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Two years ago today I put down my best friend of 17 years.

By courtney dainardPublished 6 years ago 3 min read
Oliver with his favourite stuff toy

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love the feature that Snapchat has where it allows you to view photos taken on this day last year or all the years before. It is a great way to look back and reflect. Usually I laugh at my memories, today I had a faint pang of sorrow as I looked at the photos I took with my cat the day I knew he was too sick and that I would have to take him in to be put down.

I had Oliver ever since I was a kid, around the time when I was four. He lived in my room, slept on my bed. It was my job to feed him and give him water. He use to follow me around the house, his bell on his purple collar giving off an alarm to his whereabouts. He was my favourite and most important part of all of my days. Yes, I was a certified old cat lady from the young age of four. And I loved it, I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

He was a great cat. He had a stuffed animal that he stole from me and he would often bring this stuffed animal to bed with him or to eat with him. The poor thing was so dirty and used because Oliver would literally put him in his water bowl or food bowl to make sure he was eating and drinking too. Part of me always thought that Oliver might have thought that the stuffed animal was his child in a way. I found the whole thing adorable beyond belief.

Oliver hanging out with me while I read

He was there with me for everything: my first heartbreak, first days of school; basically all the good and the bad. When I was sad he always knew, he used to sit on my lap and once I had a very memorable moment with him when I was crying and he literally put his tiny cold paw on my face as if to wipe away the tears. I have never met a more human like cat and I doubt that I will ever meet one again.

Then came his last year of life, he was getting older and you could tell he was feeling worn down. So I took him into his vet and I found out he had gotten diabetes, that along with old age was causing him to look so run down. So I bought the medication and the needles and I gave him his required shots twice a day at the same time. It was hard because I worked and no one else was really comfortable giving him his shots so I had to try to be home at the same time everyday.

I ended up spending over $800 on his shots throughout the year. I know most people would have just put him down right away. But I wanted to give him the chance to get better, to get stronger, he was and is family to me so I couldn't let myself put him down without at least trying.

Then as the year went on he only got worse, he stopped cleaning himself after he went to the washroom, his bones became weak, he couldn't jump up to my bed. He wasn't eating or drinking, he looked tired all the time. Even a month before I had made the decision to put him down I knew it was coming. There was no way around it. So I made the appointment.

The day came so much sooner than I thought it would. He still felt so full of life to me, he purred when I held him and he was still constantly sassy but I knew it was time. My mom, my sister and I drove to the vet with Oliver. We sat and waited and when it was time all I had to do was hold him and close his eyes. It happened so quickly, I did not even fully register that my body was shaking with loud sobbing. We got back in the car and drove home, my sister at the wheel as I continued to cry.

It was hard but I could not allow him to suffer anymore. I am so thankful that he was there throughout all of my growing up and I really hope that he is somewhere good now still being sassy and full of mischief.


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