Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
In August, my cat got hit by a car. A neighbor found him but again he seemed OK after a visit to the vet. All went well until one week ago. On Tuesday, he collapsed and was screaming in pain. We took him to the vet who told us he was extremely constipated and he was sedated for an enema. He came home and the next day I realized he was making the motions of going to the toilet but was unable to pee. His hind leg was also sitting funny with the toes turned in. I then noticed he was very swollen and bloated. His whole body looked full of fluid. I took him back to the vet and they expressed his bladder and bloody pee came out. They kept him overnight on a drip and catheter to check for blockages but found none. Blood tests also showed his kidneys were under pressure. I took him home Friday. He was eating and drinking and peeing but it was still bloody. His bladder was distended and rock hard, no matter how much fluid came out of him. By Sunday he was wetting himself constantly but was bright and alert. But I decided it was time. Please tell me I did the right thing. I am doubting myself so much, but the vet said his kidneys were done. I could have kept him few more days but I didn’t want him to really really start suffering. I’m heartbroken.
Thomas: Oh, Ciara, the euthanasia decision is one of the hardest anyone has to make.
Bella: We’re not surprised you’re feeling guilty and wondering if you did the right thing.
Tara: But rest assured, since your decision was made with compassion and love, it was the right decision.
Thomas: Because his kidneys were failing and he was unable to urinate or poop correctly, your cat would have suffered more and more.
Bella: It’s not uncommon for cats to have severe bowel and bladder problems, especially if they get hit in the hips. And sometimes those bladder problems can lead to acute kidney failure, which is most likely what happened to your beloved cat.
Tara: Mama had a hard time making the decision with Siouxsie, too. That’s her in the picture above, during her final vet appointment.
Thomas: In fact, Mama cried a lot when she called the vet to make the euthanasia appointment.
Bella: Even when you know logically that it’s the right decision, your heart will always wonder.
Thomas: When Mama was struggling to make the decision, she remembered her vet’s words: Better a week too early than an hour too late.
Bella: But we don’t think it was too early for your kitty. For that matter, we don’t think it was too late, either.
Tara: Because you didn’t wait until your kitty was really suffering, you made the best possible decision, and it was made with love for your sweet kitty friend.
Thomas: What you’re going through is a normal grieving process. And right now, you’re in the guilt part of that process.
Bella: A lot of guilt comes along with electing euthanasia for a beloved animal companion. It feels, to some extent, like you’re playing God, and you always wonder if you took him for that final vet visit too early.
Tara: Siouxsie was pretty bright and alert when Mama made her decision, but she knew Siouxsie was just tired. Tired of being in pain, tired of fighting, tired of having to take pills. Even so, Mama still felt guilty.
Thomas: She felt guilty when she had our beloved Dahlia euthanized, too. But in that case, she wondered if she’d waited too long.
Bella: It was harder for her to think she’d waited too long, actually. Waiting too long means a kitty suffers too long.
Tara: We can never tell for sure, but what we can tell you is that euthanasia is a hard decision for everybody who takes that step to release their beloved cat friend from suffering.
Thomas: Rest assured, you’re not alone. Cat lovers all over the world have the same kind of feelings you do.
Bella: It might help you to go to a pet loss support group or find a community online where you can share your feelings.
Tara: We hope we’ve been able to provide you at least a little bit of comfort during this difficult time. Please know you’re not alone.
Thomas: Everybody who reads this blog has made that euthanasia decision at least once.
Bella: To you other readers, if you would comment with your support and compassion, we’re sure Ciara would deeply appreciate your kind thoughts.
Tara: We know your words will help Mama find peace with her decisions, as well as Ciara.
Thomas: And if you’ve had to have your cat put to sleep, our compassion and condolences are with you, too.
As a pet parent, this is the hardest thing I think any of us face. I’ve gotten advice similar to the vet advice here and they are words of wisdom. There is no crystal ball. We do the best we can to protect them and then need to do our best to let them go. I’ve also felt that same guilt and “what if” moments. You have to let them go or they will make you crazy…you took the information you had and made a decision to release him from any more pain.
Ciara, it is such a hard decision and you will feel guilt but know you did the right thing.
I’ve had to euthanize 3 cats I loved so much. The first one was too late because I didn’t want to say goodbye. I knew she had kidney failure and had no control and once we made the decision I couldn’t watch her die. My husband held her while I bawled my head off in the car. That was 16 years ago and I still feel guilty.
