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Please help me make a very difficult decision - Page 2

post #31 of 57
I think I would go with no 2 if you can keep Max calm and quiet while he waits.
post #32 of 57
If those were my choices, I would choose #2. That way you are comfortable with the vet and you know they will take care of things for you after. Cloud-shade had a great suggestion to see if you can pay in advance to avoid having to deal with that later.
My heart goes out to you and you are in my thoughts and prayers.
post #33 of 57
I suspect that you have already made your decision...#2.
I woke up this morning and said a quiet prayer for you and Max.
I will continue to do so.
Max will always be with your in your heart.
post #34 of 57
I would go with #2 with a difference. If possible I would wait in the car *unless the weather is to bad* I would tell them where you are, and someone can come out and get you when it is time. That way you have quiet time to spend with Max ahead of time and don't have to deal with all the stress and smells he would be exposed to. I would also put a really sweaty tee shirt of yours in his carrier, along with some of his favorite toys for comfort items.
post #35 of 57
I put my Kitty to sleep in a an animal hospital, and it was fine. They put us in a small room and let me have some time with her to say goodbye beforehand. It was actually quite peaceful. Maybe you can ask that they make sure to have a room for you as soon as you get there? Euthanasia isn't a normal appointment, and I can't imagine them leaving you sitting in the noisy waiting room for more than a couple of minutes. I don't think it's out of line to ask for a little extra consideration.
post #36 of 57
Rosisa: You said that you were looking at options other than amputation or euthanizing your cat. There are some. I really don't know how to get this information to you so that you will have all the information you need at hand in order to make the right decision for your cat. The information I have is too lengthy to include on this site and it wouldn't do it justice if I tried to shorten it. If you cannot afford the cost of surgery, you might want to consider them - a couple of them are alot cheaper than surgery.
post #37 of 57
#2 sounds the best solution to meet your needs. And I've never had a problem getting a clinic to accept pre-payment in these situations.

(Edited to add this: If your clinic has automated mailings, such as sending your pet a birthday card or sending you a postcard reminding you about annual checkup, ask them to remove this cat from their mailing list. It's a little spooky when you get a birthday card for a pet that was put to sleep two months ago. Just an extra tip!)

When I've had some warning (planned), I've always requested to be scheduled when I can come straight in and straight out. Whether it is 10 AM, 2:30 PM or whatever, I tell them I want zero waiting and this needs to be quick. And that's what I've done -- walk right in at the appointed time and stand at the counter until I get taken to the back. I never take a seat in the waiting room -- and if it is more than five minutes, I say loudly "you promised me a XXX appointment for euthanasia" and that gets them to at least move me out of the reception area to a private room.

I've never done cremation but the #2 option meets your wishes. After the vet, I've always carried the pet home and had an immediate burial. That is usually the harder part for me...I've never cried at the vet, but I always cry as I pick up the shovel to fill the burial.

It is a tough situation for you...I can only wish you the best and hope you get through it okay.
post #38 of 57
This is such a difficult topic and a difficult time - wishing you all the best as you make your decisions. I did want to add this to the conversation -

*Disclaimer: Please do not take any advice on these forums about homemade, homeopathic, holistic or any other sort of remedy offered without first checking with your vet. Doing so may harm your cat, because no one has hands on with your cat, but your vet. If your one vet is not giving you satisfaction, seek a second vet opinion. *
post #39 of 57
Hi Amy,

I would choose #1 or #2. #2 is close to what I had to do (and I live in New York out on Long Island). I waited in the car with Comere until just before they could take us in (only ended up in the waiting room about 1 minutes). The reason I suggested finding someone to do it in your home is I wish I had had the time to do that. Comere HATED going in the car and to the vet, so it would have been nice to have his last day be where he was most comfortable.

But I know it's not the best decision for everyone, nor the easiest to find a vet who will do it in your home.

I will tell you what my experience was.

Comere was given a shot in his hind leg. And it is QUICK. Talk to Max the whole time because before you know it, he's in his final sleep. It is truly less than 30 seconds. Very very fast. And not all animals close their eyes (Comere did not) so be prepared for that. If you can handle that possibility, feel free to stand in front of him petting and talking to him. If not, hold him in your lap (with his face away from you) or stand behind him while you pet and talk to him. Whatever you are most comfortable with.

It is very peaceful. He might let out a little breath (and the vet might warn you of this). It isn't him struggling... it's just a the way the physical body reacts. Not all pets do it - Comere did not.

