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we had Max put to sleep today

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
After what seems like the worst month in my life, we had Max put to sleep today. The cancer under his tongue had gotten really bad. All the wonderful folks on this forum said I would know when the time was right, and I did. Yesterday I came home from church after a long discussion of the case with the retired vet who was going to put him to sleep and saw him all hunched up, which is a sure sign of misery in a cat. It was like he had already left us. He just stared straight ahead and kept wanting to hide. Also the blood was really coming out of his mouth from the lesions( he had oral cancer).
When I saw how the lesions had eaten away at his tongue, I wondered that he had done as well as he had for so long.
Thank you so much to those who have offered advice and comfort. It meant so much to me. When the pain of this has subsided somewhat, I hope to read some of the posts from others going through similar struggles and to offer advice as well as a kind of repayment.
I will write more later. I have really lost a wonderful friend today.
Ann D.
post #2 of 35
Oh Ann - I am truly so sorry for your loss today. Your little angel Max was truly loved ~ and that is the best gift a human can give to their fur ball. Your pain is great and only time will heal your broken heart. Please know that we are thinking of you and I hope that provides you some comfort. It was a great struggle for you both, and Max fought a brave battle. If you need to talk - we are here.
RIP Max!
post #3 of 35

I'm so sorry. That kind of decision is a very difficult one, but it was the right one and you knew when it was time. Max is now free from pain and awaiting you at the Bridge. My condolences.

post #4 of 35
AnnD Im so very sorry for you. I have had to make that decision twice and it never gets any easier.... I know how you feel and you have my prayers. Please know that you did the right thing, the kind thing, and put him out of his misery, and remember what a happy life he had while he was with you. He is now looking down on you smiling, waiting for you at the Bridge. Lots of love and hugs to you hun (((())))
post #5 of 35
I am so very sorry for your loss of Max. Keep him alive in your heart and cherish your many happy memories.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thank you everybody for your kindness. I can't believe how quiet and lonely this house is.
I stayed with him until the end. When the vet went to inject him with the first tranquilizer He was very angry and screamed and fought even before the nedle got anywhere near him. I was trying to hold him and the needle got bent so the vet & his wife had to lay him out on the table and give him the shot then. I wish I had let them just do it their way but I really wanted him with me. Then my husband held him and he zonked out very quickly but his eyes were open. When they gave him the final shot I could not even tell he had gone. I guess I thought there would be something but there was no indication-and the eyes were still open. That kind of bothered me. I had to ask if he was gone. when we put him in his box I had to close his eyes.
I'm so glad I stayed with him but those open eyes kind of haunt me. I try to remember him as he was but a lot of times I see him that way or as he was so sick with his mouth open and his tongue curled up and drooling. It's kind of hard to remember him happy and galloping around this place, though I keep thinking I hear him or waiting to hear him beating at my study door to be let in.Then it crashes in on me and I lose it. Even keeping busy or away from home it really hits me.
Thanks for letting me whine on-I know many have experienced the same thing but it's always painful.
post #7 of 35
Anne - you can 'whine' away all you want. Your heart is broken and your home is empty right now. The end is never easy, and I feel for you being hunted by his eyes being open. Maybe he just needed one more look at his lovely mom and dad to let go!
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kindness. You are a very loving and comforting person.
I guess that it hurts most to have the whole euthanasia thing so cold and clinical and undignified, even in the hands of the most loving vet. Maybe it's easier with dogs, but cats fight the whole thing so much harder.The bit with the needles is so hard on our little kitties.

I wish that they could go into a room and breath something and just drift off gently.
post #9 of 35
Anne - that is a nice idea you have there. I know that is the way I would like to go if needed. You hang in there and time will help you.
post #10 of 35
I just read this thread for the first time and I am crying my eyes out. I am so sorry for you and your little angel. It is so aweful!! We had to put Norty to sleep this past July. He was 14 and suddenly startined to lose weight. It turned out to be a liver problem. We took him to a specialist hoping to get good news and medicine to make him better. Instead they told us that his liver was no longer functioning and we had to put him to sleep immeidately. Devested is an understatment as to how me and my husband were feeling. I was inconsoleable. I have a box with his ashes, a plaque and his picture on a dresser in my bedroom so I think about him every day. It gets easier, but not that much easier. I still cry just about every day and miss him all of the time. I know how you feel. It is hard to picture him running around and playing with his toys. I am haunted by my husband having to force feed him everyday that last week, and how sick he looked the day before he died. I cant stop thinking about it. He was so sweet and did not deserve to suffer.

