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Brought to my Knees

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My fiance and I don't want children for personal reasons. We're very happy and found our cats to be just the children we needed.

All my life I've been a "dog" person. That was until I met my fiance 5 years ago. She had a cat named Sylvester. A very large and beautiful snow shoe (spelling?). He weighed in at around 16 lbs and had a beautiful snow white/gray coat. Sylvester was patient, caring, and above all...loyal. Every night for the last 5 years I've had the pleasure of listening to the loud roar of a pur on my pillow. He had no ordinary pur, but rather, one so loud it would literally keep you awake at night.

I can't tell you the memories I've shared between he and our other 2 cats. There are so many. Our lives so full of love. I bonded with him more so than the other two. We had a special relationship. One in which he'd patiently wait for me in the window each day to get home from work. Sometimes at night he'd jump on the back of the couch and lick my hair as if he were grooming me.

One week ago we noticeded some strange behavior. His belly was swollen and he seemed very lethargic. We took him to the vet that Monday only to learn that some additional tests needed to be taken. To make a long story short, we discovered after much prodding and poking, that Sylvester had tested positive for FIP. Having already spent the weekend researching possible diagnosis over the internet, I was horrified at the words coming out of the phone.

We all knew this love of our life, would only have weeks to live. When Sylvester came home, we tried to have a normal life as best we could. Not 3 days back home and he started displaying the most upsetting behavior. He refused to eat and drink and would disappear under the bed or in a closet for hours at a time. Occasionally he'd walk out only as if to say I love you but he wouldn't have any attention. I knew if I couldn't get him to eat and drink, that it would only be a matter of time. I tried every food he's ever eaten, including some of the best People food he's eaten. Anything of nutritional value would mean more time....

I sat up in the dark one night last week and noticed him lying in the middle of our cold hardwood floors. I decided to lay on the floor with him hoping maybe I could spend the night on the floor with him. I sat there and stroked his chin till my arm felt like it was falling off.

Yesterday on the way home my fiance and I got in to an argument. She thought it was "time". I refused to give up and preferred he stick it out to the end. That soon changed when I got home and yet again found Sylvester under the bed hiding. I could start to feel his bones through his coat. In disbelief I agreed it was time...Time to kill a, a loved one, that I hold in higher standing than I do most relatives and friends.

As I walked out the door this morning I called the Vet to say we were coming in, and already my voice was cracking. I had to walk out in my front yard to make the call as if I didn't want Sylvester to hear.

He was unusually easy to get in to the cat carrier. Typically it'd be easier to get a 500lb lion in there...He quietly went in. On our way to work we only heard 1 or 2 small wimpers come from the backseat. We had layed our seats down in the back so we could face the carrier towards us. Sylvester likes to be close when he's out of his element.

As I was driving down the road, I looked over my should only to see his paw reaching through the wire waiting for me to touch him. I literally lost it at that point and tears began pouring down my face. As we arrived at the vet niether one of us wanted to get out of the car. We just sat there and cried.

When we finally did get the courage to enter, the place was quiet and everyone there couldn't help but tell why we had come. Time had stopped. We soon entered the examination room where we spent 45 minutes alone, in what would be our last minutes together. He was happy and purring. The floor had puddles where I was standing from the tears rolling off my cheeks. I felt like the world had brought me to my knees. Never before I had I felt so out of control, unhappy, angry, and helpless.

The Vet came in and I knew it was only a matter of seconds. He went quietly with those big black eyes staring in to mine...I'm left with a memory that will haunt me for the rest of my life not knowing if it was the right thing to do regardless of what others believed. He now lay before me lifeless and limp.

They gave us a moment afterwards alone to morn his death. It was then I felt rage like never before. It was also the first time in nearly a decade that I said a quiet prayer hoping that someone out there was listening. If I had but one wish, it was with him.

I'm left pondering a thought I haven't heard in many years....

"It is better to have loved and lost...than not to love and have never lost at all"

The pain is unbearable...the memories priceless.

I will never forget you my son.
post #2 of 29
I'm so sorry for your loss. So very, very sorry.
post #3 of 29
Oh my goodness, I'm at work, tears streaming down my face for you. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is hard to see now, but you have done the right thing--you've ended his suffering. My heart goes out to you and your family, as well as my prayers.
post #4 of 29
What a lovely testimonial to your sweet Sylvester. I'm so sorry for your loss. Tough as it was to say goodbye, please know it was the right thing -- the loving thing. You have freed him from his suffering. To have held on -- for how long?? -- would have been for you, not for him. He's at peace now.

Do you know the Rainbow Bridge? It's in one of the stickies at the top of this forum. You'll shed some more tears, but perhaps they'll be sweeter ones.

I see this is your first post. Welcome to TCS. I'm sorry it's on such a sad note.

RIP sweet Sylvester
post #5 of 29
I am so sorry your lost your beautful special baby. He sounds like he was such a sweetie We lost a kitty to FIP about 13 years ago, he was only 2 years old.
post #6 of 29
I am so sorry. I lost my Mattie last summer to FIP. I, too, was horrified to learn of such a hopeless disease. I'll never forget the peacefulness in Mattie after we made the decision to put her to sleep. She lay so quiet with her little black head on her arms.

