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post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Today my world got a little less happy. I woke up this morning at the usual time. I walked out of the bedroom and was greeted by my two cats, Azazel and Raziel. Although they arent related, they do look similar enough that people think they share a parent. Azazel was the first cat I'd gotten when I moved away from home. Raziel was a companion I'd adopted so Zazel wouldn't be alone all day; he was miserable while I was at work.

An hour after waking, I was walking to the bedroom to say good-bye to my wife. I looked into the kitchen and saw Zazel and Razie. Razie didn't look well. He was lying on his side, and his breathing seemed ragged. Now. I'd gotten Razie from the MSPCA. His original home apparently hadn't been good to him. He was missing one of his smaller teeth, and he had a chipped fang. He also made a raspy noise when breathing. The vet's I'd taken him to chalked it up to some mild form of asthma. He never had trouble breathing, just sounded like it,so it was never a concern in the 6 years I'd owned Razie. This was different.

I called to my wife to come to the kitchen. I'd thought Razie had ingested some cleaner, or other household chemical. As my wife was putting on her robe Razie bolted up, and proceeded to vomit. Afterwards he dragged himself under the kitchen sink. I knew something was wrong; he wasn't using his rear legs. My first thought was that he'd hurt himself. He and Zazel had been known to get rough with each other. Although I hadn't heard anything, I'd feared Zazel and Razie had gotten onto the kitchen counter or fridge, and maybe Zazel had knocked Razie off and broken his legs or his back. I put Razie into his carrier as my wife finished getting on some clothes.

My wife volunteered to take Razie to the animal hospital up the road from where we lived. I had a big day at work and had to finish dressing (I'm in the Army and was meeting with my battalion commander). However, after dressing I still had time before the meeting and stopped by the hospital t join my wife.

I was immediatly escorted back into the room with Razie and my wife. My ife was sobbing. She'd become overwhelmed by the sounds Razie was making. He was miserable. Razie was never a very vocal animal. He rarely meowed, preferring to make a very sad sounding chirp when he wanted attention. He was crying like I'd never heard before.

The vet tech came in shortly after and began the inital exam. She didn't do much. She took his tempature, has was 98 degrees. Apparently that was very cold for a cat. I didn't know that. She went for the vet.

The vet on duty came in. At this timeRazie became very agitated. He'd bitten me, hard, earlier so he was muzzled while I vet looked at him. Once I'dsaid his hind legs weren't working the vet told us he had a good idea what may be wrong. He'd mentioned the possibility of a blockage, an injury, or a clot. All the vet did was touch his hind pads and his front pads.

I'd never heard the words saddle thrombus before. If you'd asked me yesterday what it was I'd have gussed it was the straps that hold the stirrups to a saddle. A blood clot had broken free from Razie's heart and lodged where his femoral arteries split to feed his legs. The lack of blood caused the paralaysis I'd seen, and explained when his hind pads were so cold.

However,at this time I had no idea what it meant. The vet told my wife and I that the prognosis wasn't good. At that moment I broke down. I started crying like there was no tomorrow. All I could see was my Razie, my precious little fatty. My buddy. The cat who was always there. He was going to die.

The vet told us it wasn't hopeless. We might have caught the clot early enough. He recommended a treatment of, I guess some anti-coagulants and blood thinners. In three to four hours we'd know if he was going to make it. I still had time to make my meeting, so I dried my tears, put cold water on my face and went to my office.

I'd just gotten to my office, 10 miles away, when I received a call. The vet had called my wife, and my wife was calling me. Razie had taken a turn for the worse. I asked my NCOIC for permission to leave, explained what was happening, and he understood. I was allowed to leave early.

I got to the vet as quickly as possible. The vet tech took me into a different exam room. My wife was there. She'd gotten there a second before me. The vet came in and gave us the news. Razie hadn't responded to the drugs. He'd gotten worse. Additionally, the EKG machine had revealed that Razie suffered my cardiomytosis... or whatever the heck it's called and spelled. He had heart disease. And it was advanced.

We had two choices. Surgery wasn't an option. He wouldn't live through the procedure with his heart. Wecould continue with the drugs. Or we could... end it. I wanted, with all my heart, to give the drugs a chance. I didn'tcare that the vet didn't think they'd worked. That they had a low chance of working. That even if they worked, he probably wouldn't live long anyway. And even if he did, he'd probably be in a lot of pain and suffer the loss of use of his legs. I didn't want to lose, to kill, my Razie. I asked to see him.

