There are times in life where everything seems to be going right – times where you don’t have a care in the world. Then there are the times when life knocks the wind out of you and then gives you a few swift kicks while you’re down. My girlfriend and I have definitely been dealing with that lately. Having all these drastic ups and downs is pretty damn frustrating.
The latest massive letdown involves one of our cats. If you’ve been around this blog for a while you’d probably remember that I used to frequently post photos of both of our cats. So yeah, I love them to pieces. Anyone who thinks you can’t get as attached to a cat as you can to a dog has obviously never met our cats. They really are the best cats. The sad part is that I can only use present tense for one of our cats now 🙁
I first got Timmy when he was only 7 weeks old. Technically you’re normally only supposed to take kittens home when they are at least 8 weeks old, but Timmy was a special case. He was born under a garage and his mom didn’t survive. So the kitten rescue association allowed me to take him home early. As soon as they let me hold him and he tried climbing up my shirt, I was hooked.
Even though I already had our other cat for about a year at the time, Timmy quickly became my favorite. I don’t know if it’s because I had him since he was so young or if I was just pulling for the underdog. Or maybe it was because you had to work for his love while Trip always craved attention.
Over the years I just grew even closer to him. When I met my girlfriend, she immediately could tell that I played favorites. When I would get home from work Trip would be meowing at me as he circles my legs, meanwhile I’d be searching Timmy’s numerous hiding spots to check on him. I would barely acknowledge Trip until I had given Timmy some affection. Sorry Trip.
Unfortunately his timid, sensitive nature became a bigger problem than we had expected. One day he just stopped eating, likely due to some kind of emotional distress. By the time we realized he also wasn’t eating while we were sleeping or at work, it had apparently done enough damage to his organs. This led to months of feeding Timmy by hand and squirting water in his mouth with a syringe. As inconvenient as it was, we were willing to do whatever it took to help him get better. As hard as we tried though, he just got gradually worse.
Since we had been taking been taking him to the vet regularly to get checkups and to get fully hydrated, they knew us quite well. Despite this, they weren’t completely honest with us. We were led to believe that while he was sick, he was showing signs of recovery and that we were doing everything we could. Little did we know that he wasn’t eating because he was in pain. When they finally told us this, both of our hearts broke. Even though they should’ve told us that earlier, we felt so guilty for putting him through this.
So the vet did one last blood test to confirm that his liver was indeed beyond recovery and then we had to face the brutal reality. If I wasn’t so overcome by shock and grief, I would’ve been furious at the vet for not telling us that Timmy was suffering all along. It still really hurts to think about that side of the situation.
This left us with the incredibly tough decision to do what’s best for our cat and end his suffering. My selfish side wanted to ignore the vet’s advice and keep him alive as long as possible. My heart knew that wouldn’t be fair to Timmy though. He had already been through way too much.
The decision was so hard, but being with him for his final moments was beyond comparison. We tried to make his final day as enjoyable as possible, but as the time drew near it was maddening knowing that there was a countdown running on his life. Again I considered keeping him at home to try to keep him happy, but I knew I had to be strong for him. I’ll never forget that time spent saying goodbye to him and seeing his life end before my eyes as we were putting our cat down.
The really sad part is that he wasn’t even all that old. He was just too sensitive to fight through some issues. I’ll always miss him and I’ll always feel guilty for not somehow doing more to help him. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.
R.I.P. Timothy/Tim/Timmy/Tim Tim/Timmay/Mr Tim/Little D/Timbony