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What would you do?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
OK, guys as Saturday quickly approaches I find myself less & less able to cope with the fact that I might have to put my baby to sleep. My question is if you were me what would you do & why. I know that no one can make this decision for me, but I'm just not sure what to do. I know my baby is going to die sometime soon, but I feel like I'll be killing her by having her put to sleep. So here's the main facts as I see them. Smokey is 17, has been batteling CRF for almost 2 years. She stopped eating last Friday. We went to the vet on Monday her kidney values were higher than they had been. I started giving her sub-q fluids twice a day & as best I can tell she is no longer drinking her water. I have been force feeding her this week & giving her a potasium supplement every day, as per the vet's instructions. She is lathargic & seems to want to sleep all day, but is showing no signs of being in pain. Other than one accident on Tuesday (my own fault for waking her up & giving her sub-q fluids before allowing her to go to the bathroom) she has been using her litter box on her own. So what would you do? Would you do the dreaded & have her put down on Satruday if she shows no improvement, or what? Also, does anyone know what would happen if I stoped force feeding her? I won't do it if the vet tells me it would be a painful way to die, but my question is if she's not eating is she even feeling the hunger pains? Please help, I can't eat, I can't sleep, I'm crying all the time, this is killing me I don't know what to do.
post #2 of 24
Well, I cant really say what you should do, but if shes not eating on her own her body is telling her its time. I cant imagine going through something like what youre going through, but from an outside perspective I would make her as comfortable as possible and let her go. Dealing with CRF must be pretty hard. My Amber is only 1.5 years but I know that one day she will get sick.

Youve given her a good life and made her happy and shes made you happy. Again, it is your decision.

I'm sorry about Smokey!
post #3 of 24
It's very hard for other people to tell you what to do But look at it this way.. she's 17! That is very old for a cat. She has lived a full happy life with you. She has CRF. I cant say that it would be easy for me at all to make the decision to put her down, but it would be different if she were younger. I would probably let her go

Putting them to sleep is not painful for them at all. They give them a sedative (put them under) then inject their heart to put them down. It's very peaceful. I think it would be harder on her to die a slow death at home. But again, this is entirely your decision.
post #4 of 24
I am crying with you. I can not tell you what to do, but talk to your vet, is there is any kind of discomfort or like you said maybe even hungry pain, I let her go. I would stay by her side (if the vet allows it) so that your face will be the last thing she sees before she peacefully goes to sleep. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers
post #5 of 24
A vet gave me some advice once that I'd like to share. My first love of my life, Hippocrates, was 12 and had terminal cancer. His time was near, and I wanted nothing other than to have him die peacefully in his sleep at home. Dr. Joe asked me if I was keeping him alive for him or keeping him alive for me? How is his quality of life? If the bad times far exceed the good, could you be doing him a favor by letting him go? I listened to him when he told me it was his time.

On a very personal level, I will let my babies go to avoid them of any significant pain or discomfort. I am able to do this only because I witnessed the suffering that both of my parents went thru as they passed. I didn't wish that on them and don't wish that on my kids.

No one can give you the answers to this. If you trust your vet, have them help you with this decision if you can't come to one yourself. No one can blaim you for not wanting to make this decision.

(((((*******big hugs to both of you*******))))))
post #6 of 24
I know how hard this is. The problem is when it goes this way, when it is left up to us to decide the big question, we toss and turn with the what "ifs" What if she suddenly gets better, what if they find a cure? You can what if yourself into making you crazy. In your heart, you know the right thing to do here. YOu have the advantage that some of us miss, in that you can be there for her in her final moments. She knows you love her, she just is right now hoping you love her enough to release her.

You both have fought the good fight. It has been a long battle and both of you (I suspect) are quite tired. I know when we put Bravo down here at the house (the vet made a house call) Bravo had CRF as well. When that second shot went in, and I was holding him he looked at me with such relief in his eyes before his glorious light faded. I will never forget that look- that thank you. We hung on with him before that for weeks. We kept looking for the right answer, the right cure, there was none. The problem with releasing them from their pain, is that the pain they carried now becomes ours-

Have you read this article yet?

When Is It Time?

