Thursday, November 04, 2010
R.I.P. Pouncer the Wondercat, 1998-2010
When Spouse got home from work yesterday we discussed the reality of Pouncer's deteriorating condition and although he did not seem to be in pain, he was obviously distressed by the difficulty he had with breathing. He didn't eat anything yesterday and barely drank any water. He slept the entire day. Spouse & I came to the heart wrenching but mutual decision to end the distress. I was weepy on and off the rest of the night and second-guessed the decision many times.
At 9am today I brought Pouncer to the vet. I'd cried in the car but pulled myself together enough to enter the office. After signing a few forms, they explained that they would give Pouncer a sedative first, then the final shot after he was asleep. I could be present for as much or as little as I wanted.
So they gave him the sedative and left us in private. I cried as I thought about what I was doing, even though I knew it was for the best. I held him in my arms and scratched the top of his head lightly, sitting in a chair. Pouncer isn't fond of being held so he tried to get down from my lap a few times, but within just a minute or two he got drowsy and settled down. I continued scratching his head and holding him close to me. He was asleep. I could feel his breathing with my right hand under his belly and his head resting in the crook of my elbow. Suddenly a sense of peace and calm came over me. I continued to cry but not out of profound sadness, but rather, relief that he was resting comfortably.
A few minutes later the doctor and tech came in and asked if I was ready. I was afraid to speak for fear I'd burst into sobs, so I just shook my head yes. I stood up and gently laid Pouncer on the soft towel on the exam table. I blew my nose and wiped my eyes and told the doctor I didn't want to stay for the rest. I wanted to remember holding him in my arms as he slept. They were very nice and waited for me to gather myself. The doctor assured me that Pouncer was asleep and was not aware of what was going on. "But I am" I said. The doctor assured me they had done everything they could and I managed to say thank you as I left the room.
We got Pouncer in June of 1998 from an animal shelter when he was only a few weeks old. He had a wonderful life with us for more than 12 years. I'll miss the way he sat and waited for me to finish showering so he could lick the water off the glass shower door. I'll miss the way he used to sit on my chest with his front paws on my collar bone at night while we watched TV. I'll miss the way he'd come running into the kitchen anytime we opened a can, thinking it was tuna.
Goodbye, dear friend. I love you.