Losing a parent, family member or even a friend can be a tough pill to swallow. It’s never easy. Even to this day, I still miss my mom and dad who died nine months apart.
Losing a pet can also be tough and that was the case in our home late last month.
Debbie came into the house Sunday night a week ago and told me that Houdini, one of our outdoor cats that winters in the back garage, was acting like he didn’t feel good.
“I think we are going to have to take him to the vet,” she told me as thoughts of what that was going to cost rolled through my head.
In all seriousness, no matter the cost, I wouldn’t want any pet to suffer. We didn’t know what was causing the problem.
Debbie decided to watch Houdini until Monday to see if his condition improved.
We ended up taking him to the vet in Oskaloosa. I left my day job early so we could be there for the 2:45 p.m. appointment.
At the vet, we learned that Houdini had a blocked bladder. Medical procedures and a three-day stay would be required. However, the vet was concerned with the condition of Houdini, that he might not make it through the ordeal.
It was news we didn’t want to hear.
Debbie was upset and I was upset because she was upset. My heart ached for her. I wanted to find a way to save the cat. I didn’t know what to do.
The outdoor cats and all of our animals are her babies. She takes care of them every day. I only stop in on occasion and make a run to the farm store for a big bag of cat food or a sack of horse feed.
We decided to have Houdini put down. It was tough decision, one that is never easy. But in the end, we felt it was the best plan.
“It’s nothing you did,” the vet assured us several times as we talked about what to do.
We were losing one of our best friends.
We lost our Great Pyrenees dog, Jay, in July 2019. He was so loveable and part of the family for more than half of his 16-years on this earth. I would come home from work and Jay would put one of his big paws on my foot and rub on me while I petted him all over, including his belly. He was so loveable.
Since our trip to the vet, Debbie has been talking about Houdini and how some of the other outdoor cats seem to miss him.
“He was the center of attention,” she said.
When Debbie and I first met, she had a beloved cat, Squirty. That cat was everything to her. I remember going to Debbie’s home when we were dating in 2004.
As we sat on the sofa, Squirty jumped on me and dug his claws into my knee. That hurt.
I don’t know if he was reminding me that Debbie was his or just leaving his mark on me. Squirty died in June 2007 while Debbie and I were in Branson with my parents as part of their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
I know losing Squirty was hard on her, but as with lots of things life, when someone or something dies or moves on, God brings along a simple reminder that love is everlasting.
Our indoor cat, Smokey, came to live with us in December that year and is family and one the many reasons our pets are so important to us.
Cherish the moments in life with your family and your pets.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.