How to be a Responsible Pet Owner

June 28, 2016

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that my posts centered on WITWIGOs and movie reviews. It’s not that there isn’t much to write about or nothing going on in my life — actually, it’s the exact opposite. I am currently in a transitional phase in my life with too many things happening to think straight. Today is one of the rare days I have time to dedicate to my blog and discuss some of the things that are occurring in my hectic life.

Let’s go!

Almost three years ago, I left my pets in the care of my parents to embarked on a journey to Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. I trusted my parents but I was concerned for my two elderly pets, Mrs. Pricklepants, the hedgehog, and Chin Chin, my oldest cat. Unfortunately, a few months after my yearly visit to Miami, Mrs. Pricklepants passed away. Chin Chin, at 15, looked well and particularly plump. Nevertheless, after my permanent return from Japan last August, I noticed a change in Chin Chin.

In January, she began to uncontrollably defecate around the house. Thinking that she had issues with the other cats or locating the litter box, we placed her in a separate room with her own litter box and changed her food to one that was made specifically for senior cats. She happily sunbathed in her new environment until we realized that she was no longer cleaning herself. From this point, her health rapidly deteriorated. I was shocked one day when I picked her up to bathe her. I asked myself, “When did she get so thin?” but massive amount of fur had masked her sudden weight loss.

Fast forward to this past Saturday as I am listening to to vet’s diagnosis of Chin Chin’s condition — intestinal cancer. At 16 years of age, nothing could be done to save Chin Chin. Instead, I was asked to evaluate her quality of life and make an important decision. I asked myself, “Was Chin Chin in pain? Yes. Every time she defecated, she was in pain. Was it humane it keep her isolated? No. Was I  being selfish? Yes. I wanted to keep her with me forever.” It was difficult decision and not one without uncontrollable sobbing, but I knew that letting go was part of being a responsible pet owner.

Here is what you need to know if you are ever faced with this difficult decision:

Consult with a trusted veterinarian 

I visited Knowles Animal Clinic to have Chin Chin evaluated. In the past, they cared for her and my other pets, so I knew they would be sensitive and professional. The clinic also displayed a candle in the waiting area that, when lit, asks visitors to keep their voices down because someone is bidding adieu to their beloved pet.

Take for time to make your decision

Evaluating your pet’s quality of life is made easier with the reassurance of a loved one. Thankfully, my mother accompanied me.

Pay any fees before the procedure

Once the procedure is complete, you can quickly leave.

Ask about the procedure

For example, will you have time to say a proper goodbye? Can you be present or absent for the procedure? Will your pet be sedated (Note: the eyes never close)? Will it be painful for them? Will they make any sudden movement?  Can you see your pet after the procedure? What would you like done with the remains?

I wept as I thanked Chin Chin for sixteen years of unconditional love. Some may think that she was “just a cat” but to me, she was family. The OG of la casaWhen I was ready, the veterinarian administered the sedation and the two lethal injections. The procedure was quick and completed within seconds. I was given time alone with her again but my heart broke seeing her lifeless form in her cute, pink t-shirt. I left.

Seek comfort from loved ones

My best friend, Amy, has has two cats pass away, and I knew she could empathize with my feelings of sadness and remorse.


Goodbye, Chin Chin

Until next time! 🐰💭

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1 Comment

  • Reply Adrian Tavarez June 30, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I’ve never had pets of my own but I know other who do and have gone through a similar experience. I couldn’t even imagine the feeling. Thank you for sharing your experience RR and I’m sorry for your loss. She will be missed.

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