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My Nathan is Terminal :(  

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone-
Not a good first post but...

I just found out yesterday that my 10 year old kitty Nathan is terminal. The vet said the cancer is so spread through out his abdomen (liver and pancreas) that it most likely wouldn't even respond to chemo. I am absolutely devastated (I know you can understand). Now I am faced with the tough decision as to 'when is it time'? He is sleeping a lot and can't jump up on the table any more and he stopped playing with his mousies a couple of months ago. I have been hand feeding him today to make sure he eats. The vet said only I would be able make the determination of when it's time. If it was up to me it would be never ever ever! But I don't want him to suffer- and I don't want it to be too soon. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated as this is the first time I have had to do this. I haven't stopped crying since yesterday and I can't even think straight...

Thank you in advance...
post #2 of 34
So sorry to hear of your dilema. I think you have to look first to his quality of life. Is he still mostly comfortable and relatively happy? If the answer is yes, then continue to give him supportive care until this changes. When the answer becomes no, and it's apparant he is suffering, it will be time to send him on his way. It will be the kindest thing you can do for him, even though it will cause you great anguish.
As his closest friend you will know when the time is right. I wish you and Nathan the best.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you so for for your quick reply.

The problem is- how do I know when he isn't happy? Will it be obvious? He is sleeping a lot, getting up to use the rest room, and then heads back to behind the chair. He sometimes will respond when I pet him other times he just lays there. I just can't tell... He isn't talking like he used to. He used to be so sassy. I miss his attitude...
post #4 of 34
I am definately not the one to ask about when its time.... but I would say if the activities that were always done are no longer done it may be time...
post #5 of 34
Look him in the eyes and talk with him. He knows what is going on in his body, and he knows how much you love him. He will let you know, in his own way. But look into his eyes, not your heart. Your heart isn't ever going to be ready to make the decision, but he will tell you when he is ready.

to you as you face this difficult time with Nathan.
post #6 of 34
Melanie I'm so sorry to hear about Nathan!

My vet told me I would know when it was time to let my Samantha go. Of course I just knew I wasn't going to be able to do this. I was never going to be able to know or let her go.

I don't know if I can get the right words right because I have such a hard time talking about it.

Samantha was such a sweet cat and so loving. She was always there for my boys when they needed a little extra lovin. I was looking into her eyes
and she was still trying to give a little extra lovin even though she was the one who needed it more than I did. I knew it was my time to give back to her for all the times she had given so much to us, her family. She never showed signs of hurting but she wasn't acting normal either. She was sleeping almost 24/7. I had to bring food to her and coax her to eat.
I didn't have to worry about the litter box because she wasn't even voiding anything. Samantha quality of life was gone.

To this day I think she was only hanging on because of us. She was ready to go and it was my time to give back to her and let her go.

I don't know if this helped you but I wanted you to know that I understand.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for you kind words and advice. I'm sure I will be here often reading up on everything I can to help him and keep him comfortable.
post #8 of 34
Many sorry headbuts and sad, sad licks from KittenKiya's Clan on your situation. I know, words don't mean much right now.

You have had a relationship with your baby for quite some time, and believe me, you will know when he is hurting, or when he has had enough. You will not want to watch him hurt as he tries to walk, or listlessly goes over to his food bowl, then turns away. Your heart will know.

If you need us, we are here.
post #9 of 34
Aw, what a painful time this is for you. I have no words of wisdom - as the others said, quality of life is important. We humans don't want to let go of our precious kitties but sometimes we must.

I don't know how painful cancer is to a cat and they are notorious for hiding pain, but I know I lost my mom a couple years ago to the same thing as you are experiencing with your kitty and she said the pain was terrible. She was on a morphine patch at home with us and then a morphine drip at the hospital.

Sit down with your baby and talk to him. I had to do this with our Simba when he was so sick and I held him in my arms and cried while he was PTS. Afterwards the vet held me while I cried.

Just remember that when he has crossed the rainbow bridge all his pain and hurting will be gone and he'll be romping with our past kitties while waiting for us when it's our time.