He was pathetic. He was under sedation, hooked to an IV, wearing an oxygen mask, and dying. He ha two vet techs with him. They were petting him, and talking to him. They parted and gave my wife and I room. I sat in front of him, put of hand on his side. He was still having trouble breathing. His tounge was sticking out. It looked like he was sweating. I didn't know cats could sweat. Turns out they can't. It was condensation from the oxygen mask forming by his ears. But it still looked like it.

I sat down and looked him in the eyes. His eyes were glazed over. He didn't even move when I pet him. His purring had ceased (he'd been purring incessantly this whole time. Turns out they purr when in distress as well as happy). He was always such a happy kitty. He was boyant, energetic, excitable. He had a passion for attention. He didn't care, as long as you paid attention to you. He didn't like to eat unless he knew you were watching him. Looking at him, looking into his eyes through the sedative and the mask, I still saw my Razie. But he was different.

He was hurting. He didn't know why. All he knew was that he was suffering. He'd spent the morning not able to control his body. His heart was failing him, and who knows how long he'd been hiding that behind his bouyant personality. That morning, in the first exam room, hearing him cry, seeing him try and pull his failing body off the table. I couldn't let that happen to him again. I couldn't put him through a treatment that didn't even offer a small chance of recovery. At best it would delay the inevitable for a few months. Maybe a year. In the mean time, drugs, trips to the vet, blood being drawn. All while he tries to make due with the diminished, maybe even loss of the use, of his rear legs (they'd now been without blood for three hours). I couldn't do it to him, or to my wife, or me.

I said my good-byes to my Razie today. I told him what a good cat he'd been. How happy I am to have had him in my life. I didn't want to do this to him. I wanted him to be better. I know he didn't understand. I don't even know if he recognized it was me. He was out of it. I know he didn't know what was happening to him, or what was going to happen to him.

I take a bit of solice in his ignorance. I couldn't stay with him. Part of me wanted to, but my wife wouldn't have been able to stand it. She was crushed. She didn't want to stay for the euthanisia, and I didn't want to stay badly enough to leave her. We signed the paperwork, gave a last hug, and said our final good-byes

We spent the next hour, sobbing piteously, cuddling Azazel. I'm numb right now. I expect Razie to come and jump onto my lap. But I know he will not. He's gone. I know it. And I think I did the right thing. Although he was my pet, he was still a living, breathing, loving creature. A companion who had made his way into my heart and had become a member of my family. As much a family member as my wife. I couldn't stand the thought of him suffering more than he had already.

I miss him. I'm sorry I've rambled so long. I found this forum while searching for info on what happened and I just felt compelled, over-whelmed, with the need to say some of what I was feeling. It's made me feel a little better. Thank you.
post #2 of 22
Oh dear, what a sad note to welcome you to TCS on. I'm so sorry to hear about Razie. Do PM me if you need to talk, we are all here for you!
post #3 of 22
Powerful, intense and real your post says it all. It declares that you have unselfish love for animals and are able to put their needs ahead of yours, no matter what it costs you in the end.

You have my thoughts, I have lit a candle in my window to light this little one's way. Perhaps this website will help you on your way- www.endingpain.info

Thank you for sharing your pain in such an open way. I encourage you to talk to Zazel openly and explain that Razie is gone. And you are wrong, they do understand, they do know when we love them-
post #4 of 22
What a touching tribute to your friend, your family. You did make the right decision for him, one that he would have asked for if he could have. He did understand that you loved him enough to free him of his pain.
post #5 of 22
Thank you so much for sharing such a difficult, bitter day for your family! Even though he was unresponsive, I'm sure that Razie understood your good-bye. Your wife and you have done the ultimate, loving act - you loved Razie enough to let go. Often, Death comes as a friend. Your veterinarian's staff is to be commended for their compassion for their patients, as well. Dear Razie, follow Hissy's candle's light over the Bridge. In custom to my part-Native American heritage, I do believe that the unborn exist already, alongside those who have already lived. Maybe Razie will be telling your next cat (if it's not born yet) all about his buddy Azazel, and when you get your new one, it will be as if the new cat had known you all for years...and you'll know that Razie still loves you yet, and patiently awaits you all, when you cross the Bridge.....we'll keep your wife, you & Azazel in our thoughts & prayers. Remember to feel free to grieve! It is your right, you have earned it through your loss. Take Care, susan
post #6 of 22
I'm so sorry about the loss of your kitty. You did make the right decision, it's a hard one.
post #7 of 22
How sad I am so sorry you lost Razie and so unexpectedly, I can tell from your post he was a much loved kitty.
post #8 of 22
RIP Razie. You let him go rather than let him struggle on in so much pain.... that shows how much you loved him.
post #9 of 22
What a sad, hard day you had! (
Thank you for sharing Razie's story. He knows you loved him and he loved you too.
Sometimes the best choice is the hardest one.
Dev and Crew
post #10 of 22
I am tearing as I write this...It is so hard to let them go, but you made the right decision. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well... it's been about four days since Razie left us. There is still a very profound sense of... empitness... around our household. It's the morning that bring out the most emotion. Razie was "the morning cat". Azazel usually sleeps with my wife and I, and he won't leave the bed untilshe does. So morning is when Razie and I would do our thing. I'd feed him, pet him, talk to him as I read the comics online. I don't get to do that now, and every time I think of it, it brings me down again.

