It is not ending a cat's life before its time if a cat is euthanized when diagnosed with chronic renal failure. You euthanized your cat after treating her for four years. Those four years were your gift to her, not a promise to continue treating her forever. Yes, the timing of her death was apparently a result of your personal choices, not a change in her health, but that's not a bad thing.
Originally Posted by morning
My girl was not there, but she was slowing down, sleeping more and looking different when she slept, skinny with no muscle tone holding her together, all stretched out.
I wish our pets had the human consciousness to be able to say, "I want to go now" or not. I tell myself I put her on life support and so I had to take her off. It's a bit of playing god, which I don't like to do.
The playing god part starts with the medical treatment. When you decided to treat her instead of letting her die in pain 4.5 years ago, that was when you were playing god. This summer, when you euthanized her, you stopped playing god.
Just because you start a treatment does not mean that it is the best course of action to continue it EVEN IF NOTHING CHANGES (and it sounds like her health was changing). I've quoted you above saying that she was going downhill. Were you planning on waiting for another "acute medical episode" so that she could die in peace? How would one more "acute medical episode" been a better life for her? Your vet was willing to euthanize your cat, yes? That's a pretty good sign that it was a reasonable choice. The only choice, no. Apparently it was the wrong choice for your mental well being, but that doesn't mean that it was the wrong choice for your cat.
You say that this euthanasia was different from past ones because then you felt that the cat was ready to go and this time you didn't. Couldn't the difference be in your personal and emotional situation and not in the health of the cats?
You made a very brave decision to look to the future instead of continuing to keep a cat who was very slowly, but inevitably, suffering a decrease in quality of life (if she was 20 life wasn't going to be getting any better). Unfortunately, your brave decision appears to have caused a serious emotional backlash. That doesn't make the decision to euthanize your cat wrong; instead your current emotional state makes it imperative that you get help.
If a chat room is useful, a disembodied voice on a phone should be more useful, not useless. You can get help, and you need to.