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Did I Make The Right Decision To Euthanize My Cat?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I apologize in advance for such a long post, but please bear with me I really need some wisdom today.

My cat Toby, who only just turned 6 years old in May, died several days ago. His vet is not exactly sure what happened to him other than it was probably liver related, but whatever it was took hold after a very short period of time. He started to display symptoms that had me worried about him which began on Wednesday of last week. He did spend a lot of Tuesday(June 7th) asleep, but I hadn't noticed anything wrong at the time. It was normal for him to spend a good portion of the day asleep so I didn't question anything. I do remember thinking that day he was behaving a little like an older man. When he did get up, he walked very slowly...almost as if he had arthritis or just stiff limbs but it would pass. He had done that in the past so I wasn't alarmed. I just thought to myself that he's beginning to act like an old cat at 6 years old, what was he going to be like at 12 yrs old? I thought this extra lazy day he was having would pass as it normally had. Little did I know that he would never see 12 yrs old.

By Wednesday (June 8th) he wouldn't eat and he wasn't drinking much. He spent most of his time sleeping and being overly lethargic. I told myself if he wasn't better by Wednesday evening I was taking him into the vet on Thursday. Late Wednesday he threw up once, but all he brought up was a little foam which didn't surprise me because he hadn't eaten in about 24 hours. I started to scold myself for not taking him that evening, but I did have cats that did have an off day once in a great while, but they were ok. It can be hard to know when it's vital during the first 24 hours. One of my cats had the same symptoms before and when I took her to the vet, they said she was constipated and probably suffering from a little bug and was given antibiotics and sent home. She completely recovered two days later. So on Thursday(9th) I called the vet to make an appointment and they said they had open hours that evening in which I could bring him in. He spent most of Thursday during the day in the windows behaving very lethargic....but he was well enough to jump up onto the window sills, but he couldn't walk for very long at a time. He would need to stop and rest every few steps. He still wouldn't eat and again only drank a small amount even though I placed the food and water near him at all times. When I got him to the vet, she opened his mouth and said he wasn't very well based on his yellow gums. Apparently he was jaundice, which was his liver not functioning as normal. She didn't go as far as to say he wasn't long for this world, but yet she was concerned enough so she wanted to keep him overnight and hydrate him because he was also dehydrated. She called us back that night with some blood test results and said that so far everything checked out fine, but there were some other tests she needed to send away and she would get the results maybe on Friday, but possibly Monday if they were busy. She couldn't check for things like white blood cell count, feline leukemia, AIDS or FIP. She said it was most likely a condition of the liver such as cholangiohepatitis or just an infection, but she wanted more results to some tests before giving him any antibiotics. She put him on an IV drip to give him some fluids and she said he seemed a little more perky. He took a little water but he wasn't interested in food. She then said he was sleepy when she left him for the night. She told us to call in the morning around 10:30 to find out how he was and what kind of night he had.

At 8am Friday (10th) she called us to say that he had a very bad night and had a very major decline. She said he was very depressed and was not responding to anything at all. He had seriously crashed. She said we needed to make a decision about euthanizing him. She said he was so bad that she just couldn't put him through anything else. Of course I wanted to see him before making that kind of a decision. Maybe he was low because he wasn't at home and he felt bad anyway so I had hoped I could perk him up with a visit, though I did not hold out much hope. But I wasn't quite prepared for what I saw and I really understood why the vet was advising euthanasia. The second I saw him, I knew what I had to do. I was about to make the hardest decision of my entire life. I can only liken his condition to a coma, or that he was brain dead. He did not react to his surroundings at all. Even when me and my husband were there talking to him and stroking him, it was as if his soul was no longer in his body. It was like this was just the shell of the cat he once was. He was staring into space and hardly moved his eyes and didn't look in our direction. He did blink ever so slightly when I rubbed the side of his face, but the vet assured me that was a reflex, not a voluntary reaction to my touch. His normal way was to be very affectionate and as soon as I would touch him, whether it was to stroke, pet, scratch or pick up, he would purr instantly. But that morning he never purred once. I didn't even feel a vibration in his neck for a soft and quiet purr. He wasn't moving at all, apart from what the vet said was involuntary muscle spasms in his legs. They would slightly jerk every few seconds. I held one of his paws and there was nothing. His breathing was shallow. It seemed like his soul had already left his body. The vet said that if his liver had completely failed, he was being poisoned by his own toxins which would account for his rapid decline. I saw the other cats that were there and none of them were in the same condition as Toby. They were either standing up or sitting, or even laying down but their heads were still up. Some of them were even trying to get attention. If I hadn't known any better after looking at Toby and then seeing the other sick cats, I would have thought he was already dead, aside from the shallow breaths.

