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When to let go

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I havent been on here for a while but yesterday I had my darling Dillon put to sleep at home. He was diagnosed with kidney failure at 12. He would have been 20 on April 9th.

He probably could have been on a drip again and antibiotics, I didnt ask as I dont believe it was fair to keep him going any longer. He was skin and bone, he was half blind, went in the wrong direction to the water bowl, could barely get up on his cushion, staggered when walked and struggled to lay down with his bones. It was tempting to try and get him to 20 but he was distressed, wailing every time he went for a wee, jerking when he drank water (I couldnt get his teeth done as he was too old to go under). It was the hardest decision of my life. I dedicated every day looking after him, I washed him, cleaned his ears, cleaned his bum and I feel as though my heart has been ripped out. He had become my life.

The only medication he was on was istin tablets for blood pressure, otherwise I left him alone. He kept going on love and attention, tit bits all day and fusses. It has made me think though, that, how long should you keep your cat going because you cant let him go, when his quality of life gets so bad. I got distressed watching him struggle and I knew I had to let him go. The pain is unbearable, he was my life for 20 years. Just a thought that distressing injections and forcing pills into a cat are not always the best way. I gave Dillon the will to live with love and treats and being there. For those struggling with a very sick cat, my thoughts and best wishes are with you, I know, you feel everything your cat feels. Long may they live, they give us so much.
Best Wishes
post #2 of 22
I am so sorry, but it was obviously time to let Dillon go and you made the correct decision. We all try to hang on and sometimes we go too far. The most loving thing is sometimes to take that decision before we are ready to do it, even if the cat has been ready for some time. RIP Dillon and may you find the strength to deal with his loss.
post #3 of 22
Sorry to hear about your loss. Sometimes we need to make that decision. I know how hard it can be, and my thoughts will be there with you.
post #4 of 22
Chris, I am so sorry about your sweet Dillon. I believe you're right when you said you kept him going with love and attention. Love is so powerful and clearly, Dillon felt your love for him.

You helped Dillon live for as long as he could enjoy his life, and when you saw things were getting difficult for him, your mind told you what your heart didn't want to hear. What you did for him was extremely difficult -you put your feelings aside and focused on what was right for Dillon.

Like Dillon, my Louie was put to sleep at home. I was so grateful that Louie was comfortable, in his own home, surrounded by his family with loving touches and words. I hope it was comforting to you as well, and peaceful for Dillon.

Like you, I'd become Louie's round-the-clock caretaker (he had cancer). I was glad to do everything I could for my boy, but because my life had revolved around his needs I felt a huge void when he was gone. I'm sure you're feeling that now, too.

Thank you for telling us about Dillon. It's true - our cats give us so much. It's so hard to let them go.

Thank you for everything you did for Dillon. He was a lucky boy to have been cared for so tenderly and loved so deeply.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot at a time like this. It sounds as if Louie was a very lucky boy too. You are right, when you care for them around the clock, (this had got steadily more and more over the last two years) it becomes your life and the void is huge when they are gone. I still cannot go in the front room. I go to eat my tea and remember I always cut a piece off what we were eating for him, I carried the water bowl to him throughout the day, washed him, cleaned his ears out, cut his knots out, I didnt realize just how much he consumed my day until now. The pain is unbearable but I know it will ease with time. I dont know how long ago you let your darling boy go, but my thoughts are with you too, hopefully there is a cat heaven and they are all happy and healthy there.
Best Wishes
post #6 of 22
You did the right thing. I had to do that with Stripe when she had Crf. We did everything but she went in a Coma at the end so she was Pts. I also just lost 2 Cats Yoshi Jan 11 and Stormy Dec 5th. Yoshi had Kidney Stones that could not be removed. We even talked to Uc davis about a transplant but they said the Stones would just come back. He looked Older the Coco who will be 16 anyday. So sorry about your Cat.
post #7 of 22
I'm so sorry to hear about Dillon. He knew how much you loved him through your care and attention. You should take comfort in knowing that you did everything you could for him.

