Registered: 1519179061 Posts: 19
Last week on Feb. 12 my 12 year old cat Tony became suddenly ill ... it was very confusing ... he seemed to stumble and run into things and his legs began giving out under him. We got him to the vet the next morning ... they gave him fluids, prescribed steroids and antibiotics ... and we were to come back in 2 days if he was not better. The vet was very concerned because one of his eyes was dilated more than the other. He mentioned it might be a brain tumor & very little he could do. We took Tony home and proceeded to take special care of him. We confined him to one room (the main living room) where I could observe and tend to him and try and help him get used to his new bed on the floor and his litter right near plus water and food. He would not eat or drink. He was agitated terribly. Crashing into things. I thought of getting a big dog crate or something. But mostly I just held him as much as he'd let me. By Thursday, I took him to the vet ... he was not getting better and he seemed still full of fluids. The terrible choice to put him down ... I made the choice. His quality of life had become so diminished. He was not eating, drinking, peeing, (with rare exception) and the vet said he was 2 pounds over his starting weight before getting fluids Tuesday. It's all such a blur. I'm devastated. I didn't want him to suffer. The older vet told me it was not going to get better and he was sure it was a tumor. I think really the suddenness of it all just is haunting me. Tony was the sweetest cat I've ever known. How this could happen I will likely never know.
I felt alone. My husband just had a heart procedure and he could not come in or help ... emotionally he also could not help. He did drive me. I had him drive me to the pet memorial place from the vets so I could have Tony cremated. In the past we buried pets (thankfully it had been a long time since a pet loss) but we can't do that now with my husbands health. The pet memorial place was so helpful. I have almost 13 years of beautiful memories of Tony -- yet my house has become a torture chamber of reminders and pain. I have been challenging myself when I try to blame myself ... because I still basically think I did all I could and the vet was very much not encouraging me that it could have a better outcome. Our older cats are 17 and 18 -- the 17 year old one, Meena, is going thru kidney issues - we have her on a special diet and she is now blind. She gets around good though. Our other cat, Marble is mainly healthy -- doesn't have any teeth and I nurse along a cyst that drains sometimes on her neck but she is quite healthy for her age. I'm scared of losing Meena because she is so painfully thin. She hates to get fluids and she fights like a wild animal most treatments -- although when needed I can get liquid antibiotics in her. I am just stunned at home painful the loss of Tony is. It hurts worse than when my Dad died of cancer. How could this be? I will be seeing my counselor next month. I am reading some grief material and trying to figure the ways I want to memorialize Tony. I'm just stunned at the physical pain of the grief and the way it affects me - I know I'm extremely sensitive but I would have thought that just knowing he is not suffering would be of some comfort. Instead, I keep doubting myself even though it was so clear he had lost all quality of life. Well this is too long. I knew I needed to share with someone. My real life family and friends don't seem to understand. They dismiss me like it's nothing. Even my husband who was so close to Tony does not seem affected except for crying in the truck as I went into the vets by myself to say the final goodbye. Thank you for reading I'm sorry it's so long. Chris
Registered: 1517499255 Posts: 60
My dog died three weeks ago. I had her euthanized, at home. She had a huge tumor in her mouth. It was obvious that her death did not come too early. She was in discomfort and starting to have trouble eating and she wasn't drinking anymore. But I'm still devastated. So, I understand what you are going through and don't think you're feeling the wrong things. But I also don't think you were wrong in having your cat euthanized. It seems like the time was right for her, even though so hard for you. Feeling grief for living things we have deeply loved is normal and nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of.
Registered: 1519179061 Posts: 19
I'm really sorry about your dog! I like the idea of a vet coming to the house. Here, it was going to cost $250 to do that ... it was $55 at the office. I put the money into the cremation and I was able to be right there with Tony and hold him. Still, next time I have to go (for regular vet care for one of my other 2) I know I will feel post traumatic stress. It's the same place I had to have my Mother In Laws dog put down for her years ago and I've never quite felt comfortable there after that. I haven't found another place that works financially or appointment wise.
I'm getting comfort from reading some hospice pamphlets on grief that I got after my Dad died. I feel now the need to tell the story of Tony and how he came to live with us (his momma was a stray in the neighborhood). It's such an emotional time for so many reasons within our family and in the country in general. My feelings really hit hard at night and I have been getting sleep but way fewer hours than normal. 6 hours last night and that I am grateful for. My little 17 year old cat with the kidney issues is sleeping right with me + she is a little sweetie. Thank you for your reply and I hope you are finding some peace of mind and comfort now. 3 weeks is still so soon.
Registered: 1517499255 Posts: 60
The cost of the euthanasia and the cremation was a lot; I seriously considered some other options but in the end decided I could spare the money for this and try to save on other things. (Ha ha, dumb me; one day after my dog died, my tooth started to hurt, and I had to have a root canal treatment; there goes $2,000!) Anyway, I understand. When my family's second dog was dying, I had so little money that I decided to try to have her die naturally at home. She did, and it was "free," but it was a mistake to not have her euthanized. She suffered more than she had to because of my indecision.
I'm doing better now than I was three weeks ago, but I still cry almost every day when certain thoughts about my dog come to mind.