Losing my buddy, Clyde

Today was a very tough day. I started off the morning by bringing Clyde to the vet for his aspirate treatment. He hasn’t been doing well of late, he’s basically stopped eating, barely drinks water and lies in bed 23+ hours a day. I had spoken to the vet yesterday to go over my concerns that Clyde had reached a point where he may not survive going under anesthesia. Before I left him at the vet, I opened up the carrier a bit and gave him a little scratch on the head, I asked the vet tech to take good care of him and left in tears.

At 10:15 am I received a phone call from the doctor. After examining him she described him as being in bad shape and that euthanasia was likely the most humane path for my cat. I had nearly brought him into the vet on Sunday evening, he wasn’t doing well but I couldn’t bear the thought of putting him down. Every day my hopes would swing back and forth based on his activity level but I knew it was getting worse. I had tried to feed him some prime rib and fish and he couldn’t even swallow it. I’m pretty certain the cancer had spread to his esophogal area. However the thought of bringing him for euthanasia was too much for me, it violates every principle one believes in. Even if it may be in his best interest. I’m not sure what to say other than I love the little guy and didn’t want to let him go and yet I know I wasn’t doing him any favors.

I’ve been torn over the last two weeks over how to handle his situation and it was taking its toll on me. I haven’t slept well, my stomach was in knots and I’m emotionally worn out over the situation. Watching him in his condition has been awful, I know he’s suffered a bit. Even when I finally agreed to euthanasia it felt awful. The vet asked if I wanted to be there and I chose not to be there. I really feel I would have been haunted by watching him pass on and as much as I wanted to be there, I chose the path of least resistance. It was my first day of work at a new job and I had already broken down a bit in the office. If I had gone to be with him at the vet I’d be a mess for days and I couldn’t pretend that somehow he had a miracle recovery and is living happily with a vet tech.

So I gave them the word and then left for a couple of hours to compose myself. I felt a bit cowardly for not being at his side but I had spent a lot of time with him the previous night in anticipation. Even though he was feeling awful, some light scratching on his back got his tail twitching happily and it brought back memories of how happy he always was to be around people. It was truly heart-breaking to see him in his current condition. In the end, I know that euthanasia was the right path.

It was only a bit over three weeks from the time of his first vet visit until he passed on, a very short period. I’m pretty sure the cancer had been festering for five years. I remember bringing him in for a check-up in 2002 and he was surprisingly, lighter than his sister Bonnie. I always attributed the weight loss to his high-energy antics but I was wrong. And when the cancer kicked back in, it did so with a vengeance. I’m pretty certain chemo would not have helped here which was my biggest concern. To put Clyde through an ordeal and put myself in financial difficulty to no good end for either of us would have been an awful decision.

In the end, I will miss my little guy so much. If you ever get the opportunity to be owned by a Bengal cat you’ll understand why. He was as much a dog as he was a cat. Clyde constantly looked for affection on his terms and had a silly way of being constantly mischievous. I remember one time holding Bonnie who hissed at me meanly and Clyde literally jumped in and attacked her to show her that she was being disrespectful to Dad. He was a special part of my life and I am thankful for having been part of his. Rest in peace, Clyde…

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