But I couldn't leave him like that, I just couldn't do it. I felt it would be wrong to walk out of there while he could have been suffering and I left him that way to probably die alone when I wasn't there for him. The vet seemed 100% positive that there was nothing else they could do for him, he was too far gone to come back and the only kind thing to do was to put him down. I cannot imagine that a vet practice would suggest such a thing if they felt more could be done, but I just can't help wonder. Even from a financial standpoint, they weren't going to make very much money from him if they just gave up. Also we had made it perfectly clear to them that they could do anything for him that they needed to do because he was insured on any medical bills that resulted from sickness or disease. She didn't feel it would have been right to continue mainly for Toby's well-being first and foremost, but also the cost involved in any treatment at this point in the end would only give us a bigger vet bill, not an alive cat.

I just pray to God that it was the right decision, because in fact he wasn't going to make it. As I made the decision to put him to sleep, I do hope it was just a question of WHEN he was going to die, not IF. The vet didn't think he would last the day, so the kindest thing would be to give him a dignified end. If I had any feeling that he had any chance of living a normal good quality of life I would never have made that decision so soon. I do believe quality is more important than quantity, especially when it comes to animals. I guess I'm just scared that he wasn't given enough of a chance. He had only been in this serious of a condition for a few hours ~ between 11pm Thursday night and 8am Friday morning. He had only been in the vet's care for 12 hours, and during the first few he was not in that condition. Sure he wasn't in the greatest condition all the previous day, but this was a far cry from how he was the day before. When she left him at the hospital at 11pm, she said he was certainly doing well enough to investigate and treat him for whatever it was.

The next morning when she came in she saw he had rapidly declined into this coma-like state. Her opinion was that he was dying and I had to agree with her. But to be fair I have never seen a cat die before, so I am not too familiar with the signs, but I did witness the death of a hamster. He also seemed like he was in a coma and his legs were jerking now and then. After a few hours he died. Will some cats experience the same kind of thing? Can anyone give me some input as to what kinds of signs a cat will exhibit if it's dying slowly? If I did the right thing, I guess I just need to be reassured that I did what was right based on his condition. If I was wrong, I want to be told why and what I should have done. I want to be sure for if/when it happens again. I have 5 others and they aren't going to live forever either.

However, I could strangle myself. I had been worried about Toby for a little while, but I was reassured by others that he was fine. When he was 3 years old, he weighed almost 10lbs. But over the last 3 years he had lost 3lbs. I did weigh him regularly and he seemed to level off at 7lbs. I didn't think he would clinically be considered underweight, but he did feel so light and I was worried about it. The vet said he felt a little underweight, but after two days of not eating he could have lost some to bring him under 7lbs. But I got Toby from a friend of mine who owns his mother and she's had several generations of Toby's family around her and she said they are all skinny and huge fans of sleeping a lot, just like Toby.

The only thing he had that was different was a little bit of colitis, which I could control for the most part. I fed him a good quality dry food and nothing else because it all seemed to give him trouble. Every once in a while he suffered with a bout of it, which I couldn't always account for why because he isn't fed anything other than his food that doesn't bother him. He would have one runny bowel movement which I sometimes found blood in, but the very next time he would go it was a normal movement and the vet said it was colitis. As long as I did my best to control it he would be ok. When I was trying to find out what he could eat without this problem occurring he was having a bout several times a week. Once I settled him on the food he could eat, he only had a bout every 4-6 weeks, sometimes as long as 8 weeks in between occurrences. The last occurrence he had before his death was 2 weeks prior and before that he went 2 months without having any.

Other than this, he was healthy in every other way. Although he could be lazy, he could be playful when tempted. Now I just feel so sad and angry with myself that I didn't demand blood tests at the vet's office years ago ~ maybe it would have shown liver disease earlier and we could have treated him before it got worse. Hindsight is 20/20, but I should have listened to my conscience, if I had he might still be alive. I just can't believe I didn't see this coming.

