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How do you know when "it's time"???

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi all. My cat Miss K.C. hasn't been acting right. We do not know how old she really is. She was a stray who came to me back in late 1994. At that time --- she weight 3 pounds and was dirty, wormy, full of mites. Very icky, because she was a 'street rat'. Welp I took her in, cleaned her up, and she gained 3 pounds. She was at her biggest only 6 pounds.

The Vet told me waaaaay back then that she was apparently malnutritioned and 'the runt' of her litter. She is SO tiny! He also guessed - big guess - that she was 'over a year old'.

Problem is: she has NOT been eating, and we don't think she's been drinking. Miss K.C. used to be all lovey-lovey, purring when we'd go to pet her, and she would play with (kind of) the other cats on occasion. She is a LONER in every sense of the word.

I held her last night and since she's not a lap cat, haven't held her in a while... as I said loner cat... and I was appalled how I could feel her hip bones and spine bones. She has dropped weight, but I am unsure as how much, because she doesn't let me hold her anymore. She is acting weird. Not loving and no purr.

Last night we quarantined her in the fourth bedroom (the 'sick cat' room), to gauge how much food and water she is drinking, and, if she's using the litter box.

This morning hubby checked and I am very sad to say, she's not touched the litter box OR the food or water. We checked under the bed and she is just curled up, staring back at us with big ol pupils.

There is no vomiting... nothing. Not even noises coming from her.

I told the kids and hubs last night that if K.C. doesn't eat or use the box soon I will have to take her to the Vet and put her to sleep. I have never done this and both kids gasped, and hubs is pretty fond of K.C. (she is the only cat in our household who has never had mental issues or been a bad kitty!).

So I guess I am venting a bit, I know that by tomorrow if nothing's improved we'll be going to the Vet for a final goodbye. I can't bear the thought of Miss K.C. suffering. My mom's cat Rusty died horribly over New Year's Eve cuz my mom wouldn't let me take him to the Vet for her to have him put down. I don't want to be one of those crazy cat ladies who holds on til the end for my own selfishness. But if a cat isn't eating, don't their kidney's shut down? I would think that is painful, even if Miss K.C. isn't making a noise.

How do you know when it's time? Should I just make the appointment?

I work from home on Thursdays is why I ask. I could take her without the kids and it would probably be easier.

Thanks for any response and sorry for my novella.
post #2 of 23
I always get a lump in my throat when I see threads like this.

When was the last time K.C. saw the vet and had bloodwork done? Personally, I would (and did) try to figure out what was wrong and if it was treatable before deciding to put to sleep.

Good luck and I am really sorry to hear about K.C.
post #3 of 23
I would take her to the vet and explain what has been going on. Maybe they can do some blood work to rule out anything major. It might be just an infection that antibiotics would take care of. Good Luck!
post #4 of 23
i agree with the other posters, but i would also steel myself for saying goodbye.

it's so hard but i'm with you on not letting the cat suffer because it would be too difficult to let go.

for you, whatever happens you are doing the best thing for miss k.c.
post #5 of 23
I`d definatley get her to the vet and see what they think.

Similar thing happened not so long ago with Maisie. We went to the vet and he gave her a long acting steroid injection and the next day she had perked up. She still doesn`t have a big apetite but she`s happy.

It`s worth checking.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply guys. You always help me!

I called my Vet, they know me REAL well. They said that K.C. is probably already in kidney failure. I told them she had a few treats a few nights ago and I know for a fact she hasn't used the potty since 5pm last night (UNLESS by some miracle, she eats and drinks and 'goes' today while I'm at work).

They said in a cat this old, especially due to how much weight it appears she has lost (2 pounds in a 6 pound cat is a significant loss but we just didn't know... she never lets us hold her)... she is un-treatable. They said I could give her sub-cu fluids and they could treat her in other ways, but I flat out know my cats. KC is scared to beejeepus of the Vet. She pees herself and goes nuts, it is SO stressful.

They said that 'you know your cats better than we do' and I told her I just need to try to get KC to eat some treats, and when I finally get home today I will see if she's used the potty. If not I know what I have to do.

I was just curious as to others who've gone through this. I cannot torture the poor girl with the scary vet visit and forcing needles into her just to put liquids in, when she's already past the point. She is old and she is giving up, that is my opinion.

Me and the hubs talked last night about her, he said I give all my pets such great lives... I do... I mean I spoil them rotten. She's had a great life and that is what makes me want to end it on a great note vs. suffering. I am hoping she's okay at home right now.

Rambling on here but I wanted to let you know what the Vet said, they know me real well and know KC and such. They did bloodwork on her 3 yrs ago (she had some intestinal bug, had the runs REAL bad but was eating like a horse). I told them, nope, it's not like that this time around. She is ACTING different, she is NOT the wild-eyed little love bug. She looks sad, sleepy.

