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Senior Cat Failing, so soon...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I got in a senior cat last week (he is 15 years old) that some of you might remember me posting about. He has a severe spinal cord injury that has made his back legs severly weak and he can't really walk very well. Well, I am getting ready to leave for his vet apt. here in a bit. He won't eat anymore and started throwing up and going to the bathroom on himself late last night. I had to force feed him so he wouldn't get too dehydrated and had to give him three baths because he kept pooping and peeing on himself. I'm so sad. I mean I knew when I took him in that he would probably die in my house but I expected to have more time to prepare myself for this. I know I wanted to do a hospice foster every now and again so they knew they were l ed before they passed on but uhhh, I haven't had nearly enough time to let him go yet. I have no idea what the vet will say but I'm really worried. I desperately need words of wisdom and support to help me get through this guys!!
post #2 of 19
You are great for taking this cat in when many would have passed him by. The important thing, as you know, is to do what is right for him, whatever that may be. He is lucky to have someone responsible for him right now, when he may be suffering. It will be hard, but you will do what is right, whatever the vet says. I am sorry it has come to this, but you are an angel for caring for him.
post #3 of 19
God bless you for taking a cat with these kinds of problems. You are a special person with a big heart. You can rest easy knowing this old cat knows how much it is loved, and I am sure it means a lot to the cat to have you for a companion. I am sure you will make the right decision for this cat. Things don't always turn out like we want them to, but you can give yourself a big pat on the back because most would never have brought this cat home.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
I just posted an update in Crossing the Bridge. My poor boy had to be put to sleep this afternoon. I just wish I could have done more....
post #5 of 19
oh i am so sorry! you did a lot, because of you he was not alone in his final moments, he knew he was loved. that is a wonderful gift. he will be waiting to thank you at the bridge, i am sure

my heart goes out to you!
post #6 of 19
I am so sorry you couldn't have more time with this guy. But you did a wonderful thing by giving him a loving, safe place for his final days. He is so lucky that he found you.

Your story reminds me of many stories I have heard about people at the last stage of terminal illness who also are expecting a grandchild to be born very soon. It seems to be very common for these people to hang on long enough to see their new grandchild, then die just a few days later.

Maybe this kitty was just waiting, trying to live long enough so he could have someone to cross over the Rainbow Bridge with someday. Once he had that, he knew it was okay to go and wait for you there.
post #7 of 19
I am so sorry to hear about this cat but you are wonderful for giving him such wonderful care and giving him the opportunity to know love before he went to the Bridge. Cherish the time you DID have with him!
post #8 of 19
I am just glad there is such a thing as hospice for cats. I didn't know that.

I work with people hospice, and some patients just go quickly like that.
post #9 of 19
You've done an amazing thing, taking in this cat. Yes, he absolutely knew he was loved.

A few months ago, I took in a very sick kitten I found in the street in NYC. She was very, very sick and died less than two days later. I was absolutely devestated. I felt that I'd failed her, because I couldn't save her. But I was wrong. She was sick. There was nothing I could do, except what I did. I loved her. I took care of her and made sure she didn't die unknown, alone, in the street. She was loved and cared for and someone remembers her and misses her.

This is the best we can do sometimes. You've done the best thing anyone could ever have done for your sick boy. You loved him, you remember him, and you miss him.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for all the kind words, it means alot to me.

Kathylou: I didn't know there was such thing as hospice for cats until about a year ago and about a month ago I decided that I wanted to be a part of that. I just was soo worried that I wouldn't be able to make the right decisions and do what needed to be done and I am proud of myself that I did. Even thought it absolutely broke my heart in two I put Nickolas needs and pain and suffering above all and let him go even though I wasn't ready. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

But on a brighter note, now that I know I am capable of doing what is best for each and every cat that I take in regardless of my feelings, I am picking up my next hospice cat in about a week. His name is Copper, he is a 16 year old tabby that was surrendered to a vet's office because the lady that owned him could not financially care for him. He has a giant cyst on his side (non-cancerous) that is going to be removed in the next couple of months to make him more comfortable. He seems quite healthy and active for his age. We got him into our rescue a couple weeks ago and since Nickolas has passed away and I am going to take him into my home.

Here are a couple pictures of Copper.



post #11 of 19
You really are a wonderful person for doing this. It is so hard, but knowing that because of you, that cat has someone who loves them at the end means so much, and is what gets me through at times. I've had two in the past year where I knew they wouldn't have very long, but wasn't expecting such a short time (1 month and 1 day short of 2 months) - I was glad that the decision on the first one was out of my hands, I don't think I could have done it - when I had to make the decision for the second cat, it was the hardest one I have ever made, and the 4th time in 3 years I had made that kind of decision, as I wanted more time with her, and my vet isn't the kind that says 'you need to do this'. I am glad you feel able to doing it more, i know my friends can't understand how I can keep putting myself through the emotional pain, but I just look at how happy I made that cat, and that is what gets me through.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am glad there are people out there like you that understand why there needs to be people like us, to make sure they know at the end they are loved and they don't have to be afraid of being alone or being hurt anymore because of us. I am sorry you have had to go through 4 in 3 years, wow, that has got to be tough. I cannot imagine. This was the first foster cat of mine that I have ever lost and I know I will never ever forget that moment. I don't believe I will ever forget any of them that have passed through my house. I still remember the names of every single foster cat/kitten I have had come through my house. I see it like this, I know it is hard but is it worth me doing nothing while they die on a cold steel table in a shelter afraid and alone and not understanding. Absolutely not. I don't care what it emotionally does to me, I will heal, they deserve better than that.