I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to talk to others about it because you feel kind of stupid. At least I do. People lose pets and family and loved ones every day, so how can I talk to them about my beloved Norton? That's pretty much why I joined this site because I dont feel stupid taliking about it here.

One thing that helped me a lot was writing a letter to Norton. I wrote him a letter and told him how much I loved him and wrote down all of the funny things he used to do and times we spent together so I would never forget. Not that I would forget. It made me feel so much better to talk to him and get all of my feelings toward him off of my chest. It really helped.

What helped me the most was getting a kitten. I love my new kitten, Jinxy so much. He does not replace Norty and I definitely have feelings of guilt about it, but he is a blessing in my life and gives me so much happiness!!! It doesn't take the loss away, but an empty house is really unbeareable. It was the best thing we could have done. Every time I miss Norty, I look for Jinxy to give him extra hugs and kisses.

Your baby is at peace and in heaven looking over you every day. He is not in pain and there are lots of pussycats to play with. And mostly, he wants his mommy to be happy and maybe even to give another kitten a mommy and a home.

post #11 of 35
Jacquie - what a lovely tribute to your little fur angel. Jinxy is one luck little kit to have a mom like you!
post #12 of 35
AnnD...I am SO sorry to hear about Max...I was crying as I read your post about putting him to sleep. It is so hard..but you did the right thing. He isn't suffering anymore now. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this painful time.
And Jacquie I am also sorry to hear about your cat as well.
post #13 of 35
Thanks so much Debra and Debbie for your kind words. Oh, there I go crying again!!!!

post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your post. I also had to feed Max from a bottle. At first he was grateful but after a while I could tell he didn't want to be bothered. I've always given him treats as a way of telling him what a great guy he was and it was so cruel that that was not possible any more.
I must consider myself quite blessed. When Max was first diagnosed, a friend at church put him and us on our prayer chain. Nobody thought it was odd at all. Even the dog people were offering their sympathy. I know not many have that kind of support. So I thank God for that.
We will eventually get a new kitty. My husband had really bonded to Max and feels that he doesn't want one right away. I will probably have to talk him into it. I can't not have a cat in my life!! But Max will really be a hard act to follow.
post #15 of 35
Ann, I am so glad to hear that you at least had some good support. That is important. I really could only talk to my husband about what was going on, but then again, I don't think I would have even wanted to talk with anyone who didn't love Norton the way that we did.

I have to be honest. We got Jinxy within a week after Norty passed. I was crying constantly. My husband said he wanted to take me to a pet store so that I could at least pet some kittens and make me feel better. I wanted so badly to pet Norty again, that I agreed. We held a bunch of kittens. The last one we had was this tiny, silver, Persian puffball. He was adorable, but I was not really in any mood. When the woman came in to take him away, my husband told her to wrap him up. I freaked out and begged him not to. He told the woman to ignore me and get the kitty ready to take home. I started crying and crying. He did not listen and told me that the kitty needed a home and a mommy and he would be lucky to have me.

We took him home, named him Jinxy, and as much as I fought it, the little guy was so damn cute. Every time I would cry about Norty, there he was, being adorable, making me smile. I so did not want to be "mommy" at that point. I didn't want to feel better. But Jinxy was just a baby and he needed me. We called him our little "distraction", but he was really a life saver for me. I don't know how I would have gotten through it without him.

Believe me, it doesn't take anything away from your other kitty. I still think about Norty all of the time, and I feel that he would have wanted me to love this kitten. Don't listen to your husband. Just get a kitten and you will see that your empty house will be filled with love again. He just doesn't know what's good for him right now, believe me I know the feeling.

Whatever you decide, it really makes me feel better to have the plaque with Norty's picture next to it. I recommend doing something special to commemorate your baby highly.

Best of luck. I am glad to share my experiences with you any time you want or need to talk.

post #16 of 35
I'm sooo sorry for your loss. Romeo was about 10 or 11 when on January 3rd, his little heart gave out. He was health one day, gone the next. I was devistated. My vet, who I've used since my first pony (20 years), was there to comfort me and reminded me how lucky my cat was to have found me and me found him. It is horrible and it is normal to feel very very sad when u loose an animal - I don't care what people say - My cat was very special to me and no one will ever know how special. I cry every day still. But I'd rather cry and get it out than hold it in - tried that and made myself crazy. Let yourself greive - my friends keep saying to me.... it's the natural thing to do. I also have Romeo's ashes and (okay maybe I am a little crazy) I sometimes talk to him. It does get easier, and sometimes you slide back (like at those times of the month for us women out there) but, you have to know you did the right thing. Sometimes I wonder why I have animals, why put myself thru it, but 11 years of happiness - for the most part, is better than living without. I got Jinxy after only two weeks - and thought at first, oh, you did this too fast, you should have waited, but when I saw him - I just knew he was my cat! Things happen unfortunately in life that you can't change and you just have to keep going! I have a poem that I found on one of the web sites – It is just so true. I'm gonna post it here but quick before I start ballin again.

