Goodbye, Toby, my sweet friend.

Today I laid to rest my beloved cat, Toby.

Typing that sentence just seems unreal. It all happened so fast. Too fast.

I knew he was terminally ill after a trip to the vet last month due to a hacking cough that revealed he had lungs filled with possible tumors and failing kidneys full of stones. I was sent home with steroids and antibiotics as a last ditch attempt to try something, which didn’t help, so I just decided to keep him comfortable, feed him his wet kidney diet food (which he LOVED) and told myself I’d know it was time when his quality of life was no longer there.

His hacking cough slowly got worse and more severe, but he was still in good spirits and active. Just last night he was chasing after a moth.

Last night, I fell asleep in the glider in the nursery with Charlie. I had a dream I had a conversation with He Who Shall Not Be Named where he told me Toby was getting worse and it was time to make the decision to put him to rest. In the dream, I cried uncontrollably, but told myself I knew it was time. (So incredible how our subconscious can often prepare us for those situations we just don’t want to face in real life. I actually had to sit and think to myself if it was truly a dream or if it happened.)

When I work up, I noticed Toby sitting quietly on the floor of Charlie’s closet instead of sitting close to the chair or trying to jump into my lap.

And I knew then. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day.

I had to take Charlie to the pediatrician this morning while He Who Shall Not Be Named ran to the office for the morning. When I was packing Charlie up, I noticed Toby laboring to breathe on our bed. He was sitting very rigid, panting with his mouth open, staring into space. When I went to pick him up and pet him, his expression didn’t change.

I had to get going with the baby, but my stomach just sank.

I was home with Charlie in an hour. I got him fed and down for a nap and went in search of Toby.

Toby had moved to under the bed, same rigid posture, same labored breathing.

I knew I couldn’t let him suffer another minute.

Everything from there just happened quickly . . . my mom came over to take Toby and me to the vet. He Who Shall Not Be Named came home to be with Charlie (who had another doctor’s appt. this afternoon that He Who Shall Not Be Named took him to alone for me).

The vet’s office fit me in with no appointment.

The vet did another x-ray to compare the progression from his last scan and confirmed things were bad. We don’t know for sure where it originated, but it looked like cancer that had metastasized and his whole body was just shutting down. He had lots of fluid and air retention from his diaphragm to his large intestine, which was making it impossible for his lungs to expand properly to breathe.

The vet confirmed what I was thinking – there was nothing more to do and it was the humane decision to go ahead and put him down.

Minutes later I was standing next to the table, petting and talking to Toby while he took his last breath. I don’t think I’ve sobbed that hard in a long, long time. Certainly the staff must be used to that. I know they don’t like that part of their job, either.

It just all happened so quickly. I was at the vet’s for all of maybe 30 minutes.

I’ve spent the day in a fog, it physically hurts. Thank goodness I have He Who Shall Not Be Named to help with Charlie. I can barely keep my swollen eyes open enough to focus on anything.

Even looking at my sweet baby Charlie doesn’t ease the pain.

I can’t even bring myself to get a photo to put in this post because I’ve been looking at his picture all day and it just got to be too much.

Add in my sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones and I don’t even know how I’m supposed to function after this.

Tate doesn’t even know and that breaks my heart even more.

I know they say this is the most humane, loving decision one can make for a pet when it’s time. But, emotionally, it kills me.

I just don’t even know what to do now without him in my life. He’s been with me my ENTIRE adult life up until now.

I’m just crushed.

Goodbye, Toby. Thank you for your years of companionship and unconditional love. You were one of a kind.

Comments

  1. Hugs to you Alison. You made the right decision and Toby is not in pain anymore. I hope your pain eases as time passes. You gave Toby a great life. Take pride in that.

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