Saying goodbye to my cat

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,164
19
Chicago, Illinois
I know some of you know that my cat has been dealing with a brain tumor. I finally made the call to the vet today and we'll be putting him to sleep tomorrow.

I have had this cat since I moved to Chicago 14 years ago- he is part of my family and I will miss him. He has been delusional and incoherent for the last month and would not receive any sort of affection (laying on the couch with me or my roommate, etc.). He has been very much by himself. When I came home from work today and laid on the couch, he jumped up and laid on my chest for the first time in a while. I told him it would all be over tomorrow. It was weird, he seemed like himself for about 15 minutes. His eyes seemed to express genuine weariness and thanks at the same time.

I know that sounds crazy, but I felt assured in my decision at that moment.

I will miss him. He was my best friend for over 14 years.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
I'm so sorry to hear that :(, but I'm glad that you were at least allowed to spend time with him during a moment of clarity. Tomorrow will be a difficult day... but you have to know that you are doing what you must and what he would want.
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
0
NYC
You can take comfort in the fact that you have had time to come to terms with it.

It's much more painful if it is sudden.

He will be in a better place soon.
 

Grey Beard

macrumors 65816
Sep 10, 2005
1,011
62
The Antipodes.
Lee, while this has been on the cards for a while now, it sure don't make it any easier. But you know it's for the best in the long run. Kevin.
 

Nuc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2003
798
6
TN
Sorry to hear about your cat. I've lost animals in the past and it never gets easier. Even the cats that we had that I didn't particularly like; it still was sad :(

Nuc
 

Leareth

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2004
1,569
6
Vancouver
Make sure to give him his favorite food for a last meal.

I have always tried to do this with my pets. Lots of tuna and cat nip...:(

I am sorry for the loss of your cat but you did enjoy 14 years with him and he did have a good life with you.
 

gadgetgirl85

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2006
3,568
95
I'm nearly in tears to hear your story. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. 5 years ago I had to put my cat Shelley to sleep she had kidney failure...she started going downhill about a month before we were due to move interstate. I was depressed and in a terrible mess yet she held on for me until we moved. I dont think I would have been able to do it without her so I understand what you are going through :(
 

Cloud9

macrumors regular
Aug 10, 2005
229
0
between flesh and thought
A freind of mine had an old dog that was suffering from complications that happen when pets get old. I dont remember what they were exactly. The dog never ever liked to go for car rides, and hated the vet and often times could tell when those visits would happen. They often had to wrestle the animal into the car just for a check up. But the night before it was time to take the pet in to be put to sleep, the family gatherd round and spent time with him. The next Day when my friends mom came home from work they went to get the dog to take him in. As soon as they opened the door he calmly walked out and went towards the car. As they opened the door he entered the vehicle on his own with out any guidance. At the vet he was calm and cooperative and seemed "more himself". It seemed as though the dog was consenting to the decision and knew what was going on.
 

Spaceman Spiff

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2003
243
0
I remember my old cat dying years back... He was older than me, had always been rather grumpy but still affectionate. He had been showing signs of age for a while. One day my mom found him in the yard outside, unable to move his back legs anymore. After tears and a trip to the animal hospital, we found he had thrown a blood clot and was going through terrible pain. He could be operating on, but only would live a few weeks, or a couple months at best. We made the decision to put him down, and said final farewells. A very hard moment. My heart goes out to you in this moment, knowing what it's like... It's a hard goodbye, but it's for the best.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
I was in the room stroking our first cat when he was euthanized 9 years ago now.

He was the most loving little ball of fur I've ever known (even though we have another great cat since, he has his own very different personality) and he knew when his time had come. He had been struggling with FIV diagnosed about six months before his death and we did absolutely everything we could for him including homeopathic treatments and then interferon. Near the end we were pumping him full of saline multiple times a day, since he was unable or unwilling to drink and keep himself hydrated while we continued the interferon treatment.

One particularly rough day for him we tried to give him his saline and he just wouldn't come out from under the sofa as he had been doing. However once he saw that we got rid of all the needles and bags of medicine he was willing to come sit in our lap and spent some time with my wife and I separately. The next day we took him in to the vet and I rubbed his little tummy gently while they shaved two of his paws in prep for the injections.

He went so peacefully, and it was clear that he knew what was coming. Had I not been there, I would have been frought with concern about how he handled his final moments on this Earth, but by being there I know exactly how it went.

Lee I hope everything goes as smoothly and peacefully for you and your cat, and don't be afraid to ask to be able to be there to help keep him calm during the procedure.

B
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
It was one of the saddest days of my life when I had to have my old dog Bazz put down a few years ago - he wasn't all that old, 8 years but he must've jumped off the back wall one too many time (not a high wall but he was a dachshund so any sort of jumping wasn't good for him) and he buggered his back. Fully paralysed from the "waist" down, he couldn't walk, go the toilet, jump up on our laps at night, he just was never going to be the same so we had him euthanised. I was there to hold him as he drifted off - no pain, no angst, he just went off to sleep.

