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post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Since I've been here I think I've only read this board a couple of times, it breaks my heart so I avoid it.
So I feel like I don't even deserve to post here, but I have to talk about my sweet Lizzie.

Lizzie was the product of MUCH inbreeding, as was her Sister Gracie.
It's a long story that I won't get into now.
As a result of that they both have some health problems.
Up to this point it hadn't been anything major and medication took care of it quickly.

They go once a year for a check-up and at the end of last May all was well.
About a month ago I noticed that Lizzie was drinking TONS of water and then almost over night she was skinny as a rail.
Turned out that her teeth were terrible, I guess it must have had something to do with the inbreeding...like I said they were fine less than a year ago.

I noticed that she wasn't eating dry food at all..I was giving all the cats a little canned food twice a day and apparently that's all Lizzie was eating.
My Vet put her on medication to clear up the infection and she was then fed only canned food.
She started to gain back her weight and was even eating a little dry food.
As soon as she was back up to a good weight the teeth were going to be taken care of.

Monday morning she ate a little canned food, but didn't wolf it down as usual.
Gave her more Monday night and she threw it back up.
As strange as this sounds when I got up Tuesday morning I swear she had lost all the weight she'd gained and then some...she looked like a stray cat that nobody has been taking care of.
I used a syringe that holds 3CC's and was feeding her warm beef broth about once and hour or so...that's all I could get her to keep down.
I called the Vet and he said to bring her in that night at 7.

Gracie and Lizzie were never spayed...the Vet...actually three Vets ..that saw them wouldn't do the operation.
They told me that with the breathing and other problems they had the risk was just to great to put them under for any reason.
At first I thought about doing it anyway, but then the more I talked to the Vet the more I knew that the risk of one or both of them developing cancer was the least of the two risks...so they were never spayed.

Well, that gamble didn't pay off for Lizzie when we got to the Vet that night he told us that he was 99% sure that she had ovarian cancer in the very late stages and even if we spent thousands of dollars on having her kept at the hospital and running test after test after test that those thousands would be spent in vain because he said he knew he couldn't save her.
I of course started to cry and he looked at me and said "This is the part of my job that sucks, when I have to tell someone that there's nothing I can do to save someone they love very much."

The fact that she stopped eating didn't have anything to do with her teeth this time, it was the cancer.
He said she was more than likely sick for some time.
What kills me is she never acted sick....just the thing with her teeth...but apparently she had the cancer even then.
She never changed her behavior in any way to give me a clue that anything was wrong.
You don't know how I've been beating myself up trying to think of some change that would have tipped me off...but there weren't any.

Then second guessing the choice not to have her spayed..they flat out refused to do Gracie...she has more health issues than Lizzie...but they would have spayed Lizzie, only with the understanding that chances were very high that she'd die while she was under.

The Vet assured me he'd have made the same choice that I did to not have her spayed if she were his cat and that it wasn't my fault, but of course even though he said that the "What if's" keep popping into my head.

Then the very next morning Gracie went into heat and all of a sudden it dawned on me that I couldn't remember the last time Lizzie was in heat...why oh why didn't that dawn on me months ago...if it had, would it have made a difference?

Anyway, he told us that the only real option was to have her put to sleep so that's what we did.
They asked me if I wanted to leave the room, but I couldn't bring myself to leave her.
My Husband said he'd stay with her, but I had to be with her too.
They let me hold her and she just went peacefully to sleep...very peacefull for her, but not so easy on us.
I wanted the last thing she saw to be us, I didn't want my baby to die without the people that loved her and the people that she loved.

Just as a side note...if you find out a cat your thinking of taking in is the product of inbreeding PLEASE DO NOT let my story stop you because Gracie and Lizzie are the sweetest most loving cats I've ever had.
Just be aware that they may have health problems..some small problems and some big ones and just watch them like a hawk for ANYTHING that seems out of the ordinary no matter how small you might think it is.
Maybe if it had dawned on me in time that Lizzie hadn't gone into heat for a while we could have saved her.

