Our elderly cat died overnight.
He has been deteriorating for months, and we (mostly FWH) have been keeping him going with daily insulin injections, fluid injections, and tons of TLC. I have tried to convince him a few times that we needed to euthanize him, but FWH couldn't get to a place where he was ready and the vet said the cat was not in pain, but also that she suspected his kidneys, which was not really fixable, so....
Yesterday he took a major turn. He was struggling to walk, was dehydrated and although he got his fluids, his body seemed to not be absorbing them. He just peed them all out. He was struggling to eat, and FWH agreed that he would call the vet first thing this morning to make an appointment to put him down. We stayed up with him until after 1 and then put him in the basement on his blanket. I couldn't let him roam because I was afraid he would fall down the stairs. But when I went to get him this morning he had died. He had tried to use the litter box and just fell there. Poor guy. I have never had a pet die outside of my arms, and this little guy was the sweetest cat, so I feel extra bad. Our vet used to call him "The ambassador for the cat world" for his amazing friendliness and incredible patience with kids and other animals. We are all devastated, especially our little boy.
What does this have to do with reconciliation? Well, when I had to put his brother down 3.5 years ago, it was an emergency decision. When I got to the vet with our son, I talked to FWH on the phone and we knew we had to do it, but he chose not to leave work. He was too busy. I have no doubt he was really working, but it was because he had spent too much work time messing around with MOW. He could not get to the vet before they closed, so I had to call my mom to come and sit with our son in the waiting room while I held our cat. I felt so alone.
We have come so far. We knew this day was coming, so together we have been preparing our son for the cat's death. When we found him this morning, our son was still sleeping, so we spent some time with him before he woke up and then were able to tell him, and let him cry with both of us.
I have posted before that I am glad for having worked to reconcile, even though we are still a work in progress, and even if we don't make it in the end. I am happy that my FWH has made so many changes (in many ways, back to the person he was before the A, but much healthier, too) and that my son has the benefit of seeing two imperfect parents working together.
Lots of tears around here, but at least we are all grieving the same thing.