Registered: 1586270794 Posts: 1
Four days ago I had to make the impossible decision to put my sweet baby Joey down and I’m not sure if this feeling of guilt and sadness will ever pass.
A little over a month ago, I took my other cat to the vet for asthma related problems. I had noticed Joey losing weight, drinking a lot of water and being a little sleepier than usual. He’s always been a sleepy kitty but he’s also been the silliest cat I’ve ever met so I brought him in as well. They did a bunch of tests to find out he has chronic kidney disease. Weird for an almost 3 year old cat, but they said we could manage it for a while with medications and fluids. For a month we continued with this and he was starting to act more himself again. He hated the fluids with everything in him, but he was acting a little more crazy like his silly Siamese self. Fast forward to a few days ago - he started having trouble in the litter box and would cry as he went in and out. I brought him back to the vet and they did more bloodwork. Kidneys haven’t gotten worse, but it looks like it might be a bladder blockage that they couldn’t see in his ultrasound from a month ago. My vet advised that he could go to an emergency vet two hours away and get extensive ultrasound there to see what’s causing it. It would likely be surgery and with his kidneys being in the shape they are, they probably wouldn’t do it because it would deteriorate his kidneys further. I took him home for a day and made the difficult decision that if he doesn’t get better then I’ll have to put him to sleep. Through the night he was in so much pain. Jumping up from sharp pain, barely able to sleep. My vet was closed on the weekend so I had to take him to the emergency vet down the street. There they looked at all of his paperwork and presented the option of another ultrasound and more tests to the cost of $1000. There was no guarantee that it would give any answers and he’s a 3 year old cat that has kidneys in bad shape and now bladder blockages. I had already spent $3000 in vet bills trying to figure out what was wrong with him in the last month. Would there ever be an end to this? I then made the tough decision to put him to sleep. It was the hardest decision I ever made, but in my heart I knew that’s what would be best for him even though it wasn’t what was best for me. He had lost his zest for life and instead of being his crazy self all the time, I was looking for the moments he would be acting himself. All this to say, even though I know in my heart i did the right thing, my brain is riddled with thoughts of what could I do more? What if the ultrasound could have saved him? But how long could it have helped him for? What if it was too soon? I see him in everything I do now and I find 1000 ways to miss him. There are parts of my day where I think I’m doing okay and then all of a sudden it hits me like a brick wall and I realize I have to do life without him. He was my little shadow and loved to follow me around and sleep on my head every night. I know I will get another animal. I loved having my two kitties and know that my Joey sized hole in my heart will never be replaced, but I have so much room for another baby that needs a home. Is this selfish to be thinking about already?
Registered: 1586288178 Posts: 1
Devon, so sorry for your loss. We went through something similar with our kitty Kiona. Vet believes she had lymphoma, but after all the tests could not confirm. Her health began to deteriorate rapidly so we made the choice to hospitalize her because we thought there was a chance that it was a bad bladder infection that moved to the kidneys and could be cleared up with some antibiotic fluids. Well she passed yesterday and our hearts are stricken with grief knowing our baby spent her last day away from home, by herself, in a cage, wondering why her parents abandoned her. Words can't explain how sad we are.
There are no good options when you are facing down the death of a loved one. Try not to beat yourself up. If we could turn back the clock we would have kept our kitty home, but if she had passed there, would we be equally upset that we didn't hospitalize? Anyway, sorry again. I hope you find peace.
Registered: 1586141319 Posts: 4
Very sorry for your loss Devon. Your story sounds so similar to mine, with us making the horrible decision to put our young bunny to sleep. He had a few complications and was in a great deal of pain. I’m pregnant and unable to work now during this COVID pandemic, so we could not financially afford to go through with treatments (that may not have worked) and an impending operation. The guilt eats at us everyday too.
But please know that you’re not alone in this situation or in these feelings. At least you know your little friend is no longer in pain, and I truly believe that they know how much we loved them, and they would not resent us for doing what we believed to be best for them at the time. I hope you can get through this difficult time in whatever way you can, even if that means adopting another friend if you’re ready. Take care
Registered: 1586526549 Posts: 7
Devon I am so sorry, I know exactly how you feel and I am feeling that way right now with you. I find comfort in knowing I am not alone. Doesn't take the hurt away but it helps knowing someone understands. We had to put our sweet boy Henry down on March 31st to Saddle Thrombus which gave us no warning and we were out of town, and he was at home alone when it happened and the pet sitter found him and got him to an emergency vet. I am so angry, mad, hurt, upset why Henry? Why so cruel to be so sweet and loving why did he have to die that way? I have a hard time because he was only 4.5 years old...Your sweet baby was only 3!!! So unfair they didn't get to live longer! Never in my wildest dreams 2 weeks ago would I thought this would be my reality. I figured we had 10 years at least with him. I have guilt that is surfacing but not for putting him down...there is no cure for Saddle Thrombus and he had Severe Heart Disease (the 24 hour emergency vet told us that) which we had no clue he had. His heart always sounded great at his yearly checkups. You could see how he had been traumatized in his face when we got to the doctor the next afternoon from a 5.5 hr drive away. Our sweet boy had suffered and we were going to take his pain away. He died in my arms with the help of the doctor and I held him the entire way home, crying and not understanding, how this could be happening!!! We buried him in our yard, the yard he has only known and I visit his grave multiple times a day. Yesterday, after work I stayed out there for 3 hours. I wish I had something to tell you that has helped me but I don't. Yesterday, I thought I was turning a corner and today I am right back where I started. Our babies got cheated. Do not feel selfish about another cat now...I always want to grieve my animals but this death is different, its sudden, unexpected and cruel. So 2 days ago I looked at shelters and I found so many sweet faces that need good homes. I am not ready yet but if you are move on, let go. Joey will forever be in your heart and it sounds like he loved you so much, he wouldn't want you to hurt. For me, I feel it would be unfair to the new one because I would compare them to Henry right out of the gate. I can't do that. If you want to read another long post about Henry I posted the story under Saddle Thrombus Strikes again. Take care of yourself, know that your not alone and if you need to talk...I am only a click away. Henry's Mom
On a side note: I wrote a poem about him 2 days ago, never have written one and it was done in less than 5 minutes. I read that poem probably 20 times that day. At first crying and sobbing uncontrollably but towards the end, I would smile and laugh at his journey with us. I heard writing will help so I also started a journal of all the things he did, so in time I will remember the little details.
