By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 22, 2015
Kristin van Ogtrop

I have been spontaneously bursting into tears for the last two weeks and I’ve had just about enough of it. That is how long our dear cat (and, really, sort of first child) George has been in decline, after nearly 18 years of excellent health and extreme flexibility in the face of all sorts of headaches (starting with 3 children and a dog) that we brought to his life.

I grew up with pets, all of whom eventually died, but I have never been in a family leadership position in this situation. I really did not know there would be so much crying involved. Crying on the phone to the vet, crying when I talked to my children, crying when talking to a coworker who also has a sick pet, crying when my husband and I discussed “what should be done,” crying when I gave George his sub-Q fluids (which is new lingo for me, and surprisingly easy to administer. Or maybe George was just an extraordinarily easy cat).

Yes, I just typed “George was.”. He died last night, during the night, exercising his veto power over our decision to put him to sleep this week. It was a gigantic relief for everyone. No doubt most of all George.

Of course, it did not stop the crying. Even I am getting bored with myself and my own sadness. This morning Middle said to me, “Mom, don’t be sad that it’s over. Just be glad that it happened.” Which, although the line probably comes from Yes Man or SpongeBob or maybe even iCarly, is a very nice sentiment, and one that I’m going to hold on to. And if saying it over and over makes the crying go away, all the better.