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Posts: 1
I would like to preface this by saying that my personality is pretty pragmatic. I'm not highly emotional, which is why I feel SO CRAZY dealing with my grief, over a CAT! It slams me, usually at night. I need to know someone else has been through what I have been through, because reading through these threads where your pets had long illnesses and clear signs of declining health makes me feel even more isolated and alone. My cat of 14 years, whose friendship and companionship I probably took for granted, died two months ago after a confusing set of circumstances.

I was scheduled for a wisdom teeth removal surgery on a Thursday. The appointment was rescheduled twice due to some freak illnesses of my own, so I was SUPER committed to keeping my appointment. During the week before my surgery, I noticed my cat was throwing up some white foamy material, so I took him to the vet. Vitals were performed, everything came back NORMAL. The vet suggested an antibiotic, because maybe his tooth was infected? I dont' know. All I know is I prescribed the antibiotic, but I rushed through it. It was traumatic, and horrible. The pill was SO BIG. 

Eventually during that week, my cat stopped eating. I kept giving him the pill. I got my surgery. The weekend after my surgery, after a few days of not eating, I rushed him to the vet ER. One long week later, and many specialist visits (and thousands of $$ later), and ALL clear tests, I learn that it could be esophagitis. I agree to a surgery to put a stent in his esophagus, to open up the passageway.

During surgery, the vet calls me to tell me that there was the most severe necrotic tissue damage she'd ever seen, likely caused by the antibiotic pill getting stuck in his throat, releasing the medicine in the wrong spot, killing his tissue. She wanted to give him a feeding tube, give his esophagus the opportunity to heal, and then try the stent surgery again in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I would have to feed him a liquid diet through a syringe and hope for the best.

Readers, I just couldn't. I already charged almost $4k and couldn't bear to endure the liquid syringe diet or feeding tube after the nearly 3 weeks of stress I had lived with leading up to that moment trying to get him to eat. I opted to do a humane euthanasia - he was already sedated for the surgery. I have not recovered since.

I'm trying to seek comfort by reading these pages, and most of them say that when the pet stops enjoying life, you know when to let go. Through all of his pain, my cat was purring, snuggling, enjoying life. I'm thinking of his last days head bumping me, and me feeling utterly helpless and heartbroken not knowing why he wasn't eating. 

I'm haunted by the idea that the pill I gave him, under much duress, caused this condition. I'm even more haunted by idea that he SHOULD still be here with me, and that I let him down. Logically I know I made the right choice. I could not afford to pursue care, nor did I want him to wake up with a feeding tube, only to not be sure if he would fully heal. But I miss him, every dang day. How will I ever get over this?


Posts: 67
Thank you for sharing.

Posts: 639
It's hard to believe right now because you are in the thickest of the thick of it, but you pain will someday ease up. What you went through is a traumatic experience. Certain deaths happen in a way that they are more likely to be experienced as traumatic. You feel shocked and overwhelmed. This is too much for you to handle. And understandably.

I applaud you for the all the stops you pulled out to save your cat. That is admirable. Though the ending did not turn out as you expected, please include everything you did right when you review the situation. I understand fully how horrified you are about the pill causing the death because of where it landed. However, you "haunted" did not place that pill there. You allow the pill to be taken as medicine. What happened afterwards was a cruel trick of fate. It is not something you planned and decided or acted upon. You were doing your part to get your cat well. And there was no harm in your cat taking the pill. What happened is a freak accident. But the frustration from not being able to have prevented it is severe. And the heartbreak.

Accidents in life happen. I am not trying to downplay this either. You have lost your best friend, someone you loved. But accidents do happen. I remember finding my cat stuck on something once by her collar, gasping for air and choking. It petrified me to think what if I hadn't found her. What if I had been away for hours and walked in and found her dead. I would have to suffer the conseqences of putting that collar on her. But would I have been responsible for her death had she died? No. Yes, I put the collar on, but I am not the one who got her stuck on something where she was gagging and stuff. You did not put that pill where it landed. But you are heartbrokena and devastated. Quite frankly as you should be. Anyone would be.

This is going to take a long time to come to terms with. I remember a situation where I saw it on the news. A family had adopted little girl from Korea and she was picture perfect.Simply beautiful. They dressed her in pretty clothing and put ribbons in her hair.  She was full of smiles and happy with her shiny hair. Their dream child. And one day by accident one of the parents back out of the driveway, did not see their daughter and hit her with the car and she was killed. Instantly I think.

My point is not to take away from your story as your story is on the same level as the one I just told you about. I want you to see that accidents happen. You allowed for that pill to be taken. But you did not cause the death. Still nonetheless, right how you believe you did. And I understand that fully. It took years...and I literally mean 5 years before I even began to ease up over the fact I was holding myself responsible for my cat Pearl's death. The mental torture was enormous. I went to numerous counselors and none of it helped. Because I wasn't suffering from a "mental illness" which is what counselors treat. I was suffering from a broken heart. 

Your decision to not go any further in the treatment was based on money yes, but it was also based on reality. And reality can suck!

Please keep posting about your feelings. And do use this list for free help by phone by calling pet loss hotlines for free.  The first place on that list will give you 4, one hour sessions by telephone for free by a social worker who works in the field of grief and loss. I took advantage of it. She was great. I was sorry I couldn't keep talking to her after the 4 phone appointments were over.

But call the other numbers. I did or I would have lost my mind.

Take care,
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