God Bless you and help you make this tough decision.
post #10 of 34
My thoughts and prayers will be with you during this difficult time.
Precious Nathan
post #11 of 34
I, too, am considering the same thing. Hopefully, this will be of some help to you. One of my outside kitties is 13 years old. She is loosing hearing & her eyes have gotten "cloudy". She resides is our garage, & out goes outside on harness & leash. She sometimes looses bowel control & makes a mess of herself. She doesn't eat as much as she used to. She was overweight, but has slowly dropped down to a normal weight over the summer. The vet says there is nothing wrong with her, other than age. I was considering if I make her be cold at night as winter is coming, or if I end things now. Then she crawled into my lap & fell asleep. I knew it wasn't her time yet. She enjoys her canned food daily. She still eaats dry food OK. She drinks normally. Other than her obvious issues with getting around(arthritis, eyesight loss, & hearing loss), she still is enjoying life. I caught her on the garage windowsill today. She hasn't been able to get up there for a week. I, however, have known this was coming for a long, long time. I have been bracing myself for this. You only learned of Nathan's illness such a short time ago.

Could you get some pain meds from the vet to make your poor boy's end of his life a little more comfortable? You will know when it is time. He will tell you. ...hugs....
post #12 of 34
Hi there, our family just had to make that difficult decision about our dog this year. She'd been slowly failing for several years. We decided that as long as she was happy, we would continue to help her live as best she could. In the last few months, she had to be hand fed warmed food, and she slept for about 20 hours a day. She also couldn't see or hear. But during the fours hours she was awake, she would wag her tail when we pet her, and she reacted to our presence. We knew when it was time when she didn't react to us.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
I asked her for pain meds for him. She gave him a shot of steriods that she said may or may not help. She also said it wasn't so much pain as it would be that he would waste away. I swear since yesterday he has just gotten worse. Maybe the trip to the vet was too stressful. Unfortunately I have to take a trip to my parents house about 5 hours away tomorrow. He will of course be making the trip with me. If he doesn't show any improvement in the next couple of days- I think it might be time (and I would like to be able to bury him there- I can't bear the thought of letting the vet 'take care of his body'). He keeps turning his head away from me (which isn't like him) and for the second half of today he hasn't eaten. His brother Skye has been hanging out in the room with him all day. I just gave Skye some catnip to relieve the stress I'm sure he is feeling too.

All of your kind words, hugs, and head butts really do means so much...
post #14 of 34
I am so so sorry to hear this, I just went through this with my sweet beautiful Bella, she was just 10 days shy of her 13th b-day, she was my child and it's been very difficult.

Bella died at home with me, in my arms where I knew she wanted to be, it's really a personal decision that only you can make. She ate up till the day before she died. My heart goes out to you at this time, I am so sorry!! If you ever need to talk you can private message me.
post #15 of 34
I am *SO* sorry! I can relate to what your feeling, and trust me, it's no fun. I know it's a hard choice...but like everyone has said, you'll know when it's time.

We(my family and I) had a chow that lived until he was 13. I got him on my 5th birthday and he passed away just shy of a month after my 18th. He was like a baby to us...he was very protective and had his first time to ever snap or growl at us. He went through so much with us as a family (survived a tornando, two moves, and several other small things)...Anywho, on to my point...One morning, my Dad noticed he was very sick...he ALWAYS laid facing our house as in a gaurd position. Well...not anymore. The vet said he had kidney failure...Deciding to put him down was the hardest thing we ever did! We burried him at home....

Again, I'm so sorry and I know words can't really help...If you ever need to talk feel free to PM me.

post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well I have been up since 5 am. I went to check on my litttle boy and he was right were he went into hiding last night. I picked him up and brought him into bed with me but he didn't want to take part in the love fest. He got down and went back into hiding. He doesn't even purr when I pet him on his terms. I may call the vet when they open and see what she thinks. She did say that fluid was starting to collect in his abdomen. Even my husband thinks that maybe Nathan doesn't want to be here anymore. I don't want to subject him to a 5 hour car ride if he is that ill. Wow- could this be any harder? Well I suppose it could since at least I have had the last two days to prepare. And your words do help, thank you.
post #17 of 34
I am so sorry for you over Nathan. It does sound as if it is time for him to go. Would he be more comfortable if the vet came to your home? Some vets will do that if asked and it can save stress.
post #18 of 34
I noticed that several of you recently have or are going through the hard decision about when to let go of your precious babies & give them peace.
My heart goes out to you.
All of you will be in my prayers.
Bless you & your beloved kitties.
post #19 of 34
I am so sorry. I had to make the same decision almost 2 years ago, and it was horrible. You are never ready for it. You may want to consider cremation if you want to ensure Nathan's final resting place.

