My cat Khan died at home on Friday, May 15, 2015. He was 10-years-old.
He had been very ill for the past six weeks and couldn’t hold on any longer.
At around 11:30 a.m. Housemate found him curled up in his litter box.
“I’ve never seen him do this before,” he exclaimed. “Something is wrong!”
I rushed over and noticed he was shaking uncontrollably. I quickly grabbed his medical kit from the cabinet and called his name twice. No response. Even when he was sick he would respond to his name with at least a twitch from his tail.
I checked for his pulse. I thought I found it, but I was feeling my own. His was gone.
“I think Khan has died,” I exclaimed.
I reached down to pick him up. He was still warm but totally limp. He was gone.
I spread out his favourite blanket on the dining room table and set him down. I noticed he had some litter in his fur and a bit of food still on his mouth so I cleaned him up with some baby wipes.
“I’ll leave you alone for a bit,” said Housemate. “Let me know when you’re ready to take him to the vet and I’ll drive you there.”
Khan had been to the vet three times in the past six weeks.
His decline was rapid and alarming.
In early April he stopped eating his dry food and by the end I had to feed him through an oral syringe. He lost over two kilograms, became incredibly weak and eventually stopped meowing. He had had a tooth infection as well as an instance of severe hypoglycemia and I guess everything just sort of snow-balled.
I tried but failed to save him.
We now had to bring him to the vet who would, in turn, dispose of his remains.
“We will go after I have had my tea,” I told Housemate. “I just need a few more minutes with him.”
I sat with Khan and gently pet his brow as I slowly drank tea from one of the heavy Corelle mugs that Housemate’s father gave him a few months ago.
After half an hour Housemate discreetly emerged from his room to check up on me.
My cup was about one-third full and the tea still warm.
“I’m not ready to go,” I said looking down at my mug. “I’m not done my tea yet.”
When I eventually finished I wrapped Khan up in his blanket and held him close to my chest.
We drove to Hastings Veterinary Hospital where he had been the previous day. I handed him to one of the staff people who took him into the examination area out of sight to confirm, for certain, what I already knew.
I then gave Khan’s blood-glucose meter and test strips to another staff person at the front desk.
“Maybe you can give this to another pet owner who needs…” I began. At this point I broke down and cried. “That’s very generous of you” she replied.
The first staff person emerged from the back area and confirmed in the kindest possible terms that Khan was no more.
I now had to deal with the unpleasant task of his final disposal.
I was given the option of a private cremation in which I would receive Khan’s ashes, or the less expensive communal cremation where he would be cremated with more than one animal and his ashes would not be returned to me.
I opted for the second choice which cost $57.
The staff person then placed Khan, who was still wrapped in his blanket, on an examination table so I could say my final goodbye.
I noticed the blanket was a bit messed up so I gently flattened out the folds and tucked him in snugly.
I kissed him on the forehead.
“Goodbye Khan,” I said. “You were a good a cat.”