The odd thing is, once in a while her sister Festus stretches out her arms, and rests her head on them. Although she is a brown tabby, whenever she does that I think of sweet black Mattie, and how close they were. Festus is a comfort to me.

The love you shared with Sylvester was extremely special. The pain can be overwhelming. But in time you will know, it is better to have loved and lost. So much better. The things you learned from your time with Sylvester, and the love you shared, is worth it. May you find peace of heart as time passes. And my hope for you, in time, is to begin a new relationship with another boy cat. Someday, somewhere, someone is out there who will need just the big heart that is broken now.
post #7 of 29
I'm so sorry for your loss. Sylvester sounds like a truly wonderful companion and you obviously had a very special relationship. Having had to make the decision to put a beloved cat to sleep myself, I can relate to what you're experiencing right now. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that in the end you made the best decision you could for Sylvester, one that was made in love. I'm certain he knew that. You and he will be in my thoughts and prayers.
post #8 of 29
You have brought tears to my eyes! You could have wrote that watching me when I had to make that same awful decision for my Bud kitty. It is amazing how they purr at the final moments as if to tell you that you are doing the right thing. You did what you had to do for your baby. It is very hard but they no longer have to suffer. My heart goes out to you! May your wonderful Sylvester RIP! Big hugs to you and your fiancee!
post #9 of 29
I am crying trying to read this, Bless you both for Loveing this baby enough to not let him suffer, you will be in my thoughts and prayers, RIP Sylvester
post #10 of 29
how very sad! i'm so sorry for you to lose your baby! it's so hard to let go...i think i've had a harder time with the death of my pets than i have with the death of people
post #11 of 29
I joined TCS the day my Charley took the same journey that your Sylvester took today. It is so unbelievably painful and I'm crying with you

You are very much in my thoughts.
post #12 of 29
I am so sorry - it is a journey we all make but it never gets any easier. Sylvester had a wonderful life with you and now he is better. I hope you find comfort in each other and hte other cats, but you know he will always be special in your hearts.
post #13 of 29
I see you said you spent time with Sylvester and your other two cats. Do you still have them? If so, spend time with them and let them know you love them, for they too will miss their friend. We lost a cat to FIP several years ago. I will never forget my husband calling me at work crying that Fluffy was dying and to meet he and our daughters at the vet. She died on the way there. At least she died in my daughters arms with her telling her that we loved her. I am sure you told Sylvester that you loved him and he knew how much. My heart goes out to you and your fiance. Even though it may not seem that way now, you did do the right thing.
post #14 of 29
He showed you he understood and it was ok! What a wonderful cat he was! I just lost MY baby 2 months ago and it was not that nice. She has not forgiven me and has not visited me. I wish Corkie could have gone as nicely as your precious Sylvester did.

You were a great Dad!
post #15 of 29
I'm sitting here, trying to type through my tears. You put in words what I felt, this past February, when I had to say Good Bye to my Sweet Snoopy who left this world at age 20. I felt exactly how you felt at the Vet's that day. Snoopy was my son, too.

I know you are going through unbearable pain right now, but it will get easier to face each new day. I can't say that the pain will go away all together, but you will again, be able to enjoy life and smile again, and you will remember your son with sweet sadness as well as thankfulness that you were given the special honour to have him in your life.
post #16 of 29
I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is. I have several loved ones waiting for me at the rainbow bridge. It is a hard decision you had to make but it was the most loving one you could have. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
post #17 of 29
I too sit here reading through my tears, and share your heart ache and grief. You did make the right choice, and I know in my heart how hard of a decision it was to make as i too had to free 2 of my sweet kittens from the dreadful FIP disease 4 months ago. Mia was only 6 months old and Willow lived until 9 months old, they were littermates, and are now sweet angels and
wonderful memories. I also came to this sight as a search for information about FIP. It has been a wonderful help. I now try and visit this sight daily.
The pain and heart ache will get better with time, although we have the memories to bring us back to our sweet beloved lost companions.
My heart and prayers are with you.
post #18 of 29
I am so sorry that you lost Sylvester. You did the loving thing by ending his pain, you made the RIGHT decision to let him go without more suffering. He will be waiting for you at the bridge and someday you will be reunited with him. My heart goes out to your and yours in your time of grief. Hugs
post #19 of 29

Your post made me cry... I had to make the same decision in March and I do know how hard it is. As awful as it feels, you did make the right decision for him... you were able to be with him... you were able to end his suffering... and the very last thing he knew of this world is how much he was loved.

My heart and prayers are with you... I so know where you are...
post #20 of 29
You made the right decision, there is no need to question yourself. I hope you find comfort in your happy memories with him

He was a very beautiful kitty.
post #21 of 29
What a beautiful, moving tribute to a loved furbaby! If I stood up now I'd be standing in a pool of tears. I lost my beloved Sheba 18 months ago almost, and I still shed buckets and buckets of tears for her. I simply miss her so very much. She occupied a place in my heart that no-one or nothing can fill. I feel your pain.