The vet hasn't given us her theory as to what happened yet, other than liver failure, but something must have caused it. I guess what I learn depends on whether she had these tests she sent away carried through or not. She could have cancelled them the morning he died. As far as I know, he wasn't given any medicine except fluids. He had an IV in his leg for the fluids, but he also had a patch on his neck where he had been shaved, but I didn't find out what that was all about. I don't know if she got some of his blood that way or what. I thought she could have got the blood from his IV, but maybe they can't get blood from cats in that way. Does anyone know what that indicates as far as tests they performed? I don't have the bill from them yet as they said they would send it to us in the mail so that we didn't have to worry about it right then, so I can't see what they did exactly.

I would hope that they would carry out the tests even if we end up having to pay for them because I really want to know what happened. We are as sure as we can be that he wasn't poisoned by any household cleaners, plants, food he shouldn't have, etc. I don't leave cleaners out to be drunk and Toby never got anything to eat except his own dry food. I don't have any plants in the house anyway and Toby never went outside as my cats are all strictly indoors. None of the other cats have been sick either.

I'm hoping to find out more when I pick up his ashes because I wanted him cremated by himself so I could keep the ashes. I'm just so devastated. He was such an affectionate and soppy boy. The sweetest cat a person could ever want. People keep saying I shouldn't blame myself, but if maybe I requested blood tests and a liver function test I could have found out if he had a liver condition which they might have been able to treat at that time.

I know this is such a long post, I do apologize again. I guess I should break down what I'm asking:

*Did I make the right choice in euthanizing him based on his final condition Friday morning?

*What are the signs of a dying cat? I know it could vary from one cat to another, but has anyone witnessed a cat in a coma like state just before they died? Can a cat come back from a state of no response at all as if in a "coma" even though the cat has not been medicated or sedated?

*Any idea as to what happened to him? I know that you guys can't give me a definite diagnosis with such little to go on, but does any of it sound familiar to your own experiences? Suggestions appreciated, but of course not required.

*Was there something I should have done but did not? Maybe I should have taken him to the vet a long time ago and demanded a blood test if I was a little troubled about his weight loss no matter how gradual it had been? Maybe I should have taken him to the vet on Wednesday instead of Thursday? My vet practice advises people to give it 48 hours after the symptoms first begin before bringing them in for a check. I waited 42 hours before bringing in Toby. Should I have acted faster? Is there a chance 24 hours would have made a difference?

I just want some opinions and input. I'm not expecting concrete answers, I just want some fresh opinions/ideas on the situation for the sake of my sanity. I don't feel ready to talk to the vet about this right now, I feel more comfortable speaking about it in this fashion. It feels much easier right now to do it this way. I just need a little bit of help with my thoughts.

Thank you all ever so much for reading such a long post! It does feel better to get it off my chest a little.

post #2 of 18
I moved you to the forum where deeper thought and insight is often needed.

First of all, you need to STOP beating yourself up about this. You DID the right thing even though it feels so wrong. It sounds like he was indeed being poisoned, either by his body's secretions or something else. Once they go into a coma-like state they do not recover, unless a vet has brought them into that state by administering sedatives to keep them under.

Without a necropsy you will never know just what caused him to go downhill so quickly. Getting into some chemical, anti freeze- toxic plant, rat poison, ant bait, the list is endless-

He clearly had lost any quality of life and to hang on to a shell of cat is not something that is good for him or you-

What you are experiencing now is a very real part of the grief process will explain this a bit more.

Hugs to you during this difficult time-
post #3 of 18
I'm so sorry to hear this. Big hugs for you
post #4 of 18
I'm not an expert and I can't give you any answers to your questions but I just wanted you to know how sorry I am over your loss.

Just like you, I had suspicions for a while that my cat was not as healthy as she could have been but I kept putting off having any bloodwork done because overall she was doing alright. After a few years of seeing her lose weight I recently found out she was very sick all that time and I could have gotten her treatments several years ago that would have prolonged her life.

I guess my advice to you is to please free yourself of the guilt as much as you can. I've gone over it and over it in my own head what I could have done, what I should have done and every single thing I did wrong but in the end my one final gift to my kitty was to relieve her of the pain she was feeling.

From what you described and what your vet told you, your options for Toby were limited to euthanasia. I know you'll always have doubts about your decision but please take some comfort in knowing that your Toby spent 6 wonderful years with you. Hindsight can be torture on our hearts but your decision to free Toby from his pain was the best gift you could have given him under the circumstances he was facing. It might help you to eventually have that talk with your vet (for closure).

