Last Wednesday 12/7/2011 our dear little cat Clifford was put to sleep, she (yep a girl named Clifford) was 19 years old.
We adopted Clifford when she was 10 weeks old. Our sons were 3 and 7 at the time, they didn't care that she was a female cat. They wanted to name her after Clifford the Big Red Dog. So, a girl cat with a boy's name became a treasured member of our family.
Our boys grew up with her. In many ways she was more like a third child than a pet. We loved her dearly. When our boys grew up and went off to college my wife and I became closer to Clifford. For the last 4 - 5 years her health has declined. First hyperthyroidism, next high blood pressure, renal failure and arthritis. We took care to balance her medications.
This past year Clifford survived a move across the state when I had to change jobs. She had her ups and downs, but always seemed to bounce back. A little over a week ago she stopped eating and her poor little legs started giving out on her. On Wednesday we knew her journey was ending because she could hardly walk and was crying in pain and confusion.
Fortunately we have a kind hearted vet. He came out to our house after hours to put Clifford to sleep. She was on her favorite blanket. It was peaceful and painless.
We know that we did the right thing for Clifford, but our hearts are broken. Since Wednesday my wife and I have took turns crying for our beloved pet. But we know that she had an extraordinary life. She was loved by her family and in turn gave us love. In her later years when her poor little legs would not allow her to run or even jump, she walked gingerly around the house, but still enjoyed getting her ears scratched.
We will dearly miss Clifford forever. She has been cremated and her urn is on our fireplace. One day when we die, she will be mixed with our own ashes and and spread over Lake Superior.
With love..... Paul & Christina