Dana, Luke, and Cairo
by Nancy Tannenbaum
(San Antonio, Texas)
I had my three beloved cats, Dana, Luke, and Cairo, euthanized September 6, 2012. Dana was 17 years old; Luke, 16, was her son; and Cairo, 15, was her daughter. I could no longer provide a stable home for my precious cats. They had been dragged out to New Mexico from Texas to live in my daughter's garage (she is allergic to cats, as am I, but her allergies/asthma are much worse). When I couldn't get on my feet, I came back to Texas, dragging the cats back with me to live with a "friend" who turned out to be a genuine nut with mental problems, in her garage; and finally into another friend's old horse barn for their final four days, in heat and dirt, with mosquitoes. I can only afford to move into a tiny senior apartment and knew the cats could no longer be put through the stress I was putting them through with one move after another and with no certainty that I could live with them in such small quarters; I need to return to New Mexico to be near my newborn grandson; they would have faced yet another ordeal driving back to New Mexico. I decided to put them to sleep. I feel such tremendous guilt over this. My life is chaotic and uncertain. Luke was on a special diet and Cairo had a history of ocular herpes. None of them had ever been separated from each other; I tried to re-home them into stable surroundings but no one wants elderly cats. My only comfort is that they are spared the ravages of whatever would ultimately have killed them - diabetes, or cancer, or heart problems.
But, oh, the broken heart and the loneliness of going on without them! I think I am going to die. Dana was my best friend. Luke was my dear companion. And Cairo? She was an intelligent, precious cat. I think I am dying of a broken heart. The euthanasia was very, very peaceful. They died together, and in my arms. I buried them in the Hill Country beneath a grove of trees. I know they are in heaven. I hope they will forgive me and know that I did this because I loved them. Love. Only love.