My heart goes out to you We are always here if you need us.
post #20 of 34
Originally Posted by Melanie&Nathan View Post
Even my husband thinks that maybe Nathan doesn't want to be here anymore. :
Bless his little heart, it certainly sounds like it doesn't it

Please know that you won't go through this alone because were all here to help you through it
post #21 of 34
I'm so sorry. I too have had to make this decision.It is the hardest decision to have to make.Looking back I now realize that it was more for me I could not let go even though it was time. I knew in my head it was time but my heart said no! From what you are describing its time for you to muster up the strength and love to let go. Being able to let Nathan pass over the rainbow bridge is your final act of love for him. Hugs for you.
post #22 of 34
I am so sorry to hear about Nathan. I have been there. Six years ago my Tigger was diagnosed with a tumor on his heart. I was devastated, there was nothing I could do, I felt so helpless so I totally understand how you feel and what you are going through. I watched as Tigger's breathing became worse and worse and I felt so sad and guilty keeping him alive because I simply could not let him go. He slowly stopped eating and the vet gave him shots and medicine to help take the fluid out of his lungs. Slowly but surely I saw he was getting worse and when he came out of his litterbox and just fell on his tummy, I knew it was time, there was nothing else we could do. Six years have past and I still get very upset and cry when I think about him because he was just the best little guy. It is not an easy thing to do and I wish live didn't bring us these hardships.

You will know when Nathan is ready to go...he will let you know and he will understand that Mommy is doing this for him. My thoughts and prayers are with during this hard time. Please know we are hear to listen and help.
post #23 of 34
I'm sorry your cat is so ill It's not an easy decision to make as to when to pts. I think that deep down you will know when it's time. Try to think of it as a final gift you can give him rather than something bad. For me the time would be when he was in pain or obvious discomfort and no longer enjoying normal, everyday activities. It isn't easy to know when a cat is in pain, but when you know an individual well you can usually tell if they're uncomfortable. In the meantime treasure every moment you have with him and try not to dwell too much on the future, although I realise that's easier said than done.
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
You all are really amazing!! Thank you! And my heart goes out to all of you who have lost your bestest friends- Hugs and headbutts all around.

I just spoke to the vet and she said to give it a couple of days. That he could just be mad at me for leaving him at the vet alone (I had to) when he had his ultrasound. She said it's common. (And he has always been the type of cat to talk back and give you sass) Just to keep trying to feed him whatever he wants. If he doesn't snap out of this funk in a couple of days- she said then I need to weight the options- well you know...
post #25 of 34
My thoughts will be with you and your beloved Nathen...
post #26 of 34
You and Nathan are in my thoughts and prayers.
post #27 of 34
I'm sorry that Nathan is so ill, and that you're faced with such a tough decision. Sadly, it's one that many of us have had to, or will have to, make at some point. I, too, think Nathan will tell you when it's time. May his crossing be peaceful, and may your happy memories of him give you solace.
post #28 of 34
It is possibly one of the hardest decisions to make

I'm sure that Nathan will let you know when it's time

My thoughts and heart go out to you and your sweet boy, Nathan!
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
One more time- Thank you all for you kind words. I am done with this thread. It makes me sad to think of Naters as terminal. I won't give up on him yet. He had a really good day- yes he slept for most of it- but we found a magic elixer today- TUNA!!!!! He is so responsive to it. He isn't down yet!!!! I know it's not a cure- but knowing he can still get happy means we can't give up yet! I will still be here sending good vibes to all who need it. But this is not how I want to talk to you wonderful folks- so I will start a new thread when we need some happy vibes. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of you! I think your thoughts and prayers helped!
post #30 of 34
I think that is great - give him everything he likes and spoil him as much as you can. Good luck with him.
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