Saying Goodbye to a Long Time Friend

by John Armstrong
(Tyler, TX)

Her name is Oreo. It was Christmas time December 2004 when my black and white kitty showed up at my home's back door. She was about six months old and full of energy, mischief and love.

My wife and I have now had Oreo for 10 years. Last year we noticed a large tumor on her side near her rear leg. The vet did a biopsy and discovered it was a fibrosarcoma type tumor. Apparently, she developed this tumor via one of the rabies shots she received over the years. That brand of vaccine has since been removed from the market.

We struggled about the issue of putting Oreo under the knife to remove the tumor or just let it go. In the end, we decided to have it removed. But, now the tumor has come back with a vengeance and there are now several tumors taking their toll on our kitty's body.

Now my wife and I are faced with the difficult task of putting her down. But we don't know when that time will be though I sense it will be very soon. Oreo has become very listless and the tumors are starting to openly bleed. Her appetite seemed to be good up until a couple of days ago. Now she's not eating as much and lays down on the chairs under the dining room table.

In my research of this condition, the prognosis for fibrosarcoma in cats is not good. Usually the tumors come back within a year and there just isn't enough kitty left to remove the others. The tumors put out tentacles like roots from a tree and when removed, they just pop up elsewhere.

So now my wife and I are just trying to make Oreo's life as comfortable as possible and give her tons of love. We both know time is running out and it's difficult to say goodby to a long time friend....actually we call her our daughter.

Aside from putting her down, my only sense of solace is to write about this topic; a catharsis. My wife and Oreo are the only family I have and it's pretty tough letting go of a furry bundle of joy my kitty has provided for so many years. For now all I can do is rely on prayer and my wife on when to make that dreaded decision.

Getting old ain't for sissies and the same would apply to our pets.

Comments for Saying Goodbye to a Long Time Friend

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So very sorry for your loss
by: Joyce

My husband and I can relate to your loss so much! We have had to make that dreaded decision several times in the last 10 years. We have lost two dogs and four cats, all our "kids".

You will know when you are ready to consider another kitty. God has a way of bringing them to us or guiding us to them. There should be more people like you and your wife in this world. Oreo was a very blessed cat. Hugs and prayers.

by: Pat

It's very hard to lose a beloved pet.
Our pets certainly do leave paw prints on our heart.
You and your wife were the best parents you could be to your Oreo.
As the years go by, you will always remember all
the good times you had with you little friend, and
may the next one, and I'm sure there will be one,
bring you just as much happiness and joy.

Friends for life
by: Shirley Slater

I have always had dogs and the love and loyalty they give you in second to none.

My husband works away so it has been just me and my dog for the past 10 years now 24/7. We take her everywhere we go, we stopped having holidays abroad when we got her as a puppy.

I think we have humanised her too much!, so that now we have to spell out certain words so she doesn't know what we are talking about.

I love to spend time with my dog as she is the best company ever.

Because of our age I think she will be our last dog, or we may take on an older dog maybe???? the house will be too quiet when she is no longer in it.....she is my ray of sunshine!!

Loss of a friend
by: Charlotte

I am sorry for the loss of your pet. I lost two of my cats...both of them had been with me for 17 years....four years since I lost my Russian blue and three years since the death of my little mocha female. Needless to say, I still miss both of them. I still have three, two males and a female which bring much joy into my life. My prayers are with you and your wife.

by: Carolyn

Your post brought tears to my eyes - it is so refreshing to hear from such caring loving people as yourself - I am an avid animal fanatic and volunteer for the Toronto Humane Society - our family dog was put to sleep at age 15 3 weeks ago and I am still crying. Oreo has been loved and that is the main thing. Take care.

Said Our Goodbye
by: John Armstrong

Yesterday afternoon, the vet came to the house to examine our Oreo. She told us what we already knew and it was probably time to make that dreaded decision.

When my wife got up yesterday morning, she was looking to find Oreo had already passed on. But, she was still around and had withdrawn to her perch in another room to be away from people. She didn't eat breakfast yesterday morning nor drank any water. In fact, her litter box has not been used at all. And we both knew yesterday was that time.

The tumors on her back has begun to bleed and there were numerous other tumors that could be felt on her abdomen. Most likely those tumors had grown so much they were causing her lots of pain, yet she didn't know how to tell us other than the expression from her eyes. And that look was asking "why mom and dad couldn't help out and take away the pain"?

After putting Oreo down, the vet told us we made the right decision and we knew it. But, it still doesn't make it any easier to accept the fact the love of our lives is now gone.

Today my wife wanted to look at other kitties, but I can not get myself around to doing that sort of thing. She was wanting another kitty to hold and love and numb the loss of Oreo. But, I don't think now is the right time to do this sort of thing; at least for me. And she agreed. Maybe in a few weeks we'll be more open to the idea.

Now we must cope with our loss and get use to an empty house and a very large void in our hearts. Our four legged family members certainly do have ways of putting paw prints on our hearts.

A friend of ours sent us the following poem via a web site dedicated to grieving pet owners. It's Called the Rainbow Bridge Poem.


Author unknown...

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

So Sorry John!
by: Wendy

We've had to put down a few dogs during the years... and every single one was heart-breaking.

Like you, they've always been my KIDS.

My BABY is Chi Chi, a Chihuahua, and is about ten years old now... already? I have relied on her company sooo much since I retired. Every time I come home, she greets me and needs her hugs and kisses -- she is very enthusiastic regardless of my being away 5 minutes to water plants or a few days at a conference. I am so close to this lil girl, I can't even IMAGINE....

Sending prayers that you both know when the time is right. It's not easy, but might bring peace if you don't have to watch her suffer. It's not a good life anymore...

((( HUGS )))

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