Registered: 1211516786 Posts: 1
I had to let my darling cat go today - the vet said that she was just too ill. She'd been my best friend and the closest thing I'll ever have to a baby for 15 years. I've been in tears since I got the news this afternoon.
I'm struggling with how to be. I got the news at work and my boss said it was OK if I needed to take a day or so off. But I feel guilty even thinking of it. I want to know in my heart that I made the right decision to let her go, but then I see stories about people trying all sorts of things to keep their pets alive and I wonder if I gave up too soon. How do you cope?
Registered: 1182281874 Posts: 540
Dear Sydney's Mom, I am so very sorry for your loss of your beloved kitty and my heart hurt to read your post because I know all too well the pain you are feeling and wanted to tell you that those guilty feelings you are having are all totally normal and a part of the grieving process. First of all you have just lost a family member so don't feel bad for a second if you need to take some time off of work. You said you have read stories about how others did additional tests to keep their pets alive, etc. Well yes that may be true but if you also see usually the end result is the same unfortunately and sometimes those tests turn out to just be more pain and suffering for the pet going thru it fighting the inevitable. Your Vet was caring for your kitty and he knows first hand the condition he was in and if that was his professional opinion then I would be satisfied with that. Vets are in the business of caring for animals and saving their lifes, not ending them so I am sure 100% that he gave you the correct diagnosis. Making that decision to end a life is the hardest one you have to make because we feel like what right do we have to do that? But we are the furbabies owner and they look to us for love, care, support, and for us to make that decision when the time comes as they can't make it themselves. What you did was out of love for your baby and nothing else. You didn't want him to suffer or be in pain. You gave him a gift even though it doesn't feel like it now, you gave him the gift of returned youth, health and freedom. He was warmly welcomed by all of our furbabies up there and he is happy and watching over you now. He will always be your baby and he will always be inside your heart and soul. I wish you peace.
Hugs Karen Here is my precious Peanut whom we had to send to the bridge on 6/19/07, almost one year. She was 17 yrs old with a sleuth of health issues and old age related issues. She was my first baby and we had a spiritual connection that will live on in my heart forever. I have been battling guilt too but I know in the end, in reality, even though I wanted her in my life forever that living things don't live forever and her body was giving out on her and I had to let her go out of love. I think of her every single day and feel empty without her.
Registered: 1211298031 Posts: 95
Sidney's mom, I feel your pain and know that you are not alone. I too am struggling with this problem. My Bennie has been undergoing uncomfortable and miserable chemo treatments since January and the vet tells me now that he is near the end of his journey. We are going to continue with the tx, but it hurts me to see the shell of the precious little dog that once was. Your guilt is normal. You did the right thing. I trust my vet, as I know you do yours. I am sure he/she guided you in making the right decision for your precious baby. Keep strong. Hugs of solace and prayers to you. Bennies Mom
Registered: 1194654202 Posts: 881
I'm sorry for the loss of your precious Sydney. It was probably the hardest thing you have ever done but you released her from her body out of love.
She might have suffered if you forced her to stay so please don't feel guilty about that. Your pain will now begin..just allow it. Mourning for your Sydney is important for healing and it honors your relationship with her. Grief can be a long road with no shortcuts. Your tears will eventually feel cleansing to you. And you are not alone here. It's been almost 7 months for me and I still cry and miss my Cicio more every day. My sadness is stronger over my kitty's death than anyone in my lifetime. You might get some comfort keeping a journal or writing a letter to her and coming to the Monday night candle ceremony. And come and share stories so we can know her. Sending many hugs, Donna
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
I'd take the day off of work if your boss is okay with it. It's an emotional time.
Sorry for your loss, it seems guilt is often tied in with grief. Everyone on here deals with it at some level. It's hard to make decisions on behalf of someone else, especially because they can't talk and say exactly how they feel and what they want. It's hard to figure out. Sometimes the labs/tests don't seem to validate how they feel, too. My renal failure cat had wonderful numbers in her labs, but wasn't doing well. Everyone has a different way to decide and it's really individual. Take care.
Registered: 1193533588 Posts: 991
I am so sorry for your loss. Forever would never be long enough for these precious babies to be with us.
A couple of things hit me when I read your post. You talked about taking some time off; good for your boss!!! He sounds like he understands what you're going through. When we lost our schnauzer, Molly, back in October, my husband took some time off from work, partly for Molly's last day, and partly just to get past the very worst of his feelings about losing her. I am home 24/7 so I didn't need the time off. I know that being off for those first days without Molly really helped my husband. I think you should consider it.
Secondly, you speak of heroic efforts. Not everyone here does that; we didn't. Molly was diagnosed with malignant melanoma of the mouth. They did a biopsy to make sure it was cancer and what kind and was it fast growing. Moll was one miserable pup following that. Then we found out that there was a possible vaccine that could give her another year. We tested her lungs and lymph nodes to make sure there was no cancer there. But the treatment would have meant surgery and the surgery to remove the tumor wasn't 100% guaranteed to get all of it. She would have lost all her lower jaw. We looked at pictures of this surgery online and we agreed, we couldn't put Moll through it. Surgery would have given her a couple more weeks at worst, and months at best. We agreed to make her comfortable and spoil her rotten. It was 6 weeks from the initial diagnosis and biopsy until we helped her to the Bridge. We wouldn't have done it any other way. Anything else would have been invasive and painful for her.
