Posts Tagged ‘loss of a pet’

Letting Go

My family is grieving the loss of one of our beloved family members. Yesterday evening a little after 5pm, our cat, Ming, was put to sleep. My hubby, Andrew, and I were with her. Ming was 19 years old.



I brought Ming home when she was about eight weeks old. A woman I worked with at WYES found her in a store parking lot and planned to take her to the animal shelter after work. I was concerned the animal shelter would put her to sleep, so I took her home instead. I decided to name her Ming after a good friend of mine who I worked with at WYES. Ming and Barry, Jr., who was four at the time, bonded instantly. He would drag her all around the house. They were always hanging out together. I think it was hard on Ming when Barry left home and joined the military. Sometime after Barry, Jr. left home, she adopted Andrew and the two of them became pals.

Ming had been a relatively healthy cat for most of her life. When she was ten years old, she had to have one of her back legs amputated because she had cancer. She recovered quickly and adapted quite well with three legs. About two years ago, Ming started slowing down and arthritis was setting in. She was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and had to start taking medication. However, the rest of her blood work showed a healthy kitty.

About three weeks ago, she started urinating in one spot outside her litter box. It looked like she was starting to have difficulty getting in and out of it. The weekend before Thanksgiving, she seemed to slow down with her eating. By Wednesday she had not had a bowel movement, seemed uninterested in eating, and kind of lethargic. I made a vet appointment, which revealed she was dehydrated and didn’t have anything to really poop. The vet gave her fluids, and I took home some canned a/d food. She ate pretty well that day, but ended up vomiting later in the afternoon. I wasn’t overly concerned because she did that from time to time if she had to poop, which she also did that afternoon. The next couple of days she did fine. She was eating the a/d food, drinking water, and going to the bathroom normally. On Sunday, she didn’t seem to have as much of an appetite for food, but continued drinking water. By Monday, she wasn’t showing much interest in food or water so I made an appointment to bring her to the vet as soon as the office opened Tuesday morning. I had to feed her with a syringe.

Tuesday morning I texted Barry, Jr. to let him know things were not looking too good for Ming and asked him for his blessing to put her to sleep if the vet recommended it. He gave me his blessing. The vet was not ready to throw in the towel. She was dehydrated again, so we repeated fluids and decided to do some blood work to see how her kidneys and liver were functioning. I took Ming back home and made her comfortable. The next day she was like a new kitty. She ate well ALL day, drank plenty of water, followed us around wanting attention. I started to believe she just needed help getting more fluids.

Unfortunately, the results of the blood work were not good. The results showed Ming was in stage four renal failure. The vet suggested we continue with administering fluids twice a week if we wanted to try to help her make it for Barry, Jr. for when he came home for Christmas. Her next appointment would be Friday at 5:10pm. Thursday was a bad day for Ming. It was like Monday all over again. When I spoke with Barry, Jr. later that afternoon, he requested that we put Ming to sleep before he came home for Christmas. He did not want to be here when she died. He spoke to her on the phone and she mewed back. Ming was restless all Thursday evening and into Friday morning. I knew in my heart she was making the decision for us. She was asking us to let her go. I called the vet’s office Friday morning and asked the receptionist to cancel the fluids, but keep the appointment so we could put Ming to sleep. And, that is what we did. We let her go.

Andrew picked out the shroud for her to be wrapped in. We brought her body home and buried her in a spot under some trees. Although our family is mourning the loss, we are at peace because Ming is at peace. We are choosing not to focus on the last couple of weeks of her life or the sadness of putting her to sleep. However, we are choosing to focus on the joy, happiness, and love we shared with her for almost two decades. We LOVE you, Ming!

“Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.”                   ~ Melissa Marr, Ink Exchange

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