Missy checking out Cheese just after we got him.
When you're little your parents tell you all kinds of stuff to try to prepare you for life as an adult. They tell you about money, paying bills, getting a real job, falling in love, buying a house, etc. They give you responsibilities in your young life to prepare you for the responsibilities you will have as an adult. They will allow you to get a pet, but will emphasize that you have to clean it's litterbox or let it outside or clean it's hooves (I had a horse growing up...that's kind of normal when you live on a farm). But when said animal gets sick or something happens to it, usually that's when the kids responsibilities come to an end. If an animal needs to go to the vet because it is sick or injured, the parent takes them. They pay for the vet bill. They make the tough decisions (to treat or to euthanize). And then if things go wrong, if that pet dies, the kid might be allowed to say goodbye, but the responsibility usually ends there. Parents generally attempt to shield their children from unnecessary hurt and pain, and rightly so. It's the parent who goes to the vet and watches as the animal drifts into unconsciousness. It is the parent who then decides whether to cremate or bury. And if they choose to bury the animal, it is the parent who digs the hole and lays the animal to rest.
What parents don't tell you though, is that someday you'll have to do that. It seems obvious, right? If you have a pet then you have to deal with all the responsibilities of having said pet. But there are those things, those dark, scary things that you were once shielded from that you will also have to face whether you like it or not! And as silly as it sounds I just came to realize this fact! Missy's illness and passing has made me all to aware of this. Although I have always considered myself a very independent and responsible person/adult, I guess there are still a couple of responsibilities that I've never had to face before and that come as quite a shock. I guess becoming an adult is kind of like an evolution, it happens slowly and just when you think you have everything figured out something has to go and change.
Friday we buried Missy. We picked her body up from the vet (probably the toughest part), took her home, dug a hole in the backyard, and said goodbye. We planted some red tulips on her grave, and when they bloom in the coming weeks they will be a constant reminder of the joy and sweetness she brought to Antoine and to our home.