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should 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 to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till 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 to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must 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.

-- Unknown
post #17 of 35

That was beautiful......
post #18 of 35
My heart goes out to you and I want to commend you on making that tough but necessary choice. I made that choice for my Cassie Rubbles over ten years ago and I still remember how hard it was.

She was 21 years old, and had been with me longer than anybody, husbands, kids, anybody. She was an orange tabby, and she was my best friend. Anytime I hurt, physically or emotionally, she found me and climbed into my lap and purred incessantly. She demanded that I notice her and reward her with my love, which was good medicine to make me get my mind off my troubles.

I knew her exact age because I had brought her home from Atlanta, GA to TX after a family Christmas. My daughter had taken her first steps in Atlanta, and that is why I am so sure of her age. She had been run over twice, poisoned once, and shot with a 22 rifle by a neighbor. The bullet had grazed her cheek, and lodged alongside her spine. The vet said it was easy to remove, that he popped it like a pimple. She was about 14 years old when that happened. But we were destined to be together and she was right there with me through thick and thin.

In the last years, she had very few teeth, and her hair was dramatically thin. But the real problem was that she had begun having seizures because her kidneys were failing. At first it was only once in a while, and they left her in a pool of urine which embarrassed her terribly. They worsened and became more frequent, and I fought the decision to give her up voluntarily.

When the seizures occured about a dozen times on a daily basis, I knew what I had to do. I knew she was suffering. It seemed like she was clinging to life and pain to be there for me and with me. One beautiful warm day I let her go outside and bask in the sun, one of her favorite pastimes, working in my garden so that I could be near her. Late in the day I took her to the vet and he confirmed that the right thing to do was to end her suffering.

I could not bear the plastic bag over her face on the way home, so I removed it and continued to stroke and talk to her. I prepared a special gravesite through my tears, and said my goodbyes.
I will never forget, just as you will never forget. I firmly believe that we will be together again.
post #19 of 35
Nintho - It sounds to me like you had a very special friend in your fur babe. She was dearly loved and loved you dearly in return. Thank you for telling us about her.
post #20 of 35
Ann and Jacquie,

I´m very sorry for your losses.
I felt rather silly crying at the computer, reading these sad stories, but I thought, since I´m pregnant I must be allowed to. But as I kept on reading I saw other people were crying as well - so I dont feel silly, only sad for your losses.
The vet diagnosed one of my two cats, Pollyanna with cancer last December, and told me she could have an operation to remove it, but at some point it probably would be spreading to much and she would then have to be put to sleep.
I was so shocked and sad at that time, that I might be loosing my so good friend sometime, maybe soon. I am also sad that even though we have the oportunity to stop our friends pain and put them to sleep, I dont want the last moments of my friend to be terrified of the vet and of the needle. I wish we could help them go in a more relaxed way.
In my case, when I took Pollyanna to the operation, the vets thought the tumours had changed too much from the last checkup to be cancer after all and didnt operate. They now think this is swollen milk glands and swelling around the ovaries, as side effects from the pill, which she since then stopped taking.
So this time I seem to have gotten time extention with my friend, but I fear for the time I have to say the final goodbye.
I really like this list, here are people that really understand how really much you can care for your furry friends. I have had people asking me, if I´m not bored of these cats, and when I´m going to get rid of them.
post #21 of 35
Reading these posts makes me cry so much. Don't pay any mind to people who dont understand our love for our furry angels. Jinxy is truly my baby as was Norty. My best friends. It is so unbearable when we have to let them go and all of your stories are heartwarming and so very sad. Thanks for sharing. The story of the orange tabby broke my heart. What was her name?

