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Posted on 2009.05.28 at 20:00
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Sinéad O'Connor - Universal Mother

Mléko was by no means a small cat. Tipping the scales at something like 25lbs. she had an enormity of presence which had everything to do with size. When we lived in NJ she would sit in a cardboard filebox lid, filling it to capacity; looking very much like the fatted hen sitting on an egg. "Cat in a Box" it was marked. She would sit in it every evening watching my wife and I watch TV. It was both humorous and unnerving.

Nor was Mléko a bold cat. Of the few times she actually made it out the front door of our apartment, she would "freeze" two steps out - not knowing what to do with her new found freedom. She rode with me in the big yellow moving van when we relocated to Texas and set up in our little pink house.

Mléko was a superstitious cat. There was one edge of a doorway between the kitchen and the hallway that Mléko loved to rub up against. She rubbed up against it so much it turned white. My wife found a self-adhesive 'brush' contraption that you could fill with catnip and apply to the corner. She thought it was the devil and never went near that corner again.

Mléko was not an outgoing cat. She didn't like people much, but when I had to relocate the cats temporarily when we sold our home, celtmanx took her in...then decided not to give her back. They were two peas in a pod, those two. Due to a series of hysterical, yet unfortunate events for celtmanx, we reacquired Mléko November last year and she reintegrated flawlessly. It was good to get her back.

I've lived a pretty insulated life considering that having Mléko put down was one of the more painful things I've had to endure. I attended the euthanasia. Her weight loss had nothing to do with celtmanx and his feline-DNA experiments. It was hyperthyroidism. She wasted away to nothing. We had her on medication, but they weren't helping. She became listless and unable to stand. I made the appointment with the vet and stayed by her side during the entire ordeal.

After the vet removed his stethoscope, he left us alone in the room. A sobbing adult and a dead cat.

I was not as emotionally attached to Mléko as I was Daisy, though we'd had her longer. Nonetheless, she'd been a part of my life a very long time. As I pet her unmoving body I noticed her face. It was the most peaceful I've seen her in months. Cats don't have expressions as you and I know them, but hers was free from pain - a pain I was unsure she'd had until that moment. It was then that I knew we'd done the right thing. So yeah, it was tough, and the image of her on that table is going to be with me for awhile. But so is the one where she finally looks at peace. And looks like herself once more.

Good-bye, Mléko.


dawaioser at 2009-05-29 01:58 (UTC) (Link)
That's never easy...so sorry. Was it this week?
ehowton at 2009-05-29 02:10 (UTC) (Link)
Yes ma'am.
Cat Who Likes OpenBSD
bsdcat at 2009-05-29 03:39 (UTC) (Link)
I am so sorry Eric. Losing a pet is hard; coming to the conclusion that the best thing for her is to put her to sleep... I am so sorry.


Edited at 2009-05-29 03:41 am (UTC)
ehowton at 2009-05-29 17:12 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for commenting. While this experience made me wish I had been there for Daisy, I would not have voluntarily made the decision to put her down. It was probably for the best that she died in the vet's care, removing me from that equation. But the veterinarian's office NEVER makes that suggestion. Its frustrating when its the right thing to do, but you don't know that because they won't tell you.

Thanks again.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-05-29 04:18 (UTC) (Link)
Oh no! Not Mleko! I'm so sorry. It must have been awful for all of you.

ehowton at 2009-05-29 17:15 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, ma'am. Unlike Daisy, the handwriting was on the wall (not that that made it any easier when I was alone with her afterwards) so I told the children the story of Mleko and allowed them to say their goodbye's to her, answering their questions the best I could.

Then they wanted to go play.
irulan_amy at 2009-05-29 05:44 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry... :(
ehowton at 2009-05-29 17:21 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ma'am. Just another one of those experiences I was hoping to avoid. Ultimately, I'm glad I followed through with it for several different reasons, one of which comforted me.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2009-05-29 11:22 (UTC) (Link)
This is terrible news. You have my sympathy.
ehowton at 2009-05-29 17:23 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the kind words. It means a lot to me.
wardlejew at 2009-05-29 14:05 (UTC) (Link)
Losing a loved one is never easy. Sorry to hear.
ehowton at 2009-05-29 17:25 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Only recently have I understood other's attachment to pets, and their loss. I would rather not have learned this the hard way.
codekitten at 2009-05-29 15:52 (UTC) (Link)
I just had to put Kitty Q down who was my oldest and dearest cat. The experience is just horrible but even when they said I could leave (before they gave him the shot) I didn't. I had to be there for him even if it was hard for me. Even if I have to have that image burned into my brain forever. He deserved it.

ehowton at 2009-05-29 16:10 (UTC) (Link)
That's it exactly. I couldn't bear to be there, but I coudln't bear not to be either. Sorry to hear about Kitty Q.

They need to engineer longer-lasting cats. I don't know how much more of this I'll be able to stand.
Elizabeth Krumbach
princessleia2 at 2009-05-29 16:01 (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to hear this *hugs*
ehowton at 2009-05-29 17:28 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ma'am. I grew rather sentimental yesterday over the whole ordeal.
dentin at 2009-05-29 19:10 (UTC) (Link)
I've had to do this as well, so I understand where you're coming from. It was cat cancer in my case.

One of the most amazing things to me was that the owner requested the corpse to have the hide tanned. Most people immediately think 'gross' when they hear this, and I have to admit I thought it was pretty damn weird - but I quickly changed my mind.

Nothing reminds you so well of the creature and all that you miss about it. You couldn't ask for a stronger piece of memorabilia, other than perhaps having it stuffed. You touch the fur, and you -remember-.

Sorry if I got off topic.
ehowton at 2009-05-29 19:18 (UTC) (Link)
My wife had Daisy cremated for me. Your example of tactile recollection beats the hell out of my bag of ash.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2009-05-29 23:44 (UTC) (Link)
Herschal Walker and Sugar were both cremated.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2009-05-29 23:41 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry Eric she was a good friend to us both. She really came out of her shell the last few years. Before she left to go back home with you she not only started jumping on our very high bed but laying on my pillow which is something she had never done in the years since we had her. She was a good cat and a good friend. Brandan still asks about her and when he is coming home.
ehowton at 2009-05-30 03:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks dude. For everything.
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