Registered: 1586633207 Posts: 2
I’m so sorry for your loss. I had to put my 5 year old down on Tuesday due to kidney problems as well. I have twi cats but this one was like my baby and very vocal. He talked nonstop and was such a presence all the time and such a people cat. He loved people. I’ve been unable to stop sobbing since Tuesday. I was already struggling due to job loss and Illness. But my place is so quiet now without him in it. He always wanted to be near me or touching me and I miss waking up with him curled on my legs or him following me from room to room. I had to put pets down before but this one has broken me because he was such an energetic and lively presence in the house. I’ve had to take Benadryl to get any sleep and waking up to quiet just makes me so sad. I’m so so sorry you have to go through this, because I feel that pain. Thank you for sharing your story.
Registered: 1586526549 Posts: 7
I am so so sorry for your loss. I know tomorrow will be hard at the 1 week mark, last week I was not in a good way at one week. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since I held my precious big boy Henry and I still can't believe he is gone. I loved your reply because you have just explained my cat and my life. Henry was the same way. Slept with me, had to know where I was, touch me, sit in my lap, he even sat at the dinner table like a human, in a chair. He was the best cat I have ever had and I am devastated. My husband called us litter mates😉 I also still have to take Benedryl or Tylenol PM to sleep, your not alone there. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I instantly wonder where's Henry and then I realize, this is no nightmare, this is my reality. I just thought since he was so young, he would be around for a long time to come, you probably thought that too with your 5 year old boy. What was his name? I also have another cat, she is a year older than Henry; Hayley. She is loving but she isn't Henry. I have been patient with her and trying to let her help me. Hayley is sweet and I love her too but Henry and I were buddies. If you need to talk, please reach back out...I do understand your pain and I am sorry you are having to go through this.
Registered: 1586633207 Posts: 2
His name was Charles Wallace named after a character in one of my favorite childhood books, A Wrinkle in Time. I feel your loss as he was still healthy two weeks before I had to put him down. But slowly losing weight—diagnosed with kidney problems back in November—but he was still plying and talking and full of life. He progressed quickly. Within days. I knew I had to bring him in when he was struggling to walk and was no longer eating anything. He loved the car so the ride to the vet had him perking up as he was able to watch everything outside. He loved watching the outside. I, too, thought I might have at least 5 years more with him. I feel so badly for my other cat because he isn’t Charles Wallace and I’m trying so hard not to resent that he’s the one still living. I can’t imagine ever getting another cat again because he was one of kind who charmed every human he came into contact with even though he could be demanding, too. The quiet is what makes it so difficult because my other cat doesn’t talk. So every waking moment the air was filled with Charles Wallace chatting—not meowing—chatting as if he was actually having a conversation with you. He even chatted when he was by himself playing with a toy. I rescued him when I lived overseas and am just flush with grief these days. 😢
Registered: 1586526549 Posts: 7
I love his name. Henry had a middle name too, Houdini (there is a story there). Charles Wallace sounds like an amazing one of a kind cat and I know this is so very hard and you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will assure you, today is 2 weeks for me and I am in a better place than I was last week. I just feel sad all day no matter where I am at and what I am doing.
I have read lots of stories of what people went through and how they felt at the time they lost their cat in a sudden, too early way, and they find peace eventually. I have comfort knowing that you will move on and possibly think of another furry friend when your ready and its time. As much as a cute little kitten would be right now for me, I would compare him to Henry and that isn't fair to the new kitten, so for me I need to wait. Also, I too, said the same thing about my other cat, Hayley. Why could it have been her instead of Henry? It helped getting that thought out and most understood except my mom...Hayley is trying her very hardest to be kind and loving and part of the family. I even felt like I was betraying Henry but showing Hayley love and affection. Last night, I apologized to her for thinking those thoughts and hope that she would forgive me. It is just the pain and lonesomeness that is creating those thoughts. The haunting thoughts keep coming of the "what ifs" and I try to re direct my thoughts to the fun Henry and I had and the cute things he did. I don't know if your on Facebook? There are many support groups (pages) that are specific to what you went through. It's horrible that other people are feeling your pain, right now but it made me feel less alone. You could search cats with kidney failure or something specific. I joined 3 different groups and I think that has helped me "start" to accept that Henry's gone. This message board as well helps.