I said goodbye to my beloved Spook over 4 years ago and at the time I thought I would never recover, the pain was overwhelming. Against most people's advice I adopted Oliver very shortly after. Initially I found myself constantly comparing him to Spook but soon grew to love him dearly. Now he is the light in my life. I still cry sometimes when I think of Spook but Oliver has filled a void I never thought would heal. What helped me to get through my loss was the thought that our kitties are with us for a time (always too short) and we cherish every moment we have with them, but when it is time to say goodbye there is always another angel waiting somewhere who desperately needs our love and our care. I just thought I would share this because I know how horrible it feels to say goodbye to someone you love so much but the pain does ease with time.

It takes a great deal of love and strength to put kitty's needs first and have the courage to let go. 20 years is a very long life for a kitty and you made sure it was the best it could be for Dillon.
post #8 of 22
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
You helped Dillon live for as long as he could enjoy his life, and when you saw things were getting difficult for him, your mind told you what your heart didn't want to hear. What you did for him was extremely difficult -you put your feelings aside and focused on what was right for Dillon.

Thank you for telling us about Dillon. It's true - our cats give us so much. It's so hard to let them go.

Thank you for everything you did for Dillon. He was a lucky boy to have been cared for so tenderly and loved so deeply.
i hope i am as strong as you should that time ever come for me.
post #9 of 22
When Glitch was dying of FIP in November, everyone told me that I would be able to tell by the look in his eyes when it was time to go, and that he would tell me! He did. The look in his eyes told me he was ready, and was just holding on for me. My heart is still with him, I did get another two cats after that so now I have 3, but there is still a hole in my heart in the shape of Glitch! He was my everything! He needed me so much from the moment I got him. He was always sick and he was so young he couldn't eat regular food when I got him eiither. It took them forever to figure out what was wrong with him and I finally did my own research and asked and they said thats what they thought it was. They drained his belly on a tuesday and he lost 18oz of fluid. That friday I finally got the guts to PTS my baby boy. He was ready. When they injected him he was gone before the shot was all the way injected!

I know how you feel and my prayers are with you! There is a kitty heaven, its called Rainbow Bridge and theres nothing in the world that could get me to believe otherwise!!

You did the right thing! Know that!
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your kind words. It is so comforting to hear from people who understand what I am feeling and to know so many kind people care so much for their cats. I came to this board a year ago in desperation when Dillon collapsed (it turned out to be high blood pressure from the kidney problem) and he was in the vets for two days. I asked for prayers for him and so many people did and he recovered well to have another year with us. This time I knew it was his time to go, but I will always be grateful for those prayers that I am sure pulled him through.

Best Wishes
post #11 of 22
it brought tears to my eyes reading your post, firstly for your dillon and secondly because it reminded me so much of my janet's last days. i took him to the vet as he seemed to have lost a little weight and just under 3 weeks later i had a cat similar to the description you gave of dillon. i didn't want to let him go but he made it so clear that he needed too. it was the hardest thing i have dealt with and i miss my boy more than i ever thought possible. it will be 5 months on thursday since he crossed over and some days i still struggle to believe that he went the way he did.

however, i wouldn't change a moment of the 5 years i shared with him (apart from the end) as indeed you wouldn't change your memories of dillon.

you loved him so much and he stayed with you as long as he could.

