I let Mittens, my beautiful Maine coon cat, my little man, my monster, the love of my life (just a few names I gave him over the years) go to heaven on December 23, 2015. He had been sick for over a year, but really wasn't himself in the last few months of his life. He was another part of the anxiety I'd been dealing with, because I wasn't ready to lose him, but I also wanted to know exactly when it was the right time to let him go.
Back in August 2014, I discovered a lump on the right side of his cheek. It was odd, but after it grew a bit more in another month or so, I finally found a vet to look at it. Well, it was a tumor. There wasn't any way to find out if it was cancerous or not unless it was removed. I didn't have money to do that, but after two more trips to the vet to have the area around the tumor drained (and a seriously stressed out Mittens), I finally decided what the heck? I would do surgery for him. I cashed some bonds, put some savings together, and had a few people generously give me money to help pay for the surgery. That was at the end of January last year. I spent the next 2 weeks after that with Mittens in a cone. Fun times (NOT!!)!! In the meantime, the vet confirmed to me that the tumor wasn't cancerous, but there was a big chance something could come back. She was right. A month after Mittens' surgery, I noticed a small lump already in a different area. But, I knew I couldn't do anything about it, I just had to try to give him the best life like I had been that I could until it was his time to go to heaven.
Mittens lasted a lot longer than I really had anticipated. And I'm so thankful that I didn't have to let him go in the beginning time after my breakup, or over the summer. I don't know if I could have handled it that well on top of everything else. Mittens wasn't too playful, but he'd still cuddle with me and want to be with me for the most part. The lump continued to grow and ended up being a lot bigger than the previous one, and also covered a lot more area. It was all on the right side again, behind his right ear, and even under his chin. He didn't seem to be in pain, but I can't imagine that he was comfortable.
I kept asking God to please let me know when the right time was to let Mittens go. I believe He finally answered me the day before I took him, because Mittens spent that entire day hiding under my bed covers, a place I had never allowed him to go in all the years I had him. And at the time when I made the decision, I was at peace with it. Of course, I was sad and bawling my eyes out the day I brought him, but I was thankful that I knew that Mittens was no longer going to be in pain. A few weeks later, I got Mittens back home with me in a simple, but lovely little box with his ashes. He'll always be with me no matter what.