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Need ideas for making final days easier

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My boy Max is going to be 16yrs old. When I got him at 7 weeks old, he was already a very mean and aggressive kitten. He's never liked to be touched and has only allowed me to pet him in the last couple of years. I have only picked him up a couple of times in his life, and he's only jumped up in my lap the same...and I dont dare move the wrong way because he's been known to draw blood in his younger years with a nasty bite. I mention this to help you understand where I'm headed with this. He's always been an extremely large boned cat and has never been overweight in his life. In the last month I've noticed he's not eating very well so I've been giving him soft food with a little pumpkin in it to help his digestion. He eats just a little bit at a time and then goes back to sleep and he's losing weight very quickly. I took him to the vet and he beleives his time is getting close to crossing over to RB and it's just old age. He's had a wonderful life with us and in his own strange way I know he's been very happy(he even purred once) When I feel he is uncomfortable or in alot of pain I will have him put to sleep which probable wont be long now. I was wondering if there is anything special I can give him to make the time he has left easier so he can enjoy his last days? It's going to be hard losing him, and he's been a good boy in his old age, so I want them to be peaceful Here's a picture of Max sound asleep on the back of the 'cat couch
post #2 of 18
Awww, he is so beautiful! I am so sorry for the tough days for you and Max! You are both in my thoughts and I am sending speacial comforting vibes for the both of you! I wish I had some advice for you. If there was ever anything he loved do that. Wether it be blowing bubbles or just sitting by him...
post #3 of 18
he's looks like a mini tiger!

My cat is old too and very ill at the moment, I keep thinking I may lose him so I'm trying to make things as comfortable and happy for him... because you never know..
Here are some things I have been doing, maybe they could help you:
He always sleeps on a couch in my living room but I find it a bit cold [we keep a window open at night for the cats to go out] so now I arranged two cushions on the floor of my bedroom, put his favorite blankie on top and he's been sleeping there. I can't put him on my bed because he's to weak to jump off.
I have been brushing him like 5 times a day I used to do it once or twice. Now its 5 times because he loves it, he seems to get more relaxed with it. If you're cat doesn't let you pet him much, maybe you could brush him a bit .. look at his tail for signs if he gets upset.
I make this little sound when I call Tom or when I cuddle with him, I've been doing it more frequently just so he knows I'm around. Its also my way of checking if my cat is alert.

I hope some of these things might help your max.
If I come up with anything else I'll let you know.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies You all have wonderful ideas. Max has always been the most stern cat known, he's like the Scrouge of the family..but a little worse, LOL! He's was the meanest and toughest cat,when we lived out in the country, he used to bring huge Bull snakes to the door *alive*, and then there was the time he brought up a baby woodchuck(it looked half grown) into the garage...with the mother woodchuck about 5 feet behind him. My poor hubby turned around just in time before that very angery mother was attacking his boots! And then we moved into town, my daughter was about 6yrs old, a very thin strange dog came around the corner and straight for lizzy. Max walked on his back legs and chased that dog out of the yard...no fear!
And right now he just wants to be left alone...not even small scratch behind an ear...I know that's what makes him happy, but it makes me really sad that he wont let help him. I made him a soft warm bed(with my fleese bathrobe in a box) but this is were he wants to sleep...under the computer desk

And this is the look he gave me because I disturbed him...and he got up and is siting on my picture box.

post #5 of 18
Talk to him alot. Tell him all the time how much you love him. Just be in the same room with him. He will get the idea. I am sure he knows how much he is loved.
post #6 of 18
Awww I'm so sorry that these are going to be tough days for you and Max. It may be that he is doing exactly what makes him happy and you just feel you would like to do more (perfectly understandably). So I agree with the last post - be in the same room as him when you can and tell him all the things you want him to know. That way, when the time comes you will feel that he was surrounded by love in his last days and knew how loved he was and how you remember all the stories from his life.

He is such a handsome boy.
post #7 of 18
Max is a very handsome boy. I love his face, it's so expressive! My heart goes out to you both during this time.

I think it is important for you to consider your own emotions at this time, as well as Max's well-being. If you are upset, he will sense that. Of course, it's impossible for you not to be upset right now with what you are facing. Just spend as much time with him as possible. Be in the same room with him, as others have suggested. Let him hear your voice, the daily sounds of life in the house. All of these are a part of his routine, which will soothe him and keep him calm. If he will tolerate a scritch or a pat, do so whenever you think he's going to accept it. Prepare yourself for the inevitable while doing the same for Max.

