From: Zagreb, Croatia
And then there were none....
I adopted a kitten from our school's Orphan Kitten Project in 1992. Golem was a little 6 week-old tortoise kitten who had been abandoned by her mother. Golem's sister (another tortoise female) didn't last long due to bladder and kidney issues. Golem was a very affectionate kitten, considering that she was an orphan kitten (!) and a tortoise (!!) as well. I kept her for 19 years.
She had been battling hyperthyroidism and lower urinary tract disease for more than a year. This morning I awoke to find her basically decerebrate-staring blankly at her water dish, with no interest in food or water. She was staggering around a bit and had difficulty with her balance. She had been losing some weight, but I thought that had hit a plateau and was at least stable. Old cats that chronically compensate will frequently crash and burn very quickly. They've used up their body stores and their ability to fend off fate. Golem was crashing.
I brought her in to the University this morning for humane euthanasia. I insisted that they assign a first year intern and any emergency students to the case. At least Golem could provide some 'teachable moments' for someone in her last moments on Earth. They placed a femoral catheter and brought me to a nice 'comfy' room with calm and relaxed decor. Golem looked around a bit, but I mostly just used the time to say goodbye and keep her calm.
In the end, she flinched a bit with the administration of the pentobarbitol, but then relaxed. Once again, her coat was smooth, she was relaxed and all was well. I stayed there stroking her for 20 minutes or so before she was taken. I cried a little, thinking of all that we had been through together.
They cast a paw print with a tuft of hair as a keepsake for animals euthanized at the hospital. It's a nice touch. I insisted that she be necropsied-one last opportunity for students on pathology rounds in the diagnostic lab to benefit and learn.
When my wife and I combined households, we had five cats, a dog and two birds. Now, there are none.
Prior Preparation & Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance!
A & B: WitW, WitE, WbtS, GGWaW, GGWaW2-AWD, HttR, CotA, BftB, CF
P: UV, WitP, WitP-AE