So did you give up too soon? You went on the advice of a vet you trusted just like we did. You didn't want Sydney to suffer. You did the right thing. And now you grieve.
And you come here and talk, as much as you want, for as long as you want.
Again, I am so sorry that you lost your precious Sydney.
Peace to everyone grieving their furbaby today.
Registered: 1207026279 Posts: 699
I am so sorry you lost your Beloved kitty, and feel your anguish. If the quality of your baby's life wasn't good anymore, if she was in pain, and there was no hope for her getting better, you did the most merciful and loving thing by setting her spirit free. Additional procedures and treatments may have prolonged her suffering. I had my Boxer boy, Grunt put to sleep nearly 3 months ago, and I still feel guilty, I don't feel that it will ever go away. He was dying before my eyes, wasting away and I still feel very bad that his life was ended with my permission. How do I cope? I think of the months of suffering that he endured stoically and without complaint, the illnesses that plagued his too short life, the limitations that took away so many things he loved and enjoyed....with no hope of ever getting better and my mind says I did the right thing. But my heart hurts. You have lost your precious one, your child and it is devastating. Allow yourself to grieve, to cry, and come here to express your feelings. It helps to know there are people who understand what you are going through, and who care. I send my deepest sympathy to you, with hugs, Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever
Registered: 1164162392 Posts: 1,910
SydneysMom, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved baby. We never have long enough with them, but being human we are the ones usually left behind.
It is extremely unlikely that you gave up too soon. Your veterinary told you your baby was just too ill, and vets don't blithely give up too soon. When it gets to the point where a vet says the kindest thing would be to help a furred one leave the world, there might still be some "heroic" measures left. That might buy a little bit more time, but against that your baby's life has become a medical event with very little quality. I have always chosen quality of life over length, and have practically a phobia that one of my ailing babies would die alone in a cage at the vet's. That has never happened. In the last two months of my Bartholomew cat's life (he left this world at age 17 7/12 five years ago), I was at the vet 16 times, sometimes with Bartholomew, sometimes to consult with the vet or pick up medicine. Bartholomew lived at home, his life as normal as it could be, in familiar surroundings. You made the best decision for your furred one. Now you need to take good care of yourself. I think it would be a good idea to take up your understanding boss's offer and take some time off work. As upset as you are, you won't be thinking clearly, that's impossible.
Registered: 1211242652 Posts: 355
Dear Sydney's Mom
I am so sorry for the loss of your kitty Sydney. I lost my cat Cheeseburger on May 4th 2008. He was 10 years old and had lung cancer. I also had to make the decision as to what to do, and after talking to the doctor, my son and daughter, we knew we could not let him suffer or put him through further testing or chemo. We stayed with him at the hospital and there was that moment when he looked at me and I saw how tired and exhausted he was, like he just wanted to rest. I held him in my arms wrapped in his favorite blanket when he crossed the rainbow bridge. I miss him so much. I still look for him in all of his favorite spots. I wear the nametag from his collar on a chain around my neck. His empty food bowls are still in the kitchen along with his water bowl which I fill everyday. I could not go back to work and took off a few days, so do not feel guilty about taking time off from work if you can. I too am still going through so many mixed feelings, sadness, anger, and guilt, but I also know I could not let my baby suffer. I am sure your Sydney knew how much you loved her. The love they give us is unconditional - they are out babies and our friends. Please know there are so many people here who care and understand. Dee CheeseburgersMoM My Beautiful Boy Cheeseburger
Registered: 1197081544 Posts: 686
I am so sorry. I know how much you miss your darling girl. You have been a wonderful mom and have always taken such good care of her. It was no different now. She was counting on you to take care of her and do what was best for her. You gave her a wonderful final gift--a life free from sickness and pain.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. Kate (Gus' mom)
Registered: 1157220912 Posts: 555
FLYING I will be forever grateful for your courage in helping me. Even though it was hard on your heart you where there for me. Yours was the face of love I saw in my heart when I left this world. All I remember is the love and joy you give me. The pain is no more. I fly with the eagles and run with the wolves. I dance on the clouds and find their silver lining. Please remember the life we shared and let the joy of those memories help you find peace. You stood by my side, you are always in my heart. We are always one, you gave me the rarest gift that only you could give me the gift of freedom from pain. You made it easier for me to find Rainbow Bridge. I am not alone, I have made many friends. The lamb does lay down with the lion. Now is time for you to heal. You did what was best for me you let me go. I will never be far. Look into the night sky and the stars that twinkle and know that I am well and whole again. I thank you for the years together no matter how long or short. Love can happen in a heart beat and last forever. ©BarTendersBluesWolf Aka J.C. Stewart
Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
I'm so sorry -- I know how much it hurts to let go. And how we doubt ourselves afterwards. I've lost several, and in each case I waited a little too long to euthanize. We only can see that in hindsight. Vets do not make the recommendation cavalierly --i t is very hard for them, too. So I trust your vet. I asked my vet when I had Herbie PTS 13 1/2 weeks ago if she had ever run across anyone who made the decision too soon, and she gave an unequivocal "no". We go to such great lengths to hold onto them and keep them comfortable for those few extra weeks or days so that WE can say goodbye and try to get used to the reality of the situation. Our pets have no concept of time and they only know if they feel good or bad, if their "significant human" is happy or sad, when the food and treats and toys and bellyrubs are coming -- they simply live in the moment.
