I had to have our cat put to sleep this morning. It was a surprisingly difficult day for me. I typically think I'm pretty thick-skinned, but I basically cried from 6:10, when I lifted up the cat to take him to the car...to the humane society where I took him...back home...at Jacob's day care...up until my students came into my classroom.
I've had the cat for nearly 14 years. Looking back, I'm amazed by the way my life has changed. When we got him, I was 22 years old, with 2 little boys. Daniel was about 2 1/2, and Nathan was barely 1. I lived in a different city, was married to a different man. A lot has changed since then.
He was a good cat. We named him Dingo because we thought it was kind of funny to give a cat a wild dog's name. He really was more like a dog than a cat. He wasn't standoffish at all. He'd greet you at the door when you got home and was very cuddly. After Jacob was born, he just loved Dingo, and the cat would put up with just about anything from him.
We told Jacob last night that he needed to say goodbye to Dingo because he wouldn't be here anymore. He cuddled him for a while and we took some pictures. After he went to bed, he got up a little while later and said he was sad about Dingo dying, so I went upstairs and we cuddled and talked. Such a hard thing to explain to a 5 year old. This morning, I thought maybe we'd make it out of the house without talking about the cat, but as we walked out the door, he asked, "Did Dingo die?" I told him that yes, he had. He didn't cry, but he took a stuffed animal to school with him, which is unusual for Jacob. Maybe that was his way of having some comfort.
He's been pretty sick for a while, but it is really a hard thing to decide that something's life is over. The lady at the humane society was really sweet, and I had lots of comfort from my friends. I felt silly being as sad as I was, but I sure couldn't help myself. I'm glad that other people understood. It's so good to have friends.