Within the last few weeks, Mike and I noticed that our cat, Cali, had isolated herself from us. We first became aware that she was getting sick. However, when she began refusing her favorite soft cat food, we knew something was wrong. I started to keep an eye on her realizing she was not playing with us, keeping us company, or greeting us anymore. We finally decided this morning to take her to the vet.
I went in with her thinking that I would walk out with some meds that would make her feel better in a few days. What I got instead was the notification that her liver had failed and she was close to dying. My heart just cried out in disbelief. This is my cat that is only four years old, was with me when we brought our girls home from Ukraine, gave us Sumy (our other cat which is her daughter) by giving birth on my bed, sat on the porch with me, sat near me in the morning while I drank coffee and had my quiet times... Now I was being told that she was fatally ill.
I have never had to put an animal to sleep. I couldn't understand how the vet knew she was sick when she was still walking around - not eating, sleeping, drinking, or using the litterbox though. Mike and I had to put her first and think of her best interests. He asked me, "Can you sleep tonight now that you know how much pain she is going through?" No, I could not! But then, how do I tell the children? We decided to wait until they got home from school and let them say goodbye. Of course, our two oldest daughters took it very hard. It is one thing to grieve for yourself and another to watch your children grieve. There is so little that can be done to console them over a lost "family member" like her. We let them talk to her by themselves, take pictures, and say goodbye. Then we took her back to the vet for the hardest part.
Since we are selling our house, a dear friend of mine allowed us to bury Cali on her property near some water where some other animals are buried. Only God knows why he took her so soon. Only God knows where pets go after they die here. That is a question my daughters are still pondering. But I go to the words that comforted and are still comforting me... "Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the father" (Matt. 10:29). God knew Cali was leaving our home today. And He is comforting all of us through it. "Surely I am with you always..." (Matt. 28:20).