Registered: 1509477989 Posts: 7
I used this site yesterday when I knew it was time to let go of my wee friend Hank. I was looking for support as I was about to take my cat down to the vet and was still confused about whether I was about to do the right thing. I was told three weeks before that he needed to be put to sleep, his tumour could not be healed. I decided to accept the vet advice but take Hank home and spoil him for a few days before taking than final step for him. I am very spiritual so I found it very hard to take away someone elses life against their will. That few days became a few weeks even though twice I booked him in and twice I cancelled euthanasia apppointments. I have been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming cats for 30 years and in that time have had to put many cats to sleep for disease and deterioration due to age and illness, etc. So wouldn't you think that by now it would be second nature? No. So here is my formula to help me decide. Complete Wellness, Mostly Well, Coping, Struggling, Suffering. Cats and dogs naturally have it in their DNA to not let other animals know they are weak and so it can be sometimes too late to do anything when your pet finally lets you know they are ill. So there are times when all you can do is keep them safe, clean, medicated and in a loving environment. That can go on for days, weeks, months, or years. Then one day everything goes horribly wrong. A tumour suddenly grows quicker, kidneys reach failure, hearts don't work properly, an ulcer won't heal. You love your pet, you do not want to take away its life, you don't want to lose that companionship. So you are pulled left and right, up and down, back and forwards in your emotions. It makes you emotionally tired. People (vets, friends, family, google users) advise you in so many different ways of what you SHOULD do. This can mean you make a decision you later feel guilty about. I feel that a mother knows her child better than anyone so whatever anyone else says, whilst its good to share your confusion and get ideas and thoughts and facts from other people, ultimately I feel you need to try to find some quietness in your mind and find the answers there. So the way I decide is this. I listen to my pet's behaviour. Still grooming, still eating well, no diarrhoea, no urinary infections? lying in the sun, looking out the window, purring when cuddled - in other words still getting JOY out of life. Then I support the pet or rescue pet with vet care, holistically and with love. I take each day at a time, I talk to them out loud asking them to show me when its time. If you listen to your pet in this way there will be a moment, a moment in time when you will know. There is this moment when they go from "coping" to "struggling". Its not yet suffering but you can see that they are overlicking their wounds, or hiding away, or sleeping all the time. With Hank it was when I went to wash his tumour the night before (to keep it clean) and he made a quiet sound like "Noooooo" and pulled away. I knew at that moment he had had enough. He wasn't yet in pain, his coat was lovely, eating well, but I knew. Whilst I felt like Judas, telling him at the vet clinic "Its okay, you're safe" when I was about to rob him of his life, I also knew that tomorrow he could go from "struggling" to "suffering". And he only had me to help me pass over. Only I could stop him from going from struggling to suffering. But when it was all over I knew I had done the right thing. I felt he could leave the world with a few regrets at leaving but at the same time he was ready to go. I miss him, he was a sweet soul, but he was my friend and this was the last loving thing I could do for him, a way to honour him. So if there is anyone out there that has gone through the TORMENT and confusion I have gone through for the last three weeks over Hank, I hope this simple formula can help at least one of you. Complete Wellness, Mostly Well, Coping, Struggling, Suffering. For your pet the moment to say goodbye could be the moment between Coping and Struggling to spare him suffering; or if you are always home with your pet and can afford it you may have the luxury to making the decision and an immediate trip to the vet in the moment between Struggling and Suffering. Its about finding that moment. Love and thoughts to all those people who are going through that torment.
Registered: 1498611382 Posts: 580
Dearest hank's mom,
So sorry for your lose but I also want to thank you too. I didn't want Termy to suffer and felt a lot of guilt and heart ache. But what you said puts into perspective. He was struggling and not really suffering. I didn't know that then but reading your post has made me feel better. I think back and see now that he was there where you said. First he was coping, then struggling and I saved him from suffering. Thank you for posting a life line for all of who has to go where none of ever wants to go but because of our love for our pets we do the ultimate act of love. It still hurts and you cry but you are so right on with that formula. I remember that for the last few days he never wagged his tail. I never saw it then but I remember now. All he did was watch me and sleep. Your Hank had a truly wonderful Fur Parent. You are a God send. Thank you so very much Termy's mom
Registered: 1486582636 Posts: 18
Thanks, what an excellent post, so absolutely true.
Registered: 1509477989 Posts: 7
I have had a few responses to my post, its so good to know I can help someone else to come to terms with something that hurts so much.