I waited too long with sweet girl, Belle, and I believe she suffered because I couldn't let go. I did a little bit better with Herbie. In both cases, I miss them so much I can barely can stand it at times. and that is putting it mildly. You did the right thing, the courageous thing and exactly what we are supposed to do for our babies when the time comes. Herbie and Belle's Mom
Registered: 1211722359 Posts: 2
Dear Sydney's Mom -
I am so very sorry for your loss! I just registered on this site a few minutes ago because I am having trouble coping with the loss of my beloved cat Tyger, the same day that you lost your Sydney. I too had to make the decision to let him go; he had had a number of tests done that all pointed to kidney failure, (they basically were beyond failing, they had just about quit). At the same time he had pain in his mouth from recurrent stomatitus which only surgery could have relieved - but his kidneys could not have handled the surgery. I wrote Tyger a letter this morning, (it probably sounds silly, but I needed to express my feelings in some way), and one part of it said " the only thing more unbearable than saying goodbye to you was to see you suffering". I truly feel a hole in my heart at the loss of him, but I also truly know that I made the right decision. I honestly felt him, at the very end, asking me to let him go. He was the most beautiful and gentlest of cats and the best of friends, and I miss him a million times a day, and my face right now is wet with tears - but I believe that when we bring an animal into our lives, we owe it to them to let them go with dignity when it is their time, if it saves them further pain. I also believe that our pets go to a better place where they have no hurts, and I believe that the bond we made with them on this earth will bring us back with them in the end. My heart goes out to you - I know how hard it is. I was a complete mess on Friday, then yesterday I did a lot better: it was sunny weather and I planted flowers in my garden, and it was good to focus on new life rather than death. This morning though I keep looking at the empty cushion on the couch where Tyger used to curl up, and I can't stop crying, and hugging my other cats, (they are grieving too). I think it is very right to mourn the loss of your cat, but you should not feel guilty about the decision you made, because you did it out of love, and you did it so that your baby wouldn't hurt any more. No matter how hard it is, that is the most caring thing you could have done. Please take care. Fiona
Registered: 1210014161 Posts: 19
If I had a wand I would wave away all the feelings of guilt in hopes it would lessen your sorrows (as well as my own). To Sydney's Mom: Until I lost my own I never understood the connection, the sorrow, the emptiness that you are feeling. You made the best decision you could so your baby would not suffer. This is what is important. Focus on the fact that your decisions were always made with Sydney first and not what was best for you. Your decision was selfless. Even this ultimate one. It was not what was easiest or best for you. In fact, it was the hardest for you. You made it out of love for Sydney. This is the type of unconditional love our furbabies have given us throughout their lifetimes that we must reciprocate at the end. It is also the ultimate test of our love. Do not second guess yourself that you did the right thing when what you did you did out of love. And don't feel guilty about taking time off either. You just lost a member of your family even though Sydney had four legs. I took a week off. Maya was my baby girl. She filled my house with a presence, joy and love that everyone who enters can now feel is missing. I am sure you feel the someway. Take the time to heal yourself. These special relationships with our companions come very rarely in life and we must grieve them as we would any other relationship.
Registered: 1208508336 Posts: 820
I am sorry to hear about your Sydney. I too had to pts 17 weeks ago and I am racked guilt and sadness even now. I was just watching a video of Rupert we took on the last day he was alive and I realised that was the only video I could find of him and that makes me sad. I have lots of photos which I have enlarged many of them and they are around the house. You did the right thing and that guilt will niggle away at you but don't let it. My Rupert was dying out in his favourite garden. His system was shutting down but I still feel guilty because of what I had to do. If he had died naturally I think I would have coped a little bett er. I was on holiday when he died and I couldn't have worked. I couldn't eat or sleep. I was numb but that feeling lifts after a while. I get by now and you will too. You will miss her a lot. Do something in her memory when you feel a little better. Thinking of you Ruperts Mum
Registered: 1211823351 Posts: 1,569
Dear Sydney's Mom; Rest assured so many of us here have come to that cross road before the bridge. You did the right thing. BarTendersBluesWolf post says it all. This site has helped me cope since I made the same choice a week ago to free my dog Peaches from her pain. Take the time off, your lucky you have a boss who understands what you are going through. It is a process and each one of us has to deal with it in our own way, but talking to others who are going through it helps. This site was a God send to me. It shows that you are not alone and there are so many wonderful and caring people here that will help each of us get through it. I am so sorry for your loss and what you are going through during this most difficult time.---------- Jerry