Vail Perspective:Saying good-bye to cat a loving experience
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – It’s hard to watch your animals age. It’s has been and will be an interesting journey for years to come because I have had so many animals, and death is one of those things you have no control over.
My cat Wylie, who is 17, is preparing to die. She has renal failure and has stopped eating. I could hook her up to IVs, take her to the vet everyday – where they could give her medication – but these things would stress her out. Or, I can make sure she’s as comfortable as possible, being loved and cared for at home with me.
I am not advocating not taking your animals to a vet by any means, but we can choose the care for our animals at this stage of their life more than we can for the humans at this stage of life. I’ve had her at the vets enough lately to finally realize that all she really wants now is to die with dignity. I will not let her suffer, but there is no need to make her suffer more by being poked and prodded, especially when there’s really nothing they can do for her.
This hurts and the grieving process has begun. I find that all I want to do is sit with her, which is all she wants to do, all she has ever wanted to do. Even if you’re not a cat person, you would love Wylie. She has been the coolest cat ever and I’ve had a few in my lifetime.
This cat just loves. Love is all she knows. I always said, if you’re warm, she’ll sit on you, be it human or animal.
You don’t come across a cat very often who will come into the kitchen and walk around three dogs who are being fed cookies and ask for her own treat. She has always been fearless in a way of love, not being pushy or bossy.
She would stay on the couch if someone brought their dog over – oh, she might have hissed at them to let hem know that it was her couch or spot on the couch, but she never truly got angry. If she ever left the room because of the chaos in the moment, she’d be back in no time, claiming her rightful place on the couch once more, looking for someone’s lap to curl up on.
I write this in appreciation for the love of our animals. If you’ve had animals in your life, you’ve learned to love in a powerful way. They teach us about unconditional love. They teach us about tolerance. They make us laugh at their antics and cry at their discomfort. They are here to work for us and love us despite our inadequacies. If we are open to looking at the shadows in our own lives, they can help us grow by loving us more than we probably love ourselves.
I hope in your journeys with animals you take them seriously in their mission to love and help us. Allow them to do their job, which is to take your pain for you and show you how to love and laugh. Grieve them when they are dying and when they are gone, but learn to appreciate the beauty of the joy they brought to you in the time you they were with you.
I’m going to curl up with Wylie now, pet her and tell her how much I love her, for she will be gone soon. I will not have this precious moment for much longer with this precious animal that loves me. I will though, have the rest of my life to demonstrate love to everyone and everything in appreciation of the lessons of love this precious animal taught me.
Vail Valley ranch takes a European approach to promoting welfare of this keystone species