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Hospice Cats...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anyone take care of hospice cats? I have been fostering cats for a little over a year now and our group is getting two hospice cats in today which got me thinking of if I am capable of doing that work. I have yet to have a cat die in my house or one that was even exteremly hurt or ill. The worse I have ever had was a cat that was hit by a car, broken pelvis, and dehydrated and malnurished when I got him and he is alive and very healthy today. How do you deal with the fact that you are just making the cat as happy as possible until she passes over? I just feel a tug torwards this and was hoping you guys could give me advice or doing this... Thanks!
post #2 of 19
I don't know but i tell you what?, theres a place in heaven for you when the time comes for doing something like this You angel giving those poor cats love and comfort until their time comes
post #3 of 19
Personally I think it sounds like a great thing to do. But I can see how it would be hard. At the same time, fostering kittens is filled with a lot of risk to, with panluek and just fading kitten syndrome, you always risk losing your fosters. It's hard no matter what.

Also though, I think the older kitties are always getting overlooked, so it's important that someone care for them.
post #4 of 19
By hospice cats, do you mean elderly cats? I only take on elderly cats - it is very expensive, as the cats I get seem to have had a really hard life, and start with health probs, and it is upsetting to keep losing them - i have lost 2 cats and a foster in the past 9 months. However, I don't look at that side of it, I see it as giving them a loving, warm home environment for the end of their lives, which I think they deserve. I get varying responses, from 'how wonderful you are to do that' to 'How can you keep putting yourself through it'. To be honest, I don't know the answer to the second question, I just manage to ignore it and put the cats first. That said, as a result my cat limit is 2 cats.
post #5 of 19
That must be one of the hardest things to do and I think anyone who does it is wonderful. BUt I can see how you would want to limit yourself to two at a time. I am full of awe and admiration.
post #6 of 19
Trust me, I dont WANT to limit myself, which is why I also foster. I did take on a third cat this year, in the 8 weeks I had her, i spent about £200 at the vets, so at the moment I am majorly poor. If I had the money, I would have more as I have the space for them.My 12 year old foster is here long term though. I did initially want to only foster oldies, but I do like having young playful cats around the house, although it does remind me of how much work it is!!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Booktigger - By hospice I mean terminally ill senior cats. Cats with lung failure, or kidney failure or any type of senior cat that is for sure going to die no matter what they just need a loving comfortable place to do it in. I currently have 7 cats of my own and am fostering 9 adult cats. I am waiting for some of my adults to get adopted out and then plan on taking in a hospice cat. In my entire life I have only dealt with two cats deaths. My husband's cat that lived at his parents house was hit by a car and couldn't be saved and I had an 8 week old kitten that had a heart and kidney condition and couldn't be saved. I am just one of those people that always feels I should do more. It just breaks my heart seeing these cats that no one wants. I am willing to go to the end of the earth and back to make sure they know that they are loved and what a good life is like while waiting to have them placed. I just want to do more now...
post #8 of 19
I have never taken care of a hospice cat but i did tend to a hopsice dog at one time. It is hard sometimes, but its also rewarding knowing your helping them and giving them the love they deserve and the dignity before their big day. to go to the otherside.
post #9 of 19
I give you credit for even thinking about that, I could not myself I am just to sensitive, I can't stand to see anything suffer, I could fall in Love with a snake I think and then I would be crying all the time, epically the cats.
post #10 of 19
The bond we forge while caring for terminally-ill cats is one of the most special and unique experiences. You are to be commended for sharing your home and your heart with the special-needs kitties. From one who has a soft spot in her heart for the Geezers to another, thank you.

