Living With Animals: Farewell Sweet Boy
By Hope Bidegainberry on October 27, 2017
The one thing our animals don’t do very well, they don’t live long enough. Carolyn and I have been aware we’re likely not far from some very hard decisions about our aging and ill pack, but little Puccini was the one we thought would hang around. Comparatively young, the only one without health problems. We were wrong.
It started just a few days ago. Sudden, dramatic behavior changes: hiding so well that we thought he’d somehow slipped outside (which meant walking the neighborhood calling his name after turning inside out every closet and cupboard), then demanding attention (he was always the shy one, waiting his turn), and then demanding food (he was always the picky one). The yowling, circling and excessive drooling came within hours of the diagnosis (lymphoma), the palliative treatment clearly unable to touch his obvious misery.
Puccini and I sat together with one of my staff, Morgan (thank you for your compassion and your skills: both are a gift and I’m genuinely honored to work with you), who gently and professionally gave him the fatal injection. He passed quickly and peacefully.
I learned somewhere that our hearing is the last of the senses to fade so with all of my animals, and with my parents too, I’ve talked and talked as they went. So as Puccini’s breath became slow and shallow, I told him I loved him. Of course. I did. He was a sweetheart. And I apologized for being angry with him, and told him how guilty I felt for being angry, every time I found he peed just outside the litterbox. Funny, really, all that we do to make room for those we love, and how we react when they die. Some wet winter weekend soon, I imagine I will pull up the thick rubber mats I cut to size and attached to the wall and floor, I’ll sand and restain and repaint, probably replace several feet of wood molding. And I will miss him, terribly, while doing so.