Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Warning – emotional and heartbreaking post about losing a dear, beloved pet
He was perhaps the only one who survived from among all his siblings (I never saw any other kitten in the building). He came into my life when it was probably undergoing a change – old energies were being removed making room for new ones. Old energies in the form of old and not-so-old friendships, habits, lifestyle and maybe a change of residence or maybe even city (mentally I was going over this and I still am).

He stayed with me for four months (and I am so grateful for his presence in my life). We had a blast together and grew so close that we forged a strong bond (and hence it hurts so much to lose him in this way, as if a part of me has died).

Since I was living alone, he was my only companion for the four months until he died on 26 Nov. this year.

The purpose of his life perhaps, was to change mine. I can’t think of another reason why I found him – a month old kitten right outside my apartment one random evening, why I fell in love with him and brought him home and why he stayed on (it was probably for the food but I think he loved me back).

And why he had to be put down at the tender age of barely six months!

It breaks my heart. Every time I close my eyes I see his face.

The feeling of his tiny paws clutching on to my finger as he lay on the cold steel table at the vet’s is still fresh.

Two weeks today, and the tears still flow. I still get chills and my heart sinks every time I think about that day; one of the worst days of my life now.

He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. He wanted to run, play, eat lots of fish and be a free being, as was his right.

But it’s a cruel city. Especially for animals. I didn’t want him to live on the road foraging for food from the dustbins, fighting other cats for survival and dying a cruel death by getting run over.

So I gave him a safe place to live. Or so I thought.

Aren’t all kittens eventually taken away (sometimes even abandoned) from their mothers. I had found several such kittens (often just a few days old) who were crying to be fed by their mums who were nowhere to be found.

But do we really have the right to decide the course of their lives?

Did I have the right to put him down? To put his lights out?

Every single day I ask myself this question. And every single day of mine is filled with guilt and regret. It is eating me up from the inside.

“I will never hurt you” I said to this scrawny little kitten as I picked him up in my arms.

And then, what did I do? I agreed with the vet to euthanize him before he had even learnt how to climb trees.

If this isn’t a cruel joke then I don’t know what it is.

Why do we have to take such difficult decisions in life? What was I supposed to do? What were the alternatives? To let him suffer in the hope that he will recover. A miracle, that’s all I asked from the Universe; to let him live.

But 12 days of treatment had done nothing to bring down his fever. And pumping antibiotics into his body had only made him weaker by the day. He had stopped eating. He would walk up to the water bowl but not be able to drink from it. And he would vomit.

There was only a 5% chance of recovery, the vet said.

In a situation like this all our objectivity and sense of better judgment leaves us. We lose our ability to make correct decisions. And, have no choice but to rely on the advice of others.

That’s the price we pay for loving too much.

I made many mistakes I admit.

They were all from a place of not knowing.

If my post from three months ago, from September (about the accident that nearly killed Bubu) was any indication it was a forewarning, a sign that Bubu might die a painful and premature death.

That and a few other potentially fatal acts of daredevilry that Bubu himself indulged in.

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I saved him from all these external threats to his life but couldn’t save him from what attacked his body from the inside.

Because when we love someone we don’t believe that something bad would or could happen to them. This, is a form of being blind in love.

If I had been more careful and knowledgeable then maybe he would have been alive today, looking out the window at the birds, beckoning them to come play with him.  How he missed having a playmate!

But alas! The pain of regret is heavy to bear. And rightfully, I am suffering, while he’s in heaven playing with other babies.

I’m sorry Bubu. I hope that you can forgive me.

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