I sometimes forget how fortunate we are to have euthanasia as an acceptable option. Recently, this hit home for my friend’s cat. It really got me thinking how ending life is a very precious decision.
Before this all begins to make sense, you must realize that my friend, Abby, grew up in a home where pets were not allowed indoors and very seldom were taken to the vet. Her family still cannot understand veterinary care and they always grumble at the costs (even though I’ve repeatedly explained why).
I know Abby does see the value of health care for her animals, but she cannot let go of the way she was raised. She doesn’t live on much and really does give her pets the best care she can provide (you must also realize most of her pets were farm cat drop-offs that she nursed back to life).
Not long ago her 14-year-old, 25lb gorgeous, orange Tabby became very ill.
He became lethargic, anorexic and made no attempt to get to the litter box. She knew his time was up and let him cross the rainbow bridge naturally.
I sat in my room upset and numb that I couldn’t help. She didn’t want to take him anywhere and couldn’t afford it regardless. I knew he was suffering.
Then I realized that this is how human life ends. While terminal patients are most certainly on many pain-killers, we do just let them die at their own pace. How lucky is it that in veterinary medicine, we don’t need to wait it out. We do have options.
When I realized this, I almost couldn’t be mad anymore. Sometimes we don’t have the resources and we really try out best. The orange Tabby is no longer suffering and while we do try to save them all, sometimes we just can’t.