"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Goodbye to a good friend

Wed, 22 Aug 2007 01:09
Goodbye to a good friend

Today I had to put down my oldest cat Winston. He was 15 years old and had cancer. He was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma last August and we started chemotherapy then. I had always vowed that if he didn’t tolerate the chemo or felt sick then I would put him down.

Well, I got a really good extra year from the chemo, but today we lost the battle. Monday he didn’t eat anything except a few treats and licked some juice from his canned food. He walked slowly instead of his usual trot and his meow was weak. He has had a bad day here and there on the chemo, so I decided to give him until this morning to feel better, but inside I knew.

I have worked in veterinary medicine for almost 15 years now and have had countless clients of older and sick animals ask me “when will I know it is time?” and I always tell them, “You know [your pet] better than anyone. He/she will look at you and you will just know.” And they always tell me when that time comes that I was right and they just “knew”.

Unfortunately, knowing it is the best thing for them and that it is the right time doesn’t make it any easier. My good friend who is a veterinarian that I used to work with was there for me and Winston and I am eternally grateful. It was a very peaceful end, he purred until he was gone.

I know I am so lucky to have had been able to share my life with him, but my heart is just broken. I don’t have human children so my animals are my family. Some people don’t understand this, but I know many do.

Some of Winston’s Nicknames: he was rarely actually called ‘Winston’. Here is a partial list of his many nicknames.

Winstonian: Wiiiiin-STOOOOh-nian! This is how I would call him and he always came running in at his lopsided trot, meowing all the way. He was ALWAYS meowing!


The Stone Ranger

Dirt Cat: He was always filthy. He loved to lie in the dirt and would rarely groom, he just didn’t have time for that sort of thing. It was not uncommon for him to have leaves hanging from his hair. What can I say, he is from the 90’s grunge era.

The Urinator: Like the Terminator, only worse! He adopted us as an intact [read: not neutered] 2 year old cat. Evan after he was neutered, he never got over his bad boy past. If you put something down in his yard for 2 minutes he would mark it, hence The Urinator!

My older cat Ninjin brought Winston home 14 years ago. They were best friends. Ninjin died about a year and a half ago and Winston missed him terribly. This is how I picture them now. together again!

1 comment:

Southbaygirl said...


I just stumbled upon this-I had never read it before! Makes me cry! And I completely understand your pets being your children!!! I have a human child and I still consider my animals my children-they just have fur and walk on all fours!!!

Good luck this weekend in Napa! You'll have a blast!!