A dedication to Pooh


Today a bit longer post, since i feel that i want to write some things of my chest.

My deer feline friend Pooh is suffering from Diabetes. For the last few months it’s been on and off to the vet, trying to restore his blood sugar to normal levels. Sadly giving him insulin hasn’t worked out. So now he’s no longer on insulin, only on diet cat food. He is experiencing increasing difficulty in walking and it’s sad to see him not being able to do what a cat normally does.

In meeting with his suffering i receive an important lesson from Pooh. He shows me what it means to be truly compassionate. As his health decreases a motherly care came over me. At the same time i was confronted with me being attached to him. This mixture has caused quite some confusion within me as i try to help him without projecting my own fears and insecurities onto him. Pooh is a powerful mirror!

As i practice and follow the Buddhist path, i´m confronted with my own impermanence. Nothing lasts forever, so it is only natural to have to let go of the ones you love. But earlier experiences in my life have made it difficult for me to accept it once it´s really up close and personal. As i don´t want Pooh to suffer, neither do i want to suffer. And yet, the truth is that there is always going to be a little inconvenience, or major pain in our lives. To see Pooh accepting his faith without complaints is really an inspiration.

I never expected this moment to have come, to see my little friend suffer like this. I guessed part of me had the childish belief that they would live for a long time. I never realized that a cat could get seriously ill. And yet, that is the case now. The vet told me the last time i was there that Pooh is no longer having a cat-worthy existence. And that might be true. I don’t know, never been in this situation before. I see him having difficulty walking and yet i also still see his essence shine on through.

So i did a little research on the internet and with friends, asking what would be the best to do. Putting your good friend to sleep is no easy decision. And from a Buddhist perspective it’s better to let the animal die a natural death. I don’t know at this point what to do. I’ve noticed that i’ve been delaying making the decision for weeks now. These two views run counter to each other, but they exist side by side in my mind. On the one hand i don’t want Pooh to suffer and so i think it’s best to put him to sleep, and on the other hand i want to give him the opportunity to die a natural death. I don’t know how long it will take before Pooh will die of a natural cause and i don’t know how much he suffers. It is not my intention to make him suffer more. But i find it hard to having to take the decision to put him to sleep.

And so my mind has been in confusion for quite a few weeks now. It affects me on quite a few levels, though i’m beginning to see that maintaining the daily practice and relaxing the mind by meditation and mindfulness will help me best as i go through this phase. It’s weird to allow the grief to be here, while Pooh is still alive. But on the other hand, denying the grief only makes it stronger. So as i try to do my best, i realize that there is no true answer to it all. And so i wish for wisdom to do what is right and to support Pooh the best way i can.

Thank you for reading!


10 responses to “A dedication to Pooh

  1. Pets are like family. It is natural to feel deeply regarding their suffering. Keep on feeling it, but don’t let it devour you; transcend it (too), which is what your cat would want for you!
    We had a little Shih Tzu that had cancer. We finally put it to sleep (at the vets, of course.) We should have done it sooner. She suffered too long. Doing that (sooner) may be the really sagacious (most caring) thing to do. It depends on the situation.
    Though I was at work when the dog was put to sleep, my wife was with her at the vets. I am very clairvoyant, at times, and I — though I wasn’t there — knew the exact time that the dog was put to sleep (though no one had told me). When I got home from work, later in the day, I told my wife of the exact time that I felt her leaving… and my wife said “Yes, that is the time that it took place.”
    You are so right… it is no easy decision.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response Tom. I must say that now i’ve made the decision, it gives some relief. And now i can work on feeling the suffering of Pooh. It feels like i had to first overcome my own fears and doubts, so that i can be of good help to him. Thankfully we listened to a very inspiring lesson today by my teacher, which helped me to shift focus and see what i was doing – running away from this situation. But also seeing that i’ve made quite a few positive changes in the past too so that i didn’t have to be tough on myself. Being with Pooh with an open heart and feeling what he needs.

  2. Thank you for this sad story of your friend Pooh. It’s always about letting go, I think, no more than this. At some point you will take Pooh to the vet and let him go there. Then over the years that come after he’s gone, let go and let go…

  3. I grieve for you and your furry friend. With most of my cats, I haven’t had a choice, I had to put them to sleep, and I know how hard it is to do this, or to watch them suffer. Either way, it is very painful to watch them and wonder how bad they are suffering.

  4. I know this is an old writing but felt compelled to comment. Pooh is/was so beautiful. I was sad for you as I read about you slowly losing a good buddy. It seemed like you were the one suffering more than Pooh. Belated hug sent your way. I imagine he is gone and that you miss him.

    • He is still here Suzanne! Doing reasonably well and I must say that I’ve accepted the situation. And now his brother is showing signs that he too has diabetes. Rollercoaster all over again.. but I accept it

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