Friday, June 18, 2010
Goodbye To A Favorite Family Pet--Miss Delilah Sue Kitty
Last Friday our sixteen-year-old gray tabby, Miss Delilah Sue Kitty, died of renal failure. She’d been sick for a while and on medication in an attempt to reverse the problem. Sadly, she continued to deteriorate and was in pain, so we had her euthanized. What a sad day! Darling 2 went with Hero and me to the vet’s office to lend her support. Darling 1 called several times during the day to offer her support because she lives several hours away. Our vet is a lovely man and his primary tech is such a pet lover that all pets respond to her—people do, too. At least they made the decision and process less painful. The vet explained that giving Delilah Sue IV’s to rehydrate her would only be a temporary measure. She was so afraid of strangers, that we knew she would hate being in a pet hospital. She’d already endured too much. We opted for a quick, painless death.
This brings me to talking about pets in our lives. They become like family members, like furry children on four legs. They offer companionship and love and ask for very little in return. I believe they are sent into our lives for another reason—to teach us to deal with death. Losing a pet is hard; losing a loved one or close friend is harder.
At least for most of us. I have a friend whose husband said he no longer wanted to live when his favorite dog died. Fortunately, he finally responded to a new dog and now has a new reason to live. Another man in our town asked that he be cremated and buried in the back yard beside his favorite dog.
We buried Delilah in our back yard in a casket-like box our vet provided. I loved Delilah, but I hope to be cremated and enurned—a term we learned when my mom died and wanted to be cremated then buried in the plot beside my dad—beside my husband in a cemetery with a nice marker. I won’t be there, but I want people to know where I was.
Delilah Sue was not always a friendly cat. She loved to sit beside my keyboard to be near me when I’m writing. She also loved to sit ON the keyboard when she wanted more attention. Nothing subtle about Delilah. If she were angry, she would walk by and nip me. We used to leave her with Darling 2 when we went out of town, but it was too hard on Delilah and on Darling 2’s ankles. Darling 2 said she would rather drive out and check on Delilah at our home—it was less painful.
When Delilah was growing quite ill, Bailey and Sebastian lay on each side guarding her. The day before she died, Delilah tried to crawl under a chest to hide, so I knew she was trying to die in private. I put her in her basket under my dressing table so I could watch her all night.
We miss Delilah Sue and I think our other two cats and our dog miss her. Sebastian keeps querying me about something. I’m not fluent in catspeak, but I think he’s asking me a question about Delilah’s whereabouts. Bailey doesn’t seem to mind having Sebastian to herself. She’s quite smitten with Sebastian and seems to have forgotten that they’ve both been de-sexed. Perhaps she’s remembering the good ol’e days before her fateful trip to the vet. She’ll no doubt be slightly jealous when we get another female cat next month—Sela, an orange tabby that Darling 2 rescued. Shhhh, I haven’t explained about Sela to Hero yet.