The Vet will probably give you the option to take Max's body home or have the ashes returned to you. You can choose to have his individual ashes or ashes that are not guaranteed to be only his. The first is a little more costly. Regency Forest did Comere's individual cremation for about $200.00 and the vet arranged the whole thing. Regency called me about 2 days after for payment. Comere's ashes were returned to the vet for me to pick up about a week later.

I got an urn online from

Good luck to you Amy. I'll say an extra prayer for Max and I'm only a PM away if you need to talk or have any questions.
post #40 of 57
If its not too late I would offer some assistance with #1, specifically I know of two vets in NYC who do house calls, both are highly recommended. They aren't inexpensive, but may in fact be less expensive than going to the AMC (#2).

- Dr. Lawrence Putter, 917-762-8389, - I know someone who used Dr. Putter and they were very happy.

- George Korin, 212 838 2569, long time in practice.
post #41 of 57
I don't have anything to add to the advice and suggestions already posted, but wanted to let you know that, whatever you decided, you and Max will be in my thoughts and prayers.
post #42 of 57
My vet is also in a vet hospital, which is quite large and busy. When we had to put Abby to sleep they had a room ready for us immediately. They gave her a sedative shot in her leg and wrapped her in a blanket and sat her in my lap. She fell asleep before they gave her the injection. Afterwards they gave us as much time as we needed. We left out a backdoor, away from the lobby. The told me they would send a bill to us, so that we didn't have to go to the desk. We had the option of having her cremated either by herself or with a group of animals. The whole process cost about $130. They called when we could pick her up and had her cremains in a small gold box, in a bag. They were all very friendly.

You might want to ask the vet if they could do something similar, especially with leaving out the back door and being sent a bill rather than paying immediately.

