When You Don’t Do Everything That You Can

It’s hard for me to type right now. My orange cat is on my lap with his head pressing down on my wrists as he licks and nips my hands because he wants me to pet him. He’s kind of fat and doesn’t really even fit completely on my lap – and my computer is taking up most the space anyway – so he keeps rearranging his chubby body so he stays on. At times he sits up and licks my chin.


He’s purring. He missed me. I was just gone for four days and no matter that the cats are really the girl’s cats. They are my cats. I’m the one who stays up late and they snuggle up close to me when I work or watch TV. I’m the one they sleep on. The orange on curled up on my chest and the black on on my hip. Every night for two years. I’m the one who feeds them every morning at 4:30am and I’m the one they snuggle with all day when the kids are at school.


So they are my cats. Even though we officially say the orange one(Truffle) is Eloise’s and the black one(Tyko) belongs to Esther.

But it doesn’t really matter I guess who they officially belong to because the important thing to note is that they are family. And I love them.


But today from 700 miles away I had to tell them to put Tyko down.
I put a price on his life. Nothing I’ve never had to do before. Nothing I’ve never had to explain to my children before.


And don’t think that that isn’t the first thing they asked me when I got off the plane – because they know. And it broke their heart. And mine. And I’m sitting here second guessing my decision because I’m not that kind of person.


I love animals. I love all animals(okay, maybe not snakes) and Tyko is a part of our family, and I’ve been sobbing for five hours since that phone call.ย  But I could not spend thousands and thousands of dollars. I couldn’t.


And maybe it was easy for me making that decision. Not seeing my children’s faces as I broke the news. Not watching them say goodbye to their sweet kitty.


Their kitty.


It was so easy for me maybe.


But I sit here with my tears falling onto Truffle’s fur. Knowing he’s the one who has lost his brother, his best friend, his playmate, his companion, his napping partner.


And I can’t change what I decided. And I grieve for him.


But mainly for Tyko because I chose not to save him.


Eloise put it better than any of us could when she said “I never want to get another pet because this just hurts too much.”


That’s how much it hurts to open your heart to unconditional love.


We’ll miss you Tyko cat. Please know you were loved.


About Tracy

My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, world traveler, and marathon runner. I would love for you to contact me at tracy@sellabitmum.com

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  1. Kristin says

    Hardest thing to do as a pet owner but god, just think of the memories you have of him! Sending so much love and hugs to you. So very sorry for your loss.*hug*

  2. Jen says

    I am so, so very sorry for your family’s loss, Tracy ๐Ÿ™ Losing a pet IS so hard—they see a side of us that often other human beings don’t see—they are definitely true family members. Thinking of you guys!!!!

    • says

      Thank you, my love. Truffle has been walking around looking for his brother today. It’s breaking my heart twice over. xo

  3. says

    Oh no… so so sorry about your loss. And, so sorry you have to watch your children go through the hurt. Pets are worth it and they will learn a good lesson, but it still sucks. I’m positive you made the best choice so don’t feel guilty.
    Rachelle recently posted..I Like January

    • says

      Thank you Kimberly. We lost another cat just two years ago so we are still so numb from this. I thought these kitties would go off to college with my girls in 8 years. ๐Ÿ™

  4. says

    Oh, I am so sorry to read this. I know how difficult those decisions are to make. I understand the choice you made. And the agony you are going through now. It would be hard to lose Truffle regardless of how or why. The burden you feel just adds to it. Sending you a big hug. And thinking about all of you as you grieve.

  5. says

    oh, tracy! my childhood cat had to be put down the year vann and i got married because he had diabetes. it was too costly for my parents (he lived with them) to keep up with the care. you know i am a cat owner/lover and i totally get this. i’m so, so sorry you had to make this decision. ๐Ÿ™

  6. says

    We lost our beloved family dog a few days before Christmas and it devastated me. We were sitting in the room, making the decision to let or go or pay to try and find out what was wrong when she chose to leave on her own terms. It was so sudden and I still find myself looking for her in the floor near my bed or at the backdoor waiting to go out.
    Pets become so much more than just pets. I’ll be praying for your family.
    Natalie recently posted..The Man With a Dream

  7. Peggy Marino says

    So sorry about Tyko. Poor Truffles is going to be lonely. Hugs to all. Do you know what was wrong with him?

    • says

      Thank you Auntie Peggy. He ate a pretty large amount of tulle from a dress-up costume and the tulle got stuck in his intestines and colon. The surgery and hospital stay would’ve been $4000 with no guarantees as until they went in they wouldn’t know exactly how back it was tangled. ๐Ÿ™ He was only two years old. I feel awful and have second guessed our decision all day. xo

  8. says

    So sad for your family tonight. Unfortunately I am with Eloise – losing a pet is so hard and that is one of the big reasons why we don’t have one. I don’t want to have to make decisions like you had to.

    Sending support and wisdom your way for you and your girls.
    Heather recently posted..Happy Birthday Golden Boy

  9. says

    My heart aches for you but I also know you did the right thing. Yes, it hurts, becasue we do care and love our wonderful pets. I hope tha happier memories can be some consolation for you.

