Today was hard. Though somehow in my gut I knew this was what was going to happen, I didn’t want to believe it. All my life I have grown up around animals and even when moving out, I had gotten my own. Through all those pets, I never once was around them when they passed, either because they had left the house or I just wasn’t around.
When I was 21, I had gotten Chino, a cappuccino, long haired Ragdoll cat that was so beautiful. When Chino was about a year and a half, I had somewhat taken in another kitten whom I called, Leroy, that I had found outside meowing in the freezing rain. They grew up together and my kids have had them their entire lives. Last year towards the end of summer I had to put Leroy down due to kidney failure and unfortunately today I had to put Chino down for the same disease.
Luckily for me, when Leroy had passed, out of the blue I told my daughter that he was going to Kitty City, a place where all cats went to go and have parties, dance and play all day and all night with their friends. It was the place to be for cats and I also made sure she knew that I wished I could go because it was so fun but it was only for cats who were sick. It worked! She was happy he was having so much fun and though wanted to visit him, it was important to her more-so that he was not in pain while there.
When I woke up today after seeing Chino had not eaten for two days in a row after giving him every option in the book that wouldn’t kill him, I realized that he needed to go to the vets. He started to only drink the water that was outside on the balcony which was basically a small puddle of dirty water so I replaced that with a bowl of clean water to sit outside. He started to hide yet also wanted to sit on me all the time. This was unusual for him because he is a very “screw you” type cat; he likes to be on his own. The meowing and the lack of eating, not to mention any noises made such as me typing on the computer, he would get scared and start to twitch.
When I got home this evening, he had still ate nothing and there was a tiny bit of urine in the litter. I sat down with Kinsley and said,
“Kinsley, what do you think about Chino going to see Leroy in Kitty City? He is quite sick and in pain and really misses Leroy. What would you say if he went to go see him?” I asked her.
She asked me a few questions to confirm what Kitty City in fact was and then told me it was OK but she wanted him to visit.
“You know, Kitty City is so fun that when the cats go up there, they never want to come back down because it’s so fun up there. But you never know….if they stop having so much fun one day, he might come and visit.” I assure her.
So we went to the vets. I let him out the cage this time on the way there as I didn’t want him caged up before he was going to be put to sleep, plus the kids were in the back to comfort him. I thought I could avoid crying until I got home but when I look back to see him sitting in between the kids, the tears started to flow. I was taking my first and last cat and was about to get someone to end his life. Trying to talk to the kids during the ride was hard – my voice crackling and low.
While the vets were prepping Chino with the IV, Kinsley proceeded with more questions. I continued to reassure her that it was in the best interest of Chino to go up to see Leroy.
Are we going to see him float up to Kitty City?
How fast will he go?
Will it hurt him?
Can we go visit him?
Do dogs go to the same place when they die?
Is he coming home with us after?
The questions didn’t stop but I gladly answered them all.
Though his body would stay on Earth, his soul that inside me which she cannot see will leave his body and enter the world that humans cannot see – it’s a magical place.
He might go fast but no one really knows exactly.
He will not be in any pain.
We cannot visit him but his soul will visit us.
Dogs hang out at Doggy Daycare which is just like Kitty City.
He is not coming home with us. They will take his body where they took Leroy’s and burry it.
“Bury it?” She asks with a confused look on her face.
“No, sorry, I meant to say that they place it with Leroys so they can be side by side.” I told her. Thanking my quick wit to get me out of that mistake I had just made.
As the vet gives Chino the meds, I can’t help but just cry and cry. I tried to do what I could do shield her from any pain she might feel seeing me cry but she was a trooper and even laughed at me crying once.
“Mom, why are you crying?” she asked while laughing at me.
“Oh, ouch! Every time I move, my leg hurts so much that it’s making me cry.” I tell her.
When he passed in my arms, I was saddened that I lost the longest and last animal companion that I would ever have again. He was my first that I was able to keep his entire life and the last that would leave me.
It took a couple of minutes after he passed for her to ask when he will die. When I told her he was already gone, she looked into his eyes and said, “But Mommy, he looks alive. His eyes are still opened.” So I explained in the best way possible for a 6 year old. She then proceeded to tell me that when she dies at 102 years old, she wants her eyes to be open. I think maybe she believes that you’ll still be able to see when you’re dead if you eyes remain open. Ooooh what a doll.
After about 30 minutes of sitting with him, we decide to leave. This vet has a weird way in terms of their process as I was thinking someone would come in to take them but nope, we just left when we wanted to and then had to pay. I didn’t want to leave his body in there all alone but I was trying to be as strong as I could and honestly, there were almost no more tears left – they had all drained out of my system from the drive there through the whole process. As I went to close the door, she told me to wait, opened the door, leaned over to give him a kiss and as she left the room, she waved to him and yelled,
“Bye Chino, have fun up there with Leroy! Have lots of fun!”
Now I sit at home in silence; kids are asleep and all I hear are the cars from the highway, the wind behind me and my fingers typing on the keyboard. There’s no more litter sitting across form me, no more meows and no cat to try and wrestle his way on my lap. I miss him but mostly, I am so happy he’s back with his buddy and no longer suffering.