Even in death, animal companions can teach us about spirituality, grace and love
What a beautiful story, it almost made me cry. You definitely know about doing the right thing - thanks for sharing.
I cried. Nice and so true... I havew weeped terribly for each of my "best little buddies..."
It makes me think, not so much of my pets, but of my parents, friends, wife. How strange and sad that we can show this compassion to our pets but not to ourselves or each other. People are in prison in the US right now for helping terminally ill, suffering, friends to end their pain. But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised: this is the same culture that limits how much morphine doctors can give terminally ill patients because they might get addicted!
I really needed to read this today, as yesterday I had to put down my 15 year old KiKi Ruth. It broke my heart, but I could not stand seeing her suffering anymore. She was always a loving cat, no matter what, and I will never stop loving her back. I was blessed that she chose me to share her life with her.
I knew you had written something about Jethro so just searched for it. I had to say goodbye to my very special little cat Tina who had been with me for just over 12 years, since she was about 5 months old. The kidney disease finally got her and it was time for her to go. I had to do what was right for her and not what I wanted, keeping her with me for as long as possible. We sat in the sun outside the vet's practice for a while before it was time for her to go. She gave my face a last rub with hers while I hugged her gently before it was time for the vet to do what he had to do. A last goodbye and thank you I think. She settled peacefully and went to a place free from pain and confusion. I will always love and miss her but I know it was the only kind thing to do. Tina was the most loving, kind and generous little cat I've ever known and very very special, always welcoming new cats into our home with open arms
She was breathing hard but I still didn't think she was dying. I sat in a chair with a broken shoulder and I couldn't drive. Her breathing got worse. I didn't understand. I thought she wanted to go outside. I got up in the middle of the night and took her outside the front door. She kept looking at me and breathing hard. Then I woke up my friend and said please we have to take her to the vet. He was sleeping and he could drive us. He was there to make sure I didn't fall trying to take care of me. I fell asleep after hours and found her dead in my back room. My brother came and we gave her a very nice funeral. That was over a year ago and I feel very terrible that she couldn't breath and had to suffer. I would have drove her if I could drive.
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.