I've always grown up with pets --- mainly cats. We had one pedigree dog who was rambunctious and led us on thirst-inducing chases through the Nevada desert.
Cats, however, don't need to go through that effort. They just sit there and expect that you will love them.
One night, some friends and I came back to my apartment and the Queen of Cats (Xantha) sat there just like the lovable, enticing Queen she was, deigning to chat with us! She did! She loved everyone. Even people that didn't like cats loved her. We were all adoring and chatting with her when she suddenly keeled over. It was either a stroke or heart attack. We ran to the vet immediately but there was nothing they could do for her, as she had already passed.
Now, today, I've actively decided to put one of my cats down. I've never done that before. His name is Rasputin. He's 16. Tomorrow at 3 pm. How did I know? I gave him some catnip -- his favorite thing in the world. He just sat there, his eyes glazed over and told me he didn't have the effort. Yes, he hasn't been feeling well lately and I don't like keeping him in further pain.
I've never done this before, but he definitely deserves a eulogy.
Pets have always died naturally in my world. When do you put someone out of their pain? Yes, I include pets in the "someone" realm.
Bye, sweet cat.