In a perfect world our cats would tell us when they need vet care. We do the best we can to protect them and take great care of them. The fact that you're still seeking answers shows that you love Toby so very deeply. You loved him enough to let him go and I can attest that this is one of the hardest things to do.

Good luck in finding the answers to your questions.
post #5 of 18
There may never be concrete answers to your questions ... but the one thing I do know is that when you know something is right in your gut, then it is right and you shouldn't second guess your decision. If your precious boy was suffering, then you made the appropriate decision.

I sincerely hope you find some way to bring peace back into your heart. In the hopes of lessening your burden, I share your grief.

Healing light and hugs,

post #6 of 18
Hissy is 110% right! Cats are extremely stoic, and when they are unresponsive, the situation is dire. I am impressed with your vet's compassion; please trust her judgment. Now is the time to mourn, and then to heal.Toby is on the other side of Rainbow Bridge, with all the other TCS cats; free of all pain and unhappiness. I know only too well that euthanasia is a difficult decision, but far too often, it is the best gift that you can give to a friend. you gave that gift & I praise you for the courage & unselfish effort that it took for you to make that decision. Hugs and thoughts of comfort are being sent your way! Susan
post #7 of 18
My sincerest condolences for your loss. I generally don't respond here, so please bear with me.

From what I read, you definately made the right choice. Please understand that it is totally natural for you to question your choice, anyone who loves a pet deeply always has a hard time with this choice. You love this little fella, it shows. What happened is just a part of life, it's a sadder part indeed, but it can also be a happy one. Remember the good times he and you shared together, remember the cute things he used to do, remember him for who he was, but most of all remember that you and he shared the most sacred bond of Love is a force that transcends life and death. He knows you love him, and he still loves you, this will never be forgotten, and eventually you and he will be reunited together.

You made the choice you did, because you love him. Though he may have still been breathing, and showing other scientific signs of being alive, you knew in your heart that he was no longer alive.

Could you have done something different? Could this have been prevented? Did you act too slowly? These questions are good ones, but the answers won't change the past. There are not certaities in life, anything is possible, try not to dwell on the 'possibilities', follow your heart .

Just remember, you did nothing wrong here,

post #8 of 18
You absolutely did the right thing. Even though it may not seem that way now, this was the right thing to do. I lost my precious Smokey in August of 1993. It was a similar situation, but he was 12 so I just thought it was old age. I planned to have him cremated also; however, my Mother died the next day and I lost track of time and didn't call in time to have him cremated by himself. I still miss them both. At least you will have his ashes to always keep him in your memory. I know I will never forget my Smokey and talk to him every time I visit my Mother's grave. Pets have a special way of coming into our hearts and our lives and it is hard when they leave. I am sure the time Toby spent with you was that of quality and not quantity. Hugs to you!
post #9 of 18
*Did I make the right choice in euthanizing him based on his final condition Friday morning?
Yes. What you describe is a cat who's condition abruptly changed for the worse despite being under vet care.
*What are the signs of a dying cat? I know it could vary from one cat to another, but has anyone witnessed a cat in a coma like state just before they died? Can a cat come back from a state of no response at all as if in a "coma" even though the cat has not been medicated or sedated?
I don't know, but I doubt it.
*Any idea as to what happened to him? I know that you guys can't give me a definite diagnosis with such little to go on, but does any of it sound familiar to your own experiences? Suggestions appreciated, but of course not required.
Sounds like pure liver problems. Not eating was most likely a result of the liver going bad, which in turn made him sicker.
*Was there something I should have done but did not? Maybe I should have taken him to the vet a long time ago and demanded a blood test if I was a little troubled about his weight loss no matter how gradual it had been? Maybe I should have taken him to the vet on Wednesday instead of Thursday? My vet practice advises people to give it 48 hours after the symptoms first begin before bringing them in for a check. I waited 42 hours before bringing in Toby. Should I have acted faster? Is there a chance 24 hours would have made a difference?
Yes, the difference being that he would have spent his last day in a cage, instead of resting at home in the comfort of his windowsill. He would have been poked and prodded more. I understand you had to take him in when you did, and do not at all fault your decision. Your cats passing was as gentle as possible due to your loving care.

Condolences on the loss of this special boy. I am very sorry for your loss!
post #10 of 18
You poor thing. Please dont beat yourself up about this, it really does sound like you did everything you could for Toby, including realising how bad he was and not willing to let him suffer, that wouldnt have been good for either of you.

