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I said goodbye to my cat of 13 years, Urdwill, at the pet hospital this morning. He had multiple cancer tumors and I did not want him to have to go through invasive surgery. Yesterday when I visited him for an hour, he mewed, we cuddled, he rubbed his cheek against mine, and he fell asleep with his head on my hand. Today he acted as though I was a stranger, and simply stared fixedly ahead of him, as though he saw something we could not. The very kind and sensitive vet gave him an injection of medicine that made him sleep, then the killing dose; his passing was immediate, peaceful, and pain-free, as I had prayed it would be. I've been up since around 3am and I am so exhausted I can barely function, even though it is only 4pm here in Santa Fe, NM now. We had a wonderful 13 years together, Urdwill and I, and he was the last of my animals to pass away (I had 2 dogs before him and 2 dogs after I got him, all of whom are now dead). I must focus on what we had, not his last moments. But the child in me feels that somehow Urdwill got sick and died because I did not do something for him that I should have. And I feel as though I've been disemboweled. My heart goes out to all of you who are mourning a pet. Non-petlovers don't understand what it is like, how strong and deep the bond can be between human and pet. My body misses Urdwill--misses touching him, stroking his fur, feeling his weight on my lap and in my arms, hearing his loud purr and feeling the vibration of it. Often he would climb into bed with me, and his furry butt would push up against my side, keeping me warm. (And next morning he would have somehow managed to completely take over the middle of the bed, pushing me to the very margins!) I refuse to be ashamed of my grief. I love you, Urdwill. Goodbye, sweet boy.