As you know if you've read previous posts, Lucky was very difficult for me to decide to euthanize. Part of me still feels guilty, like maybe I took away his life too soon. He fought until the very end, after all. Then when I look at pictures I'd taken of him a month ago compared to about a week and a half before his death, I can see his decline with my own eyes. He went from a happy cat able to do many normal cat things, to a cat that was only able to rest and wait for death. He no longer ate well with the exception of the one day he was introduced to new food, and would scarcely play with this friends any more.
That morning while I tried to give him his medicine I could also feel his heart beating very quickly, and much too hard. How could he not be in pain? His breathing was harsh even with the medicine, and honestly I had been doing something I shouldn't have- I'd been giving him a little extra medicine the last week or so. It didn't help him. Previously when I had upped the dosage of feurosemide he'd improved drastically in a short time. This time his lungs were too filled with liquid for medicine to help him any.
7/3 I called the vet around 11:30 in the morning. I asked them if they had any spaces available to take Lucky in to be euthanized after seeing him refuse to eat any canned food or dry food for the second day in a row. The amount of food he had been eating had been declining more and more each day until it had gradually become nothing. I was told to come in between 1 and 1:30. I waited until 1:30.
1:25 I walked out the door of my house with Lucky in a padded box. He used to be an outside cat, loving the outdoors most of all. As I closed the door I set his box down. Now a year ago you have to understand, he would've jumped out of the box and ran as fast as he could to climb up the nearest tree. Today he did nothing of the sort, in fact he barely looked out of the box.
I carried him the rest of the way to the car, and set him in the passenger seat. As we drove the short five minute trip to the vet, he poked his head out of the box once at a stop light. I heard his soft meow as he questioned what we were doing and why I was crying. He looked me in the eyes and tried just once to get out of the box. I gently removed his paws from the edge of the box, and he lay back down.
When we got to the vet he was most active. He stuck his head out of the box several times while I talked to the girl at the counter, paying her ahead of time for the service. He never tried too hard to get out, but kept sticking his little head out to look around.
The vet tech then walked me over to a small room, tucked off to the side. The doctors came in a few seconds later, and asked if I wanted to stay. I said yes. They picked up Lucky and told me they'd be right back, they just had to put an IV in his leg to insure that everything went smoothly and then I could have a moment with him.
After they took him I looked around the room. The ceiling had a colorful panel of the sky on top, with flowers around the edges. A picture with the "Rainbow Bridge" saying was on one wall, a small window high up on the other. Across from the leather couch I sat on was a counter top. On the counter top was a small fountain bubbling, a couple of grief pamphlets, and a few small knick-knacks. It was a very nice room, despite all of the sorrow that it surely caused.
When they brought him back in I wasn't sure what to expect. Did they already give him the medicine to put him to sleep? I'd read that when they euthanize it takes 10 or 15 minutes for the anesthetic to kick in and then that was it- but that's not the case at all. His little leg was wrapped carefully in a blue bandage with cute trains on it around the IV, just like he was a child patient being treated. I petted him and gave him one last kiss, for the last minute I was with him before the doctors came in. I told him I loved him one last time.
He flicked his tail annoyed, looking at me like I was bothering him. As weird as it may sound, it cheered me up to see his impatience towards me once last time.
When the doctor came in, I was glad to see that it was the same doctor that diagnosed him. She added more than a year to his life, it was only fitting that she would be the one to finally give him peace, rather than some stranger who had never cared for him at all. I was not able to hold him when I was asked if I wanted to.
She brought in two injections. Honestly I was too upset to remember what she said the first injection did, but the second injection is the one that does it. I pet him while she gives him the injections, feeling the fight kick back up in him one last time. About a fourth of the way through the second injection he kicked at her hand, and the guilt clouded over me once more. He was fighting for his life again. Realizing what was happening to him.
She looked at me and told me, "Sometimes they start to feel the anesthetic kicking in, and realize what's going on. Just pet him and let you know you love him."
I started petting him more, and she continued with the injection. In a matter of seconds he was gone. The injection was finished and he lay still. She took out her stethoscope and listened for just a moment. "I don't hear a heartbeat. He's gone." She said, and carefully scooped up his body to adjust him to a more careful position in the box.
Carefully she lay him down in the box and used the blanket to cover his face. She then helped me out of the building and into my car with him, and said goodbye.
I ended up driving to the next town over to bury him on my grandpa's farm. I think that is the best place for him, in the wild where he belongs. Next to many other animals who were very loved.
Euthanasia seems for all intents and purposes like the most peaceful way to die. Basically from my understanding an animal is given too much of an anesthetic so that there body just goes to sleep all at once. It was all done in a matter of a minute or less. I believe that euthanasia was a much better way to die than having your heart fail on you.
If an animal is terminally ill, why not help them live out their life the best you can until they can't go on anymore? I didn't want to make him suffer, but at the same time I didn't want to end his life too soon. The decision was a very difficult one, and I still don't know that I made the correct choice. It's done now though, and it can't be undone.