My wife and I have spent the past couple days just trying to avoid our home. The day after it happened I just didn't want to be home, and if I had to be home I didn't want to think about it. We spent a lot of time wandering stores and exploring our new town. And I spent the rest of the time immersed in a computer game. But we had to move on. The past couple days we've done some cleaning. Most painfully though, we've cleaned up the things that were Razie's.

Some of them we kept, his carrier, bowl, and litter box (it wasn't his litter box alone, he and Zazel shared two). Some of it we tossed out. His old, ragged catnip mouse. We're going to have to toss out a half dozen bags of kitty treats. Zazel has never liked kitty treats, only Razie wouldeat them.

However, it's not all bad. My greatest fear about the whole thing was I'd done the wrong thing. That the vet wasn't right and that this was something Razie would have lived through and would have made a nearly full recovery. Everything I've learned online and from other people who lost their pets to this condition reinforces the fact it was the right thing to do. And the words of compassion from all of you have been a wonderful, emotional boost as well. Thanks.
post #12 of 22
Never be sad for careing so very much, it is a very hard choice to make and don't second guess the choice you made, you Loved him very much and didn't want him to suffer.
I think so often when we make a choice to try whatever we can for them and that choice is for us because we find it hard to think it may have been the wrong one.
He knew you Loved him and I am sure he Loved you also, Thank you for doing what was best for your beloved friend, he's not suffering anymore..
post #13 of 22
I have been out of touch in the past few days and have just read this. I am so sorry you had to go through this dreadful time with Razie. I really hope it helped to write it out. It is often a comfort to pour out the words as you feel them. In the end you had no choices to make - you did what you could, when you should. Razie knew he was loved. He is all around you.
Take care
post #14 of 22
Powerful, intense and real your post says it all. It declares that you have unselfish love for animals and are able to put their needs ahead of yours, no matter what it costs you in the end.
I mirror Mary Anne's thoughts. You tribute to Razie is fitting to how he touched your lives. I'm terribly sorry about Razie, but I'm sure you did the right thing. My prayers are with you and your wife. Thank you for sharing.
post #15 of 22
So sorry that you lost your beloved Razie but you made the right decision to end his pain and not let him suffer. He will be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge and someday you will be reunited. Hugs to you and your wife in your time of grief. Give Azazel extra attention because I am sure he misses Razie too.
post #16 of 22
Hi fella, I´m spechlees... I´m so sorry for your loss, my thoughts with you..
post #17 of 22
I'm sorry for your loss. If I may make a suggestion(if I'm in time). Don't throw away the bags of treats. Give them to the local shelter as a tribute to Razie.
post #18 of 22
I'm so sorry about Razie. I cried along with you as I read your story and my prayers are with you and your wife during your grief.
post #19 of 22
Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear about your little one. This story has brought me to tears!!! I pray for peace for you, your wife, and your other little kitty!

post #20 of 22
Tearec, thank you for sharing your very personal story. It is very obvious that you and your wife loved Razie very much. Allow yourselves time to grieve. I lost my dearest kitty a year and 1/2 ago and there hasn't been a day since that I haven't thought about her. I don't think they'll ever leave us. We just get used to living without them running around the house. Your Razie will still be with you - always.

I'm glad this site and others has helped you come to terms with your actions. One of the worst things we can do to ourselves is second-guessing. My thoughts are with you and your wife during this difficult time.
post #21 of 22
I'm so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.
RIP Razie
post #22 of 22
I just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel. Reading your story made me cry as I understand exactly what you are going through. My gorgeous cat Charlie was killed on Saturday and I lost his brother Jasper just 6 months ago. Jasper also died in the vets while he was trying so hard to get better.

I remember how frail he looked in the end and its a horrible picture. I also felt the terrible guilt you felt - did I do enough? I really think you did the right thing. He was obviously suffering and you released him from that.

I just wanted to add that I thoroughly believe what Catsknowme said about the unborn being with the dead. I got a kitten a few months after Jasper died and I truly believe that there is so much of my Jasper in her.

How is your other cat doing on its own??
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