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Any opinions appreciated

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
My husband and I have some talking to do this evening about our situation, but wondered if anyone else has had to face something similar. We have a 16 year old cat named Tabitha. We got her right after we were married and she has grown up with our 2 daughters - she is a close part of our family. She has diabetes (we give her 2 pills a day for it), arthritis, blindness, vertigo (she walks sideways - cannot keep her balance). The vet has prescribed something that "might" help with the vertigo also. She is now at the point where she only cleans her face, falls over with every other step, and has just begun urinating and "pooping" wherever she is at (not the litterbox). Today, we discovered blood in her urine which is probably a urinary tract infection. Our vet is wonderful and has let us know that we can try to help the things that can be helped and "buy" some more time for her. I am wondering should we be doing all of this to keep her around as long as we can or if it would be in her best interest to be euthanized and go peacefully. I am so torn up about this. Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening!
post #2 of 31
I am so sorry about this situation. It is unbelievably difficult to face the failing health of the animals we love. I had to face a similar situation with my cat Abigail in 2003. No one can tell you what would be best for your and Tabitha. I do know that you will usually know when it is time. Even if you know that it is the best time to let her go you will probably still have doubts, I know that I did. I know there are many people on this board who will say that you will know it is time when you see the spark of life leave Tabitha's eyes- when she goes from loving life to just exisiting. I truly believe that you will know when the right time is. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.

This is such a wonderful website that really helped me: http://www.petloss.com/

This website has a page devoted to euthanasia and knowing when the time is right. It helped me immensely.

post #3 of 31
My heart aches for you. We had to let our beloved Simba go a couple years ago. He had liver failure, had lost so much weight, and didn't have the energy to get off our bed. It was the hardest decision we ever made but his quality of life was gone and I didn't want him suffering any more than he already was.

Hugs to you and your family during this tough time.
post #4 of 31
This is such a very hard decision to have to make.We all sadly reach a point in are cats lives when its time to let them go. I have had to do this myself a few times. And it tore me apart to have to.I always had doubts after, if I did the right thing. But I know I did and my wanting to not let my cat go when it was time. Was more for me then them.
You need to ask yourself, what is my cat's quality of life right now? Is my cat suffering? It sounds like she has lived a long, rich, full life with you....you obviously love her very much
If you know that your cat is suffering and has no chance of returning to even an adequate level of quality of life, it's time . She knows that you love her; she trusts you to do what is best for her.
I'm so very sorry that your are in this position now and have to make this terrible decsion.
post #5 of 31
I myself am watching my 16 yr closer. He has lost alot of weight in the past yr-hasn't used a litter box in ages!!! But he eats good (still wants popcorn!) goes outside to roll in the dirt and check out the catnip. I'm lucky no medicines yet.
But how is she eating??? Are her health problems consuming more of your time??
Its a tough call as others say. How is her quality if life?? Would you want to live the same way? What does the vet say???
Tough decisions to make for your family.
post #6 of 31
I am wondering should we be doing all of this to keep her around as long as we can or if it would be in her best interest to be euthanized and go peacefully. I am so torn up about this.

Very difficult & sad decision you must make. No one can make that final call except for you & what your family decides to do.

As far as keeping her around for you & your family or have her go in peace...well...my opinion, is always towards quality of life...not quantity of life. My beautiful loving Persian of 14-years developed renal failure a few years back...Misty was the total love of my life. I gave her sub-q injections, special food, lots of love, etc. As the weeks went on and I watched her from struggling to jump to struggling to walk, I knew it was time. I finally made the appointment with my vet. to euthanize. The day before, I took stayed home with her all day & just held her, talked to her and yes, lots of tears. Not easy!! She went very peacefully in my arms the next day at the vet. I sobbed like a baby but in my heart, I know I did the right thing for her...not me.

I'm so sorry you have to make this very difficult & painful choice. Hold your little baby girl close & you will know when to make that final decision.
post #7 of 31
I had to face this fifteen years ago with my beloved Sheba who was 17 years old and had had renal failure for two years. My daughter was 15, so had grown up with the cat and was very close to her. We took her to the vet together one Sunday afternoon when she had collapsed on the kitchen floor - it was obviously time. My daughter was very upset but it helped her to be there and afterwards we made a scrapbook of all hte photos of Sheba for her to keep. She found it the other day when we were cleaning out the attic and has taken it away with her. It still makes me cry to remember that time, but I can only say involve everyone in the decision and do what is right for your kit - you will know.
post #8 of 31
Maybe this will help you make your decision:

Over 30 years ago, before my family realized that cats should be indoor animals, my parents had a brown tabby named Chavela. We did everything wrong -- got her from a pet store, kept her outside, fed her only dry food... we just didn't know any better then.

Despite our failures, Chavela grew into a wonderful cat, and she lived to be 14 years old. In the end, she was attacked by a possum in my parents' backyard, and despite two surgeries, a long recuperation at the vet hospital, and special care at home once she came back, she never really recovered. One Sunday afternoon, her eyes became glazed and we knew the end was coming. I held her in my lap for hours, worrying that she might still be in pain.

And then I stroked her cheek and thought -- did not say aloud, merely thought -- "It's okay, Chavela... if you have to go, you can go now."

And she took not another breath.

So... I believe that our loved ones, both human and feline, often feel an instinctive responsibility to stay with us despite their suffering. If you think your kitty may feel that way, maybe you should let her know it's okay to move on when she's ready.

I'm sure some people will read this and laugh at me. I know that our cats don't understand many words... but I do believe they often understand our thoughts and our feelings.

When the time comes, I wish your kitty a peaceful passing to a happy place. Take care...
post #9 of 31
I'm sure some people will read this and laugh at me. I know that our cats don't understand many words... but I do believe they often understand our thoughts and our feelings.

