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Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
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Posts: 2
I am so glad I found this site and appreciate any advice you great people can provide.  I am sorry this is so long.

I made the decision to put my sweet 13 year old cat to sleep & I am unable to function without thinking about her, the circumstances, questioning myself, etc. I can't eat, sleep, or be any version of normal.  I am 6 months pregnant & I know that I need to snap out of this for the baby's sake, but I can't stop thinking all of the time.

Some history-Callie was a sweet gal, very loving & personable.  About 5 years ago I met my now husband who developed severe allergies/asthma no matter how much cleaning, air purifying, etc. that I did, & how many medications he tried.   Callie went to live with my parents & I was able to see her a few times a week, although they never provided the same level of affection, she seemed to be ok.  My husband would have an asthma attack anytime he would visit them for more than an hour so I knew she couldn't come home by me.

2 years ago my mother had to enter a nursing home & my father spends most of his time there with her, so Callie had less & less attention.  At exactly this time I had our first child & regretfully with new family responsibilities & work was only able to visit Callie on the weekends.   She lost a little weight, but still seemed like herself, only much friendlier, I assume out of being lonely.  She started drinking/urinating ALOT & the vet did blood tests & said although not diabetic, her kidneys were "borderline."  She continued to lose weight & slow down in general.

Now in the last month my father has needed leave his home & enter a retirement facility as well.  He told me to find another home for Callie so she would get better care & affection due to the amout of time he was away.  I searched & searched & asked at least 100 people in one way or another to try to find her a good home but had no luck.  With his moving day quickly approaching I called the humane society I was legally bound to return her to due to my adoption contract & her microchip.  They said that a cat of her age with any health issues at all would probably not make it to the adoption level.  Even if she got a clean bill of health at her age the chance was slim she would find a new home anytime soon due to their high number of cats.

I lost alot of sleep & prayed to make the right decision.   I took her to her vet for an opinion and he felt that based on her age, weight loss, & urination the humane society didn't have the resources to "work her up" and she would probably be put down.  The vet said that even if I had found her the perfect home she would probably only have another 1-2 years at most.  I asked him what he would do in my shoes & he said the decision wasn't his to make but since I asked he would put her to sleep rather than traumatize her going to a shelter when there was such a slim chance she would make it past their eval.  My last option was to leave her in my father's vacant house & visit her as much as possible while I continued my search for new owners, but that didn't seem fair to have her be even lonlier if it was true she was so near the end of her life anyway.

I decided to let her go now, than have the potential stress/trauma of going to the shelter only to have the same thing happen with a bunch of strangers after being scared, etc. I didn't want to cause her any more sadness.  From the time I picked her up to go to the vet to the time she was gone was less than an hour total, so I hope by keeping that transition short she was saved from stress.  She was calm & fine until the last minute or so because she fought the injection, which is a memory I can't get out of my mind.   I feel like she knew she was being killed & she was fighting it.   My heart is completely broken over all of this but having seen that is the worst.  I also feel like I gave up on her since she didn't fit the picture of the typical terminally ill, suffering pet that gets put down.

I am posting this because I have so much guilt & sadness that I did the wrong thing & should have tried harder, although I don't know what more I could have done.  Any advice or clarity to this is much appreciated. thank you.

Posts: 842
First, I'm sorry you're going through this.  You have to understand that kidney disease is not reversible.  As your vet noted, maybe 1 to 2 years at the most, most likely with daily injections.  I don't think sitting in a shelter at this time in your kitty's life would have been a kind way to let her go through her last days--not at all--and I don't think there was  chance she would have adopted.  I guess my point is, whatever your decision, the real decision--the kidney disease--had already been made and was out of your hands.  It seems like your kitty had a long and happy life here, and you made the most compassionate decision--which often is the hardest decision.  Try to ease up on yourself, many of us have been through similar situations, and it's easy to blame ourselves, when in reality, we don't have as much control over these things as we think we do.

Posts: 94
I am sooooo sorry you are going through this,.  You did the right thing.  She would have died of a broken lonely heart.  Her health issues were mounting against her and the long wonderful life she lived has to be not forgotten.  It will give you the comfort and ease of mind knowing where she is, otherwise you would drive yourself crazy wondering what happened.  The sadness will take time...I am finding that out after putting our 13 year old Lhaso Apso down 3 weeks ago to day.   Give yourself time to grieve and please ease up on the guilty did the right thing. 

