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When To Say When - Leaving To Put Her Down Now

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  • When To Say When - Leaving To Put Her Down Now

    Fatty is 16 this year and her health is failing. She is skin and bones (doesn't want to eat). I actually buy her smoked chicken breast (thinly sliced) since that is all she eats. We have tried every cat food known to man and she won't touch it. I also give her half and half since she loves to drink it and could use the extra weight. Her bloodwork shows no infections, but low protein levels (due to her not eating). The vet could not find anything "wrong" with her and said just feed her what she'll eat.

    As of this past week, she now has weakness in her hind-end. She is not in "pain" and still goes out daily for walks. However, I think her time may have come to be put down. Every time she goes to sleep, my SO wakes her up because she looks dead. She is so thin it is gross to even pick her up. I feel like I have failed her by not finding something she will eat. My SO even fries chicken for her, which she will sometimes take a few bites of.

    Which brings me to the huge question, when is it time. She seems happy, but isn't getting around very well. I worry every time she goes outside that something is going to kill her because she can't get away. She would HATE to be kept in the house, so not an option.

    This is the cat of a life-time. She has been by my side for more than half of my life. She sleeps on my pillow every night. I want to do the right thing for her, but I'm not sure what that is. I've spend thousands of dollars on her and I would gladly do it again to keep her around (she survived cancer about 5 years ago, but lost her ear because of it). I am at a loss.
    Member of the "I Ride A Chestnut Thoroughbred Mare, So You Don't Scare Me Clique"

  • #2
    You'll know as plain as if it were written in stone. No way you can spend that much time with an animal and not have a connection. Believe me, it will go from "is it time?" to "it's time" and you will give her the greatest gift one can give. You will take her pain away and make it your own. Jingles.
    I once extended a cat's life for a few weeks when I wasn't quite ready to let her go. I gave her sub q fluids and force fed nutri-cal until I figured out she would lick it off my finger if I offered it to her.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

    Comment


    • #3
      You'll know. It sounds like you are on the brink of knowing. I don't know how much real risk there is of predators, even just neighbor dogs, but that might force your hand. I had a 14yo cat who was indoor only except for my walled terrace -- he got out when I didn't latch the terrace door. I drove myself nearly off the edge imagining how his last days/hours/minutes were going to be spent. He turned up after three days but I aged by three years, and if he had been killed by a stray dog or a car, I might still be recovering.

      A different cat, my heart and soul cat, lived on happily with malignant anal tumors, still eating and drinking and cuddling. Then one day I knew it was time. I know just how you feel -- if it had been operable I would have done anything for a few more years with that cat. They go too soon, way too soon. Jingles for you and your dear kitty.
      Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
      Starman

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      • #4
        When you know that their tomorrow will be no different, or worse, than their today.... when the outcome will be the same, but perhaps --well -- more painful

        I am in the "Better a day too early, than a minute too late" camp.

        It's never easy but it is a gift to them. (( hugs ))
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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        • #5
          Honestly, if one of my cats was as you describe and still insisting to go outside, the fear of finding her dead at the hands of predators rather than at the hands of the veterinarian would make my decision. I would be so upset if the former happened.

          I have a 16 year old kitty in kidney failure. Sub q fluids once a week and special cat food are keeping her going but she is a house cat. It would be okay if I took her in today to put her to sleep but since her routine is still a safe one, I'm buying more time.

          The problem with some animals is that they are stoic and they don't show pain outwardly which requires owners to use our powers of observations to a higher level. Seems to me cats are especially Masters of Masking pain. My dogs are quicker to seek me out if something isn't right or they are under the weather.

          Hugs and good luck. Those pets that bridge years and years of our lives are so special.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree wholeheartedly with Chocomare. I just had to put down my absolute all time favorite cat last month, when he stopped eating and drinking I knew it was time, even though he was still getting around.

            Hugs to you.
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

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            • #7
              With mine

              With the cat I had when I moved here, it was when he quit sharing my bed at night. With the horse, I could tell by looking into her eyes. With the two barn cats, one couldn't breath as fluid was filling his lungs as quickly as we drained them and the other it was thrombosis so a blood clot that paralyzed him. All were heartbreaking but the hardest of the cats was the 6 1/2 year old cat that was my feline soul mate. He wasn't eating so I took him to the vet and they put him on fluids. He was just starting to eat when a major ice storm hit and power went out all over, including the vet clinic. After that, he just kept going down hill. Literally from a visit one morning to a visit in the afternoon I knew he'd had enough.

              You have my sympathy as I know how hard this is for you. No one knows your cat like you do just watch for changes in routine and behavior that only you would know. Hugs from Kentucky!
              Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

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              • #8
                Do it sooner rather than later. I lost my cat of a lifetime in December and am still haunted by my last visit to him at the vet's, he died shortly after I left. At the time my vet thought a procedure in the hospital would extend his life and add better quality to it for his remaining days, but it didn't work out that way and I can't forgive myself for not following my instincts and putting him down while I was there with him. Ten days later I put down my 15 year old girl under such different circumstances, it was so peaceful that I almost felt good about it, if that makes any sense.

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                • #9
                  I had one which wouldn't tell me. She wouldn't eat unless I chopped the food into little pieces and fed her one slice at a time from the tip of my finger. She dropped almost half her body weight. Her hind end went out. She had trouble using the litter pan. Even so, she was still bright eyed, affectionate, and determined. Eventually I took her into the vet to be put down. She fought the drugs all the way. I felt like a cad, but ultimately I think I made the right decision. There's no cure for old age. I've had other cats get to the point where they were obviously in pain. Too soon is better than too late.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No advice just hugs.