I will update more tomorrow guys, and thanks again.
post #7 of 23
Prayers for your Cat. Yoshi did that and we called the vet and asked if we could bring him in with Coco for her Bladder Infection. I knew he would not come back and I did post here at the time. He went from 14 Pounds to 5.2 when he was Pts. I tried to get him to eat and drink but he refused. On Dec 21 he Weighed 7.5 Pounds. On Jan 11 when he was Pts he Weighed 5.2 Pounds. He also looked older then Coco and she was almost 16 then. Yoshi was only 5. Its hard to do what you might have to do. I had a Cat with Crf and we did all the treatments for her and she lived another year just like the vet said she would.
post #8 of 23
Damita just went through this. Something was eating away at her body. She was 8 lbs, & dropped to 6 I think. Wouldn't eat/drink/use LB much.

She died Monday night. I knew it was coming, but avoiding euthanizing her at all costs (she had no veins, it would not have been nice).

You can try Sub Q fluids, but you'll also have to get her to eat somehow. It'll only buy her a little more have to decide if the stress to her is worth it.
post #9 of 23
Oh the poor thing, I am very sorry. What a dreadful position to be in

Best of luck for you and her

post #10 of 23
Does she have that glazed eye look? Or does she still respond to you? If you answer yes to the first, then she is in the finaly stages. My mom's cat had kidney failure, and she was doing well for so many months, but the day of Thanksgiving, she just wasn't acting right. The next day, my mom calls and tells me that she isn't doing well. Her kidneys had failed and she was in shock.

I came home from work that night to find her eyes glazed over. She was no longer blinking and she could no longer see us. She could hear still. We put her on a pillow with a warm blanket and talked to her the whole time.

You will know when it is time. This is all very hard to see it happening to you.
post #11 of 23
When Stripe was Pts We went as far as we could. She had Sub Q's,Winstrol,Procrit an other Meds. Two days before that she has trouble with her hind legs and dragged them then she was ok. She had Crf.
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by darkeyedgirl View Post
Me and the hubs talked last night about her, he said I give all my pets such great lives... I do... I mean I spoil them rotten. She's had a great life and that is what makes me want to end it on a great note vs. suffering. I am hoping she's okay at home right now.
i faced this with my lurcher 2 months ago. his back legs had virtually given out, he had been in kidney failure for 18 months and at nearly 14, his quality of life was getting less and less. however he still had the spark in his eye, he still had a huge appetite and food was that dogs life. on his last morning i fed him loads, all his favourites, cat food galore. we had a lovely but painfully sad time together that day. when the vet did arrive it was very calm and peaceful. leo was not 'put out of his misery'. he very gently went to sleep.

i guess i could have kept him alive for another couple of weeks, but like you i wanted to end it before it got to the desperate stage. i went through a horrific ending with my cat janet to FIP last oct, and it haunts me that i should have let him go sooner.

my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. for you and miss k.c.
post #13 of 23
I knew it when my Olivier just couldn't eat anymore. He looked at me for mercy and I gave it to him. That may seem dramatic but when she looked at you I think it could have been that same thing.

I am sad for you and your family. It is obvious that you love her and know her well. She is suffering. My vet who I trust has always said when they stop eating then you know. If she won't even eat her tried a true then you know.

I am so sorry.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay - I have news!

We still have KC quarantined in the 4th bedroom. Overnight apparnetly she PEED and POOPED!!!!

I told the kids the only way I can get her through this and NOT have her put down is if she goes potty! AND SHE DID!!! My daughter scraped through the box and found it!

So KC "went"........... she also ATE a little bit of her 'treats'. They are these crunchy things that apparently my cats think is like some kind of drug, they go bonkers for these treats.

So far KC is ONLY eating these treats. I have NOT seen her drinking water however I did moisten her treats and she ate those.

She does have a very weird look in her eyes honestly. I CANCELLED the 2pm appt today mainly because, since she went potty and ate those treats (she ate like 24 or so of them?), I feel that her system is moving???

I am hoping I'm not making the wrong choice. I don't want her suffering, but she keeps pushing her head down into our hands and she is purring. She loves the love so we have both been giving her lots of attention today, checking on her often.

I re-made the appt with the vet after calling them and telling them KC used the potty and she also ate some treats. I am going to have them give her sub-Q fluids tomorrow (appt at 2pm), cuz it surely helped Snickers when he was sick from barfing up a dog-sized hairball. Anyhoo I AM HOPING the sub-Q fluids will help KC to get her body back to feeling normal. They'll also do an exam on her but I do not want them taking blood.

She is very tiny.... like another poster said I fear her veins just wouldn't handle anything, and she will be really scared. it will be hard enough to get her to take the sub-Q, but I am hoping if I talk sweet to the little gal she will be OK.

Thanks all for your info, and I will be sure to update inbetween work and worrying and all that fun stuff. Keep hoping for me! We know KC is old and I'm just hoping she is just feeling 'off', cuz she ate those treats and at least seems to be mobile.

post #15 of 23
& that the sub-Qs go well & work!
post #16 of 23
I hope she feels better. The Sub Q's helped my Stripe when she had Crf but she fought them. I took her to the Vet for them because I was scared to do it myself. We went 2-3 Per Week for over a year.
post #17 of 23
KC will let you know when its time to go... Someone told me that when my kitty Glitch was dying of FIP, and at the time I thought they were crazy, but the look in their eyes will tell you what to do. I hope and pray everything goes well!
post #18 of 23
sending lots of for miss k.c to keep improving!
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I hate to have to post this, but I just made an appt for KC to have her put down today.

