I’ve written and deleted this post about four times in the past two days.
I originally wanted to share what its like to lose a pet — to make the decision that its time — and then how it affects the family. But that was overly boo-hooing and could be summed up quite succinctly: It sucks. It hurts. You cry.
And you feel weird, because you keep waiting to hear the jingle of bells from her collar when you know she’s dead. Because you startle when you walk into the garage or bathroom because her litter box is gone. Even though YOU were the one to get rid of it. Because you look at an open container of food and wonder what you’re going to do with it, because she’s not there to meow at you to feed her already.
To say that letting a pet go is “incredibly hard” is an understatement.
And there’s really not much else to say.
Except this — which I told her before we let her go:
Thank you for being our fuzzy baby before we had babies. Thank you for choosing us as the rescue shelter — for climbing into my husband’s lap, and licking his hand until you had completely stolen his heart and we had to take you home. You brilliant, fuzzy dictator. Thank you for being a perpetual lap cat, and for amusing guests with your preference for men.
Thank you for your understanding when we brought home a small, wailing, noise-making baby and for not peeing all over the place because of it. Thank you for understanding that you weren’t No.1 anymore, and for knowing that he was small and fragile, and for keeping a safe distance while being curious about him.
But thank you so very, very much for being so good with them. For coming near, giving head butts and purrs and body nudges even though you ran the risk of a pulled ear, whisker, or fur. Thank you for bearing with us, in teaching our son how to be gentle and how to give pets without ever growling, hissing, or scratching at him. (Or us for that matter.) Thank you for sitting near our daughter and letting her give you heavy pets without complaint. For letting her grab and pull on your ears, while you purred because you knew the intent behind it.
They may not remember you when they grow up. But we will. And we won’t forget.