Yesterday without much preparation, I had to put my cat Frinks to sleep.
I realise grieving takes time and I haven't properly processed this trauma but the devastation I feel is so incredibly painful. I know it hasn't even been twenty four hours yet but the effect of this loss tremors in me like I'm going to fall apart. I should note that I've never experienced loss or observed death. I would really like some advice, you can skip to the bottom paragraph for my problem, thank you.
We adopted Frinks when I was thirteen years old. He was a very shy kitten and would hardly play at first (a bit of a runt) but in time would become our very squishy indoor cat. Our relationship bloomed, having difficulty staying close to friends and going through puberty was challenging but he made it easier. Every teenage-girl drama I was going through, he'd bunt away the tears on my face. Once when locked out of my house, he cried endlessly at the door for me until my Dad arrived home to let me in. He was my world, my everything. Frinks was an exceptionally calm cat and incredibly trusting of me. If I were near him, he didn't fear water, loud noises or strangers typically. We were dependant on each other in a lot of ways. After all, we grew up together.
Frinks condition had worsened immensely since Sunday when he had thrown up. Throwing up was something that happened sometimes because of his medication and although unpleasant, wasn't constant. The medication was expected to lengthen his life but Sunday was different than a normal side effect. Since then he could not eat or drink, only sleep. For two days. Having hyperthyroid and asthma had effect on his body for all his life but this year was especially bad. His fur was matted, his body was feverish and all bone. He seemed so tired, on a rare occasion and out of habit he'd walk to his dish but he was never interested and would go back to bed. We took him to the vet on Tuesday after trying everything we could. He would usually bounce back by now. We waited for an analysis. The test came back that it was likely something more severe and to identify or treat it would require him to be nourished again. Unfortunately that meant him staying there over night (maybe longer) to force his feedings, water in take and place a catheter in him. The vet made it clear that this might not work to restore him and to further the tests, we'd have to be careful because of his age. The other option was to let him rest and put him to sleep. "If this was his last bit of life," I said to myself, "do I want to put him through that with no results? If he does gain one more month with me, will he be suffering during that time? Are these the memories I want us to have of each other during the end?". Ultimately, after hours of discussing it, me and mom agreed he needed peace and it should be soon. As selfishly as I wanted him one more day.
We went into the room, without a carrier. I could tell he was scared as he buried his face into my neck. We brought his bed and a blanket he liked and placed it on the table where we began to say our goodbyes. He was weak but knew we were there. They took him away for an instant to ready where they would inject him. Once back, the vet waited for us to be ready, advising us that she would only do it when we said. I would of never been ready... we sort of curled around him while he lay on his bed. I wanted to pick him up so badly but I didn't know if it would make him uncomfortable (these past few days he really seemed to like his bed). She injected him and for a moment I knew he could feel it. He raised his head slightly before slowly becoming limp. I cannot unsee this. Over and over AND over. I have no peace. He felt it. His eyes glazed as I stroked him. His body and muscles limp and warm but still radiating life that lived there. It's all I see. I watch a movie and I think of him reacting to the injection. I take a shower and I think of him lifeless. I try to sleep and I remember how he hid into my neck, trusting but fearful. We went to the vet three times that day, the last time to say goodbye. I'm haunted. I can't rest, I feel nauseous, I can't catch my breathe even when I'm not crying, my throat closes when there's food in my mouth. I can't let it go. I'm trying so hard to remember things that aren't dark and sad but I'm stuck. I have so many regrets like I should of talked to him more, held him more closely to feel my warmth. Should I have got someone to come to our house to do this? I'm broken. Even happy things, his death and the details spill over and dominate. I want to know if you kept replaying it in your head and how did you manage to cope? I fixate on his wet eyes and posture. Him going away from me and me being so distraught I can't even remember if I spoke to him. It's killing me. It was the hardest thing I'd ever have to do or see, I have no regrets making sure I was there but how do I live with it? Will it be like this always? Help?