Rest In Peace my sweet Angel, I'll love you forever.
post #2 of 29

You should never feel you don't "deserve" to post here -- this forum is specifically for asking for grief support when you need it, and you should be here.

I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to Lizzie, but please don't beat yourself up with guilt. I'm guessing from the inbreeding you mentioned, and the vets' refusal to do any surgery, that she suffered from HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which would have made surgery and anesthesia much too risky.

So you gave her the best life she could have had, despite the health problems. As you said, the risk of Lizzie and Gracie developing cancer was the lesser of the two risks. I'm not sure how old they are, but from what you've said it seems that you probably gave Lizzie years more of life -- years of joy and love -- than she would have had if you'd insisted that vets try spaying her anyway and she'd died during that surgery. You made the right decision. Please, please don't second guess yourself now, or blame yourself for not realizing earlier that she hadn't gone into heat for a while. I'm not sure of this, but I'm guessing that by the time any such symptom of ovarian cancer would have shown up, it would have been too late to treat her successfully anyway -- if she could have been treated for cancer safely at all, with her other health problems.

You did the best you could. You gave her the best care anyone could.

And your vet clearly knows that.

And Lizzie knows that, too.

She's healthy now, at the Bridge, when no clinic here could ever have made her healthy. All those problems she had all her life are gone. She's young and energetic and more beautiful than ever. And I believe she knows, too, exactly how much you love her, and how much you did to take care of her, and she appreciates and loves you more than ever. And you will see her again.

post #3 of 29
It doesn't matter how much or how little you post on TCS. When it comes to the loss of a pet, we're here for you.
post #4 of 29
I've also questioned whether things might have been different with every kitty I've ever lost if I'd just acted sooner, caught it earlier, spent more money.... It's so hard to believe that one of our pets can actually be dying before we even realize there's a problem. But more often than not, that's what happens.

I read the other thread about Lizzie and I know you did your best for her. Sadly, some things you just can't fix. Sorry for the loss of your sweet girl.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much.
The one thing that keeps me going is knowing that she's not suffering any more.
She healthy.

It's just that losing a cat so young...she was 7...isn't something I'm used to.
Up till now any cat I had was old when they died, the youngest was 2 days shy of her 19th Birthday.
So 7 seems like just a baby to me.
post #6 of 29
So sorry of your loss hun. I've been there many times through the years and it is never easy. *hugs*
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your kind words.
post #8 of 29
Oh my word this is so sad I'm so sorry

Rest assured Lizzie will know how much she was loved, and she will be looking down on you inbetween her games of chase with all the other kitties

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Susan.
post #10 of 29
I'm so sorry for your loss. RIP Lizzie.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Jenny
post #12 of 29
You're not alone, I too couldn't read this forum, because it would always bring me to tears. Too much sadness. After I lost a cat myself and got some wonderful support here, it got differend. Now I feel it's important and therapeutic to take part in other people's sorrow.

Enough about that. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm absolutely sure you did everything in your power for Lizzie.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
You're right, Ryn since I lost Lizzie I've been coming to this board more and more.
I no longer avoid it, it's still very hard but reading the kind words of others is helping me deal so maybe I can help someone else.

Thank you, I would have done anything to keep her here with us but when the Vet said he knew he couldn't save her I knew putting her to sleep was the most loving thing we could do for her.
post #14 of 29
I'm so very sorry for your loss. Play happily over the bridge Lizzie.
post #15 of 29
Oh my I am sorry and sadden to hear about sweet Lizzie, she was a special one indeed she is in a special place now and knows you gave her all the love and care she needed Your memories will surely make you smile again..........in time

RIP Sweet Lizzie, have lots of great kitty adventures over the Bridge

look down now and then, your moma misses and loves you so
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you both very much.
post #17 of 29
Karen, I hate coming here. I can't do it without tears.

Gary and I only became involved with cats in 2001. We've lost two kittens doing the rescue thing. One of them died in Gary's arms minutes after we rescued her while we were on the way to the vet.

