Today we had to say goodbye to our kitty, Gambit.
It is a hard thing, to lose a pet. We got the news two days ago and I was not at all prepared for my kids' reactions. I knew they would be sad, and I knew they would cry. But the depth of their pain was heartwrenching. I told them we were going to have to say goodbye to Gambit, that he was very sick and not going to get better. They begged me to find a way to save him; they suggested taking him to a differet vet, calling a surgeon, calling an ambulance, and finding medicine for him. I had to gently keep explaining that there isn't anything we could do for him; he's just old and he's going to die.
This is my kids' first experience with the death of someone close to them. It hit them so hard. As much as I am going to miss my kitty, walking my kids through this process has been the hardest part. As much as we would love to keep our children from experiencing pain, we can't. And seeing the looks on their faces as they cried and begged me to do something made me want to cry, for them as much for my own sadness. I hate that they have been hurting so much over this.
Gambit was a good cat. He was quirky, but I suppose all cats are. He liked doritos and goldfish crackers. He would dash outside every time someone opened a door, even if we'd just let him in from the pouring rain only minutes before. He refused to drink water from his water dish, preferring to drink from the bathroom faucet, but he would drink any nasty, slimy puddle water outside. In his healthy days, he was a big 17lb dude with bright green eyes and a beautiful black and gray tabby pattern. He was great with my kids, although I don't know if he ever completely forgave us for bringing them into his domain. We used to call him our dragon kitty, and joke that he let us live in his lair.
We'll miss our kitty and I hope the pain in my babies' hearts subsides quickly. It isn't an easy thing to say goodbye to a family pet. Rest in peace, little meow-meow.