Monday, 27 April 2015

Time to say goodbye

My heart is heavy as I write this post, it's the one I've been dreading for several months.  After watching Cameron carefully for a while, and making it through a particularly rough night on Saturday, I've decided it's time to let him go.  He has lost a lot of weight, appears to be in a moderate amount of pain, and his appetite has dipped to a point where it is difficult to get him to eat enough wet food to take his medication.  I've also hit my breaking point, where it's become too much to come home to such a sick animal everyday after being stressed out at work all day (did I mention I lost my shit in a staff meeting last week?  Yeah.  Super professional.).  It's time to make that difficult phone call to the vet to make arrangements to have him put to sleep before things get out of control.  It's going to be the hardest phone call I've ever made.

I won't regale you with endless stories of why my cat is the bestest cat in the universe (I've probably already done that), but I do want to share one reason why I love Cameron so much.  I've gone through two major depressive episodes in my life.  The second was the worse of the two and took place when I was 24.  I didn't know how bad my situation was at the time, but it's quite clear in hindsight that I should have gotten help far sooner than I did.  I went to bed after my final recital at school and basically didn't get up for 2 months.  I stopped eating, skipped rehearsals, lessons, and classes, and spent most of my time hating myself for no apparent reason.  I also had a few scary nights where I felt like I wasn't present in my own body; I floated around my tiny basement apartment, watching my physical self from across the room.  During one of these episodes, I took all my painkillers and allergy pills out of their bottles, laying them out on the bathroom counter in an organized manner.  I looked at them calmly, trying to decide if they would be enough to kill me if I took them all at the same time.  Should I get more?  The pharmacy was just around the corner, and the liquor store was down the street.  I could get more pills and something to wash it all down.  I was considering all of this carefully when Cameron wandered into the bathroom.  I had adopted him the year before from a local animal shelter.  I brought him home with the intention of taking care of him as best I could; he deserved to have a great life.  It occurred to me that if I checked out, I wouldn't be doing what I pledged to do when I signed those adoption papers.  He needed me.  Clearly, I needed him too.  I put the pills away, and we went to bed.  I made an appointment with my family doctor soon after and started the slow climb out of that dark hole.

Cameron has been in the right place at the right time on a number of occasions, but that was his most important save.  He has no idea how vital his presence has been in my life.  I'll miss him so much but am grateful to have shared part of my life with such a lovely animal.  He really is the bestest cat.


  1. Hi Jen thanks for sharing this and such positive things about Cameron I understand you're making the best decisionfor him at this time I am thinking of you

  2. Oh Jennifer this is such a hard thing. I get it. I still tear up when I think of my dog murph and that same decision.

  3. my thoughts are with you and Cameron. And a big hug. Luanne xo

  4. A last, hard task to complete your pledge to Cameron. Wishing you both continued grace and kindness.