Maggie in Western Australia
post #22 of 29
Ther are tears rolling down my face now, and I am so sorry for your great loss.
Yhe other cats will comfort you, but you will always remember your darling.
I am praying for all of you. Bobbie
post #23 of 29
Ending Sylvester's suffering was your last gift to him. He was in pain and suffering and you helped him pass on to a better place. I know exactly how you feel right now. You feel like your heart has just been ripped out and that you'll never get over it. In time your heart will heal though. Someday your memories of him will bring a smile to your face instead of tears. Two years ago we lost our 18+ year old cat to old age. Even though she lived a much longer life than most cats do, I still was not ready to let her go. She could have lived another 18 years and I still wouldn't have been ready to let her go. We got her when she was 6 weeks old (about a month after we got married). She was our first "baby". We went on to have two "human" children who loved her dearly. She took a special liking to my second child (my daughter). She started sleeping at the foot of Lindsay's bed every night as soon as she was old enough to sleep in a big bed. She did this every night for 11 years (up until the night before she died). I remember the night she died my daughter literally cried herself to sleep. She said, "Mommy, I can't sleep without her, because I've never slept without her for my whole life". I have pictures of her with both of my children when they were babies that I get out and look at every so often. I remember when she died my co-workers at the time (who were not pet owners) thought I was crazy. I was so upset about her death that I called in sick the day she died to stay home and comfort my kids (who were 11 and 14 at the time and had never dealt with death of any kind before). It really helps to be able to come to a site like this and talk to people who understand exactly what you're going through. Two years ago when I was going through this I didn't know there were groups like this to offer support. I think it would have helped me heal faster if I had been able to talk to other pet owners about it. I felt like I couldn't talk to my friends or family because their feelings were "it was just a cat". Even my husband thought I was a little crazy. I remember him saying, "It's not like a family member died or something". I told him no, she wasn't a human, but she was part of our family. She was a living breathing soul that I had spent every day of the last 18+ years with. I told him as harsh as this sounds, if one of my distant relatives (that I see only once a year) died I would feel bad, but my heart would not feel like it had just been broken in two.
post #24 of 29
I am sure of the fact that there is nothing I can say that will make things better for you "right now".

But "his story" that you wrote of him today is so special. And I beleive it is your 1st step into your mourning Sylvester.

I must say those big, bold, beautiful blue eyes were hypnotizing!!

He was a beautiful creature that (though shorter than you wanted) finished his life here that was so full of purpose. To teach you a new kind of love!!
Don't you think? And that, you will carry in your heart forever. He was taken from you physically, but the love he taught you and the love he shared with you can never be taken away.

And it IS ok to cry.
post #25 of 29
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my kitty in November and understand your pain of going to the vet's for the last time. It sounds like you were a very special Dad to Sylvester and you did do the right thing for him no matter how hard it was. You put his pain before your own needs. Your pain will never completely go away, but will slowly be replaced by the happy memories you can hold close to your heart.
post #26 of 29
The little furballs crawl right into your heart, don't they? I've had my Whiskey now for 10 1/2 years. He's turning 12 next month. When I first got him, I was neither a dog or a cat person. We had a family dog from 1982 to 1994 and I got Whiskey in Dec. 1994. I don't know what I would do without him. Since I have become a cat "nut", I've been reading stories of guys who didn't like, didn't care for or disliked cats, becoming a cat person and they are inseperable.

The pain does ease a little. I still shed a tear when I think about our family dog.

Sylvester will be waiting for you...
post #27 of 29
I'm sorry to hear of your loss!
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for all the kind words. Tomorrow will be 1 week and while I still miss him very much, I am dealing with it better. I've had some real up's and down's these past few days. One minute I'm happy and the next I'm sad. You know how it goes. The house doesn't feel the same anyone. It's going to take some getting used to.

I'm still upset over whether it was the right time or if that's what he wanted. I suppose it was, but what if I was wrong? I guess I just need to let it go. Thanks for everything though. It was nice to let it out.
post #29 of 29
Originally Posted by talbert
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for all the kind words. Tomorrow will be 1 week and while I still miss him very much, I am dealing with it better. I've had some real up's and down's these past few days. One minute I'm happy and the next I'm sad. You know how it goes. The house doesn't feel the same anyone. It's going to take some getting used to.

I'm still upset over whether it was the right time or if that's what he wanted. I suppose it was, but what if I was wrong? I guess I just need to let it go. Thanks for everything though. It was nice to let it out.
Don't beat yourself up, you did the right thing and I think you did it at the right time. Most of us here have been through this and understand how you feel. The decision to stop a loved companion from suffering is a hard but loving choice. You will continue to miss him but in time the pain will fade away somewhat but it will never be totally gone because when you love that deeply it leaves a mark on your heart. He is no longer in pain and is playing happily at the bridge until the time comes for you to be reunited with him. Remember that only his body died, his spirit waits in peace for you. We are here for you whenever you want someone to talk to. Hugs.
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