Posts: 11,059
Your story is very heartbreaking!  You are coping with so many issues.  I know it was very hard for you to have Callie move to her eternal home, but you did all you could to find a new home and it just didn't happen.  Jesus was calling your precious Callie home and she is safe and surrounded by many, many new friends.  In time the guilt feelings will ease and you will remember the wonderful times with her.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

precious Christoph ~ alive in my heart ~


Posts: 282

So sorry!  You absolutely did the right thing.  It sounds as if things stacked up against you in such an insurmountable way and you did everything you could to overcome each obstacle. First your husband's allergies, which you addressed by giving Callie to your parents.  Then your parents become elderly/ill which in itself was another huge stress in your life I'm sure.   And then you still found the time to visit Callie regularly even though you had a baby.  And now pregnant you asked so many people to take her, considered the possibility of housing her in your Dad's vacant house....the efforts you've made are really extensive.    It sounds like Callie had a long, happy life and you really did the right thing by saving her from going to a strange shelter.  Please try to comforted by the fact that she has no more pain, only peace. 


Posts: 564
Your pain is so deep right now, but as I read your posting, I thought of how, even though this was so difficult for you to decide, you made the absolute right decision!!  Callie would've been frightened all the time if you'd placed her with strangers!  She was ready to go, and sometime soon, you will come to realize that!

Please understand that the guilt and second guessing are all normal components of your grief...believe me, I know first hand!!  I had to have my two Siberian Huskies, 13 and 12 years old, euthanized in July, just three weeks apart from one another, and I was devastated!  I felt all the anger, pain, guilt, depression, and all of the other pieces of the emotional roller coaster you describe.  I couldn't eat, sleep or think straight, and I wasn't even sure that I wanted to go on without my pups!  They were my babies, and somehow I felt that I had let them down.

It still is very painful to think of at times, but the pain has become more manageable with the passage of time.  I have seen many signs that my dogs are still with me and watching over me until we can all be together again.  Believe me, your Callie loves you and will also be with you always.  But, your loss is still so recent, and it may be hard to believe that you will soon start to remember the good memories of Callie, not her passing.

Please keep coming back to this forum and allow the good folks here to give you support and comfort in your grief.  They have helped me so much, I can't even come close to explaining it!  May God Bless and comfort you in your pain.  Rick

Posts: 628
I am so sad to read your story of your sweet cat.  i know you are heart broken.  It breaks my heart too to know what you are going through.

You did everything possible for your sweetie.  Your options were very limited, if you had any options at all.  It is always sad to loose a pet, especially when we have to make the decision to put them to sleep.

Coming to this site was the best thing you could have done.  The people here are so caring, understanding and were a blessing for me when I had to make the same decision for our Beagle, Bonnie Lou this past June.

The road to healing has been a long hard journey.  You are not alone.  Loosing a pet is very tramatic.  You are in my thoughts and prayers tonight.


Posts: 2
Thank you all of you for your kind words, support & sharing your similar feelings about your situations.   I can't stop thinking about what I did to her but your messages do help & life goes on. 

I just wish I could turn back the clock, I was so overwhelmed I feel like I didn't have time to think it through & should have done more & been better to her these last few years & when she needed me most I failed her & now it's too late.  I honestly don't think I will ever get over that guilt, I just need to own it but I know this will stay with me forever.  It is true (I read on here somewhere) that you are changed forever after going through something like this & I believe that.

Thank you again, I truly appreciate everyone's time & caring and hope you all do better too.

Posts: 8
I know how you are feeling i am carrying the same guilt but you did the right thing my love you did, Callie will know you did it with only her welfare in mind and she will love you for it.

Posts: 23
I, too, believe you did the right thing.  Callie is healthy and playing with my Patti (a dog) and all of the other furbabies at Rainbow Bridge. 


Posts: 39
My prayers are with you.  This must have been difficult and I don't think Callie would have held any decision you made against you.  You did eveything you could.  Quit beating yourself up.  Take care of yourself and if possible with the allergies get another pet in time if you wish.
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