I went through with a plan today that I made months ago, and it seemed like the right solution but today I questioned myself. Should I or should I not? I hate that period of second guessing myself. I did it though, which was the right decision.
My heart felt otherwise and saddened. I tried to remain strong, but I knew good and well that when one tear falls, the waterfall of other tears will gush through with no way of stopping them and last for a bit.
My husband was already an emotional mess, so I had to keep a straight face. I did fine on the twenty-five-minute drive but the moment my car stopped, and I opened my car door, it was another story. It did not last. Onward we went, all four of us crying.
In all of my life of having cats off and on, whether it be one or two, but the last three years have been eight. Yes, eight. We had two of our choosing for years and it was great. Since we tended to be a good drop off point or neighbors in the duplexes nearby left their fur babies, which then became ours. It was when one brought her liter of three is when we realized we had a house full. We would not let them starve or be cold. Vet visits were a lot of planning and work, not forgetting the expense. Then there is feeding them.
There’s a quote that reads something like, I work hard so my pets can have a good life. True! It’s not cheap.
The next to the last one to come from who knows where, was Mouse. He stayed in our garage the last three winters. His name Mouse was due to his gray fur, which was an ugly gray as a mouse but has turned out so pretty as he aged. He is spoiled, as he had his own space with an electric blanket that surrounded his comfy bed. He was the bully, there is always one, which is why he stayed in the garage.
I have held more than a few pets upon their last breath in my lifetime. I never wanted my pets to feel alone but feel my warmth and a last hug as the Vet does his job, which was a last option due to age and/or illness. There comes a time when you say when, it’s enough. Another hard decision but loving them enough to not suffer is showing love and care.
Today was not that though, it was surrendering two cats to a no-kill shelter. I visited the shelter weeks ago to see the living conditions and ask a million questions. I know full well they will be cared for and adopted out soon, but I had no further control of caring for them once I signed the paperwork. Letting go, saying goodbye and walking out the door leaving them was as hard as a death. No more.
Still, deep within, I know they will have life yet to live with hopefully a loving family that will one day say they cannot imagine life without Elmo or Mouse. I pray that is the case for each sweet baby.
We went out to eat lunch afterwards, not in celebration, but we were hungry. Now he was fine, and I am crying at one point, as I wonder how Elmo is doing. There was no stopping the tears while waiting for our food. Again, the floodgates were open and ready to flow.
Elmo was hiding in the corner behind the dryer looking at me as I said my final goodbyes, a couple of times. I think it was a look of hate. I just wanted to pull that dryer out and grab him. Apparently, it is a popular place for newbies, the shelter lady said, which is typical for cats.
He was tired so he will get to his personal, safe pen before the shelter closes and sleep the night. Poor Elmo had anxiety and felt abandoned and already rejected by his mother. We still have her. He never grew apart from her, but she did from him, which is natural. I would see him follow her in the yard, still after three years. It is like I could hear him, “Wait mommy, don’t leave me.”
I understand the pain of abandonment and rejection, so I understood him all this time. Here I did the same. Maybe his look at me was asking, “Why? Why are you leaving me?” because even with that, I understood. I said those same words years ago myself. That’s where I lose it and become emotional. Elmo, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Forgive me.
To make sense of my decision is to know of his behavioral pattern of marking places where his mama had been, watching her every move. Plus, too many cats in our house. He needs to be in a one cat house to have the love and attention he deserves. I so hope he gets this, and I have to trust that he does and is not mistreated. We have had this crew since birth so there has been a bonding.
I have to forgive myself for this big change in our home and in his life. My heart hurts for him but I love him enough that he deserves a new home.
I deserve to have my home and to have open doors instead from keeping him from rooms, which is not fair to me or the other cats. It caused me to be upset when I would see a marking. Never major but still enough. This was a big decision and a big step. I hope he can settle after the newness of the shelter and away from his mama and that I, too, can settle from the anxiety of leaving him. I will not miss keeping a keen eye on areas and clean.
So as the nighttime rolls around now, his first night away from home in three years, wondering if he is okay and Mouse, too, I will probably do this for a while at times with regret but also having a freedom.
Grief is grief. While we expect it with death, there is still grieving when losing someone living. Today, it goes for pets, too. I love you enough, it hurts.