300 Writing Prompts # 8: Have You Ever Had To Put A Pet Down?

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If I had started writing in this journal when I bought it 6 months ago, the answer to this prompt would have been boring, containg satirical stories of me flushing my State Fair goldfish down the drain, (for the record it was a lovely service) but as luck would unfortunately have it, I now have experience and insight for this question.

His name was Rowdy. He was the first pet I ever had that was all my own. We rescued him the summer we got married. The airport my husband worked at had “adopted” a cat on accident, and while the pilots in the medical helicopter hangar wanted to keep this kitten they had grown to love, they needed to keep a sterile atmosphere for the medical equipment. My husband was tasked with finding a new home for the cat. He instantly curled up in the truck next to Matthew and the next thing I know I was getting messages that could have very well come from a 4 year-old. “Can we keep him!” “He won’t be any trouble!”

I didn’t need to be convinced. He came home that day and after some careful discussion we named him after fun stories we heard about a local farm hand with a weird passion for Rush Limbaugh ( a long, but true story).


Rowdy was never a perfectly ‘healthy’ cat. He first got sick 5 months after we moved to Texas. Like a lot of male cats, even fixed ones, his body would often develop crystals that would block the bladder causing infections and major illness if undetected. Over the next 8 years, Rowdy was prescribed different types of cat foods and had several (like 5) procedures to unblock his bladder. I won’t bore you with every detail of Rowdy’s life (I will leave that for his upcoming obituary), but what I will tell you is that we loved him even though he fit the stereotype of a typical house cat to a T.

On December 17th 2018 we found ourselves at the emergency vet office faced with 2 options, another unblocking procedure with several rounds of tests and a referral to a specialist in Austin, or to peacefully let him sleep. We spent 40 minutes trying to decide what to do, but with the guidance of the caring vet we made the decision to let our little Rowdy peacefully sleep.


It’s not been a month yet, but we miss him and still catch ourselves calling for him or referring to our cats in the plural.


I won’t ask anyone if they have ever had to put a pet down although you are welcome to answer if you would like. I do invite you to tag me in any of your blog posts about your wonderful pets our furry friends should be shared!




Published by Jennifer Shidler

I am a Hoosier at heart who has moved to the heart of Texas with my husband Matthew, our cats Rowdy & Mosby and our dogs Lucy & Wrigley. Matthew is a Chief Flight instructor at a flight school in Austin and I care for my mother full time and write random thoughts and posts in between. I started writing this blog as a way to keep people back home updated on our lives here in Texas, and has turned into a way to relax, think and to make others laugh!

5 thoughts on “300 Writing Prompts # 8: Have You Ever Had To Put A Pet Down?

  1. My family has had to put down a pet – a dog back in 2010. He was something like 15 years old and he had always had health problems so it was a miracle he lived to be so old. But in the end he was just too sick and it was very painful for him. After that, I had a good discussion with my current dog and told him that he is never allowed to die. He licked my face and growled at me for trying to pick him up so I take that as his agreement!

    1. 15 years! He did hang on, he must of loved his family! I have had a similar discussion with my other cat and two dogs. I will feed them on time, let them inpsect whose at the door and let them have something off my plate from time to time and they will live until I’m 80. We pinky sweared on it…so im confident lol

  2. Awh I’m so sorry about Rowdy 😦 My parents and I have put down two dogs and two cats. The last one was our cat, Mittens, in 2016. I basically grew up with her and she was 13. She stopped eating and we found out she was starting with pancreatic cancer and it would have just gotten worse. It was really hard to lose her, and it took us over a year before we got a new cat. All of our pets were cremated, so we keep their boxes together on a shelf in a cabinet in our dining room. It sounds weird but at least they’re all together. Putting a pet down is so hard and it takes a while to get over.

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