The worst day of my life was the day my cat was put to sleep. He had been diagnosed with feline lymphoma the year before, so I knew we only had a short time with him. My family and I made the decision a few days before and were trying to spend as much time with him as possible. The day came and my mom and I took him to the vet’s office, and I cried the whole way there. It took me a few minutes to collect myself enough to go inside. I couldn’t talk to anyone and when the nurse came in, I tried to wipe away the tears. She gave us a few minutes alone with him, and we said our goodbyes. When the nurse came back she asked if I wanted to hold him one last time. I couldn’t control myself and told her I didn’t. I regret that decision to this day.
For the minutes we were alone, I looked at anything to distract me, talked about things that had no significance. After my mom and I took him home, my dad and brother said their goodbyes. We buried him in the backyard garden next to my mom’s old cat. I had brought down an orange rose I had gotten for my graduation and placed it on top of the grave. I sat there for about 15 minutes and said everything I was feeling. When I went back inside I didn’t talk much and tried not to cry anymore, but it was useless.
Even though I hate remembering this day, I know that it is good for me. My cat was the best thing in my life and not having him anymore makes me realize that the love of a pet never goes away. It may be weird to say that animals love you like you love them, but I know that when my cat came and slept next to me on the couch, he wasn’t doing it just because that’s what cats do. I have a lot of great memories with my cat over his ten years, and no matter how bad I feel about not having him, I will always be able to look back at the days before he was sick.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.