Registered: 1520635687 Posts: 2
My cat was 25 years old this year. Quite impressive. Love and centerpiece of my life, and lately my only companion. After all those years I could tell that it was the same on her side. She had issues – ear hematoma a few years back (both ears), some sort of allergy, some neurological issues lately, recurrent kidney infections (she was on special diet), she couldn’t hear, and had a few others non life-threatening issues. But she always pulled thru. But lately even though eating, she was losing weight - becoming thin, just skin and bones really. And now, no matter what morsels of food I have offered her she stopped eating altogether (for a week). She became very fragile, her hind legs were giving up, she had difficulties walking, etc. After my last vet visit it seemed like this was the end of the road. I have researched the web – this and that, “quality of life”, “how many good and bad days” (well, I can have 2 good days out of five and it’s still worth it, if I am with someone I love), “rather one week earlier, than one day late”, “seizures”, “suffering”, etc. I could tell that she is getting progressively worse, but still functioning - was still able to make it to her litter box, the poor thing. Some time ago I have decided that if at all possible I will have her to end her life at home, not taking her somewhere, not to make her last moments uncomfortable. The big snow blizzard was coming in two days, the roads will be impassable, the vision of seizures, my helplessness… so I have made arrangements with the vet to come the next day… the kitty was sleeping on her pillow… I asked the vet’s opinion – she thought it’s time, even though I had doubts… I could have stopped it but did not, and the kitty gave up very peacefully, without struggle…. But now I really do have regrets – she didn’t quite give up – I have given up – and this is something what will stay with me for the rest of my life. I know it would have been a risk – she could have lived a few days longer, she could start eating again, she could have seizures the next day? Who knows – but if I could go back and do it over, I would have waited – and take a chance - till I get a real sign. I don’t think she was quite ready to die that day, and the thought that she was maybe trying to tell me “I always was - and am - brave enough to stick with you with all my pains and discomforts and wobbly body and not giving up just to be with you as long as possible, you could wait a bit longer - why do you have to kill me too soon?” - this thought will haunt me forever. So why am I writing this? I don’t think this will re-assure anyone, or make anyone feel better, and it’s just my opinion of course, so you can ignore it. But just a word of warning – think hard - once it’s done, it cannot be undone. But now I am dealing with feelings of loss and guilt. The loss I could eventually accept – what is born must die one day - but the feeling of guilt will haunt me forever. I am a thinking adult and I know you mean well, but please none of this “make you (ME) feel better” by saying how now she is happily frolicking somewhere in kitty heaven with her kind – that is of course nonsense. She will become dust soon with a different arrangement of atoms – and we will be united one day again but in a final burst of fire. But now of course my only issue is – how do I live with myself?
Registered: 1520952202 Posts: 12
I understand your heartbreak. I have had to have say goodbye in this way to several pets during my lifetime. Each time I have second guessed myself and had guilt. You did the right thing. She isn't suffering anymore but by doing the best by her I know you have broken your own heart. I can tell you loved her so much.
You loved her and cared for her and gave her as good of a life as any kitty could ever hope for. Everything does die but that doesn't make it any less painful. What our mind knows doesn't heal our hearts or fill the lonely days. I think you did get a sign. You knew she could pass any time at home and it could have been a painful and drawn out thing for kitty. The best we can ever do is love them and protect them and keep them from suffering. Being in so much pain is making you second guess yourself but you did the right thing. You did the hard thing but you loved her enough to do it. No words can take the pain away but please know that I and many others understand.
Registered: 1509040445 Posts: 22
I think that this decision is one of the hardest ones we make in our lives. There are “quality of life” scales, opinions from vets, opinions from loved ones, our own gut feelings. However, very rarely is there a sign that is so clear as to say “this is EXACTLY the right time”. I think that everyone struggles with their decision afterwards. Too late? Too soon? I put my own soul kitty to sleep 2 days ago after a long fight with CKD, untreatable hyperthyroidism (long story there as to why it was untreatable), HCM, IBD, etc. Although his body was failing, his soul and mind were still fully intact. Despite his failing body, he was relatively happy that day. He enjoyed a last meal of tuna. We went outside. He was also euthanized at home. At the time, I strongly felt that collapse was days or weeks away. I didn’t want him to suffer. We had tried everything and he was still declining.
Anyways, I have also had feelings of guilt. What has helped me has been to look at the facts. I look at his weight record. I look at his worsening blood test results. I think of him as he sat by his water bowl, never able to get rid of the thirst. I have (sadly) watched many cats pass from this world as I have worked with animals for over 13 years. I have seen so much pain. Cats are stoic by nature. They typically don’t show pain/suffering until it is overwhelming. Could your cat have lived a few more days or weeks? Could Scooter have done so? It’s impossible to know. But what we both did was that we prevented suffering. We prevented that 12am drive through the blizzard with a cat screaming in pain/dying. There is no decision that is right in every situation. You did what you felt in your gut was the right decision that day. Your vet clearly agreed or they would not have proceeded. You have to trust yourself in that time. And remember, guilt is one of those stages of grieving they always talk about. I wish you the best in your healing journey and I’m very sorry for the loss of your beloved cat. Take care.
Registered: 1515548302 Posts: 123
...................................................... Hello Tomas.... Saddened at the news of Your beloved. I agree with you, in that all this ''nonsense'' bit. Ashes to ashes. However I do believe Spiritually that We are linked to Our pets through connective energy. The passing of one and the rising of the Spirit. The bond between animal and human is so very strong. Heartbreaking is the Loss. For the love of our pets and Forever in Our Hearts. RIP..... Sherry/Perryx TO OTHERS ON THE FORUM:: My beloved chihuahua of 16y did have multi issues and I did* make the right decision for him being laid to rest. No other person other than myself made the move, I was not* influenced by the Vet nor would I have allowed my person to be under such an influence by anyone. So, a word of caution to others, be ABSOLUTELY certain of your CONVICTIONS when terminating the life of your '''MOST BELOVED'''. May the aforementioned be of great assistance to You in having the ''state of mind'' to make the correct* decision for Your pet, as there is ''no'' reversal of.