Our Martha Is Gone

We didn’t want to make a decision, we wanted Martha to tell us when she was ready to go.

We have prayed extensively, we have listened to Martha and observed her actions.

Martha, with son Andy, when she was only a few months old.

Martha, with son Andy, when she was only a few months old.

We have documented that it has been a month since she last ate, and she has been living on water, love and will-to-live ever since.

When I arrived home from work last night we took Martha to our bedroom and quietly anesthetized her. As I have said repeatedly, she is a grouchy cat, not amenable to care or treatment, although she has always loved attention and the company of her family.

Well, up to a point. When she decides she has had enough she bites, then leaves.

About ten days before her passing Martha felt she had to get one last bite on her Papa.

About ten days before her passing Martha felt she had to get one last bite on her Papa.

Or, bites and glares, daring you to pet her again.

Anesthesia was induced with an easy intramuscular injection. It took no more than a few minutes for her to cease to respond to outside stimuli. From there I easily administered an intravenous dose of euthanasia solution that first ceased her brain function, then her breathing, and soon after, her heartbeat.

By the time you read this she will be in the hands of A Pet’s Memory Funeral Home and Crematory, where the Sumralls will lovingly cremate her and her ashes will be placed in a special container Brenda has chosen for her.

On my desk at Animal General Hospital sit the cremains of each of our pets, going back 30 years.

On my desk at Animal General Hospital sit the cremains of each of our pets, going back 30 years.

As you can see from the accompanying photo, each of our pets has his or her own special “urn” or “ash capsule” on my desk at work. Sam and Blossum are in Mason jars because they were country dogs. Sally is in a special, delicate, ladylike vial. Notice as with Peyton’s container, at the right of the photo, each one has been lovingly decorated by Brenda to fit the personality of the inhabitant.

Why, you might ask, is Pearl not represented? Brenda has been so affected by her passing that she has been unable to work with Pearl’s ashes.

To pet lovers, losing a beloved four-legged companion can be a crushing blow. Grief follows the same steps as with any major loss. Each of us deals with the loss in his own way.

Time, love and good memories heal us.

Even if it takes years.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

6 Comments to “Our Martha Is Gone”

  1. Mindy & Bob 29 July 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    We were sorry to hear of your Martha’s passing. We realize she was an important member of your family and will be missed greatly. True, it was time and it sounds as though she went as peacefully as possible; yet, it’s still so hard to lose a loved one. We can all take comfort in knowing that Martha will live on through the wonderful stories you tell about your “four-legged” family members. Our Warmest Condolences, Mindy and Bob

  2. Jeanne Crowley 29 July 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    My heart breaks for you and Brenda. I send you both positive energy.

    • Dr. James W. Randolph 30 July 2011 at 5:49 pm #

      Thank you, Jeanne, you are so sweet and you always know the right thing to say.

  3. Jenny 29 July 2011 at 9:28 am #

    I’m sorry to hear about Martha’s passing. I’m glad she is no longer in pain though.

    • Dr. James W. Randolph 30 July 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      Thank you, Jenny. Fortunately, Martha never had any pain and she never suffered. We are blessed by that.


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