Our pets are more than just pets as they become a member of the family. The love and care we feel for them is so very special. This is how we felt about our cat Lily.
In 2009, we went to visit a facility of adoptions to see if we can find a cat to adopt. We went around to see each one of them to see who would be a fit in our family of two (at the time). When my husband arrived at Lily, Lily gave him four kisses. As soon as she did that, my husband turned to me and said, "Ok, she is ours. We are taking her today." And that is exactly what we did that day. We adopted our new family member, Lily.
Lily came with a past of abuse, neglect and abandonment. The transition to get her comfortable with us took some time and we helped her along the way to trust us.
When we had our daughter in 2014, Lily became even more loving and friendly. It was amazing to see the bond that Lily created with our daughter and as time passed, the bond grow stronger between them.
Then our whole world shifted! One day we noticed that Lily was struggling to use the litter box and every time she tried, nothing would come out. We knew something was really wrong. That same day, my husband took Lily to the animal emergency hospital to see what was wrong with her. It was discovered that Lily had a 3cm cancerous tumor in her intestines and this was causing a backup of her stool.
The vet provided us with two options. Option 1: surgery which had high risks attached to it, such as not surviving the surgery and the tumor would return and spread. Option 2: put her down. In the meantime, Lily was given two vaccines that would help her with the pain and would prevent her from throwing up.
After a lengthy discussion we decided to make an appointment for Lily to see her vet and get a second opinion. By this time, we could really see that Lily was getting worse. Her eyes were filled with pain, she lost another 10 ounces since Saturday.
My husband went in with Lily to her vet. Once the vet reviewed the x-rays from the hospital and did a full check up on Lily. She turned to my husband and said with tears in her eyes, "There is no saving her." Lily was getting frail, her bones were weak and she was starving herself to death. The vet further stated that if we decided not to put her down she would only survive another 3 weeks and she could just drop any day in our home. We just couldn't do that to her.
Our vet has known us since we got Lily and she told my husband that she knows that we gave her the very best life and that is all Lily wanted. She further stated that cats are very good at hiding their feelings of pain so there was no way to tell until now. What was happening to Lily was in the inside and it wasn't on the surface for us to see. With great pain, we decided the best thing for her was to put her down.
Since Lily was a rescued and abused cat, who had been abandoned a couple of times in her life. I told my husband it would be comforting for him to stay with her to the end. I told him that I would hate for Lily to think that we abandoned her. I wanted her to know that we never left her and loved her so much until the very end. My husband found the strength to stay with her as I knew I just couldn't.
The vet prepared the needle that would put Lily to rest. She gave Lily the needle and to everyone's astonishment, Lily got up and walked towards my husband. The vet has only seen this happen one other time in her 26 years as a vet. So she turned to my husband and said, "You have to tell her that it is time to go. She doesn't want to leave you so you have to tell her that it's ok."
As painful as it was for my loving husband, he turned to Lily and said, "Sweet Lily, it's time for you to go. We don't want you to suffer and it's ok to go."
The vet said that Lily looked at peace now and she gave her the second needle while in my husband's arms. Lily looked up at him and gave him those same four kisses that she gave him when we first adopted her. After the last lick, she peacefully went. And that was the end of her suffering and the start of her legacy.
It has been a difficult grieving process and what has helped us has been the amazing love and support from our family and friends. Another way we coped with our grief was by creating a fundraising campaign that we called, Lily's Legacy. Money raised by our campaign went to help other animals like Lily who needed that second chance at a forever home.
Now my heart is filled with array of emotions and it is filled with so much thankfulness. I am thankful for having the opportunity to have had Lily in our lives. Thankful for the unconditional love that she provided and taught us. Thankful for her loyal nature to our family. Thankful for the pure joy that she gave us. Thankful for the love, patience and kindness she always showcased to our daughter. Thankful for trusting us to hold her paw until the very end.
We could not have asked for a better and sweet family member. To that we say, thank you Lily! Rest in peace our sweet girl and know that we will always love you.
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