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Atha

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Posts: 6
 #1 
He was my first and only pet. My cat, a male orange tabby of 14, died in my mom's arms on Christmas while convulsing and yowling while I was calling the vet. I feel immense guilt every day over not having bought phermones earlier to ease his fear.

He had suddenly started convulsing two days earlier, just a day after having taken him to to vet for bloodwork (it showed early stages of kidney failure, but not big). After calling the vet he came to our home and was against bringing him to the clinic because his heart felt too weak to transfer at that moment (he suspects cardiomyopathy). The vet kept coming during those days to apply medicine and fluids due to that. But nothing worked and the convulsions kept happening. The vet was telling us to be patient.

I had thought of getting him phermones but I had been sleepless by his side for 2 days and I didn't get them because after the vet's last visit on Christmas, he seemed to start recovering. Not many hours later though, he started having seizures and this time making scared sounds, and then he died in my mom's arms.

I'm devastated with guilt. His final moments could have been without fear if I had given him phermones. I'm so sorry my boy, I failed you and there's nothing I can do to fix it.
Atha

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #2 
Sorry for the double post but I'd appreciate any advice... no one in my life understands the pain.
JacquelineMoney

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Posts: 1
 #3 
Hi Atha,
I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m having guilt over my cats last moments as well and came to this forum to seek some reprieve. I don’t have any helpful advice for getting there, but you’re not alone. I know we aren’t “supposed” to feel guilty because things happen and we can’t control them, but I can’t help it. I’m sending you love.
Atha

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Posts: 6
 #4 
Thank you. I wish I had some reassurance, anything to get me by.
Martha2

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Posts: 13
 #5 
Hi Atha,

I'm sorry to hear about your beautiful boy. I lost my cat at the beginning of December, and I understand how world-shatteringly painful it is. Our boy was only eight; he was being treated for an infection for months before our vet finally sent him for a scan. He was scheduled for surgery, but just before op, the infection spread to his brain. We tried surgery, but it didn't cure the infection. He was my best friend, and I felt like I had let him down. To everyone else, it seemed obvious that we did our best: we got him all the professional treatment we could and followed the advice of the professionals every step of the way. But I couldn't sleep with guilt: i went over and over everything that happened, in my head, with other people.

I tell you this because now I am starting to realise that we did what we were told was right.

From your post, it is very obvious you did the very, very best for your boy. Taking him to the vet, calling the vet to come to you, following their advice. You shouldn't feel guilty. You did everything you should; most people wouldn't. 

I understand your guilt over the pheremones. From my experience, they don't make a difference to my cats - that may not be the same as your experience. But from what you wrote, I don't think they would have changed this situation. Sometimes animals get really sick - like my boy, and like yours, and all the intervention doesn't help.

It must have been really scary and horrible for you to watch him die, and see him convulsing - and I'm sorry you had to go through that. 

I can only share my experience when I say that it's getting easier to stop thinking obsessively about the last few days. I'm still crying every day etc, but I'm not fixated on what I should have or could have done like I was. I believe it's quite common to do that - even if it isn't logical.

I'm just so sorry that you lost your friend - and that you feel guilty. It sounds like he was a very lucky cat to have you as his human - and I'm sure he knew that.




rubiabel

Registered:
Posts: 15
 #6 

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss. I think that the feeling of guiltyness is normal and it happens to all of us who love our animals. The problem is the surprise of realizing that you cannot control the situation. My little chihuahua Mia died six months ago and until a few weeks ago I felt guilty about it. In my mind, I knew it was not logical. I adopted her when she was nine years old. She had a severe heart disease. I had to give her medicines every day and take her to the vet for a complete checking twice a year. The night she died, I took her to the emergency vet twice. My mind told me that I had done everything that could be done. But in my heart I was wondering if there was something else I could have done. Or if everything had been different if he had done something differently. I could not stop reproducing her last hours. The way she looked at me, asking for help. I could not do anything to help her and I felt so impotent. Eventually, she died in my arms after suffering a cardiac failure. Like you, I had taken her to the vet a few days before for a checkup and they had told me that everything was under control. For a long time, I felt frustrated and unable to understand how my little one was under control one day and two or three days later she died in my arms. A few weeks ago, I began to understand that, indeed, I did everything I could for her. I gave her a good life and put at her disposal all possible veterinary services. But sometimes nothing is enough, because the course of life imposed itself. Now, I know that my little one was happy and that she died in my arms and not alone. Even so, I still do not feel very well and now I'm scared that something happens to my other dog. I can not stop thinking that she's already six years old and that one day I'll lose her too. I would like to think differently to enjoy my dog while she is with me, but right now I do not feel strong enough. I know that feeling guilty is part of the grieving process and I guess that feeling like I feel now is also part of it.

I would advise you to cry when you feel like, be patient with yourself and give yourself time to heal. Look for people with whom you can talk about it and who understand you, people who like animals like you. I found very liberating to talk with my friends with pets and with the people on this page. Read the comments and participate, it will make you understand that there are many people out there who feel and think like you. And, although it made me cry like a crazy, the candle ceremony and the chat room helped me to ease my pain.

