Balance between a dying pet and a vivacious baby

One of the hardest parts about watching Lady dying by inches is that Elanor is so full of life and is so completely unaware of the drama swirling around her.  It’s both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand I’m glad that she doesn’t have to go through the grief that Ravi and I are.  On the other, one of the hardest things about being a parent is that you don’t get to stop for something like grief…Elanor still needs her mom and wants to play and and and.

We’ve made what feels like an incredibly hard call…we’ve decided to arrange for a vet to come to our home on Friday to euthanize Lady here, in her home, surrounded by her loved ones.  Taking her to the vet, something that is traumatic under any circumstance, to put her to sleep feels incredibly unkind.  I know that given a choice, I would prefer to die surrounded by those I love and who love me in my own home rather than in the antiseptic cold hospital environment.  My mom will take Elanor out of the house for the day so that she isn’t here when Lady passes, and the vet takes her away (we’ll have her ashes returned to us) and we will have time to grieve.

What finally pushed me into forcing the decision is that Lady’s aim in the litterbox has become worse and worse..and speaking to the vet today, they said that it’s because her kidneys are producing so much urine that she can’t control it.  Soon she won’t be able to make it to the litterbox at all.  She’s also having the kind of stools that indicate that she’s developed bleeding ulcers in her stomach.  Her increased body and breath odor indicate that her toxin levels are also rising dramatically.

My kitty, once so graceful, is now stumbling over her own paws on the way to the water dish.

She may be still alive, still happy to be petted and groomed, still willing to come and share bedtime stories with Elanor, but Lady has always been graceful and fastidious, and I know that she isn’t happy.

It may be silly, but I talked over the decision with her, and I want to believe that she’s okay with it.

Meanwhile my heart breaks a little each time I see her stumble or see Elanor shriek with delight and reach for Lady, knowing she won’t understand why her friend is leaving.

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