Four years ago today I made the decision that our incredible cat Duke should be put down and I have been haunted by it ever since. I think back to what I could have nay should have done for Duke and can only hang my head in shame.
That evening of his passing I sat at this computer and wrote down what I was feeling. It was a torrent of unfettered emotion that I did not feel comfortable posting at the time. But on this anniversary of his death I feel that I must share it.
Please remember that what you are about to read was written four years ago during a period of intense sadness. It has not been edited in any way.
Today, Sunday March 5, 2017, the kindest cat in the world had to be put down and it was my fault.
Duke had been on an e-tube since Tuesday and we were forced to feed him blended food and drugs through syringes 3 times a day. He wouldn't eat on his own barely drink and barely moved. Today we had decided to not administer his painkillers to see how he would react and we had two incidents. First his respiratory rate became a bit erratic. Second he had another very liquid bowel movement and proceeded to step in it and then shake it all over the bathroom.
We took him to the vet and we finally had a doctor suggest to us that euthanasia was an option. No other doctor had suggested it to us until today. Elsie and I had talked about this eventuality before so when this doctor brought it up we decided that it was time.
However I was lying to myself. I didn't want to euthanize him because I thought he was suffering and shouldn't live in pain anymore. I euthanized him because I just couldn't take care of him any more. I couldn't leave him alone and more for fear of him having another bowel movement and tracking it all over the house. That was why I decided to euthanize him and it will haunt me.
When they brought him in to be euthanized he was still alert and moving around. You could tell he did not want to be there. He just wanted to get away and continue living. He even tore out his IV and bled all over Elsie's leg. I had to hold him down when they administered the drugs because he just wanted out. I murdered one of the most innocent creatures I have ever known. I should have done more to save Duke. I should have tried harder. But now he is gone and there is nothing more to do.
When he died I picked him up and put him on a blanket that they carried him in and he was so limp and light. That was the last time I got to hold that little bundle of fur because I am a horrible human being who could not fight for someone else.
I am so sorry Duke. You deserved so much more than what you got. You gave me nothing but love and I couldn't return it.
Some people will read this and think I am too hard on myself. Perhaps they are right but that doesn't make what I did any less wrong. I should have tried harder. I should have fought like Duke did. I should have stood up to that fucking emotionless rock of a doctor who put in that god forsaken e-tube. That apathetic troll who charged an arm and a leg for something that wasn't god damn necessary.
I could have paid more to keep Duke in the hospital and cared for by professionals. I could have taken time off work to watch over him and feed him his food. I could have done any number of things to help that gentle, loving kitty spend more time on this planet but instead I quit. For that I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive myself.
The unconditional love of an animal is something truly special. I'm sorry I let you down Duke.