Litte by little, time will take away that feeling of guiltyness. One day, you will find yourself smiling while remembering some beautiful or funny moments with your little one. Until the moment comes when, finally, you realize that you did everything you could for him. And then, you will know that he was very fortunate to have a human family that loved him and cared for him as you did. 

Hugs, 

Miriam

Vblue

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #7 
Miriam

I needed this post. We decided to euthanize our 11 year old Akita Bear five days ago and I cannot stop crying, feeling guilty, thinking about the way he looked at me. The pain of him being gone is so immense at times that I can barely stand it. I’m just praying for better days ahead. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Atha

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #8 
Hi Martha2 and rubiabel

thank you both for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with me.

rubiabel, you're right about talking with others... aside from my mom (who has high blood pressure so I avoid upsetting further), I have no one else who understands me for this pain. Even my best friend kind of... shrugged it of. People act like I broke my favorite vase and go "just get another". So I'm stuck reliving those final moments and beating myself over not getting those pheromones. One acquaintance even CHUCKLED when I told her why I had a bad Christmas, as if my reason for feeling upset was adorable. Also, I completely understand the anger over having taken your pet to the vet to be told "he is PERFECT" and the next day having them dying. Just... cruel.

Martha2, thank you for sharing your experience with pheromones, in my experience with a friend's cat, when they were to put him to sleep the vet gave him a blanket with that smell and he had started purring before the final injection. I wonder if the smell would had given my boy some solace between the seizures, if they'd stop him from being scared in the final seizure when he yowled and died... But I have no way of knowing and maybe it'd be like with your own cats and not had contributed much, so I need to remind myself that.

Thank you for speaking to me and I'm sorry for your own losses and feelings of guilt. I hope one day I can reach the place of being able to remember the good times.
rubiabel

Registered:
Posts: 15
 #9 
Dear Atha and Vblue, 

As I mentioned, my pet, Mia, died six months ago and I have been feeling guilty until recently. I felt horrible because I didn't realized that my little one was dying. It's horrible when you are told that she is fine and go home thinking that you are going to be able to enjoy her company for a few more years. Then, only a couple of days later she is gone and you cannot understand what went wrong. On more than one occasion, I thought that if the first time I took her to the emergency vet that night, I would have known the outcome, I could euthanized her and saved her two hours of suffering. Over time, I've seen that I did what I could and what I thought was best for my little one. And that's what you two have done, too. You did what you thought was best for your little ones. And you did it because you loved them so much. They knew it and they knew that they were loved and cared for. I eventually came to the conclusion that whatever I did was not going to change things. And no matter what I had done that night (give her more medicine, put her to sleep, etc ...), I would feel guilty anyway. I guess that we are not prepared to say goodbye to our furbabies and even less if we do not expect their death.

I eventually 
returned to my vet and asked her to give me an explanation. I needed to know that I had not made any mistake. Fortunately, she gave me a very detailed explanation for almost one hour, with medical tests and everything. It helped me to reduce the level of guilt, but not the pain of her absence. I think that people who do not have animals, or who have animals but do not see them as members of their family, will not understand you. They will understand that you feel sad for a few weeks, but they do not understand that you can feel so lost and that grieving for your pet be as hard as mourning for another member of the close family. We have always had dogs in the family and I have had to say goodbye to my grandparents and my parents' dogs. But Mia was the first of my pets that I lose and, if I tell you the truth, I never thought it would be so hard for me. I miss her every day and it has been as difficult for me to overcome her loss as it was to overcome the loss of my grandmother to whom I was very, very close. After all, I work from home and spend all day with my dogs. They are like my children, my companions, my friends. And I miss that unconditional love she gave me. Right now, I think that I'm moving to another phase of my grief. I do not feel guilty anymore, but I still miss her a lot. Some days I feel good (at first, the pain did not even let me breathe) and other days I feel a bit blue. And then, there are those days when, suddenly, you remember something and sometimes you smile and sometimes you feel very sad. Now, I'm starting to get obsessed with my other dog. I can not stop thinking that she is already 6.5 years old and that I will have to say goodbye to her one day. At some point, I'll have to make the decision to sleep her or not, or I'll have to see how she dies without warning like Mia. And I'm not sure if I'll be able to go through that again. I get hysterical with anything that happens to her and I do not want to have this aptitude with her. I know it's illogical, that I can not stop time, that dogs and cats have relatively short lives and that she has had, and will have, a good life. And I know it's unfair because I'm not letting her to live due to my obsessions. I'm feeling overwhelmed and I'm not enjoying the present with her because I cannot stop thinking about the future. I do not know if this is part of the grieving process, I guess someone who has gone through this could clarify it. What I can tell you is that the guilt is normal, and that we were going to feel guilty anyway, whatever the situation was. And that, little by little, the guilty will go away and you will realized that you gave your furbabies a good life and a lot of love. I guess we need to be patient with ourselves.

Hugs, 

Miriam


grievingmom

Registered:
Posts: 640
 #10 
my cat emerald died screaming and gasping for air. she had a blood clot that cut off her blood flow. i hate to tell you this but i say this to help relieve your guilt. having used pheromones (and they do work), they do not work for things like convulsions or howling. peace and love.



I feel immense guilt every day over not having bought phermones earlier to ease his fear.
Atha

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #11 
grievingmom I understand that they don't stop convulsions but I still keep thinking it would have made his final moments more peaceful...
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