The Last Ride

He always hated going to the vets.  He would start howling as soon as he was put into the carrier and continue for the 40 minute ride to the vet’s office.  He would more times than not get himself sick inside his carrier.  On the way home there would be quiet as if nothing happened.

Well, yesterday Archie took his last ride.  No more will he have to go where he doesn’t want to.  No more laser treatments and shots to help his “arthur”.  He is at peace.

It all started on Friday.  When I got up he wasn’t on his chair.  In fact, I couldn’t find him.  I finally did see him behind Kathy’s quilt frame just huddled in the corner.  I didn’t really think too much about it.  I fed the other two cats and brought his food in to him.  He wasn’t interested.  He only had one or two small nibbles.  This I did think was unusual coming from a cat who enjoyed eating.  I didn’t know then that this would be the last time he ate.  He had no food Saturday or Sunday.

He also had no interest in water.  Over the last several months he had lost nearly 3 pounds even though he ate regularly.  The cancerous growth on his adrenal gland was taking its toll.  At times he would just zone out not really being aware of where he was or what was going on around him.

Saturday afternoon he took off for the bedroom just to be alone.  He was not in any pain and still enjoyed ahead rub.  The purrs, however, were few and far between.  Kathy and I knew we had to do something.  We decided to call the vet first thing Monday morning.  We knew in our hearts that he wouldn’t be coming home.

That last ride was long.  I think subconsciously I drove a bit slower just to give him more time.  At the vet’s it was about a half hour from the time we took him to the examining room until the vet came in.  This gave us more time with him. After his examination the vet told us there were some meds we could try, but it wouldn’t really change the outcome.  We knew that going in and were prepared to say “Good Bye”.  It was hard signing the paper.  It was his death warrant.  With shaking hand I signed thinking, “What am I doing?  I consented to end his life.”

I did not want him to suffer and just get worse. I had to do what was right for him, not for us.  Being a pet owner means putting the welfare and needs of our pets before our own wants.  It is a responsibility that we take on as pet owners.  That doesn’t make it any easier.  One shot and 5 seconds later our beloved Archie was gone.  I know that St. Francis helped him cross the bridge where he is with Priscilla, Allison, and K.C. They are waiting for us and we will see them again.

Archie crossed Rainbow Bridge at 11:30 yesterday morning.  Archie, we love you and miss you.  You will always have a special place in our hearts.

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I apologize for the tone of this post.  I was going to write about the joy Archie brought brought into our lives but this came out instead.  I guess I just had to write this.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “The Last Ride

  1. Tears are flowing down my face as I write this reply. What a handsome cat! You know that I can relate to your story…and I am so very sorry for your loss. You are right in us having to be responsible and think of our pet’s life instead of our own…but it does not make things easier. I like how you said that St. Francis helped him cross the bridge. (My favorite: St. Francis…my favorite prayer…Prayer of St. Francis.) No apology needed for the tone of your post….that is what was needed to be expressed. Archie was a lucky kitty and knew the love of his two wonderful fur parents. My thoughts are with you and Kathy. Jackie

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. You let us know that Archie was very loved, even down to the decision you made to make him comfortable at the very end. Thanks for sharing this story with us.
    Linda

  3. Sad to know Archie went for his last ride. He was well loved, and loved well, I can tell from your words. This is the hard part of being a pet owner… thankfully there is a lot of joy, too. You can write about that another day. This was needed today.

  4. macrush53

    Your post shows the love and care you gave Archie. I am sorry for your loss. And you are right sometimes it sucks being an adult. You spoke what was really in your heart. There will be a day to write about the joy he brought your family.

  5. I was not expecting this when I clicked over to your blog, but I am so glad that you wrote it. Sometimes it just has to be written like this one was so beautifully and heartbreakingly done. I felt like I was right there with you and feeling your sadness and courage for Archie. He is lucky to have had you in his furry life.

  6. Tears. So sorry. We love our pets so much and we have to do what is best, for them, even though it hurts us. Glad you could share what you needed to today. Tears for you and Archie.

  7. What a heart felt post! I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets definitely become part of our families and it is so hard to say good-bye to them. You captured what so many of us have felt. I agree with the comment above–no apologies needed for this post at all! It was a lovely tribute to your cat.

  8. Lynn

    so sorry . . . and please don’t apologize for writing what made you so very sad. Now think of all the reasons he made your life pure joy . . . I hope that helps a bit.

  9. I received your comment, Bob. I think I must have something set up strangely on that travel blog. Still keeping you and Kathy in my thoughts.

  10. This is such a wonderful post about a sweet kitty that you always will love. Many of us have experienced the same gut wrenching pain of that last drive. Our vet told us that our kitty would let us know when it was time. She did..and said her goodbyes to all of us at our house. The interesting thing was that for all of her years she was a one girl cat, my daughter’s, but in the end she loved us all and let us know it. Thank you for writing your story. xo

  11. bigtimeliteracy

    So sorry for your loss, and no need to apologize….we all have moments like this when we need to convey stories like this.
    This reminds us all that we are not alone – that all of us who have furry children understand the responsibilities that come along with them. Your story reminds me of my pup who passed away last year, but I’m remembering all the happy moments jumping in the pool and playing catch. These kind of memories with Archie will come in time, too.
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    Michelle

  12. Bob, my heart breaks for your loss of sweet Archie. I know the feeling of taking your pet to the vet and knowing he won’t come home with you. Your post was a perfect tribute to him.

  13. I just wrote such a post a few weeks ago, and it was for my daughter’s family’s cat. I went with my daughter and her husband stayed home with the young children. You’re right, it sucks to have to make such decisions. You wrote with love and care, that’s all that counts. Archie is a beauty!

  14. Judy C.

    Several years ago I had to take our cat, Fuzzy, for his last ride. I knew when I left the house that I wouldn’t be bringing him home. It was about him (not us). We did not want him to suffer, although it was very difficult when I signed the paper. I am so sorry for your loss, but you have many wonderful memories of the joy that Archie brought to your lives. Yes, it does suck to be an adult!

  15. I have never had to make this kind of decision, but I am sure it was quite difficult. I have enjoyed reading your stories about him – especially those with surprise endings. I am sure he will be missed!

  16. I am so sorry for your loss. You write what matters to you, and you know it matters to your readers too.

  17. I just read this today. It is such a hard decision and nothing anyone can say can make you feel better.

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