If I Start Crying, I May Never Stop

It was time to let Zoe go as what I wanted the most was for her not to suffer.

Posted Jan 21, 2018

© Gerri Luce
Source: © Gerri Luce

On Tuesday, January 16th, Zoe’s vet and I made the difficult decision to put her at peace.

There was something different about her that day.

Her eyes were glazed over and her fur had lost its luster.

She slept in her bed beside my desk all morning and all afternoon without stirring.

I was couldn't concentrate on my work; I kept glancing over at her and each time I studied her I was filled with fear.

Feeling the urge to hold her and bury my face in her fur, I’d pick her up now and then, interrupting her reverie and hold her tight.  As soon as I let her go, she headed straight back to her bed. I noticed an unpleasant odor emanating from her body.

The waiting room at the vet was empty.  For the first time in 16 years, I broke the rules and took

Zoe out of her carrier before we were called in and held her tight. She clung to me.

Dr. R., Zoe’s veterinarian knows her well.  He calls her “such a sweet kitty.”

He examined her and then he looked at me, solemnly.

            “If you came here with the idea of putting her to sleep today, it would be appropriate.”

He told me that she was very sick and her organs were shutting down from the kidney disease.

He explained that was what the bad smell was.

He said I could take her home, but in all likelihood, she only had was another day or two.

I nodded.  It was time.  The most important thing in the world to me was that Zoe not suffer.

They took her away to put the IV in her paw and brought her back with a purple bandage.

© Gerri Luce
Source: © Gerri Luce

“Purple,” I said.  “She’s such a brave kitty.  She’s a hero.”

They brought me a chair and a blanket to spread across my legs.

I held her in my lap while the vet put the medicine in the IV.

I stroked her fur and whispered to her how much I loved her and wlll always love her.  

Over and over again.

And so quickly, too quickly, she fell asleep.

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My apartment seems so empty without her, yet her soul wanders through the rooms.

Sitting at my desk, I feel her brush up against my pant leg.

Lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, I feel extra weight on the mattress.  I reach out to pet her, to say goodnight but she’s not there.

Working on my laptop, something prompts me to glance over to the doorway.  A shadow darts away.

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She was with me for 16 years.  Since my mother passed away.

She was 18 years old.

I am grieving for my Zoe.

As long as it takes.

© Gerri Luce
Source: © Gerri Luce