3-legged Cat

Antonio talking with Silver

Antonio talking with Silver

“I think we should put him down,” Antonio said through sobs. “I don’t want him to be in pain.”

I never thought that I’d ever hear him say those words. This was his cat he was talking about. His Silver. I had recently written a blog post about Silver and his sister, Oreo.

A coyote had crushed Silver’s back leg. We were looking at amputation.

I put my arm around Antonio and rested my head on his. Through tears I told him how very brave he was. Jody echoed the same sentiment.

How brave it was for him to see past his own want, his own need, to the life of his beloved pet.

And, to his death.

Antonio had experienced the death of two cats and a dog. Instead of the experience being tragic he participated in a welcoming end to a precious animal’s life. All of us, Jody, Crystel, Antonio, and me cried through each of the deaths and loved our companions to their last breath. The two cats and dog were either in our arms or one or two of us were lying next to the animal. Then we buried our buddy. Each taking turns shoveling the dirt.

The Boys

The Boys

Thank you MNpets for coming to our home, always making it easy and giving us just the right amount of privacy. I believe Antonio’s experience with dying has made him able to see past his sorrow to the restfulness of a pet who will no longer have to suffer.

Jody, Antonio, and I sat on the couch reminiscing about each companion that had died. Tears rolled down our cheeks. We talked about why we made the decision we did with each animal. You knew it was time.

I told Antonio that I wasn’t sure that it was Silver’s time. Silver had continued to eat. An indication that he wanted to live. Antonio needed to talk to him. Spend time with him and see what Silver told him.

“He’ll tell you,” I said. “You guys can talk. “

We pulled out the computer and read about the quality of life for a three-legged animal. We watched YouTube videos of three-legged cats.

In preparation for amputation, Jody and I gave Silver pain and nerve medicine as well as antibiotics every 8 hours.

When Monday came, Jody and I discussed how we needed to leave work and meet at home for Silver’s noon medicine. Antonio offered to get out of school. That was a possibility. We live next door to Richfield Middle School.

Silver our 3-legged cat

Silver our 3-legged cat

Looking ahead to Silver’s recovery after amputation, we talked about complications. Medicine might be needed on a regular basis and I was scheduled to be out of town.

“I can do it,” Antonio said.

“Are you sure?” I asked. “One person has to keep Silver’s mouth open and the other has to squirt the syringe or put the pill in his mouth.”

“I can do whatever it takes,” he said with certainty.

And, you know what, I believe him.

 

 

 

 

 

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This entry was posted in death, Family, pets and tagged , , , , , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

3 thoughts on “3-legged Cat

    • Eliza,

      Thank you for being a dedicated reader of the blog. The accident happened on Friday. We’ve had a coyote loose in Richfield. Silver had bruises and bite marks. He must have fought like the devil to come home to us. He’s doing well.

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