He couldn't hold out until Friday. We were sure he wouldn't last the night. He was unable to stand, he was unresponsive and his eyes wouldn't close when he passed into sleep. I held him for a long while on the couch. He melted into my arms and breathed slow breaths and I could feel his little heart beating. He was so skinny.
We knew we had to put him down tonight. He couldn't get to the litter anymore, he could no longer stand up to drink. He was not going to enjoy his last day alive at that rate. So we took him to the emergency vet clinic. We got there around 10:00.
Crying in a strange reception area, giving your information so strangers can end your cat's life is a terrible experience. Watching people watch you, sobbing while you say your phone number, confirming this is your final decision.
I walked into the room where the Dude and Smokey were waiting for me. Smokey was being examined and when it was over, he laid down and in an awkward position managed to rest his head on the Dude's arm. Then he relaxed and stayed that way till the end.
The Dude and I held Smokey and pet him, telling him he was a good boy. He was barely conscious, not really struggling to live, not really fighting death. He seemed peaceful as we waited. When the time came, I could barely notice as his life slipped away, he was so far gone already.
He kind of looked like he was smiling when we left. That's my Smokey.
I know I'll cope and move on. But something in me already knows I'll never fully stop missing him. He was my friend.