I hope this makes sense. Losing someone we love is never easy, even with preparation. You, Max and your family are in my thoughts.
post #8 of 18
What a adorable old man he looks!
This must be very hard for you
Like the others have said, just sit next to him for a while if he does not want to be touched. He understands you care - it's just his way. Does he have any favourite cat treats?
I'm sorry I dont have anything better to say
I hope he has a peaceful last stage - he sounds like he has had a long and fun life.

post #9 of 18
My heart goes out to you and handsome Max during this difficult time .

I don't have any good advice other than what has already been said, but I am saying a prayer that things can go as well as can be expected (if not better) for the both of you .
post #10 of 18
When I had to put my Diddo down, the last night we spent was one I will never forget. We had had to give her rehydration therapy, and when I realized it was not working, I stopped it. The poor cat looked like a basketball.

I carried her into my bed, and gently petted her and she gave me some kitty kisses and went off to sleep. She woke me up at 1:00 am because she had to use the litter box and did not want to wet my bed. I carried her to the littler box and then brought her back with me in bed. I hugged her and told her that I was taking her in tomorrow morning and she was going to sleep, and that she would not hurt any more. She kissed me and went back to sleep.

I don't know if your baby would allow you to do that, but the warmth of her body, the softness of her fur against me, the warm kitty kisses are a memory that is engraved of my entire being. I loved her so much. This will also be a most fond memory for you too.
post #11 of 18
First of all, bless you for loving Max thru all the years that he wouldn't show you affection! A lot of people would have given up on him long ago.

You know him best. What are his favorite things in life? Give them all to him right now. When a diagnose turns clearly terminal, there is really nothing you can give him to hurt him. Just keep him happy.

When my Ellie Mae (dog) was given 30 days to live with cancer, we started giving her cheese danish, bagels and cream cheese, her favorite canned dog food served on a plate while she lounged on the sofa, and started sleeping on the floor with her (or she took the sofa and we slept on the floor at her feet). She was so happy that she lived 18 months. There is a lot of power in keeping their attitudes positive at this time.

And keep yourself calm. They will sense your anxiety and it will make them anxious.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
All of your replies have already made this an easier situation Thank you so much! Right now Max is sleeping in my computer chair and I'm on a wooden stool . He has let me scratch under his chin a couple of times this morning and he had cream cheese and chicken which he ate right down and I've been talking to him...then he gives me 'the look' which tells me he's had enough for now. He has just started a wheezy rumble in his chest and his breathing is very slow right now, and his eyes look a little milky and sunken. I'll keep posting how he's doing...it really helps to be able to share this. Thank you
post #13 of 18
Thats great that he can enjoy some yummy treats and spend some quiet time with you. You will know when it is time for him. Do you have a vet that can do house calls? If you do decide to put him to sleep it might save him the indignity of a trip to the vets - it is nice to know they spent the last moments in a place they know.
post #14 of 18
So sorry you are having to go through this - I was in the same position in Dec, I cried so much the two weeks between diagnosis and letting Snowy go - she just got extra spoilt, whatever food she liked she got, and we just spent loads of time together (had so many plans for my X Mas Hol, but dropped them all to be with her). I would just do whatever he will let you do with him. Big hugs to you.
post #15 of 18
Just to make you aware of something that you might not know. Cats purr when they are scared and when they are in pain, not just when they are relaxed and happy. Bacardi in the middle of a seizure before she died, purred the entire time. So don't let purring be your meter to decide when you should end this life with dignity.
post #16 of 18
Just wondering how Max is doing today

post #17 of 18
in the local papers... a disabled man who had a guide dog used to have a weekly column. when his dog died he wrote a long article about the last few hours... and instead of telling his dog how much he loved him... which the dog would probably not understand he just kept repeating the dogs favourite words.... and sounds....
like ball, walk, food and all those little lovey dovey sounds your pet gets so used to you making
it was a very touching article
post #18 of 18
I'm very sorry to hear about Max It sounds as though he really was quite a tiger in his younger years (live bull snakes! chasing dogs on his hind legs! I'm smiply in awe).. He's really had a good life on the terms he would prefer, and I'm sure he's thankful to you for giving him that.

Just give in to his every whim and fancy, favourite treats, make his favourite nooks and crannies in the house more comfortable with cushions and familiar items and smells. I'm sorry you have to go through this... my thoughts are with you and your handsome tiger boy.
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