For several days, Jana has been dealing with a very sick cat. Asti is 14 years old, and is suffering from several infections. She's been in the "hospital for three for four days.
Today the end came for poor Asti, and Jana had to step up and make that decision - always a tough challenge. This is the email she just sent to the family:
The End of the Story
During yesterday's visit, Asti was chipper and affectionate, purry and adventurous and talkative. I was with her for about 2 1/2 hours, and then she kinda hit the wall and got real sleepy so they hooked her IV back up and I was planning to come back at 10 this morning.
But everything changed when she came in the room. Her breathing was labored, and she didn't acknowledge my presence even after they left us alone. Dr. Tan came in and said the evening tech had called her last night to say she was drooling a lot and having trouble breathing, so Dr. Tan had them remove the IV because it sounded like the lungs were full of fluid.
She left me alone to spend some time with her, but the way she was heaving for each breath, honestly I just wanted it to be over quickly. She didn't want to be held, she didn't respond to being touched. A completely different cat than she was yesterday (and I am so glad we had yesterday!).
The actual mechanics of the thing were fast and peaceful. I had one tiny sob, but I held it together. Dr. Tan was as comforting as her brisk, efficient manner allows her to be. As soon as it was done, Asti felt different under my hand. It was unambiguous that the thing that made her Asti was no longer there, and now it was the body of a dead cat. So when Dr. Tan asked if I wanted to be alone with her for a while, I said no thank you.
Blendi texted to see how I was holding up. I told him "I feel numb. I feel like a different person, like there is a before I went through this me, and an after me. I feel old, and tired, and empty and sad. But no guilt or regrets."
I think that's as good as can be expected.