The first pet I lost

I have been reflecting a lot on past pets and how I treated them. Having only been alive for 20 years, I can say without a doubt I have had more pets than any “sane” person should have had. However, this has been due to fostering dogs. But before the zoo of dogs, I had a little cat. I had wanted a cat for a while. Luckily, for my birthday, my parents decided that I was ready for a pet. It took a long time, but finally, we found the perfect cat for our family. She was a rescue kitty who was about 4 years old. She had had her tail cut and surgically reattached. This resulted in her tail having a little hook. She was a grey and white tabby and had little white boots. She was adorable. When she first walked into the house, she was scared and hid under the china cabinet.
Seven years old me did not understand that this meant she was afraid. In my head, she was playing. I tried and tried to pull her out from under the table to no avail. My mother saw me and taught me, real quick that it is not how you treat an animal. She talked to me about allowing the pet time to adjust and told me to consider how scared she must be. Seven years old, me understood and learned really fast. Sadly, 11 years old me was a different story. See, at this time, I had never watched something die. I had never experienced the pain that comes with a loss in this way. See, my cat started to pee everywhere. She would try to make it to the litter box and fail. My parents noticed how out of character this was for her and decided it was time for the vet. Once there, we were informed that she had cancer. The vet recommended we put her down soon. He said that the cat was okay for now but that soon it would be time. I cried for days. I watched as she slowly deteriorated in front of me. She would pee herself and look at me with fear and pain. I held her and did everything possible to make her happy. However, the day was coming to put her down. I then did the one thing I think I will always regret. For the last week of her life, I pushed her away. I couldn’t handle the idea that she would not be here anymore, and to cope, I decided to act like I didn’t love her. I would play with my dog and ignore her. I still slept with her and did everything I had to do to keep her comfortable, but I tried as hard as possible to limit our time together. I couldn’t handle the pain without her. She was my best friend. She always knew exactly what to do to make me smile, and I treated her like nothing when she needed me most. She didn’t understand my pain. She didn’t understand why I was afraid to love her. She didn’t know. When she was put down, I couldn’t bear to go with her. It haunts me to this day. As of today, I try to attend every one of my pets, foster or not’s funerals. I am with them as they are put down, and I intend to always be there. If not for them, then for her. I want to be the perfect pet mom for her. I want to be better for her.

Published by Kathrine

Emergency Room Nurse spends too much time thinking, reflecting, and over-analyzing every detail of life. Hoping to one day figure it all out.

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