Tag Archives: Euthanasia

Mali

I was just a toddler when I got my first cat and officially became a ‘cat person’.  Since then there has been a cat in our home except for a few brief periods when circumstances did not allow us to have pets.  Like humans, each of the 16 cats that have been a part of my family has had a unique personality.  For me, of all those cats, Mali is probably the most memorable.

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Yes, she did eventually grow into those ears!

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She was always a very easy going cat – she didn’t just ‘tolerate’ the attention she received from the children – she really seemed to enjoy it. Dramatic play was fun, especially if she got to ‘nap’.

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She also enjoyed chasing games;

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And Hide & Seek;

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Even screen time got her attention;

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But above all else she loved to snuggle;

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After all the children had gone home she would follow me around waiting for me to sit down so she could curl up on my lap.  She could be a bit demanding – impatiently sitting by my chair, meowing to let me know I was taking to long to get there.  She forced me to sit and relax and she even made doing paperwork enjoyable.

At the end of every day she would follow me upstairs, burrow under the blankets and snuggle up against me as close as she could.  The sound of her purring would lull me to sleep.  However, this past summer she stopped coming to bed at night – instead she would stand guard at the bottom of the stairs to prevent Button (aka Monkey-Butt) from following.

Malta had begun to accept Button’s presence in the house and at times even seemed to enjoy their chasing games.  Mali’s dislike for the interloper had only increased and was sometimes almost an obsession – hunting and attacking the little cat whenever she could.

Mali continued to run to sit on my lap when I sat down but she often struggled to get comfortable.  She was unusually tense and rarely able to fully relax. Every noise or movement startled her – even sometimes when I would pet her. The vet prescribed some anxiety medication but it didn’t seem to help.

Then Mali began having seizures – most were very small but a couple of them rendered her unable to walk for half an hour.  Her mournful howl at the onset of each seizure was heart-wrenching.  The vet prescribed more medication but warned me that if the seizures were caused by a brain tumor the medication wouldn’t help.  The brain tumor could only be confirmed with an MRI and if we wanted that we would have to take her to the veterinary college in Saskatchewan.

The seizure meds made her drowsy – I had to wake her to give them to her and then she would sleep again.  She had to be coaxed to eat even a few pieces of food and rarely moved on her own.  I decided that I should make one last vet appointment for her 😦  Sadly, before I could take her to her to that appointment she had another seizure and we rushed her to the emergency veterinary hospital. She lay on my lap for the entire 40 minute trip – no noise or movement other than her laboured breathing. RIP Mali, I will miss you.

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May 20, 2006 – November 19, 2017

 

 

Mindy

It was the spring of 2000 when we made the decision to get a puppy.  We had always had cats but now that we lived in a house with a yard we thought it might be nice to have a dog too.

As we stood looking at the group of puppies excitedly bouncing around us the farmer asked if we preferred a long haired or short haired one.  Their mom was a husky/collie cross and their father was a german shepherd.  The pups were all very different.

‘Long haired’ I answered.  I envisioned the dog spending much of its time outdoors and I felt a thick coat would help protect it from harsh weather.  It wasn’t long before I realized that this wouldn’t happen.  Mindy was rarely outside unless we were outside – she was always with us.

When she first joined our family she wasn’t much bigger than our cats.

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She quickly became part of all our daily activities and she loved all the attention she got from the children who attended my childcare home;

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She was never particularly fond of the parents who kept coming and taking her children away – she was very protective of her pack and even shared her toys with toddlers;

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“Let’s go give Mindy a treat” was the cure-all for any child who experienced separation anxiety.  The chewed door frames in the above picture were a result of Mindy’s separation anxiety when we tried to leave her home alone.

Although often still referred to as ‘The Puppy” she was really quite old.  She had cataracts which limited her vision.  Two years ago she lost her hearing.  Long walks were impossible – some days even short ones were hard for her.  Last winter we had to keep going outside to rescue her – she could go down the stairs but then couldn’t get back up.

For the last few years she has had limited interaction with the younger children.  She still enjoyed their company but she was easily startled because she couldn’t hear them coming.  The sunroom was her space where she could get uninterrupted rest but she could also come to the gate to visit the children when she chose to.

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Last evening we took her for her final car ride.  She had spent the last few days visiting her favourite parks and eating some very special meals.  We had planned a family walk with her in the field across from the vet clinic but she didn’t have the strength.  We carried her in to the office.

I though I was prepared but saying good-bye was harder than I anticipated.  The silence that greeted me when I came downstairs this morning was worse.  We’ll miss you Mindy.

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April 15, 2000 – October 29, 2014