I just got off the phone with my rescue director, I will be picking up Copper this coming Monday. I don't know how long I will have with him and don't know if he will even survive his surgery but we will cherish every day we have together.
post #13 of 19
I am glad that there are other people like me too, it is sometimes harder when you have to deal with people that can't understand why you are doing this. I generally deal with oldies rather than terminally ill, but with the amount I have lost, I obviously pick the ill ones!! The most annoying thing I get told is 'well, you take on oldies, you should expect to not have long with them' The fact that they are loved, and in a home environment is worth it, although I can only afford 2 cats cos of it!! Technically, I have lost 5 in 3 years, I don't normally include the foster in the equation. I prefer to stay with them till the end, have only not managed it twice. It has been tough, the first two went within 8 months of each other, then I got 15 months of happiness, then 3 went within 7 months. Fingers crossed both the permanent cats and fosters are healthy at the mo - youngest is 10, eldest is 14.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow you definetly have been through a lot! No people certainly don't understand. My family and friends think I am absolutely insane to do it. I only had Nicky four days but was prepared to stick by his side for 5 years if necessary. How do you manage to stay postive through it all. I mean knowing that it is just a matter of time and they will die in your arms and then there is another waiting for you to have space so he too can be loved by you and then die in your arms. I mean I know it is a never ending cycle. There will never be a cat that doesn't need me because they all have homes and people that love them. Don't you get discouraged?
post #15 of 19
It seems like it at the time, but I seem to get over things quite easily, although the best way to get over things is to get another needy cat!! When I lost my cat in Jan, the two weeks between finding out there was nothing more we could do, and it was a matter of time, and letting her go were the hardest, I was constantly in tears and couldn't sleep well with worrying that I was doing the best thing for her (luckily it was my X Mas hols). As soon as we got home, I was fine, and even managed to see my next cat the same day (don't normally talk to people). Yeah, I know that feeling - they don't understand that through the hurt you are pleased that you did the best thing possible for them, and let them go with someone who loved them. I try and foster healthy cats, so I get a bit of a break, and although I keep being told to get a young healthy cat (even by my vet), I won't do it, as I know there are so many oldies who would love the chance to have a home life for the end of their life. I don't think I do get discouraged really, just wish I could help more. If I have the money, I would love to open a sanctuary for elderly, disabled and FIV+ cats.
post #16 of 19
Bless you for caring. You are truly a wonderful person for taking in these senior kitties and giving them another chance at life. Copper is a very beautiful boy and I hope he enjoys many more years with you.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryobious
Wow you definetly have been through a lot! No people certainly don't understand. My family and friends think I am absolutely insane to do it. I only had Nicky four days but was prepared to stick by his side for 5 years if necessary. How do you manage to stay postive through it all. I mean knowing that it is just a matter of time and they will die in your arms and then there is another waiting for you to have space so he too can be loved by you and then die in your arms. I mean I know it is a never ending cycle. There will never be a cat that doesn't need me because they all have homes and people that love them. Don't you get discouraged?
My friends and family think I'm bonkers too. I took in a half-starved cat last year. I found out immediately that he was hyperthyroid. We had one round of the radioiodine treatment done, but it wasn't successful. He stopped eating, and I almost lost him. Fortunately, he pulled through. We're at the vet's office every two weeks, if not more often. There was one period of time where I actually went a whole month without a vet visit. My other kitty, who is 7, isn't so thrilled with her adopted brother, but she tolerates him. Now, I have to keep telling myself that I can't bring in the old one-eyed neighborhood cat, because my 7-year-old kitty will kill me. I've resigned myself to just feeding him for the time being.

The point is that you're not alone in wanting to care for those that need us most. It is a very noble thing to do, and often it is very difficult to handle emotionally. But the kitties will always be there needing us, and there is nothing more satisfying to me than having Spot put his paw on my arm and look at me as though to say, "Thank you for caring about me."

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I do agree there is nothing more rewarding than the look of thank you in their eyes. I guess that is why I can't help but do this.
post #19 of 19
Bless your heart for taking him in and loving him to the end.
For your sake I`m sorry you di`nt have more time with him....but for his sake I`m thankful he did`nt have to suffer a long time.
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