                    I know I'm going to face this sooner rather than later. My oldie will be 19 this summer and thankfully is still pretty healthy. Definitely happy at his old age. The other oldie will be 17 soon and has CRF, just recently diagnosed but won't eat the special food (started a thread about it). I know with her I'm just buying time but will do my very best to let her tell me when it's time. And the other one, too.

                    I'm so sorry, it makes me so sad but grateful for all the time you (and I and all of us) have had with our beloved kitties.
                    ~* Be kind to one another *~

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                      I am in the "Better a day too early, than a minute too late" camp.
                      Ditto.
                      And I forced myself a couple of weeks ago to stay true to this....

                      So sorry LM--I know it's such an incredibly hard thing to do.
                      Last edited by Invested1; Feb. 23, 2012, 12:52 PM.
                      Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds like you already know. Wishing you the strength and peace to make it happen.

                        From someone who did the same for her 20 year old, less than two months ago.
                        In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                        A life lived by example, done too soon.
                        www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In the same boat here.

                          Last April we put down one kitty at age 17.5 and her sister (littermates) is in my lap right now. Both developed renal failure and it is just a matter of time.
                          It was easy to make the decision for Callie as she went down hill in less than 24 hours. With Edwina, twice in the past 3 months I made "the appointment' then cancelled. As long as she is able to eat, drink, eliminate and move about with a light in her eye, then she will stay in my lap or snuggled next to me in bed.

                          They will let you know when it is time. I look for the 'light' in the eye that tells me they are ready to face another day.

                          Good luck and Hugs.
                          "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                          Courtesy my cousin Tim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In the same boat here too.. actually posted about it a while back.. my heart kitty as well.

                            She has kidney disease and is 17 - we give her sub q fluids every three days and I let her eat whatever she wants - she is very thin as well but I can still see her in her eyes..

                            So I know time is short and just waititng untill she tells me its time to go.

                            If I were you I would try some sub q fluids - certainly cannot hurt as long as there is no assoicated heart condition.

                            They are easy to administer as we do it at home.


                            I feel your pain and I have cried gallons already over losing this kitty - many hugs and prayers for you and your beloved feline..
                            Hickstead 1996-2011 Godspeed
                            " Hickstead is simply the best and He lives forever in our hearts"
                            Akasha 1992-2012 - I will always love you sweet girl.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I lost both of my princess meows in a year. One was definitely a heart kitty. I don't know if I saw this posted somewhere, or if I found it on my own, but this blog post helped me to make the decision: http://www.wayofcats.com/blog/how-to...-its-time/3710

                              My old Persian would still purr like crazy. She ate/drank/used the box. I remember looking at her one day and her expression had changed. I knew she was tired and uncomfortable, despite her best attempt to be her happy self. She had a hard time getting around due to arthritis. I made the appointment immediately for the next day. It is certainly one of the hardest things to do, but in my mind, it's a true act of love for the animal and its well being.

                              I'm also in the "better a day too early, than a minute too late" camp.

                              /HUGS

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fooler View Post
                                They will let you know when it is time. I look for the 'light' in the eye that tells me they are ready to face another day..
                                This is such a tough thing. I put down my beloved 14yo heart dog, Tonka, this month. The day she left me, she still had the light in her eyes, we went for a short walk, she had McDonalds hamburgers for lunch, and we spent the day hugging with her wagging her tail and kissing away my tears. I know full well she would have kept that light for a few more days, but I didn't want to wait until the light was gone and she was in pain to say goodbye.

                                Her condition was not going to get better and she was going to go downhill pretty quickly, so I let her go out on a high.

                                I guess my point is that yes, you see whether they still have the light in their eyes, but for some conditions, is it really the right thing to wait until it's gone?
                                Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Invested1 View Post
                                  This is such a tough thing. I put down my beloved 14yo heart dog, Tonka, this month. The day she left me, she still had the light in her eyes, we went for a short walk, she had McDonalds hamburgers for lunch, and we spent the day hugging with her wagging her tail and kissing away my tears. I know full well she would have kept that light for a few more days, but I didn't want to wait until the light was gone and she was in pain to say goodbye.

                                  Her condition was not going to get better and she was going to go downhill pretty quickly, so I let her go out on a high.

                                  I guess my point is that yes, you see whether they still have the light in their eyes, but for some conditions, is it really the right thing to wait until it's gone?
                                  Many hugs to you.

                                  With my Callie cat, she was "good" early Saturday and then in the wee hours of Sunday morning she suddenly went downhill.
                                  With her sister Edwina, I am watching everyday. Right now she is snuggled with me in the chair. The light is starting to fade and it won't be long now.

                                  I guess the best way to say it is watch for the intensity of the light. So many are stoic and try to push past their condition. The light does begin to fade, the step gets slower, the balance less so. We should be alert to these and other traits we each know about our critters.
                                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                                  Courtesy my cousin Tim

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think you know in your heart. Give her a day full of love and all her favorite things and then let her go. It is so difficult to do, and my heart is breaking for you. Lots of hugs for you and kitty.
                                    You are what you dare.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      The hardest part is there is nothing she likes anymore. Sean, my SO, fixed chicken for her again tonight and she had a few bites and walked away. I wish I could find SOMETHING that she loved, but the more I type, the more I realize that the time has come. I'm guessing some time this week, I will make that call. It's already been made once and we backed out. I love Fatty so much. She really has been my best friend for the past 16 years. We've never had a fight!
                                      Member of the "I Ride A Chestnut Thoroughbred Mare, So You Don't Scare Me Clique"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have your tried nutrical? It won't solve your problems but may buy you a little more quality time. Jingles.
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

                                        Home Away From Home

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