Last year this time today, my cat of 8 years Hemingway was put down (or euthanised) because he had advanced lung cancer. People have asked me what it was like for me, to watch him and be with him when he died and I can assure you it was the most graceful and dignified course of action.
It was very sad, very heart wrenching but there was an immense beauty. My vet was incredible and I stroked him and talked to him throughout. He knew and I knew that he was loved and treasured and I think he knew that my decision was out of love.
It was honestly very special, I was filled with gratitude and I am very grateful that I was with him. My views on this will never change, I promised to love him every single day until the day he died. And I did. I did not want him to die alone. For me, it was hard, I cried and sobbed and couldn't really control my grief, he knew he was loved and valued.
If you love your pet and have no choice other to do this, being with your pet the moment of his/her passing is an incredible gift for both of you. It is an act of certainty but also an act of grace.
There is a guideline for this course of action: If there comes a time when you know that I am suffering please euthanise me. I trust that you will always make the right decision for me for I am the blood of your heart. Be with me - I want you to be my last vision.
There are still days when I accidentally call my now a year and a half cat Khaya, Hemingway and there are still many times that I compare Khaya's actions and behaviours to Hemmy's.
Khaya is a complete softie, he loves hugs and affection, he is truly an incredible little soul and he brings me great pleasure and joy. I promised myself my next cat would be nothing like Hemingway, so I could remember him fondly - but I do miss his crazy feral ways.
Somewhere (I hope) I will see him again.
Vale Hemingway, you are missed.