post #11 of 19
You are, indeed, a very special person. How lucky these cats are to have an angel like you!
post #12 of 19
Ah right. I have unintentionally taken on cats like that then, I always seem to pick cats that end up having health problems, but I wouldn't change any of them - the longest a cat has lived in my house so far is 3 years, shortest has been 8 weeks. I have had a cat that developed FIP, one that had liver probs that were untreatable and one that had mammary cancer. Hard, when my cat with liver probs was going through her final illness (she had liver probs for 11 months before it develoed into something worse), I spend the 2 weeks between being told there was nothing they could do and making that decision being extremely upset and barely sleeping. Worth it in my opinion though, as she had already been in a shelter for a year when I got her, so at least she got to spend her last 16 months in a loving home. Same with the cat with mammary cancer - she had had an awful time the year before I got her, and I only took her as she had obvious health and behavioural probs so I knew a shelter wouldnt take her (she was 14) - 6 weeks later we discovered cancer, but we couldn't operate due to her behavioural probs so that was just keeping her comfortable until it was too much - a 2 week period again. She was the 4th cat I had had to make the decision for, but it was the hardest as it was quite a sudden thing, I only had that day to think about it. As hard as it was, I knew I had given her 8 weeks of love and care that she wouldnt have got otherwise.
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by ryobious
I am willing to go to the end of the earth and back to make sure they know that they are loved and what a good life is like while waiting to have them placed. I just want to do more now...
bless you - this brought tears to my eyes
post #14 of 19
I just think it is a fantastic thing to do that voluntarily. It is one thing to nurse a cat you know and love, but to nurse a stranger and grow to love her as she dies is just incredible.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for all of the encouraging words and advice. I have decided that I am going to do this.

It must be fate. I got this e-mail this morning from our rescue director telling me of cats we have incoming this week:

16 year old Copper. The humans are in financial distress and can't take care of the cat any longer. He has a growth on his side - diagnosed a year ago
according to the owner. Owner had it biopsied - results were
"inconclusive." She said she can hear his lungs rattle when he sleeps, so
she also does not feel at his age and lung condition, he would live through

Nicholas is the seal-point himalayan. He's 15. His owners turned him into
Francis R. Willis. He would have been euthanized there - but St. Francis
thought the info the owners provided a bit strange and called me to see if
he could get a chance. If I'd said no, he'd have been PTS yesterday.
Owners said he has kidney failure or liver disease or something like that.
When the shelter questioned them further, they admitted they didn't ever have any blood tests, x-rays or anything done other than basic vet visit. They wouldn't pay the costs of the tests. Shortly after, they surrenedered him to the shelter. The shelter wisely thought the cat deserves a proper
diagnosis before such a life-altering decision was placed on him.

I have decideded that I am going to take in one of these two cats. I feel they both deserve better than what their last owners did to them. They are suppose to be coming into our rescue today where we will have the vet check them out and give them a proper diagnosis. I am really hoping one of my current fosters get adopted at our adoptathon this weekend and I can go pick up one of them this weekend. I know it isn't going to be easy but I feel I have to do it. I don't deal with death very well but I am going to just put that aside. I cry hysterically when another fosters cat dies even though I have never met the cat so I can only imagine how hard this is going to be so...I am going to count on you guys to help me get through it!!
post #16 of 19
What an awful time both these poor cats have had! They don't deserve it at their age. If you can only take one, what will happen to th e other?
post #17 of 19
Bless their little hearts, and yours! Can you post a picture when you get a chance?.

And don't you worry, we'll be right here for you And if it's any help, until i was made moderator i found it really hard to go into Crossing the Bridge, but when i was told which forums i would be moderating i somehow found an inner strength to go in and give comfort to others, so this could be you as well
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Jenny - Our rescue is already taking both of them in. The director takes them into her home and then anyone that has space can foster one of them or she keeps them in her house until adopted out or until they pass over. So, no matter what we are taking both of them in, I am just taking one into my house to foster. Hey if I have a really good next couple of weeks and get some of my 9 foster cats adopted out I will have room in my house for both of them.

Rosie - I am certainly hoping to find some of my inner strength!!

Both cats are coming into to our rescue this week so as soon as I get pictures of them, I will post and let you know as soon as I get to bring one into my house!!
post #19 of 19
Good for you. It is hard losing a pet, and it doesnt make it any easier that they have only been with you a short time, but I ignore that side, and look on how much I am helping that animal, they deserve lots of love and attention, so although I get very upset when I lose a cat, I think about what would have happened to them if I hadn't taken them on (4 out of the 6 I have had may have been dead without me), and that they got so much love at the end of their life. Hopefully you will find it very rewarding, and we are here for you.
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