I am very glad to have Abby's ashes and I think it helped our other cat as well.
post #43 of 57
Rosisa: You said that you were looking at options other than amputation or euthanizing your cat. There are some. I really don't know how to get this information to you so that you will have all the information you need at hand in order to make the right decision for your cat. The information I have is too lengthy to include on this site and it wouldn't do it justice if I tried to shorten it. If you cannot afford the cost of surgery, you might want to consider them - a couple of them are alot cheaper than surgery.
post #44 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thank you to all the sweet and compassionate people who have posted to this thread. It would have been so hard for me to make this decision without your wise advice.
We put Maxie to sleep Wednesday afternoon. For the 5 days previous, I gave him a non-steroidal prescribed by my vet to ease the pain of his leg tumor (which seemed to grow bigger and nastier by the day). It seemed that as soon as I made the decision to put him to sleep, he felt released and started rapidly to decline. He had always been a very cuddly kitty, always in your lap, spooning with you when you slept, plopped down on your head to wake you up in the morning. But for the last week of his life he just wasn't the same. At first, he spent each night jumping off and up again onto the bed. I guess he just couldn't get comfortable. And the last few days he slept on the chair in the living room. He was wheezing. He was touchy. Didn't want to be held much. Strange, because before this illness you could do anything to him and he'd just purr...hold him like a baby in your arms for a half hour, carry him around the house like a sack of potatoes. He especially loved a game my boyfriend invented called "spin the cat on the linoleum".
Don't ask.
Making the decision to put him down was terrible. But in the end, I know I exhausted every informational source available to me. I bombarded my vet with questions, requested the opinions of all my best, catloving friends and family members, scoured the internet for medical articles on amputation, and of course, got the good advice of so many of you on this site. I cried and cried and cried about the decision. Made the choice for amputation, then chose euthanasia, then back again. I always came back to euthanasia, though. It seemed, and still seems, like the best choice for Maxie.
The night before we put him down, we had a living wake for Max. Fed him an entire can of tuna (which he devoured) and a few goldfish crackers (a forbidden, but much loved treat). We had his favorite people come by and say their farewells. After they left, my boyfriend chanted a Zen Buddhist liturgy for the dead and we read him some poems about dying and sang him his favorite song, "You are my sunshine".
Wednesday was really tough. My vet was in surgery all day and had to find a free half hour to do the euthanasia. It turned out to be a very busy day for her, something I REALLY didn't want. But at that point, I felt like Max and I couldn't wait until tomorrow. So we scheduled an appointment for 4 pm. My boyfriend drove us into the city and one of my best friends met us at the clinic. While we petted Max in the car, my friend checked in for us upstairs and waited for the vet to get ready. Then she fetched us from the car.
We carried Max upstairs in a blanket and into the quiet, private room the vet had arranged for us. I signed the paper. I asked the vet if I could be with her while she shaved his leg and put the catheter in (she was going to do this in another room) and she said, "I can do it right here." The shaver was scary for Max, as was the catheter. I see why they do this in another room. It's hard to watch your kitty be afraid. The vet had brought this little clay paw print making kit into the room (she had checked with my friend to see if she thought I might want this and my friend had said yes). After Max was ready for the euthanasia the vet asked me if I wanted to do the paw print right then. I said no. I couldn't imagine putting Max through that while he was so scared. I told her we could do it afterwards, although now I wish I hadn't done it at all. Very weird pressing your dead cat's paw into clay. Not at all a good memory. Then the vet asked me if we wanted time with Max alone and again I said no. It felt cruel to delay things and we had spent the last week saying goodbye to him. So she started to administer the solution and we whispered loving thoughts to him
It was the strangest moment. Max just seemed to melt like butter and then he was gone.
My boyfriend, my dear friend, and I burst into tears. We'd all been holding it together for Max. It was so strange. I kept saying, "He's not moving! He's dead!" It was a very childlike feeling. My mind was trying to wrap itself around this bizarre experience.
We spent about a half hour with Maxie afterwards. Whispered to him. Told him what a good job he'd done and kissed him. My friend encouraged me to hold him. Very painful. He was so limp and heavy without life. And his face looked so strange.
Finally, we put him down on the table and put an envelope addressed to him in his paws. It was filled with the liturgy, poems, song, and parting thoughts to him from friends and family, a picture of me kissing him in my arms, a ribbon to play with and a piece of plastic to chew on in heaven (he was always in trouble for chewing on plastic).
He'll be cremated tomorrow and we'll spread his ashes in the garden in which he used to play.
Although I miss him terribly, I'm so grateful for this experience. I feel like a grownup (funny coming from a 38 year old woman!) because I had to make this decision for him and myself, albeit with the loving help of others. I'm also so glad I gave myself the space to grieve so much during the whole process of decision making and the euthanasia itself. It brought me much closer to my boyfriend and friend. And in the end, I'm comforted by the happy life Max had...first with my parents and then with me for the past 3 1/2 years. He was spoiled, but in the best way.
Be at peace, sweet baby! You were the best cat. We miss and love you!
post #45 of 57
Very nice summary! I am glad Max is at peace. My thoughts are with you.
post #46 of 57
I am very sorry for your loss, wonderful tribute to a wonderful cat who was well loved.
post #47 of 57
You wrote it all so beautifully and yet I am sure it was hard to do, as hard as going htrough it. But Max is safe now and you did the right and only thing you could for him.
post #48 of 57
A very compassionate and fitting end for a good friend. Thank you for being so thoughtful to him and seeing to his every need. For taking time to make the decision, for researching, talking and doing the proper amount of soul-searching that is necessary for such a painful moment in both of your lives.

Out of respect now, I will move this to Crossing The Bridge-
post #49 of 57
What a beautiful tribute! I'm now in tears just reading it, hon. {{{{HUGS}}}} for you, as you carry on without one that you loved so very much!
post #50 of 57
Thank you so much for letting us know how you are.
Max was well loved. God bless you both.
Aloha little Max.
post #51 of 57
I'm so sorry you lost your Maxie What a wonderful tribute.
post #52 of 57
Hi Amy,

Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful way to say goodbye to your wonderful beloved Maxie (the living wake). I know the process itself (the euthenasia) is hard, but you did the right thing, and you were with him right to the end. He was a kitty very well-loved and you gave him a great life.

If you need to talk, I'll listen. Be kind to yourself during this time...
post #53 of 57
I know how hard that was for you to do. I am sorry that you had to face this difficult decision. What you wrote was beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
post #54 of 57
What a lovely tribute to Maxie. I especially like the living wake - this is such a beautiful idea. We all have to make these difficult decisions but once made, I agree there is a kind of peace that settles.
You are in my thoughts
post #55 of 57
I am so sorry for your loss of Max, but I think you did the right thing and made a well informed decision, and it was and still is hard on you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your b/f, and with Max (RIP)
post #56 of 57
I am so sorry for your loss. Can't write more. as I am in tears/
post #57 of 57
I'm also in tears thinking about your loss and about my Charlie.

I'm so sorry.

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