But we haven't had to deal with losing a cat we've gotten close to. We haven't had to deal with losing any of those that have become family. We've never had to make the decision to send a kitty over the rainbow bridge.

I cannot imagine the pain.

My heart goes out to you. Lizzie was obviously very, very loved, and she still is - and I'm sure she knows that. And I'm sure she's sending you lots of love from over the bridge.

Lizzie - RIP, sweet baby.

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much, Laurie.

It was a very, very hard thing to do but in the end we knew it was the only thing we could do for her.
We loved her and like you said we always will, so we couldn't let her suffer.
post #19 of 29
I'm so very to hear about sweet Lizzie's passing...may she RIP. Sending thoughts and prayers!
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much.
post #21 of 29
I'm so sorry for your loss.

RIP Lizzie
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much.
post #23 of 29
I'm sooo sorry about Lizzy. Please don't feel like you didn't do enough. I still wonder if there was more I could have done for ours. Sometimes you don't know until it's too late. Cats are very good at hiding when they are in pain or are not feeling well.
I think you made the best possible choice available at the time. I know that it may seem hard now, but in time your heart will heal. She will now be able to rest in peace.

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the kind words, Sabrina.
It's so hard not to second guess myself, but when I think back and remember Lizzie's eyes before she got sick they were always so full of sparkle, like her little kitty brain was thinking "What can I get into now that will tick Mom off"
But the last few days she was with us, her eyes looked like dolls eyes..looking at things but not caring what it was that she saw...there was no more life in her sweet eyes.
I know that if she could have talked to me that night, she would have told me that it was okay.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Lizzie my sweet Angel,

It was a year ago last night that you went to the Bridge yet it seems like only yesterday that you were here chasing Annabelle and Elliott or protecting your beloved sister Gracie from Elliott's sneak attacks.

When we went to the Vet that night, my head knew that you weren't coming home with us but my heart didn't want to believe it.
I wanted to beleive that the Vet would say you had some minor thing wrong with you that could be easily fixed and that we'd have you with us for years and years to come.
The look on his face that night told me everything, there was nothing he could do.
Baby girl I hope you know that we would have taken a second mortage on the house if it meant you would get well, but we were told no amount of money would save you.

We knew the most loving thing we could do was to let you go to the Bridge where you wouldn't be sick any more we also knew that if we did try to keep you alive it would have been for US and not for YOU, because we weren't ready to let you go.
I hope you know it was me that was holding you and telling you how much we loved you when you left for the Bridge....actually I believe that you DO know it was me.

We all miss you so very much Lizzie, but nobody misses you as much as your Gracie.
Oh Lizzie it broke my heart to hear her cry for you and go to the door and lay up next to it with her paws on it and meow..she knew you left out that door and she just couldn't figure out why her best friend didn't come back through it.

You know how much Gracie loved to cuddle with you and how the two of you with groom each other for hours...for a little while there was nobody for Gracie to do that with.
Then one day I saw her and Annabelle grooming each other...Annabelle even let Gracie nibble on her ears...just like you used to let her do.
Elliott cuddles with her now and her and Annabelle sometimes sleep together in the bed that you used to share with her.

So don't worry about your dear Gracie, Annabelle has taken up where you left off.
I know that she still misses you, we all still miss you sweetheart and we always will.

I hope you forgive me for not realizing just how sick you were sooner.

We love you as much today as we did the first time we laid eyes on you.
You'll be in our hearts forever sweet girl, we love you
post #26 of 29
i know your is hurting, but your head knows you did the right thing for her. i'm glad you were able to stay w/her, too - that way, she went to the bridge in the arms of someone she loved, & who loved her. for you, & a for Lizzie.
don't 2nd guess yourself, btw - it doesn't help, & cats hid illness exceptionally well.
post #27 of 29
I'm sorry for your loss.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you both so much, it means a lot.
post #29 of 29
What a Beautiful Tribute! Rest in Peace Lizzie.
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