When you have to physically make the decision rather than the cat going naturally, you always always ask if you could have kept them a bit longer, or if you could have picked up on it sooner, but liver problems are rarely curable, only treatable.i lost a cat to cholangiohepatitis in Jan, she always had a prob with her weight and had a liver prob, and i just gave her cat milk and tuna to boost her up again. She started to lose weight again in OCt, and everyone just told me it was down to her age (she was 14), and i let them convince me even though i thought it was more. Then in Dec she refused to eat for 3 days, got bloodtested and they found out what the prob was. I felt awful, but consoled myself with the thought that at least she was happy and loved at the end, and she hated taking tablets, so treating it was impossible (she stopped purring for two days till i stopped giving her the tablets).

the only cat i have seen in a coma was drug induced due to fitting, all the ones i have lost I have made the decision to let them go. I would doubt that a cat could come back from the state you described. Hepatitic lipidosis is a liver disease caused by a build up of toxins due to not eating, and can be fatal, but your vet didnt specifically mention it.
post #11 of 18
I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious boy. Please don't be yourself about this. You made the best decision you could for him out of love and no one could ask more than that. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Toby.
post #12 of 18
Oh sweetie, I wish that I, or one of the other members here had a magic pill to help ease your pain, and reassure you ! But, since we don't, I'll just tell you that yes, you did the right thing, by not letting him suffer, and that you're in my thoughts and prayers . {{{{HUGS}}}}
post #13 of 18
I had made a similar decision last July when I had my stray Tommie put down.
He became lethargic and I took him in and he tested positive for FELV. However 2 months prior he had tested negative before his leg amputation surgery (long story there). Anyhow I was giving him pain meds and also had worming meds to give me but I had such a battle with the pain meds I figured I would give him the worming meds later. When they put an IV in Tommie and gave him some type of medicine (for what I can't recall) he vomited up a TREMENDOUS VOLUME OF WORMS!!! The vet was really grossed out and said that they probably had been inside him for a long time.
I worried that I should have given him the worming medicine when they gave to it me instead of waiting-would it have helped him as the worms really weakened him. He said it probably wouldn't have made a difference. Then we thought about blood transfusion from another one of my cats-but he declined so rapidly and they didn't want to do alot of heroic measures and still have him pass.
When I went to hold before they gave him his shot he was there but so out of it like you had stated it was his shell his soul probably had left.

So what I'm trying to say is I've been there-don't beat yourself up. Everything that could be done was done and just remember his happy life with you and your family.
post #14 of 18
I am really sorry for the loss of Toby and the turmoil you are obviously in now. As someone else has said above, I don't often post on here either, I read everyone tribute to their loved friend, but don't just want to post a token "sorry for your loss" on every one. Perhaps I should - at least it shows the grieving person that I read it and maybe understand something of what they're going through.

But your post touched something in me, because it's similar to what I went through when I lost Sophie and what my sister is going through now, when she lost her 5 year old Persian Fudge (story on Crossing the Bridge). I took Sophie into the vet, left her with what the vet thought was a tummy bug, to be rehydrated, only for the vet to phone me at midnight to say she had suddenly one into respiratory distress and died. The suggestions for her cause of death was either a) acute pancreatitis (b) poisoning. Sophie was 14 and had decided long ago that she was an old lady and hardly went out, so I doubt poisoning was the cause - but it didn't stop me searching for hours and hours the house, cellar, garden, garage looking for something she might have eaten.

You do try desperately hard to find out the answers to all you don't understand - and sometimes the answers are not there to be found. You go through the "what if's" as my sister is doing now (her cat died under a light anaesthetic given to check if he had something stuck in his throat because he was coughing) and wonder what you should have done differently and would it have changed things. For the better or worse?

I am sure you did the right thing for Toby. Your vet must have seen a lot of sick and dying cats and would know that he wasn't going to get better. You said you don't want to talk to the vet at the moment, but it might help if you made an appointment and went through what is on your mind with her. Two vets from the surgery phoned me after Sophie's death, the one who had been treating her and the one who had been on duty when she died and they were very understanding of my questions and tried to answer them as honestly as they could. My sister's vet also phoned her later in the day, several hours after Fudge's death, as he was still upset at losing a cat suddenly and offered to do a post mortem without charge, as he wanted answers too. Vets are usually very understanding - mine once told me that they were trained to deal with people in grief and shock too and although he knew they would be deeply upset it was his duty to ensure that no owner was "damaged", in the longterm, by the loss of a pet. I know they're not all wonderful, but most of them became vets because they love animals.

