I had to have one of my favorite cats, Abner, put to sleep today. He's been diabetic for about 3 years and was having a lot of bad days recently, days where he wouldn't eat. But he would purr for me, and talk to me. Saturday was a bad day, and, if the vet had been open, I would've taken him in and had him put to sleep. As it was, I went out and lay down in the grass in the backyard next to him and talked to him. It was a beautiful day. No rain. Warmish and a blue sky with nary a cloud. Yesterday he perked up and ate some of my special food for him: canned salmon (people salmon) pureed with water. I had a heating pad and blanket rigged for him and made sure he was sleeping there. Went out a couple of times in the night and moved the other cats so he would have the prime spot. But sometime this morning he got down off the bedding and snagged his claw in it. He couldn't get it loose and lay on the deck in the rain until I found him. I don't know how long it was, but, in his condition, any time was too long. He meowed several times when I picked him up, and I took it to mean that he knew it was time and wanted me to know. I put him back on the heating pad and wrapped him in blankets and fed everyone and called the vet and off we went in the rain.
I had to wait almost an hour at the vets. I didn't want to wait inside with the other animals and cheeriness, so I sat outside on a bench with him, cradling him and talking. The sun came out and I held him so that it shone on him. I called jc and put him on speakerphone so he could talk to Abner and tell him how much he meant to him. And then they came and got me and we did it and it was over.
It was the right thing. I know that.
Abner was one of those cats who establish a mind communication with you. I've only had a couple in my life that I felt that way about. I could tell Abner, who lived on the front porch, to 'bring' me another cat, a standoffish one, and Abner would siddle up to him or her and head butt them and start working them over towards me, rubbing his head against theirs, but looking up at me every so often to make sure I knew they were coming.
So I'll miss him very very much.