I recently read an article that said some companies in the United States are offering Pet Bereavement days. I wholeheartedly support this movement and anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to a pet knows that it’s like losing a member of your family. A Canadian therapist agrees, she says, “In many cases, an employee can’t perform their best after the loss of a pet. They’re not focused. They’re just not fully there and need the time to grieve in order to be their best self again.” This was me.
We had a tabby cat named Scout who was the spitting image of his dad, Simba. He was born with intussusception, this is when part of the intestine telescopes inside of another one. He had multiple vet visits and was on special prescription food. In one year he must have visited the vet 30 times and that is not an exaggeration.We watched him like a hawk and I knew all of the symptoms of his illness. After a successful surgery and a little while of being symptom free, he suffered a set back, the intussusception returned. One summer morning after spending the night on the floor with Scout, I called my sister at 7 am, he wasn’t eating and seemed like he was sick again. She told me to meet her at the clinic. I assured myself that all he needed was his electrolytes back in order like the last time and that he would be fine. That was not the case…he was dying. I sat on the floor of the clinic in the back room and held him while I cried like a baby. He died in my arms and a part of my heart went with him. He was euthanized because there was NOTHING else we could do for him, the vet said that if we tried another surgery he wouldn’t make it through the anaesthetic. I didn’t want him to suffer and he had been through so much already. This was the hardest thing I had ever done. It was like losing a family member. We had been through SO much together and there were times where I would be up all night checking on him, or sleeping next to him on the floor, silently praying that he would be ok.
Even as I sit here and write this I start to cry. I miss him like crazy still every single day. He was my boy, my friend, my youngest of the litter. He was a fighter, a trooper and one hell of a tough little guy. I was so devastated after his death that I took 3 days off of work…I really appreciate my boss understanding my grief because essentially, everyone in the office went through it with me. They held their breath when the vet called after Scout’s first surgery, they supported me when I came in a bit late because I had to drop him off before work at the vet, they were there through the hardest of times and were totally supportive. So YES! I agree 100% with companies offering pet bereavement days…it was like a part of me was gone and there was no way that I could’ve functioned at all. I could barely get out of bed as it was my heart was so broken.
Scout now rests in peace on our mantle in the living room where we spend most of our time. We have his photo on the wall with him and his brother Sebastien and his dad Simba watching over him. He still holds a very special place in our hearts and will remain there always.