A little while ago I wrote about the challenges I navigate throughout the night in the quest for sleep. Those challenges, namely, my son, my husband, and my cat, have decreased by one.
On January 13, I said goodbye to Reef.
Without question, it was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make, and it was the saddest day of my life.
Like most indoor cats, Reef had an intense dislike of being anywhere but at home. I would have to trick him into his travel carrier to get him to the vet, and then pry him out of it once we got there. Knowing this, there was no way I was going to have his last moments spent anywhere but at home, in my arms.
Our wonderful veterinarian and her technician came to our home. With kindness and compassion, they explained what they would do, and what I should expect at each step. They gave me time and space to rock Reef in my arms as the sedatives took effect.
During those precious, final cuddles, with my tears raining down on him, I whispered to Reef how much I love him, and how much I would miss him, and how I hoped he could forgive me.
My son must have sensed that this was a somber time for his family as he did not make a single demand for attention. He just looked on from the warm comfort of his daddy’s arms.
With Reef gone, our house feels…emptier. Amazing how one little cat can bring so much life and energy and fun and joy to a home. For the first few nights afterwards, I woke at odd hours, expecting to do a horizontal hurdle, or to comfort him during a confused moment of nocturnal howling. Funny how the moments that can bring so much irritation can be moments you end up missing.
Reef was with me for 17 and a half awesome years, since I was 20. Saying goodbye to him broke my heart into a million tiny pieces, and while time is helping me to heal, I know there will always be a Reef-size hole in my world.
I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Dr. Hillary Butler of MacKay Animal Clinic in Whitby. You always took such good care of my little guy, right up to the very end.