RIP sweet dillon. to you.
post #12 of 22
by Susan A. Jackson

May I go now?
Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain filled days
and endless lonely nights?
I've lived my life and done my best,
an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond
and set my spirit free?
I didn't want to go at first,
I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now
to a warm and loving light.
I want to go. I really do.
It's difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can
to live just one more day.
To give you time to care for me
and share your love and fears.
I know you're sad and afraid,
because I see your tears.
I'll not be far, I promise that,
and hope you'll always know
that my spirit will be close to you
wherever you may go.
Thank you so for loving me.
You know I love you, too.
That's why it's hard to say goodbye
and end this life with you.
So hold me now just one more time
and let me hear you say,
because you care so much for me,
you'll let me go today.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
What a lovely poem, thank you. I was sure that was what Dillon was saying, he hobbled over to his water bowl, trying to drink and jerking and looked over at me and howled, then gazed around the room as if to say, he shouldnt be here any more, it was all getting too much for him. The last 2 days he didnt eat, but before that, even with all his problems he would get excited for his food. I think he hoped we could make him better, but realized in the end, we couldnt so stopped eating. He couldnt see much any more, he would veer to one side when walking and very often miss the stool (even though I had taken the legs off) which was the step onto the settee, I had to reach out and catch him. He was a stubborn birman (thats why the vet said he made it to 20, stubborn nature). He was a fighter but it got too tough for both of us.
I had him put to sleep at home on his favourite cushion, he just looked at me with his beautiful big saphire blue eyes and he was gone, it was very peaceful. He is now, hopefully playing with Toby (put to sleep 5 years ago). They were together as kittens, poor Toby will be being chased by Dillon, who always ran behind him biting his tail. Toby was cremated as Dillon is, their ashes will stay with me forever, until it is my turn and they will be buried with me. I wish they could live as long as we do but we must be grateful for the time we had with them. I was very lucky to have him for nearly 20 years.
Thank you all so much for your kind words, I think we all feel for each other because we all know the strength of the love we feel for our cats and the heartbreak on having to let them go.
Best Wishes
post #14 of 22
I am so sorry I cannot imagine the pain you must feel..may Dillon rest peace
post #15 of 22
I'm so very sorry for your loss.
Rest In Peace, Dillion
post #16 of 22
I'm so sorry for your loss. But I also applaud you for knowing when it's time to just let go. I went through that with Jake in September and it was hard! I just kept thinking how he was only 6 years old! Please accept my condolences for your beloved kitty.
post #17 of 22
I am deeply sorry for your loss

Rest In Peace Dillon
post #18 of 22
I am truly sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose a baby! Hope all is well and you did the kind thing. You gave him wonderful years full of love and warmth. I am sorry again
RIP Dillon
post #19 of 22
I'm sure that Toby was the first one to greet Dillon as he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.

I also had to make the heart wrenching decision to have my Midnight put to sleep. She was diagnosed with CRF when she was 10. She was with me for 12 years and I never loved her more than I did in those last few hours. She wouldn't eat her last couple of days, she was incontinent and was suffering from dementia. I know I did the right thing by allowing her to pass away peacefully and keep her dignity but I can't help wondering if there was something else that I could have done for her. It will be two years this coming June and lately I've been finding myself missing her more and more.

I'm so sorry for your loss. May Dillon rest in peace.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
I know how you feel about Midnight as I went through that too, but it is lessening. I talked to my vet friend and she said that they could have put him on a drip (again) and flushed him out which would have kept him going (maybe) a little longer but then the gaps between the drip and flushing out would have got less and less, (imagine the stress on the cat) plus, he would still have all the other problems (sight, bowel problems, weakness, legs giving way) I went to see her today with her two year old cat, plump and fleshy and realized just how much skin and bone Dillon was, I dont know how he kept going. You did the right thing for Midnight, before things got so bad that a crisis would have happened. Dillon had a huge protective instinct (he always ran to Tobys aid when Toby had started a fight with another cat, Dillon would run outside and fight the other cat and Toby would run off, nice eh?) but Dillon will be up there looking after the other cats! He had no hunting instinct, never harmed a bird or mouse (Toby did!) He had a lovely nature.
Thankyou for your story and kind words.
post #21 of 22
Condolences on losing Dillon. I am sure that he is in Heaven now, playing happily and enjoying his reward You showed true love in letting him go.
I had to put a stray cat that I called Sandie from San Diego down because of kidney failure. She always wanted to find her real home, I could tell that she really missed her people - but alas, her health failed, and since I sometimes have kidney problems, I know first hand what agonies they cause, so I did the humane thing and accepted the vet's recommendation. But it is very hard
post #22 of 22
I am very sorry for your loss. I lost Roscoe a couple of weeks ago and he wasn't even 2 years old yet. I can imagine how much a part of your life Dillon had become. Letting go is so incredibly hard. I watched my boy drift and drift away until he just couldn't take it anymore. You need to realise what you did for him. Just as he became a part of your life, you had become his, as well.

And now he watches over you and looks at you, knowing how much you loved him.

I'm sure Dillon and Roscoe are playing all around that bridge up there with all the other kitties.
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