I had my cat put to sleep yesterday. She was about 16½ years old (about 82 in human years) and suffering. A recent X-ray showed that she had a tumor in her left kidney and was uremic. She wouldn’t eat or drink. I gave her fluids intravenously for a few days but that didn’t seem to help. She was growing weaker by the day and was unable to stand on her own.
The decision to euthanize her was not difficult and I’d made it a day or two prior to taking her back to the vet. After renal failure the toxins in the body build up and death eventually comes from drowning in one’s own fluids. It is not a pleasant way to die. To me the choice was obvious. To let nature take its course would have only prolonged her suffering. The vet simply gave her an overdose of an anesthetic. The end came quickly, quietly and, hopefully, painlessly. I was with her until the end. She was finally at peace.
Isn’t it strange that euthanizing an animal is considered a humane and compassionate act while providing the same option to a human is murder? People faced with a terminal condition with absolutely no hope of recovery are forced to endure their pain and anguish to the bitter end with only powerful drugs like methadone to provide them any relief from their suffering. Meanwhile, their loved ones must suffer along with them for days or weeks until the end finally comes. Our societies and religions can’t seem to embrace the idea that taking a human life can sometimes be an act of kindness and compassion.
I appreciate the words of sympathy I’ve been getting from people. My home and my life will seem a bit more empty. She will be missed and there will be an empty place in my heart. I’m sure Hooze’s life had a purpose. Maybe her purpose was to teach me patience and compassion.