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Knowing when it's time

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I used to post and read this site regularly but have been gone for some time. Now, I'm kind of in need of some support if anyone is out there with some to spare.

My cat, Gremlin, is almost 15. I've had him for 7 years and though I love him like crazy, he's always been this grumpy old man cat. I've been treating him for diabetes for 4 years through insulin injections twice daily. It's pretty common for diabetics to have kidney problems and he has a kidney that is showing signs of this but he's been ok so far and on a special diet to keep that at bay. He's taking Cisapride and Lactulose for his obstipation since he has the colon of a 6-year-old child. Through all of this, he's his usual grumpy self. I know he loves me; I know I love him but this is who he is.

This weekend, he had his worst insulin crash ever with seizures and everything despite giving him sugar in all the ways I know how. I took him to emergency care and they took good care of him but I'm wondering if it's time. His normal vet suspects Cushings and wants me to take him in for an ultrasound. If anything is found, he said euthanasia is really the only option. If not, we keep treating him with the insulin and Cisapride.

Personally, I feel as though he's going soon regardless of what another test says. It's so hard because he's not much of a complainer unless he's in a lot of pain but he's never in a good mood so it's hard to know what to do for him. And I'm reaching my limit. I'm going back to school in July so I won't be home to watch him, I work at home and haven't been able to because of all this, and I'm just not made of money. A thousand selfish reasons...and a thousand unselfish ones...what do I do?
post #2 of 14
I really don't know what to tell you. I guess only you know when it will be time. He is your kitty. I dread the day that I have to make such a decision with Max. Tears come to my eyes just thinking about it. I'm sure you love him very much. I'm sending my best thoughts your way as you make this very serious and permanent decision. I applaud all you've done for him. Some people I know would have put him to sleep already.
post #3 of 14
The hardest thing I ever had to do was take my dear Leo in to be put down. He had Feline Leukemia, and went downhill very quickly when he began having symptoms. He was only 4 years old, a beautiful huge orange tabby. I can't tell you what to do, but sometimes we just have to be merciful. I know it will hurt to see him sick, and it will hurt to see him go to the bridge. I wish you didn't have to go through this. Good luck with a very hard decision.
post #4 of 14
The hardest part of being on this path is~ being on this path. It sounds to me like you have been doing and still are doing the best you can for this noble creature. It is not up to anyone on this board to determine what you should do, or when you should do it, because we are not there to see your cat, and look into his eyes. Any decision you make that is based on commitment and concern for the well-being of this cat will be supported here. You just need to figure out if you have the strength inside to sign those papers and then forgive yourself if you do?

You are in my prayers-
post #5 of 14
That poor little baby ... I honestly cant tell you what to do.. I honestly probably wouldnt know what to do If I were in your shoes.. I'd probably want to try.. But if he didnt make it feel horrible for puttig him through that.. but on the other hand if I put him to sleep I would probably be ashamed of myself.. and thought of my-self as his killer.. and thought if I didnt but him to sleep would he have lived?I'm probably just self-ish but I'd wanna try.. unless theres No Way he could possibly live.. then I'd take him have him have a few good days and put him to sleep and out of his misery.. BUT thats just me.. It's up to you as his owner.. I'll pray to have god with him.. so he could quickly get a great recovery, if you dont put hm to sleep.. Or have the best days of his life while hes still living if you decide to..

I will pray to god, for your fur-baby..
I hope he is a survivor.. and does not die.. by hearing a little of your story I can tell so far he is.
You have been greatly devoted to your furbaby and hopefully god will see how you've been trying for him and help him survive.
I can see your baby has a guardian angel, and thats you.
post #6 of 14
I'm with Nora, even the thought of that day brings tears to my eyes and my throat to feel all tight. I can remember how much I cried when we had to put down our family dalmation. She was thirteen years old, was in pain constantly, had lost so much weight that she was just a skeleton, and had kidney problems as well. She couldn't eat any longer, and what little she did eat she was unable to digest. My dad never being one to go the extra mile for any animal decided that he would rather put her down then spend the thousands needed for surgery. I don't blame him, but I don't know if I could do what he did.

It will never be an easy decision, and it is not a decision that anyone really can make for you. I think Hissy said it best, you have to figure out if you have the strength to sign those papers and then forgive yourself if you do. Either way, there are a whole lot of people here to help you through this difficult time.

You're in my thoughts and prayers.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much, all of you, for your replies. Sadly, we had to put Gremlin to sleep Friday night. Apparently, there was a sudden internal problem severely lowering his blood sugar, which was surprising after 4 years of insulin shots. We tried our best to stabilize him during week but it became clear that his body was giving out despite our efforts. We made a decision to take him in Saturday morning and put him out of his pain. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to keep him comfortable, we had to take him to emergency around 2am Friday night and put him to sleep there. I miss him terribly and it was a horrible decision to have to make, but it became very clear that it was time.

Gremlin was a part of my life for 7 of his 15 years and I loved him dearly. Thank you so much for your time and compassion. He will be missed.
post #8 of 14

I am sorry to hear about this. I know what a painful decision this is to make. A very wise friend told me awhile back that once we make this decision, their pain becomes ours. Let us help you carry it if you can-

post #9 of 14

I was sad to read the news regarding your fur baby. As I said before, I dread the day that I would have to make such a decision about Max. It really sounded to me like you did everything in your power to prevent having to do this, but sometimes it is so much better to put them out of their pain. Who knows how long he could have suffered. Sending my sincere condolences your way.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you, all. The hardest thing was waiting until he told me it was time. I knew he wasn't having the best of times lately but he started declining so quickly that I finally knew it was time. Once I knew that, I tried to keep him comfortable. He was barely eating so I took him off his bland prescription food and gave him some lean chicken. We spent Friday afternoon together, with much preening and purring.

He was getting really weak so I put everything he needed in one room. Around midnight, he started throwing up what little he ate (along with the sugar I was giving him) and losing bladder control. I wanted him to go with some of his former dignity intact so we cleaned him up and took him to emergency before he started seizuring and getting scared. He threw up in the car but he stayed calm and sweet till the very end.

It was all so sad and difficult but once he was gone, I was so happy for him and I stopped crying so much. No more needles, no more pain. After everything he'd been through that week, he was finally ok and I didn't have to worry about him anymore. I miss him so much, but there wasn't any more I could've done.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Gah, sorry about that. Technical difficulties, I guess.
post #12 of 14
Are prayers are with you and I hope you can find him again in another kitten or cat that will wander into your heart.
post #13 of 14
You are right, you did all you could. This month there will be an article on this website called "When Is It Time?" I believe that if you read this article, you will identify strongly with many aspects covered. You made this choice out of compassion and concern for your cat, no animal could ask for a better owner than that.
post #14 of 14
I'm sorry for your lost grimmycat. At least Gremlin had someone as caring as you to let him go before his suffering was too much.
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