The euthanasia argument going around a little while ago centred on the possibility of nefarious families ‘persuading’ the ill person to go quietly so they can afterwards claim their inheritance and rub their hands with glee, thinking of the good times to come from the proceeds of the will. Of course no-one would dream of admitting to this, but people are murdered for less, so there’s no reason why euthanasia shouldn’t be thought of as legalised murder in that context.
All this doesn’t apply of course to animals/pets because a) they have no assets and b) they can’t argue against being ‘put to sleep’. Which brings me to Ralph, our beloved ginger tom, who had to be put to sleep today, suffering from stomach cancer. He went downhill very quickly in the last week, and when his breathing became very laboured today we took the decision, a very difficult one, of taking him to the vets. The vet agreed that he was suffering badly, and we stayed with him until the last minute, left the surgery while the vet did the deed, then went back in to see him completely at rest, it was lovely to see him out of pain. He was exactly 15 years old, we had looked after him for 10 years (he was actually our daughters cat), and he was a lovely fluffy softy who everybody loved, even non-cat lovers like me. Yes I admit it, I didn’t adore cats (or dogs come to that) but Ralph had a special place in my heart and I shall miss him jumping up on my lap, keeping it warm.
It was actually more emotional and heart wrenching saying goodbye to Ralph (who knew his name and would come when called), than to my parents or my brother. Maybe it was because people expected me to be ‘the man’ when it came to my families passing away, but with Ralph I could truly let go, and I did, in spades. I’m not ashamed to admit it either, he played a big part in our lives over the last ten years and provided us with laughs, fun, comfort and love.
God rest you Ralph mate, we love and miss you.