We had to put down our cat, Phillip, yesterday night. Aaron took him to the vet because we thought he had a UTI. Turns out he had crystals blocking his urethra and it would be over $1000.00 to fix it. If left alone, he would die a painful death by the end of the week. It was very unexpected and upsetting since we thought he had a common health problem and would be coming back home.
Obviously, we could not afford the $1000.00, so we had to put him down. Aaron is devastated and Ella is having a hard time grasping the concept of death. I’m doing my best to support both of them, though at times I struggle at being completely sympathetic with Aaron. I am really not an animal person. I’m doing the best I can and not saying a whole lot. Just lots of hugs and “I am so sorry, dear”.
The hardest part for me was this morning when I had to explain what happened to Ella. We snuggled in bed and I explained to her that Phillip had really sick and had super big owies that the “cat doctor” couldn’t fix. So his body stopped working and he died. He won’t be coming home.
Death is such a hard concept for anyone, let alone a 2.5 year old little girl. She understands that Phillip won’t be coming home but is asking if our other cat, Aurora, died even while Ella is petting her. I realize that is completely age appropriate but is still hard. A friend lent us a book titled, When Dinosaurs Die. It is a great resource for kids, though I found it to be a little beyond what we wanted to talk with Ella at this time. I am wanting to add it to our home library, though, because I’m sure we’ll be dealing with death again when she’s older.
Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to take the camera with us when we went back to the vet office to say goodbye.
I named him Phillip because I have a long love affair with the Disney “Sleeping Beauty” movie. Phillip is the name of the prince.
Even in a lot of pain and shedding a ton of fur from stress, Phillip was extraordinarily curious (a constant character trait). He almost squeezed down the trash whole!