I'm sorry, I've rambled on, but I have a little idea of what you're going through. In time the questions and the turmoil fades, you stop beating yourself up and you remember your animal's life, not his death.

Take care.
post #15 of 18
I'm so very sorry you lossed Toby. It's never an easy decision, but it's a decision we must make when are babies are suffering. Toby is okay now and he knew how much you loved him. Please take care of yourself.
post #16 of 18
I am really sorry for your loss. Please don't blame yourself...This is my first time visiting this thread, and I know how you must feel because my sister lost one of her cats when he was only 6 months old.
My thoughts and prayers are with you
post #17 of 18
I feel you rpain with the issues regarding Toby, you really cant put any blame on yourself though as we have to depend on what the vet says and hope it to be accurate.
I found myself in a similar position in 2000, when my vet suggested to put my cat Geddy who was 3 years old to sleep. He had a mouth disease taht was swelling up his gums to where it was very uncomfortable. I chose to take the cat home and work on nursing him back to health by giving him vitamins and antibiotics. I had to feed him through a syringe down his throat to make him eat.
He finally started to regain his weight and the mouth problems tended to get less severe. It has been five years since those days and he has fluctuated from 15 to 12 to 15 pounds in the last five years. He seemed to be doing fine until last week when his meows were very raspy and sick sounding, although he would still play. We scheduled a vet visit but beacuse of the holiday they couldnt see him till tuesday. So we decided to wait as Geddy wasnt losing any weight and seemed to be eating normally.

I came home from the grocerie store last night and found him lying on his side in teh dining room. Still warm and very limp but not breathing and his heart was not beating. I attempted to revive him for a short period but he was gone.

He was a wonderful cat, with a great sense of intelligence. He would talk back to us and seemed to understand several words. I would tell him to "stretch it out" while I was holding him and he would squint his eyes and stretch his arms and legs out as far as he could. He was a presonality for sure. I miss him terribly.

Sorry, but to get back to your situation It sounds to me you followed every procedure you could. It is hard none the less.
post #18 of 18
Two years ago, my 2 year old Persian, had exactly the same thing, and I did exactly the same thing as you, and left him over night to be re-hydrated and get blood tests. The next morning the Vet told me, there was nothing he could do for him, and advised me to hav him put to sleep. He didn't get into anything toxic either, because I don't have anything toxic like that in my home. I had to go down there and sign the papers to have him put to sleep. I still sometimes go through the guilt of feeling that I did the wrong thing, or that I didn't try hard enough, because he was SO young. It didn't matter what the Vet told me, I still felt and sometimes still do feel guilty. He also, wasn't quite as far gone as your kitty was, but he was dying, and I just could not understand how it could happen to such a young boy. He had been losing weight shortly before he took the turn, but it was easy to lie to myself that he wasn't losing weight, because of all of his long hair. His decline also came about extremely fast. It started on a Saturday night when he became lethargic and refused eating. On Sunday I tried everything to get him to eat and drink and he wouldn't. I took him into the Vet on Monday morning, and the Vet told me he was jaundiced and had liver failure. He wanted to put him to sleep right then and there, but I wanted to give him a chance, so that's why I had them re hydrate him and check his blood. The next morning the Vet told me, he didn't take to the re hydration, and I'm sure he was looking pretty awful (I couldn't go back and look at him, and I feel guilty about that, as well), and the Vet told me it was hopeless. The reason I'm telling you all of this, is so that you know you did the right thing. Your story is also telling me, that I did the right thing. For two years I've lived with the guilt of it, all. I'm so sorry for your pain right now. It will get better, but I'm sure you will never forget him.

As far as the feeling about the soul leaving the body, that's exactly what happened with my Senior cat Snoopy, when he passed at the age of 20. He as such a loving and affectionate cat, and when he was in his final hours of life, it was like he was in a coma, and like his soul had left his body. He was totally unresponsive to me, even to the point of not even looking at me.
Yes, I'm sure you cat was dying, because he had the same symptoms of both of my cats who were dying. You did do the right thing. I know at times it's hard to believe it, because in your heart your in such pain, but you really did do the right thing.
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