Thank you for sharing your life journey with Papa.  We love and care deeply for our pet babies.  And, Ginger, I agree it is very difficult to adjust to a "new life" without a beloved pet.  I miss all my pets, they each brought so much joy into my life.  The last good bye hurt the most....so much pain.  But, suffering all this pain is SO worth it, they give all they have to give every single day of their lives - unconditional love, fearless loyalty, incomparable companionship not to mention all their funny and mischievous antics.  

Prayers and hugs 
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catiebee
That is a remarkable story of you and Papa. Truly amazing. I'm so glad you fell in love with him.

Yet this is the hard part. The emptiness where he's been, the heartbreak, the missing him so. I wish you much comfort and healing. I hope being here will help.
Catie
-Missing Marissa deeply
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patent123
Thank you everyone. I’ve always been a strong believer if your pets need to be put to sleep to stay with them...with that I understand it’s to painful for many. Tonight my daughter got teary and brought it up. I asked her if she regrets staying to watch? She’s only 6 but we are very open and honest with her about all things. She said no I’m glad I was rubbing his back for him and I’m happy I have that last memory of getting to say goodbye and hold him while he slept. It hit me that as horrible of a moment as it is it is a nice memory knowing you comforted someone special in their final moments....still brutal but you leave knowing you said goodbye and followed by their side.
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catiebee
Yes. It really is brutal. I think our hearts all break apart, walking through it. I am glad your daughter wanted to be there. Hopefully it's given her closure.

Wishing you fresh comfort for today.
Catie
-Missing Marissa deeply
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sds
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.  I am so very sad for your loss.  What a wonderful life you had with each other.  I hope in time your memories will comfort and cheer you.  Though right now, I imagine it is so painful to "not have your old friend waiting for you", as you say.  I, and many others here, can relate to what you are saying.  I wish you peace and comfort.  
Sharon
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