Losing a pet – it sounds so careless, as if I have just misplaced her or left her somewhere. I guess it is better than the more explicit words of death, a way to make it seem easier for us. All of you who have pets, I am sure, know what I am feeling.
Yesterday, I had to put down my much-adored and adorable cat Little Miss Nell, Nellie. One side of her face had been eaten away by a tumour and even though she was still eager for life and love and for food (gruesomely half of it would come out of the hole in her face) it was time. I messaged our local vet, Adnan, first thing in the morning and he said he would come after 4pm. I had one day left with her, one day to try and fit in as much love and happiness as possible. She spent almost all of it on me, purring. We sat out in the sun, we lay on the couch, and for both of us it was the best of days.
Then, four o’clock came. I held in her in my arms and Adnan put an anaesthetic in her leg. She had a little look of, “ooh I feel odd,” and within seconds she fell asleep with her head cradled in my neck. Then, we had to inject her in her heart. She twitched a little, as if in a dream. I didn’t feel her go. I thought I would because I loved her so much.
I had already decided where to bury her and prepared everything. It is an hour’s drive and she spent it on my lap, still soft and warm. I could swear she was purring. I found my spot and made a cairn of rocks over her, under a tree away from the wind. I gathered some flowers and said my prayers and goodbyes.
Then, I drove on to a deserted beach close by and went for a walk and a swim. Two men walked past me with two puppies, full of joy and at the beginning of their lives.
Life is a circle. It’s hard to remember when you are in it that that circle will close.
Nellie was the sweetest and most loving of companions. She didn’t care whether I was old, young, fat, thin, clever, stupid, ugly or beautiful. She gave her love unconditionally and I gave mine back. If you are lucky enough to still have your pet when you read this, give them some extra love today.