I too worry about the day when I will have to let my little one go. I try not to think about it, but when you get a pet, you know going in, that odds are you will most likely outlive them. That's one of the reasons I did not want to get Jinxy. Why would I do this to myself? But now I know its worth it to have their love and to love them for as long as you have together. I also talk to Norty when I look at his plaque and picture every day. I don't think it's weird. It makes me feel better like he is still watching over me. I talk to my kitten Jinxy in my room and I will always look up and include Norty in the conversation. I know it sounds silly, but I swear I am very sane!! Janet, that poem was very touching, thank you. I hope things are going well between your Jinx and Jake.

post #22 of 35

I am so sorry about your loss... Reading all this thread made me cry. I would like to be able to take a little of your pain away... All my thoughts go out to you...

post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
I am overwhelmed and really moved by the outpouring of comfort and understanding from all who have responded to my sorrow. I still feel as though I'm not whole anymore and in a way I guess I have lost a part of myself. We will get another kitty but not till I've made a few trips that I had put off (because Max always went into depression when I was gone.) I had told Husband that I would wait until fall but I realize now that I can't wait that long. I'll have to work on that.
Thank you everybody.
post #24 of 35
I understand the feeling of not feeling whole. I feel the same way and getting Jinxy did not take it away. I'm used to it now and almost feel as if it is a tribute to Norty that I cant get him off of my mind and I am glad of it. I also never took time off because Norty would freak out if left with anyone or if we took him to a kennel, so we never did that to him. Have a wonderful time taking your trips. I promise it will get better! :daisy:
post #25 of 35
I only just discovered this site today, and I'm so sad reading this thread.

I am so, so sorry. We had to make the same decision for Muffy six months ago. She was a rescue cat, and came to us when she was three years old. For the next fifteen years she lived with unfailing gentleness and dignity. Then one day, her front legs just stopped working. She couldn't stand or move herself at all. The vet tried for two days to save her, and we were carrying her to her food, to her bed, and to her favourite spot in the sun. But it was clear she couldn't go on, and we had to say goodbye.

She has a little soulmate, Snuffly, who followed us home seven years ago and stayed, despite all our efforts to find her owner! Now, Snuffly is sick too, with some kind of neurological problem. The vet is treating her with antibiotics and steroids in case she has an infection causing swelling of the brain, but it's a long shot, and we're afraid she's not going to make it. It looks like we may soon, too soon, be faced with the same decision again.

But I know that time WILL heal, for us as well as for you, and I absolutely believe that it is better to have our friends and lose them than not to have them at all. One day, we will be happy again - not because we've forgotten, but because we remember.

My very best wishes.
post #26 of 35
Brian....I am so sorry to hear about Muffy. And Janet, I am also sorry to hear about Romeo,and also sorry to hear about Cassie Rubbles,PollyAnna, and Norty, and all the other beloved cats who have passed on. I am so terrified of that happening to one of my cats...especially Merlin, who I love like my own child. I am afraid I would just fall apart if something happened to him. He wants to go outside so badly, so I let him go out some, but I constantly worry. I don't think I could handle it if he were hit by a car or something. We live on a big farm, and not much traffic on the road, and it is not real close to the house, but I still worry. But I hate forcing him to stay inside when he so desperatly wants out...and we have a few other 'outside' cats, and he likes to go out and play with them.
Sorry to get off the subject....
Brian, I will say a huge prayer for your little Snuffly, and I sincerely hope she gets better!! Please let us know!! And welcome to the site, by the way...I hope to see you around alot.
post #27 of 35
Thank you, Debby, for those kind words. I know what you mean about Merlin. Muffy used to insist on going out, and she would actually sit in the road! We were bags of nerves trying to watch out for her! When we next moved house, our top priority was that our new home be cat-safe! The estate agents thought we were very strange...

In the few hours since my first post, we have figured out that Snuffly is now completely blind. We knew that the brain condition had taken the sight from one eye, but neither we nor the vet had realised that the other one was going too.

We are still hoping and praying that the condition will stabilise. We know that, given time to adjust, a loved and cared for cat can be happy even if blind. The next few days will show whether she can go on, or whether she will continue to deteriorate. She is still eating, still following us around the house as best she can, and still curling up on laps, even if she can't jump onto them unaided any more. There is hope.

Thank you again.
post #28 of 35
Oh Brian, this is breaking my heart....poor little Snuffly. But you are right...a cat who is loved and cared for can still have a very happy and full life, even blind. She is so lucky to have you and your family to love her.
I pray she doesn't get any worse!!!!!!!!!!

Please let us know!
post #29 of 35
Deby - Snuffly passed away last night. Brian posted another thread about it here in the Bridge Forum.
post #30 of 35
Deb...thank you for telling me, I am so sorry to hear this...I will go find the thread now.
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