Ok, I’m going to challenge myself not to reach for the box of Kleenex tissues while writing this post! Possibly easier said than done, but I’ll give it a go.
For those who haven’t looked at my social media profiles lately because you were on a social media detox or something like that, my beautiful cat Charlie passed away at the end of May. He was a huge part of my life for eleven years and I miss him very much. Me and my Mam made the heartbreaking decision to have him put to sleep due to ill health. He had an operation back in April to have a couple of teeth taken out and he wasn’t the same since that day. It looked like he had developed cancer over a short period of time and eventually it just took over.
As you can imagine, I was utterly devastated. Driving him up to the vets, it felt I was driving in my car for five years, not five minutes. We got there, saw the vet, she checked him over and said the dreaded words – there was nothing more that could be done for him. I made the decision to stay with him when he was having the injection. I didn’t want him to be on his own when he died, well, not just leave him with the vet anyway. I wanted him to have a familiar voice and face near him when he died, even though it was killing me. I knew I would have regretted it even more if I had just left him. After he passed away, the vet left me with him to say my goodbyes. Probably one of the hardest and gut wrenching goodbyes I will ever have to make. I left the vets a broken woman. Knowing I was never going to see him again broke my heart. The pain of losing a pet never gets easier.
I cried for three days after Charlie died. People will probably say “it’s just a cat” … I’m telling you now, you say that to my face, be prepared to have a broken nose. It doesn’t matter what type of pet it is, whether it’s a cat, a dog, a hamster or even a pet snail – it’s still your pet, you show them so much love then they break your bloody heart when they die.
Before Charlie passed away, I watched this debate on Good Morning Britain about whether people should be granted compassionate leave from work when their pet dies. This is something I am totally for! To some people, their pet is all they have and it can be very devastating to lose that one pet who always greets you when you come home and gives you cwtches on your lap.
It isn’t required by law for employers to grant time off when an employee’s pet dies. Maybe it depends on how compassionate and how much of an animal lover your boss is. I wouldn’t say have umpteen days or weeks off, but a day or two wouldn’t go amiss. People may think I’m a bit of a snowflake or an over sentimental sap for being pro on this subject, maybe it’s just because I’m an animal lover.
It’s important for everyone to show compassion to someone who has lost a pet in such a difficult time as an owner. I would fully understand if someone wanted to take time off work for the loss of their pet – I wouldn’t begrudge them or think they were being completely stupid for getting upset over it. It was half term for me last week so thankfully I wasn’t in work. I honestly would have taken a couple of days off if I was meant to be in work as I couldn’t have sat at a desk helping the kids as my tears stained their exercise books. Let me know in the comments below what you think of about people taking time off work for the death of a pet…
So did I make it to the end of writing this post without needing tissues? Of course I bloody didn’t! I starting blubbing after the first couple of sentences. All that’s left for me to say is sleep tight my little boy, thank you for being the best cat I could ask for.