I had to ask myself that question "when is it time to let go?" yesterday. The hardest question and not one we like to ask. Having a animal's life in your hands and having to make that decition is one of the hardest things to do. I think it is different for some people but it is different when he is in a adoption program and you start asking yourself questions. Why couldn't he just finish is life in a good home, why so young, why the good ones, did I do enough, was I giving him the love and attention he needed before we went.
I know that some of you will never understand this completely and I'm not sure I understand to the fullest extent. We do a adoption program at work for cats found on the streets through the animal control in the town I live. I love this program. The reason I love my job. We can't adopt ones that have FIV/FeLeuk or that are feral (going to rip our faces off). Obviously we try to do what we can for all cats but it doesn't end in the greatest of situations all of the time. I have had over 400 cats just since I have started working there. I do not remember all of them but the saying "they leave pawprints on your heart" is true for some. Recently I have had a cat "Norman" who walked into my life. From the moment he came to us I knew instently his name was going to be Norman. He was like no cat I have ever met. Love of life, toys, catnip, brushing, tummy rubs, cats, didn't even mind dogs, and loved attention most of all. He was special in so many ways and even I wish I had more time to experience that. People loved him and made everyone smile. When a couple of home chances did not work out due to unknown allergies and crazy dogs things started popping up unexpected. He changed. Spiked temps, lethargic, not himself and after spending every day with him for several months I noticed this early. He was sick and the end results were hard to bare. He had lost 4 pounds in less then 2 weeks and we were force feeding just to keep him eating. Blood results came back as poss cancer and nothing we could do. Now I do not want to dwell on the end but the last moments were hard but meaningful. Was it his time? Yes I believe so because in that time I saw the signs of him just letting go and wanting to go, I just wasn't letting him. He was so calm. Just wanting to be loved on, brushed and soaking up the afternoon sun in his bed he just sat there and looked at me as if to say "It's okay to let me go, I'm ready and I need to." So I did. So I try to think of the lesson I need to learn from this. I'm still learning. Don't love to little or give not enough. Don't take time for granted and there is a time, we just have to be willing to let go. We have a saying at work "that it's the quality of life not the quanity". He didn't live as long as he should have but he touched lives in what little time he had. He was special in more ways then imagined and will be greatly missed. Maybe someone will learn something from this. I do not know. From Normans point of view. Live life to the fullest, touch as many lives as you can, be happy and don't be afraid to go when it is time.