Part of being a parent is helping your kids learn, grow and deal with life experiences. Sometimes the experiences they have to go through suck to watch. Yesterday, we had to put down our cat it sucked to have to do and it sucked to have to watch the boys go through.
Chip is not the first pet we have had to put down, but he’s the first pet we’ve had to put down that the boys have had a real connection with.
The last pet we put down was my 15 year old female cat, just over a year ago. The boys were sad, but she was kind of a one person type cat and that person was me. Probably because I adopted her before I was married and before I had kids. She tolerated the boys, but didn’t really connect with them. So when she she got cancer and had to be put down, they missed her being around, but putting her down didn’t affect them much emotionally.
Chip and the boys had a special connection. We adopted Chip just last year. He was our chubby, cuddly, attention mongering, jewelry stealing, food sneaking, crinkling-fish-fetching cat. He just loved to be around people and the kids loved to cuddle with him.
Chip was only 2 when we adopted him from the shelter, so we thought we had many years with him. Which is why last week when he got sick we were suddenly hit with having to think about how much we could afford to do to help him. We made the decision as a family to do everything we could since he was so young. We thought if we could fix his issue, we’d have many years with him
The past two weeks have been an emotional and very exhausting. Earlier this week, we thought we had a plan to help him continue on his recoery, but Thursday night he got a urethral blockage for the third time in a week. With the help of my friend who is a Vet Tech and the doctors she works with, we were able to make a late night plan and get him to a good vet that had emergency after hour care. The plan we came up with Thursday was to have the urgent care, empty his bladder so his kidney’s wouldn’t be strained all night. The next morning we’d transfer his records and run any additional tests, then later Friday afternoon he’d have the surgery we though would help to keep him from blocking any more.
Friday morning, when the boys woke up for school, I told them where Chip was and let them know he’d be getting his surgery later it the day, before this they didn’t know if we’d be doing the surgery. Because up until it became the only option my husband and I weren’t sure if we would be or could get the surgery. They were so happy to hear that we’d be getting the surgery because they had expressed their desire not to put him down.
Unfortunately, while running his kidney values and some blood work the doctors found out there was much more going on with Chip then we thought. The worst part was he had kidney disease and it wasn’t looking good. He was not going to have a good quality of life, even if we were able to happen to be able to solve his current medical puzzle.
So, after school my husband and I picked up the kids and had to inform them we couldn’t so the surgery and in fact he had to be put down. I had asked the vet to wait until we could bring the boys to say good bye. The were happy to have the chance to say good-bye, but sad Chip would not be able to recover from his issues.
When we arrived at the Vet we we’re given a room and Chip was brought in to see us. We all took turns cuddling and petting Chip. It was very hard to watch the boys. They each snuggled up to him and said their goodbyes. They were trying to be so strong, but eventually the tears came. In the end the boys decided not to be in the room for the final procedure.
Now we deal with the grief of losing a pet/friend. I don’t think it will really sink in until Monday when they arrive home from their long weekend. That will be the time they start to notice his absence. I can only hope to be there for them to talk to and help them grieve in the way they need to.