  10. Mamaintheburbs says

    Pets are family. I’m so sorry about your loss. I’ve been there and know how hard it is to make that decision. Sending you prayers!

  11. Michelle says

    I have not yet left a comment and so enjoy your writings and sharing your beautiful family with us so eloquently! You did the right thing for your family Tracy. I can imagine it doesn’t feel that way at this very tender moment, but you did! Your beloved Tyko was loved and had an amazing life with your beautiful family! My heart hurts for you and your girls. I hope as each day passes you will all heal from your loss a little more each day. Blessings and Hugs

  12. says

    Hugs to all of you. Remember the silly things, the fun times and all the cuddling. He had such a loving home. So sorry.

  13. says

    I am so sorry, Tracy. We said goodbye to our cat about a month ago, and it is so very difficult. We have had thoughts very similar to Eloise’s; it is so hard to say goodbye. Thinking of you and your family.

  14. liz says

    The devastation of losing a pet is tremendous and overwhelming. I’m so sorry for your loss and sadness.

    My mom did all that she could to save their last dog, and she has told me that is something she would never do again (he was already 14 when he was diagnosed with cancer). Watching him as he gradually got worse, knowing that he couldn’t have been feeling good or had even a decent quality of life, wasn’t worth it.

    I’ll be thinking of you as you guys weather the heart ache.

    • says

      Oh hon – it’s so hard to know what to do. Of course I’m second guessing myself as we loved him so much. Love you. xo

  15. says

    My sisters and mother and I all got several pets between us about 15-17 years ago, so you know what that means now. We have had to make decisions like this every few months for the past couple years, unfortunately. My sister had to make the decision with her beloved dog Pete last week as well. Pete loved cats, so maybe he’ll befriend Tyko up in Heaven! Smiles to your family during this time!
    Corey Moortgat recently posted..New Doors & Windows…

    • says

      Oh Corey- Tyko loved dogs too so my heart feels a bit better knowing that maybe they will share a snuggle. Thank you. xo

  16. says

    Many, many hugs. Sometimes the choices we must make are far to difficult. It’s okay. I’ve been there. I spent over 5k keeping my first kitty around–before kids, on two incomes. She was my first love, but all that money and intensive medical care still only prolonged her life two more years. We’ve lost three (fur) babies since then, and we just can’t go through that again… It was excruciating each time. I found once they were gone and the tears dried, peace settled in, even if every day we still miss them.
    Kerry Ann @Vinobaby’s Voice recently posted..Review: The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers

  17. says

    Ohh…I’m so sorry. I’m allergic to cats and so have never had them…but I do have dogs. So now I’m crying for your family. It’s so hard. And sometimes I have to agree with Eloise. I’m sure that Tyko is in a better place without pain. Hugs for you all.
    Jaime recently posted..Bittersweet

  18. says

    So, so sorry. It’s amazing how easy it can be to take our pats for granted – they’re just there, requiring care and attention, happy to greet us when we come through the door. And you care for them and about them but you may never think about what it would be like to lose them…until you’re faced with the prospect. I know that feeling very well. And my husband still hasn’t gotten over having his dog put down years ago as a result of epilepsy. In both our cases, it was for the best for the animal. But it hurts nonetheless. Hugs to you and the girls.
    Mrs. Jen B recently posted..#HonorMyself Monday: Because Weโ€™re Worth It

  19. says

    Oh, I have been in this situation… My therapist at the time had me write a stinking letter to the cat i chose to put down. I don’t know how much it helped me process my decision… but it sure helped me have a crying fest, curled up on my couch writing furiously to me beloved kitty.
    You made the decision you thought was best. *hug*
    Jenni Chiu @ MommyNaniBooboo recently posted..Lipstick Days.

    • says

      Oh your comment made me cry – but I think it’s helpful. When our other cat died two years ago I had the kids write him a letter. I do think it helps. xo

  20. says

    I is so incredibly sad to put a pet down. They are part of our family. I’m still sad about saying goodbye to my beloved dog last spring. But it was time. She was suffering. Your daughter’s comments feel so true. But we love our pets and it’s hard to imagine living without them.
    Dara Dokas recently posted..Paying for Good Grades

  21. says

    I hope that Esther will eventually be able to open herself up to another pet, I really do. I’ve never been faced with this choice and although my husband is allergic to dogs and cats, I think this hurt Esther speaks of is part of why he says no (not as much as his eyes swelling and his throat scratching and him developing hives in places that Amazing Blue Star Ointment should never be placed, but still.)
    Arnebya recently posted..What I Wouldnโ€™t Give

  22. Heather H. says

    Oh, Tracy. I so feel for you right now. We had to put down one of our three cats on Christmas Eve. I had never had to make that decision either, nor explain it to a child, or deal with two cats still at home (one of them his sister) looking at me wondering where he went. You HAVE TO KNOW that you made the right decision, and being the strong woman and mother that you are, you made it, no matter how painful it was. You gave him a wonderful home, special children to play with, and the permission to go to a better place. Sending a giant hug and love to all of you, it will get better my friend.

  23. says

    I’ve never had pets so I don’t know from personal experience what you’re going through, but your tender post helped me imagine your feelings. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. xo
    Kristen @ Motherese recently posted..This is Two