Not laughing!! Completely understand what you mean...choked back tears reading your post.
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
First I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and precious stories about your own loving cats. On 11-11-05, I took my precious Tabitha to the vet to be euthanized. My husband and I came to this heart wrenching decision as she had quickly lost use of her back left leg and would just turn around in circles - seemingly confused. We decided that at her age and health background, we had done all we could do and that this was as good as she was going to be. My husband couldn't go so my parents went with me. It didn't take long and she made no movements - just peacefully went to sleep. My vet is the kindest man in the world. He gently placed her in a little cardboard coffin so I could take her home to bury her. When my husband got home from work, he and I and our 2 daughters buried her in the backyard. I have known my husband for 18 years and this is the first time I have ever seen him cry. There is a hole in our hearts and it will take time to mend. Everything about our daily routines reminds us of her - so it is quite difficult, but I know it will get easier with time. Thanks again to all of you for your support.
post #11 of 31
Condolences on your loss of Tabitha. You have shown the greatest love of all - putting the needs of Tabitha before the pain of loss for you. Tabitha knows this, and she went knowing that the family was by her side. Most of us have been through this, and I will check the Crossing the Bridge forum to see if you have posted there,too.
Heaven is one star brighter tonight, and I am sure that all our TCS cats and all those cute little child-angels are surrounding her with love & smiles for you. And someday, you will be together again! Hugs, Susan
post #12 of 31
Godspeed, Tabitha! Look down as you cross over RB, and know that the candle you see in California burns to help light your way. And know that your family has the TCS family to turn to in this time of sorrow. Enjoy your reward, you wonderful cat!
post #13 of 31
I am so sorry for your loss. Keep the memories close to your heart, you will see Tabitha again!

RIP sweet Tabitha
post #14 of 31
I am sorry for the loss of your special girl Tabitha

My 16 yr old girl had to PTS on Nov. 11.
I'm sure they are now running and playing together at the bridge.

Rip sweet Tabitha
post #15 of 31
I am sorry for you and your family. My daughter was 14 when we lost our 16 year old Sheba, so I understand how they feel. RIP Tabitha.
post #16 of 31
Bless her little heart Thats lovely that your doing a memorial of Tabitha by scrapbooking

RIP Tabitha Run and play like you were a kitten again
post #17 of 31
I moved and merged your threads together. I am sorry for your loss. It does get easier to bear through time-
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
I want to thank each of you for your kind words. I wish I had known about this forum a long time ago, but better late than never! Tabitha would always lay on the mat under the kitchen sink - that was her favorite spot. It became normal to have to straddle her to do the dishes. I found myself doing that last night even though she wasn't laying there, and I just cried. I always feel better after I cry, so I just let it out. My daughters are 8 and 14 and they are really having a tough time, but we just hug and cry and reminisce over the memories of Tabitha. We are just taking one day at a time.
post #19 of 31
RIP sweet Tabitha.
post #20 of 31
I am sorry to read about Tabitha..I know it is hard, but just know your TCS friends are here for you.
RIP Tabitha
post #21 of 31
I am crying with you now... I am so sorry, but sweet Tabitha knows how loved she was, how treasured she was and how much she will be missed... I too am glad you found this forum as we can give you any support you may need during this time.
It is a hard journey having to say goodbye to our loved ones, but as you said - remember the good times, the happy memories - treasure them and hold them close.

Tabitha will be waiting for you all

RIP Tabitha - enjoy those angel wings sweetheart
post #22 of 31
Originally Posted by housecat
We are just taking one day at a time.
That is really all you can do. Slowly the pain will be replaced by the good memories.

RIP Tabitha
post #23 of 31
Please give your daughters a big hug for me. 14 is such a challenging age, and having a cat sure makes it easier. And at 8, the youngest was in those special years when a child and a cat make such magic together. No wonder Tabitha had the courage to face such health challenges - she had her young mistresses to think about.
I know the pain takes time to ease. I lost my Miss Tobie a year ago, this upcoming week, and even though I have 4 other kitties, she was "my girl", and I find myself still missing some of her special antics. Joey has done wonders in helping me get through this, but Miss Tobie still has a special place in my heart. It really helps me to read the other posts in this Crossing the Bridge forum, to remind me that my special girl is okay, playing happily over RB. Take Care, Susan
post #24 of 31
I'm so very sorry for you and your family. A good cry sure helps. My two sons grew up with are sweet siamese Tasha. She lived till 17 and two years ago we had to sadly put her down. We still miss her and mention her often. Just today I bought a chicken to roast. And I said to my hubby, when ever I buy a Chicken I think of Tasha. As she loved chicken and would sit patiently in the kitchen waiting for it to cook. She knew she would always get a bowl full.
They leave paw prints on are hearts that last a life time. Hugs for you and your family
post #25 of 31
How sad! Condolences to you and your family. What a loss, to lose a special kitty who was a family member for so long! Rest in peace Tabitha!
post #26 of 31
I'm so sorry for the loss of sweet Tabitha
post #27 of 31
Im so sory for your loss, may Tabitha Rest in Peace!
post #28 of 31
Your family has suffered a deep loss. It is so hard to lose a sweet little cat that our daughters have grown up with. I went through that when our little cat Nancy died in 1999. She was my daughter's cat for 15 years and my daughter was 23 when she died. We, too, had to have Nancy euthanized because of a cancerous tumor on her third eyelid. We both still miss her even though we each have two cats of our own now.

We send your family our condolences.
post #29 of 31
I just read this thread...and I want you to know how sorry I am for your loss. You will miss her so much....but you really did the right thing for her.
post #30 of 31
I am sorry for your loss. Rest in peace sweet kitty. You are deeply loved and missed.
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