Today is the day we as a family have been dreading.
Our eight and a half year old cat Louis, or Louie as we like to call him, (he also goes by LuLu, Bibs and PittyPitty. And no, I have no clue where some of those names came from) is being put down today.
Needless to say, I can’t sleep. So I figured I would write about how incredibly horrified I feel about what I have to do today (less than 12 hours now), how much of a blessing he has been to our lives and whatever else pops into my damaged brain this early morning.
Let’s start with how I met this little gem of a guy.
I had one cat that was very old and I thought that maybe getting a kitten would perk her up enough to keep her going. So one day, on my lunch break, I decided to go to my local humane society.
I hadn’t been there in a while, and as usual they put the older cats in the displays in the front, clearly hoping that the perspective ‘forever’ parents will fall in love with the first cat they see. I was immune to their trickery that day because as I rounded the corner there he was. In a glass inclosure, amongst about five other kittens, he popped his little head out.
I didn’t even go near the glass. I immediately went to the front desk and asked if he was a girl. Obviously they said no. And then I asked if he was on hold. They also said no. It was that point that I asked to hold him, and knew he would be ours forever.
Being very partial to Siamese cats, having already owned three by this point, I was shocked that the humane society had a Siamese kitten.
That evening I took my daughter to go and meet who would be her first real love and best friend.
As luck would have it, my plan worked. Somewhat. My elderly cat lasted eight more quality months after bringing Louie home. She taught him how to be a gentleman. And how to climb up on the fridge. And the table. And the counter.
Putting her down was one of the worst days of my life. Which is why I’m dreading today.
My hubby, who is a self proclaimed ‘Dog Person’, fell in love with Louie. And vice versa. Louie loves to snuggle up on him after he comes home from work, right on his chest, and not let him move. Sometimes for hours.
If I ever wondered where Louie was, he was either with my daughter or my hubby. His people. They are in pieces today too.
Two weeks before we spayed Louie he had an ‘escapade’ with my neighbours’ purebred Siamese. The result was two beautiful boys. My neighbour and I both kept a kitten. Luka, his son, has turned out to be a very smart and spirited cat. With an attitude. Polar opposite from his father. But still a piece of him. I’m grateful for that.
Fast forward to April of last year and what we thought was a routine check up and something fishy going on with his mouth. The vet looked and saw that he had a tooth coming out and then she felt it. The mass. Something more than just loosing a little weight. We did the X-ray and found that there was definitely ‘something’ on his spleen. The vets best guess was that it was cancer, and he probably wouldn’t last three months.
The tumour that he has was causing him to loose weight, so we started feeding him around the clock wet food to see if we could get him to gain. And he did gain for a little while. We went in for regular weight checks. My vet was amazing by not charging me for these, knowing what the ultimate outcome was going to be.
He also acted like himself. Now let’s remember, this is a cat that can literally have his tail cut off and purr as you bandage him up.
*Yes, Louies tail got caught in a slammed door about four years ago and he lost the very tip. No it wasn’t a big deal. Yes, there was blood and tears. Lots of tears. But no tears were shed by the cat who continued purring the entire time and ultimately escaped and hid his cone of shame.
Needless to say for the last nine months our entire family has done absolutely everything we can to keep this cat alive. Until now.
He stopped eating regularly about two weeks ago. Going down to two meals a day. And then one meal. And then the meal needed treats in it. And now he doesn’t even want treats.
If I’m going to be truly honest, I was surprised this morning when I woke up and he was still with us.
Part of me wishes he would go at home so that I didn’t have to make the heartbreaking choice to put him down. But I know that’s a wish. And it would kill me if my nine year old found him. That’s not ok either.
I know I’m being selfish by wanting more time with him for my daughter and my husband. Because this is breaking them. And part of me wants him to go because I know he must be in pain.
Louie, you have been an amazing companion, a wonderful father and you taught a die hard ‘Dog Person’ how to be a crazy ‘CatMan’. I will forever love you.
P.S. Please say hi to Jade for me.