Four weeks ago, I had to do the most dreadful thing a pet owner will ever have to do. My dear, sweet kitty Sony was gravely ill, and I was forced to put her to sleep. I almost said that I had to extinguish her light, but the illness took that from her months ago. She was 17 ½ years old, and was suffering from renal failure. I knew that her kidneys were acting up some years ago, but being the stubborn calico that she was, she simply refused to eat any modified diet. It seem like some cats would rather starve to death than to eat something they don’t like. So it was with my little furry friend. I got her when she was just 8 weeks old. She was full of vinegar, and would attack the legs and feet of passers-by. She used to climb up into the inside of the easy chair, and wait for somebody to come sit down, and she’d quickly vacate and tear back and forth across the living room, stopping briefly at each change of direction to crouch down low and briefly look around. It was the cutest damned thing I ever saw. She grew from a scrawny kitten with a head that looked to be two sizes too big into a beautiful cat with the prettiest face, and the most piercing green eyes. She had a saucy nature, and the joke said often was that it was HER house, and I just lived there. She certainly played the part of the regent of the castle. She loved affection, but only on her terms, and she had a real fetish for leather. If anybody put something made of leather near her, be it a jacket, a purse or even a leather pair of shoes, she’d be on it in an instant, rubbing her face all over it. So many good memories of the silly things she did, I could go on for hours.

I read “Rescuing Sprite” back when it came out, and kept Mark’s story with Sprite, Pepsi and Griffen fresh in my mind as Sony aged. I hoped that I’d wake up one morning to find that she’d passed in her sleep, but Sony was a fighter to the end. She rapidly began shedding weight. A visit to the vet and some blood/urine work confirmed that the end was near. We did what we could to make her last days as comfortable as possible. One day, she was clearly not doing too well. She had difficulty walking, and she would find the darkest corner of the house to go lay down in. We took her in the next day, and put her to sleep. The feeling of having to euthanize your friend of the last 17 years is so surreal, I still have difficulties wrapping my mind around the fact that I did it. I feel indescribable guilt. It took time for her heart to stop, because she was so dehydrated. I pray to God that she didn’t suffer at all in that time, and that she didn’t suffer. Sony was the first pet of my own that I ever had, and I miss her terribly. I’ve experienced the phenomenon of seeing her out of my peripheral vision, like so many other pet owners describe. It’s truly a heart-crushing experience. I doubt I’ll have another pet, as the grief of losing them is something I don’t think I want to experience a second time. Who knows though…maybe time will heal all wounds.

— Jason from Camino, CA