I wish you the best, and I know you understand the right thing to do. May you find that inner courage in your search-
post #7 of 24
You have gotten a lot of good advice on this thread. This is how I see this issue, our cats give us soooo much unconditional love and trust and ask for so little in return. But we need to realize that we might sometimes ask too much of our cats. I think that in situations where there is no hope of recovery, and the quality of life has gotten very low, a decision needs to be made. I think this decision should be made unselfishly and based only on the needs of the cat. Smokey knows you love her very much and she depends on you and trusts you to make the right decision for her.
post #8 of 24
I thought I was faced with that problem just a few days ago. We have discussed this subject at length, many times, and had to make the hard decision just a year ago. Even though we love them very much, sometimes we must also be merciful. If they no longer have quality of life, and can no longer be a cat, we have to do the hard thing and let them go. Only you know if she is getting any better, eating, pottying, and everyday things. Even if you "what if" yourself a million times, deep down you will know that whatever decision you make, it will be what is best. I am so sorry you have to go through this.
post #9 of 24
If it should be that I grow frail and weak
and pain does keep me from my sleep,
then will you do what must be done
for this--the last battle--can't be won.

You will be sad; I understand
but don't let grief then stay your hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
you wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please let me go.

Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
only, stay with me until the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
it is a kindness you do for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must now be you
who has to decide this thing to do.
We've been so close--we two--these years,
don't let your heart hold any tears.

Author Unknown
post #10 of 24
Gosh Lorie, that poem and your post was quite moving to me.....
post #11 of 24
I feel so badly for you facing this difficult choice. Everyone else has made so many touching points I don't need to add anything. I wanted to tell you I share your pain, it is a most untenable position. You are such a caring cat parent - if you weren't you wouldn't be hurting so bad and trying to figure out what's best for your Smokey. ((Hugs)) and my heart cries for you and Smokey.
post #12 of 24
I am so sorry that you are going through this, and nothing anyone can say will take away the pain you are feeling right now. At 17, your cat has lived a long life and has given you everything it had to offer. Now, you have to give him something very special- something so important that it is bigger than you. You have to give him peace. You are keeping him alive for you, and while loss is hard for us, we have to remember that the suffering is worse for them. In time you will find peace.

I put my digger to sleep after 18 years (a dog). He grew up with me. Im only 25. He was my best friend, and when it came time for him to go- my parents wouldn't do it. I had to. It was the most important thing I have done in my entire life. I took him to the vet, and as the vet administered the shot, I held him, and as he slowly closed his eyes and slunk to the floor, I layed with him and petted him. He was gone and he seemed thankful. I feel that if I hadn't put him to sleep, he would'vemkept on existing in his miserable state - just to be with me. Its hard but Im better now, and you will be too.
post #13 of 24
I can only echo what the others have said - you have to make this decision based on your cat's quality of life, or lack thereof. I remember having to make this decision for a dog with kidney cancer who suddenly stopped eating. At first I tried force-feeding him, but after one day of that he looked at me with the saddest expression in his eyes, and I immediately called the vet. He died quite peacefully in our arms (we both held him). I think the poem Lorie posted says it all.
I'm very sorry that you have to go through this, but remember that it is the last "gift of love" you can give your pet.
post #14 of 24
My heart goes out to you and to Smokey. I sit here crying as I read the posts. Just thought I would write and tell you that whatever you decide, we are here for your support.
post #15 of 24
I'm so sorry for you and sweet Smokey. Please take some measure of comfort in knowing that you were such a good, caring person that Smokey has had 17 long, well-nurtured years! As others have said, that is quite an achievement, for the cats we here love so very much are all too often taken from us at a younger age. You have done right by Smokey.

As far as the decision to make ... I had a similar choice. My cat Choie, at 19, developed terminal mammary cancer, and the vet warned me that there was nothing to be done for her. However, she was in good spirits and moving around well. We had a great few weeks together, and other than some swelling there was no diminishment in her normal activities.

A few weeks later, she suddenly stopped eating and made it clear to me that it would soon be time for her to go. Rather than take her to the vet and have more trauma visited on her, I just kept her close to me for the next couple of days. I made sure she had water, and kept some yummy tuna (a treat she always loved) nearby if she showed a renewed interest in food, but she preferred to just be near me and sleep.

Two days later she died in my arms, resting on my chest in the couch we always napped in together. It was peaceful and, in this situation, better than dragging her to the vet or having a stranger nearby in her last moments.

