REAL LIFE: Kitty Death


This is one of those ‘you haven’t been posting, what the hell is wrong with you?’ types of posts.

I’ll be back full-throttle next week, I promise. But on Wednesday night, I had to put my little girl, who I’ve had for sixteen years, to sleep. She suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed from the neck downwards. I found her after work on Wednesday just lying in the litter box, mewing. We took her to the vet and, short of full kitty life-support, there was nothing they could do. No real chance of recovery. I didn’t want my little girl to struggle on for months or years without being able to eat, drink, or poop by herself. So.

She was eighteen years old, as far as we can figure it. Her accomplishments included silent farting, an old lady meow, and being able to drag the kitchen rug halfway across the house when her claws got stuck in it and I, unable to stop laughing, was a little slow in extricating her. She had a litter of kittens when she was about a year old, before we wound up with her. Until the last few hours of her life she was active, affectionate, and, like all cats, totally irritating. She couldn’t quite make the jump onto the bed anymore, but if she needed me at five AM she would headbutt my hand like a football player going for the touchdown and meow scratchily until I either got up, like the idiot I am, or threw something in her general direction.

She was able to purr right up until the end.

We buried her yesterday out in the woods, hopefully so deep the kids won’t find her and dig her up. We buried her favorite toys and a few treats with her, put a pile of stones over the grave to keep the wildlife away. She was buried in the sad little cardboard coffin they gave her back to me in. Apparently, there’s a company out there that specializes in making cardboard kitty coffins. Which means, somewhere, there’s a cardboard kitty coffin factory.


This is the first time I’ve ever had to put an animal to sleep. And I should add here that ‘putting to sleep’ is a very euphemistic term. What you are actually doing is killing a small creature that depends on you for food, water and affection, without its permission or comprehension. Even if it’s for the best–even if it’s necessary–it feels like betrayal.

It would be easier, I think, to kill a human being. At least a human can understand why you’re doing it. At least a human being wouldn’t purr while they’re putting the needle in.

Just letting you guys know why all’s been quiet on the western front.