My second one had COPD and it took the specialist to gently suggest euthanasia. He had given her a steroid shot a couple days before the appointment and she was energetic again which made me doubt myself but I knew it wouldn’t last. That time I held her and comforted her while she got the injections.
My third one also had kidney failure but he hated getting fluids and his BUN was too high. This time, because of my first kitty, I knew it was time.
I still miss them so much but I know they are not in pain anymore.
Ciara, I, too, have had to put a beloved cat to sleep because of kidney failure due to aging. In this case, the accident probably started a lot of things. I work with a colony and there was a beautiful white cat I called Whitney sitting in one of the open stalls of a barn unable to move. I could approach her without her running and noticed her behind was dragging. I moved the food to her and although she ate and seemed okay I knew, of course, something bad had happened. I was reluctant to take her home but I did. I kept her in a pen until I could get a vet appt. As much as she tried she barely made the litter box. She purred to herself constantly to soothe herself but I knew she both still deathly frightened of me and in a lot of discomfort. Although there seemed no outward sign of trauma I now think, because of your post, that she might have been hit by a vehicle and this caused the kidney problems. Of course, I had her humanely euthanized. In the future, if possible, keep your kitty indoors so that this does not happen. I know sometimes it’s impossible. Sorry you lost your baby.
Oh Ciara. I’m so sorry for your loss of your sweet feline companion. From what you’ve written, it sounds to me that your baby was so very loved and that you gave him a wonderful life. All the best to you.
Clara, please don’t be too hard on yourself. Reading over your story had me in tears, as I, too, have had to take two of the most precious girls in the world to that final vet trip. I understand. Both my girls were bright and alert, but they somehow “told” me it was time. I know Siouxsie told her Mama when it was time. The heart-bond we have with our animal friends cannot be adequately explained or defined. I believe you did the right thing with your puss. I believe that he told you how ill he was, how much pain he was in, and you made the loving decision to release him. I still second-guess myself sometimes, but I know I did the right thing.
Don’t let anyone put you down for grieving or tell you he was “just a cat”. That is something that really hisses me off. I don’t have to explain how special he was. Cry, grieve, be angry, allow yourself to feel. Find a support group or network with some of us here. Remember there is no set timeline for grief; you don’t have to “heal” according to anyone’s schedule. It’s been four years since Tippear and two and a half since Purrscilla, and I still miss them. I still cry, I still even look for them sometimes. I myself believe we will be reunited with our pets when we leave this life. I had my girls privately cremated and having that part of them still with me comforts me. My vet’s Mom makes plaster paw-prints of pets, and I have Tip’s tiny prints and Purrscilla’s gorgeous tufted paw prints.
Love, hugs, prayers and purrs.
Thank you. I had him cremated and they gave me his paw and nose prints. He will never be just a cat, I’m sure some people think I’m daft for still feeling bad about it but I won’t belittle the love I had for my little guy like that.
This article is such a great post which effectively reveals some incredible information. I personally feel the usefulness of the article and that helps me in writing my own pet blog http://www.scotchu.com (which is named after my pet labra Scotch).
Thanks a lot.
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24bc0cb3f3c451d90363ed817bbf189be7bfd844fa7f67bb4847c7c28f432582.jpg This has helped me tremendously. Its got easier over time but I’ll miss him forever.
Awww. I’m so sorry for your loss. :'( We have cats at my house, so I kind of grew up loving cats. :) So, I know how hard it is to lose a pet. We can rejoice though for the life you gave him because I’m sure it was full of love. :) I know it still can hurt even when logic or others tell you that your grief is unreasonable or your just being like a child, but you have lost someone you loved and that’s difficult. So, don’t beat up on yourself, as I have read, you did the best you could, so rest and forgive yourself.:) Jesus does, He finds no fault in you! ( Romans 8:34). I told my mom about your story and she says she remembered when her Blue Dog ( a blue healer) passed away. She cried for two nights and even called the Kenneth Copeland Ministries prayer line(817_852_6000). She told me to tell you that God created animals to be close to us and for companionship, so it’s hard at first when we lose that connection, but I believe and have found God to be faithful to comfort me. :) In any time of heart ache, Psalm 34 encourages me. “The LORD is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” :) He is a Faithful Savior. :) I hope you have other cats or animals to comfort you. :) Praying for you. :)
Thank you :)