Is this right for you? I don't know and wouldn't presume to make such an assertion. But sometimes nature is the best course. Of course, if your baby's in pain and distress, euthenasia might be warranted. But if not, if she's simply signalling to you that her body is getting ready to let go, then perhaps your role is simply to keep petting her, letting her hear your whispered voice, and comforting her as she slips away to the ultimate happiness of the Rainbow Bridge.
post #16 of 24

I am so sorry you are in this position. I feel your pain and indecision. It is definitely not easy to know what one should do when our much loved cats become ill or worse. I, as well as the others posts before me, can't tell you what to do. I had one of my hedgehogs get sick a couple years ago and as I was sitting and holding my baby, I told her if the fight was too much for her - she could "let go". And, unfortunately, she did. I was heartbroken, but feel she's now in a better place where she won't have to suffer anymore. On the other hand, many years ago my Midnight (my very first cat ever) got very sick and we took him in to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. The vet tried to do everything he could, but Midnight just looked at me - and I could tell the distress he was in. I had to make that most difficult of decisions and decided at that point to put him out of his misery. He was only 4 years old, but we had tried numerous things for his illness to no avail. I was so devasted - I couldn't even drive home. And for a very long time - it was hard to go on. I am familiar with Smokey's disease (CRF) as I have asked you in the past for advice on this - as our Kitty is 17 years old as well and on sub-q fluids. For a while we were trying to decide if her time had come, but she seemed to not be quite ready.

This will probably sound off the wall - but, have a quiet talk with Smokey and I think after that - you'll know in your heart what she wants you to do.

Again, I'm sorry you're going through this and am keeping you in my prayers.
post #17 of 24
Oh god I'm actually crying typing this. All to recently having gone thru this with my 12 year old Logan who was dignosed with cancer I can only say this. While letting them go is the hardest thing to do, but looking in my Logan's eyes & seeing what could only be his thanking me I knew it was the right thing.
post #18 of 24
Treat me kindly my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with kicks and blows, for though I should ignore your cruelty, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn. Speak to me often, for your voices the worlds sweetest music as you must know by the roar of my purr when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear. Feed and water me so that I may stay well to romp and play and to amuse you with my antics.
It is then that I shall curl up warmly on your lap and sound my contentment to the world.
And my friend when I am very old and no longer enjoy good health,hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun.
Please see that my trusting life is taken gently, I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.
post #19 of 24
I am so sorry...I am scared of having just this decision to make soon re my crf kitty Patrick...it's hard to deal with crf, and impossible to think of losing a kitty that is part of your heart.

It is, as everyone is saying, something that no one can tell you when or how, for me...I will combine his test results - whether there is the possibility of improving them without causing him greater discomfort - with what he tells me, and then once it is decided that there is no way to "fix it", as my last gift of love I will kiss him and sing him to sleep in my arms.

I wish you strength, and comfort,
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your caring responces. I have good news today. Smokey began eating on her own again on Thrusday. We went to the vet this monring & he said as long as she is eating she's OK. He didn't bother to take a blood test saying that it wasn't necessary because what we wanted was for her to feel better. I can tell by looking at her that she is feeling better. She is not 100%, but she is comfortable & has been seeking me out to give her attention & has stoped hiding behind the couch. Also, last night I had pizza & she did her usual get in my face & lick my lips to try & get some peperoni Of coarse I gave her some because at this point I can deny her nothing that will make her happy. I look at this 2nd chance as an opportunity to enjoy her lover for a little longer & a chance to prepare & decide at what point I will make a choice about her continued life. I know that some will disagree with my choice, but at this point I'm not ready to let go & she doesn't see ready to give up the fight yet. She's a tough old lady & I love her for it. Thanks so much for being there for me & I'll keep you updated on her as things progress.
post #21 of 24
I am very happy for you and for Smokey. You are right, enjoy her all you can and time and God will tell when is time for her, but for now, give her all your love. Good bless.....
post #22 of 24
It is, as everyone is saying, something that no one can tell you when or how, for me...I will combine his test results - whether there is the possibility of improving them without causing him greater discomfort - with what he tells me, and then once it is decided that there is no way to "fix it", as my last gift of love I will kiss him and sing him to sleep in my arms.

Pat & Alix - I couldn't have said it better myself.

Rang27 I am so happy to hear of Smokey's turnaround. It's kind of spooky, though, since this seems to be exactly what happened with Kitty not too long ago. Isn't the rollar coaster of emotions wonderful? I'm very happy to hear that Smokey is doing better and hope things continue to go so well. I agree with you - she wasn't ready yet either. Thank goodness! Continued good wishes and success!
post #23 of 24
I was happy to hear that Smokey is doing better. I told my sister about your situation. She put down her cat of many years due to a lung disease. The vet talked her into putting him down, saying he would die anyway. She said now that if she had to do it over she would have taken Alex home, made him very comfortable, take a few days off to be with him and let him pass on his own (the vet did not think he was in pain). I thought I would share that with you.
post #24 of 24
I'm glad to hear that Smokey is eating and doing better. It looks like she wasn't ready to go yet. Hope she gets to enjoy pepperoni for quite some time to come.
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