She ate a few treats and that was it, that was Friday. She hasn't touched food or water. She did go to the bathroom but it was such a scant amount... we kept her in quarantine in the bedroom until last night. Hubs and I decided to let her out.

She had this awful look in her eyes... like she wanted to sleep but couldn't? She has big eyes anyway but her eyes were SO big yet VERY tired looking. She is also breathing faster. I liken it to when I was in labor and did Lamaze to control the pain. I only hope she isn't in *that* much pain.

Due to her not eating all weekend, her breathing and well frankly that "please let me sleep" look... we made the decision last night. KC is now in 'her room', on her little sheepskin bed underneath her favorite chair. I checked on the girl before leaving for work and she just looked back at me with those sad eyes. I know it's time, and at least by giving it the weekend, we have proved to ourselves that she is not getting better. I had REALLY high hopes (I usually do) that since she ate some treats she would be okay.

This is going to be hard... hubs and me took pictures of her last night, she was just so tiny in our arms. He asked me who I thought would be the biggest basketcase today. I said, me, cuz I've known KC since 1994. She is just the sweetest thing, we hate to lose her. But I know it's time and I have to let her go.

The last time I buried one of my furbabies was 2002, he was my mini-lop bunny Mr. Kickers. He died in my arms (unexpected, it was a blockage in his intestine, NOT old age like KC). Took me months to get over it. At least I know what to look for now in my other elder cats. I've got one her age (or around her age) and two that are 2+ yrs older than KC.
post #20 of 23
So sorry. I really am. She rallied a little and I think it is their way to give us some time to find peace.
It will be okay.
post #21 of 23
i looked back at your 1st post - you wanted to know how you would know when it was time to make that hardest of decisions... KC, with her sad eyes, has let you know that the time has come she will love you furever, even after she's gone to the bridge
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
You guys were right... it was THE hardest decision we've had to make in a LONG time.

We took her yesterday... when I got home, KC was still on her sheepskin bed. She was heaving to breathe and she just looked SO tired.

Hubby came home and we got the garden ready... her little spot. I tried to hold it together but when I wrapped her up in a towel to take her out to the car, I just lost it. She was too weak to fight... and trust me this lil gal hates car rides! It was such a beautiful day, thankfully. Sunny bright and warm. So I held her in the sunshine and she sniffed the air.

We got her to the doc and they weighed her... she'd lost over a pound since her last visit there. They also said she was definitely dehydrated and it was for sure kidney failure, which is very common in old cats.

They gave her a sedative... a valium I guess???... and instantly, she laid her little head down and that 'worried' painful look went away. She set her eyes down a bit and was breathing very shallow. We stayed with her for a bit and just kissed her and felt her breathe, and talked to her and to each other.

I think hubs and I both went through about 50 tissues, and today my nose is raw.

I was honestly shocked by how QUICK the process was when the vet came in and put the needle into her leg. She took about three deep breaths, and that was it. She was no longer breathing and was totally out of pain. Of course I lost it cuz I lost her... but it was sooooo nice to be there with her, and for her. Me and hubs spent a little bit more time with her and then wrapped her into the soft towel again and brought her home.

I sat with her outside for a bit in the sunshine, hubby had to take a conference call. I dunno how he concentrated, cuz he was just as messed up as I was over this!!! She was THE sweetest cat we have. ALL of our cats (and our dawg) are sweet but KC was of a sunny disposition, never starting fights and never EVER being snitty towards us. You know how some cats have 'tudes??? Well she NEVER did in all her 15+ years.

We buried her near the house. I wrapped KC up in her sheepskin coverlet and I put a love note in the box for her. We put some river stones overtop the grave, and I found a really pretty 'sunrise' planter (kind of looks like a watercolor painting), and put some mini roses in it. We also put a little cat statue that I had in my garden overtop her area and a plaque with an angel holding a sign that says, "If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again".

We sat up til midnight last night making memorials on our websites for her, and it felt nice to do that for her. Also I keep telling myself (and hubs) that KC is no longer in ANY pain. She passed SO peacefully, with us right there touching her. And, she's at the head of my garden, kind of a "garden Guardian Angel".

I knew it was time... so did KC. Before burying the sweet lil gal I walked her around to the other cats... Snickers, Hammie & Dusty sniffed her and seemed to be real curious as to what I was doing. Kind of a "mommy why are you crying?" sort of thing.

We'll miss her for sure... her 'room' where she always slept seems SO empty even though it's full of furniture. It just seems empty with looking in and seeing those bright lil eyes staring back out at us. But I know she had a good, long life with lots of love and companionship, and I feel real lucky that she found me all those years ago.

Love you Miss K.C.!
post #23 of 23
what a lovely tribute to her!
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