Talking it over: No more pets
I lost a friend last week. Someone who greeted me each time I walked in the door, as I opened my eyes in the morning and when I happened to walk by her anywhere in the house. She was my pet and loved me unconditionally, especially if I kept her fed and the litter box clean.
After fifteen years of having a cat in our home, my husband and I are now pet free. Our cat Cally, had a good life and was spoiled way too much. She was part siamese so had a definite attitude and wasn't always very friendly. She especially disliked dogs and other cats that trespassed on her territory and would just as soon play with a mouse than kill it.
Cally has slowly been showing her age and having a few health problems. It was a hard decision but, in the end, we had to put her down before she suffered too much. My husband, who claimed to dislike the cat, got the duty of taking her to the vet and later told me how hard it was to walk out of that office.
He then built her a special box, buried her near the apple trees and put up a marker. I think he really did have a place in his heart for Cally, even though he refuses to admit it.
We did not plan on having this pet. We inherited her from our son when he moved into an apartment that did not allow pets. I can't stand to see an animal cooped up in a house when they want to go out, so I started letting her outside. That put an end to our son taking her back because he could not let her out in the Cities.
My husband and I are both quite adamant right now that this was our last pet. I miss the comfort of having that other living being in the house but don't miss the litter box smell. I miss her running up and greeting me when I come home but not waking me up in the morning to be fed. I miss her unconditional adoration and purring when she wanted to show her love. However, I do not miss worrying about her when I leave for a few days or coming home to a mess if I leave her alone for too long.
Pets are definitely a comfort, can be lots of fun, but they are also a big responsibility. You are responsible for their well-being and to love them no matter what. Sometimes it also takes a lot of love to prevent them from suffering needlessly and acknowledging the end.