My household hasn't been the happiest for the past few weeks, as we went about our daily lives while trying to decide the ultimate fate of our two beloved cats. Last Thursday, we took them both to our vet to be euthanized.
Samantha has been sick with hyperthyroidism for a few years. Medicine bought her one more good year, but she's been clearly in a state of decline since late last summer.
Simon's problems came on suddenly and shockingly. It seemed as if one day he was hale and hearty as always, the next he had dropped a significant portion of his body weight. Chronic kidney failure was his diagnosis. Although he took to his new low-protein food (he always was a carb-craver), he hated his medication, and did not like it when we gave him subcutaneous injections of fluid. He hated going the vet so much (for that reason--plus the fact that he was indoors only--we stopped taking him in for shots many years ago) that follow-up appointments would have been torture for him.
So we decided to end it before they had a chance to suffer more than we could tell they already were. The vet prepped each cat with a different type of sedative, since they each had such different temperaments. Then the end came peacefully.
I adopted both cats as tiny shelter kittens when J and I were still just dating. Samantha was a friend to all who crossed our threshold. Simon's highly evolved sense of irrational fear meant that he perceived threats where there were none. So while he was a big loving baby with J and I (with the world's loudest purr), he was known for trapping real estate agents in corners and attacking visiting family in stairwells and hallways.
I don't envy anyone who has had to go through this. Five days later, I miss them and expect to see them in their regular spots. But I feel I made the right decision, and I'm glad they never suffered acutely. Most of all, I'm thankful for the nearly 15 years of memories they left me with. (Damn, here go the waterworks again.)
I know all cat owners think their cats are the best cats ever. Sorry to disappoint you, but mine were the best. Totally.