It sounds crazy but it was like I lost a part of myself, he was the closest thing I had to a brother and it really hurt bad for a long time. Took it pretty hard too, I was meant to be on duty at college one night but went out and got so drunk I couldn't stand - almost lost the tutor job over it but I went right over to the Head of the college and just laid it all out on the table - good thing she was sympathetic, people have lost their jobs for less.

We've just got ourselves (well, my Mum and Dad have anyway, I see them when I visit them) two new puppies, initially I was a bit wary but now they've just asserted their personalities into the house and are a part of the family now.

Sorry to hear this lee, it'll definitely suck for a while but the sadness will eventually pass.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,400
12,410
Sorry to hear that Lee. I've been through that with a cat and a dog. If I could offer some advice, take care of the paperwork and payment before they administer the injection. That way you can just leave when you're ready. The first time, I was devastated and I had to deal with all kinds of questions and paying after I spent a long time with my dog.
 

Music_Producer

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2004
1,626
0
OutThere said:
You can take comfort in the fact that you have had time to come to terms with it.

It's much more painful if it is sudden.

He will be in a better place soon.
Very.. very true. I got to know and love my wife's cat Choo Choo (he was with her for 13 years) since the last 3 years, and he died last month, July 19. Things haven't been the same since because we just weren't prepared for his death.

We found him almost 8 hours after he didn't show up for food in the evening.. he usually used to play outside.. and then come for his evening meal. It was the most horrible scene.. found him lying in the middle of a dirt street (back of our house) .. flies all over him and ants running in and out of his mouth.. and he had dried up blood on his nose and mouth. For a few minutes I didn't recognize him.. because he was the most beautiful cat when he was alive.. and now.. it was just so strange. I kept saying to myself "no, it can't be him.. must be another cat"..

The firt thing i heard my wife say, after she cried.. "I didn't expect him to go like this.. i wanted him to die of old age.. in my arms" She still cries everyday, and I get more upset seeing her like this. The worst part is, I usually never look for him.. but this time I knew something was wrong, and I even told my wife that I thought he was dead. :( After burying him that night..my wife wanted to touch him again.. so i dug him up after 2 days .. and he was still intact.. and she broke down again on touching his fur.

Apparently.. a car ran him over.. (it was a dirt road.. no one even drives through there) and from the tracks, i could tell that the person ran him over purposely (tracks shifted from the normal side of the road.. all the way to the left.. and then back again) Whenever a car goes through there.. they go real slow too.. of course i didn't tell my wife what i thought.. she's in too much pain anyway.

Just think of all the good times you had with your cat, and remember that you gave him the most love and the best life he could have ever had.
 

Kardashian

macrumors 68020
Sep 4, 2005
2,083
1
Britain.
Losing a pet is often terrible. You have (with your pet) one of the only relationships you can guarantee as true affection. They are unconditional and loyal.

Its good that you've shown the same loyalty back - putting his/her happiness and health over your own needs.

All the best. :)
 

floriflee

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2004
2,707
1
I don't think I had cried so hard in a long time when I had to put my cat, Maggie, to sleep (and I'd only had her two months). I got her from a Pet Adoption clinic, and found out about two months later that she had kidney failure. She was probably the most loving, cuddly cat I'd seen, and I'd hoped she'd be a good friend to my other cat, Shiloh. I was devastated for several days afterwards. My biggest regret was that I didn't stay with her at the time they put her to sleep (I just didn't think I could take it at the time) so she had to die amongst strangers. I hope you plan on staying with your cat if you can. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. I am so sorry for your loss even if it is for the best. My thoughts are with you.
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
OutThere said:
You can take comfort in the fact that you have had time to come to terms with it.

It's much more painful if it is sudden.

He will be in a better place soon.
seconded...

my neighbors and I kind of "adopted" a little stray kitty a few years ago. Really sweet little fellow. We pitched in and had him fixed and got him de-wormed and all that. But, he got very sick and it wound up that I had to make the decision to have him put down. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

I'm sure your little pal had a good life. Just try to hang in there...
 

Black&Tan

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2004
736
0
Lee,

I truly feel your pain. I put my cat down a few months ago, and its been very difficult. The day Misty was euthanized was one of the hardest days I've had to deal with. I know it was for the best, but it doesn't make it any easier on the heart. Try to remember the happy times. And during this whole ordeal, remember you're doing this for your cat. Ending his/her suffering is your responsibility as his owner and companion. Your cat knows your love and compassion, have no doubt.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,164
19
Chicago, Illinois
Thanks everyone. It's starting out to be a rough day, but I'll get through it. I have friends coming over today to be around afterward. Fortunately, the vet is able to come to my place to do it. I didn't want him dying in an office. I'm really glad she's able to do that.
 

Killyp

macrumors 68040
Jun 14, 2006
3,860
5
I hope all goes well!

We used to have a dog about 8 years ago (when I was 7), and I was really upset when we had to put it down. It's better for your cat though...