hanging in

July 10, 2011 |  Category:   family life

I thought I would be making that call to the vet on Monday. He didn’t eat at all on Saturday and didn’t even have a glimmer of interest in his favorite dried squid treat. Just one sniff and he would walk away. He sort of sat down at the water bowl and would take the tiniest little lap with his tongue and then just stare out into space. He had that distant look that so many of you wrote about (thank you, btw, for all your comments and stories) and didn’t really want to sit with us. The evening was hard. My brother, who is a vet and the one who got us Tobi as a kitten back in 1997, told us that if he didn’t eat through the weekend, then it might be time. He had put his own cat to sleep himself earlier this year and euthanized our family dog 6 or 7 years ago as well (probably one of the worst things we went through as a family). I wasn’t sure what I’d find in the morning, but when I woke up I didn’t have to wonder. He had jumped up on our bed and wanted to be petted, rubbing his cheeks against our hand, peering into our faces. We laid like that in bed, petting him for the longest time. “Oh, maybe he is saying goodbye”, I thought.

We got up and saw that his food remained untouched and gave him fresh food which he refused. We left early in the morning for the day, but when we came back later in the afternoon we saw that the food was eaten. All of it. We gave him more and he ate that too. He seemed a bit like his old self, plopping himself smack in the middle of the girls’ train track village while they played, standing on his hind legs to sniff at the stalks of lemongrass on the table that Mark had bought in Chinatown that day.

I don’t know what it means. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe we take it day by day. All I know is, I won’t be making that call to the vet tomorrow. Not yet.

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  • gillian July 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    i had an orange tabby that i had to say goodbye to a few summers ago. so so hard, i know exactly what you’re going through.

    the photos of toby remind me of my little one, with the little freckles on his nose and the stripes like egyptian eyeliner.

    thinking of you guys.

  • Susan July 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    So good to hear Jenna…treasure the time. I’ve only had two furry souls in my life, and the first was my cat Cuddles. He told us when it was time…

  • Anna @ D16 July 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Oh, Jenna. 🙁 I’ve been through this with several pets in the past, and it’s just so hard to suddenly feel like you can’t read the friend you’ve been so close to for so long.

    I think you’ll know when it’s time, though. As others have said, Tobi will tell you.

    Love to you. xx

  • mrsB July 11, 2011 at 12:49 am

    🙁 our 11 year old dog went through something similar in the spring of this year. Enjoy each moment and give him extra hugs…when our pets leave us there is such an absence…in our homes and in our hearts. We are fortunate that our vet makes house calls which made our loss a peaceful one (if one can say that…it was almost like a lightening of our hearts with her passing in our arms at home).

  • Bianca July 11, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Oh boy. 🙁 How pets creep into our hearts. Wishing you strength. x

  • Stéphanie July 11, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Take care and enjoy each moment!
    Courage!

  • Kitty July 11, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Oh…make the most of it.
    I’ve always played with strays or ‘daily visiting cats’ and I’ll never forget one who got extremely sick but still managed to come back to see me one last time (I thought the second last time was it). But yes they do know when it’s time…

  • Helle (Helen) July 11, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Happy to hear that there are still good days – enjoy them while you can.

  • Cristina July 11, 2011 at 6:22 am

    we have a norvegian cat found in a farm
    now he is with us from last november we love him so much
    we wish you more sweet times with Tobi
    Cristina

  • jess July 11, 2011 at 6:31 am

    take it day by day. that’s also what we do with our dog since easter. there are good days when she eats and seems totally fit. and also others. but everyday is a present. pets are somehow superheroes who make everything so much better sometimes.

  • Ana July 11, 2011 at 7:27 am

    So cute. I am sorry about the cat 🙁 so saddening.

  • katie July 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

    so sorry to hear about your cat. not sure whether it’s the same with cats and dogs, but when our family dog was diagnosed with cancer she managed to survive another year before my parents had to put her down. she stopped showing interest in her food pretty quickly after the diagnosis – although she still loved treats – so my mom pretty much tried every type of dog food there was to find one she’d eat, even if it’d only be for a week. my mom and i joked that if we barely ate like that we would be miserable, but our dog still showed much of the same “joie de vivre” she always had. best of luck getting through this.

  • Carolee July 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

    omg that is soooo sad and sweet! I’m such a cat person too but that is amazing how long the cat has gone on for. It sounds like you’re taking all the right steps… Taking these last few pictures also would be great for memories 🙁

  • Lisa July 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Jenna, my heart truly goes out to you, as I went through similar experiences with both my 17 yr. old terrier and 15 yr. old cat in the past few years. In the last days, both made a complete turnaround, almost a second-wind of sorts. My advice is to spend as much time as possible with her – I agree with what you said – I think it is their way of saying goodbye. These moments are incredibly precious – take advantage of them. She will let you know when its time.

  • Linn Maria July 11, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I lost my cat of 18 years last fall, and although we should have known she didn’t have much longer to live, it had somehow come to a point where we’d lulled ourselves into believing she would live forever. She had always been there, for half my life. I couldn’t remember, nor imagine, her not being around. Losing ones pet is almost like losing a limb, and knowing when it’s time… it takes a lot of courage and a lot of love. For however long you have Tobi around, I’m sure you guys will treasure every second of it and show him exactly how much he means to all of you – and in the end, that’s all you can do.

  • shruthi July 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Its bittersweet saying this, but i feel like if i hug the poor guy so nothing ever happens to him!

  • jodi July 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    oh, goodness. it’s always so hard to lose a pet. sending you all lots of love and strength.

    and that last photo is just the sweetest. xo

  • Isabelle July 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Oh man. That’s always hard.
    We almost lost our dog on Christmas Eve. He ate an entire loaf of bread and the packaging it came in because he’s just really smart like that.

    Thinking of you guys.
    xx

  • Sara Jensen July 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I will snuggle Tobi when we are at the house I promise. The kids have cats and are super gentle and will take good care of him. Im so sorry Jenna.

  • Juliet July 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Hugs and love to Tobi and to you guys. Hoping he is not in too much pain and that you guys will know when is the right time to say goodbye. It’s hard to know – having gone through this recently with our dog – as their guardians we don’t want them to suffer, and yet we want to give them all the time they may have left with us. Thanks for the sharing the pictures of Tobi and the girls. He is so loved.

  • Meghann July 12, 2011 at 11:55 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Dealing with an sick old pet is hard. My family has done it before, and I don’t think its ever easy. I suppose he’ll have his good days and his bad. I wish you the best.

  • katherine July 14, 2011 at 10:15 am

    our very much loved 21 year old cat died a few years ago. the last month, and especially the last days, were very hard on our family. its sad but, its a natural part of life. Little Girl is still with us in memory and we had a wonderful life together.

    My mom refused to put LG down. Some things that helped keep LG comfortable in the last days were a heating pad (they get cold after loosing a lot of weight) and eye droppers with water to keep her hydrated. She died sleeping next to my mom, very peacefully, and i imagine purring.

  • Jane July 26, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Such a hard decision to make …. to know when is the right time. It sounds so cliche but the really and truly are part of the family … before you had kids, that was your kid (if you’re like me). Give that kitty and those girls lots of extra hugs and good luck.

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