About a month ago, one of our two remaining cats (Dingo, brother of Fuffu, about 15 years old and under our guardianship since they were 12 weeks) was feeling under the weather and had a hard time breathing. As it turned out an x-ray revealed that he hardly had any functional lungs left. Left to himself he would die a protracted and painful death. The only treatment available was a merciful injection to help him along and make his final journey as painless and peaceful as possible.
A few weeks later it became obvious that his brother had something serious going on as well, and after repeated visits to the vet his diagnosis was no less dire than that of his late brother: a heart about to give up and cascading organ failure in general. We said our final goodbyes today and gave him release from the struggle right here at home with the help of a wonderful vet who visited us in our house.
While we knew that Fuffu was in poor health and living on borrowed time, Dingo’s condition came as a bit of a surprise. Towards the end he lost half his body weight in a matter of weeks. I think Fuffu maybe stuck it out long enough to see him off, and when that final duty was taken care of he could finally let go himself.
We have chosen not to have any children of our own, but I think we are now experiencing empty-nest syndrome. It’s a sad, sad day.