As much as possible, make their last weeks, days, hours, or minutes, happy ones. After a rapid 2 week decline of kidney failure, my cat Oakley-Bean, was booked in to be put to sleep. I spent my last night with Oakley cuddling him, telling him I loved him, and crying, crying, crying! When he lifted his frail body up in order to press his face against my wet cheek to comfort me – an act that was obviously painful for him – I realised that my goodbye was all wrong. I started to smile and laugh and be happy that I'd had the privilege to have him in my life for 9 years. I told him how happy he'd made me. I thanked him for being there through all the tough times. And I promised him that it was okay to leave and that I would be all right. The next morning, answering my front door to the local vet was horrible. I stared at the little bag under her arm, inside which was Oakley's peace, but my heartache. The vet nurse held him on her lap while the vet slid the needle into his vein, and I stared into his eye (he only had one) and said 'Goodbye, I love you, goodbye, I love you,' until the light inside him just went out. It left his body and instead filled the space around me. I don't remember taking his body from the nurse, I don't remember them leaving my house, I just remember laying back on the couch, clutching Oakley to my chest and screaming. Because that was the time to grieve his loss, instead of while he had still been alive. My advice therefore is: try not to waste those last precious moments (if you are lucky enough to have them) grieving them before they have gone. You’ll have plenty of time for this afterward.