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How do you convince someone that it's really time to let go

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My parents have a beautiful 16 year old fluffy little black and white cat called Cleo. My Dad is especially attached to her, he is her "most precious baby in the whole world". I understand my Dad loves her, but this cat is in such poor condition it's heartbreaking to see. She has had a heart condition for a couple of years, but recently stared to develop renal failure. She is absolutely emaciated, just skin and bones and while she has always been a bit timid lately she seems to be more frightened and jumpy than normal, I think due to the pain you can see on her dear little face. It breaks my heart everytime I visit them and see poor little Cleo deteriorating more and more, she looks at you with these sad eyes that seem to say why am I still here I really want to go now My Mum is excepting of the fact that her time has come and wants to do the right thing and allow her to have a peaceful death but my Dad want even consider it as a possibility. I might add my Dad is 78 and is suffering from failing memory and old age depressive symptoms so sometimes he's not quiet all there to put it as nicely as I can. I understand that with m Dad's age, mental health issues and extreme attachment to Cleo that it is very difficult for him to accept that his darling girl is dying but she is and painfully. My Mum and I have discussed the possibility of somehow sneaking Cleo out and having her suffering ended and then placing her somewhere in the garden pretending she had died in her sleep, but Mum is reluctant to go behind Dad's back like that even though she knows it would be for the best.
So what do you do in a situation like this, how do you help someone to accept that there little friend really is better off over the rainbow bridge
post #2 of 16
Under these difficult circumstances, I would call the vet and ask the vet to come to the house and put this senior cat to sleep. This way, the last moments are at home, they are peaceful and your father can say goodbye. For some people, they cannot let go at all. They want the cat to die in their arms, some liken it to a spiritual journey of theirs that they have to go through.

Because of my chosen path, working with abused animals, I walk this path more than I like. I am always going to be the one who will try and let the person know that the cat will tell you when it is over, BUT you have to know to listen to the cat and not your own desires. That is the hardest part. Some people want cats to live forever, and they do not.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy, the idea of having Cleo put to sleep at home is a good one, unfortunately my Dad will not accept the idea regardless of where it is done. 16 years ago my beautiful big male cat Thomas, who my dad was also extremely attached to, had to be put to sleep. He had gotten sick and by the time the vet discovered it was lung cancer Thomas was in the final stages, blind, unable to eat, emaciated, barely able to lift his head up yet my Dad still threw himself on the cat, when my Mum bought Thomas back from the Vets with the bad news, screaming and crying NO and WHY!!! Even to this day that Vet is talked about as a "murderer" the one who "murdered my cat", he really hates the Vet and the Veterinary Surgery for putting Thomas to sleep. The only time he accepted euthanisation was when one of their other cats (George) a couple of years ago suffered a massive stroke and heart attack and upon arrival at the Vets he was told that George only had a few hours to live. I really think I'm going to have to try to convince my Mum to sneak Cleo to the Vet and have her put to sleep and then hide her in the garden somewhere to pretend she just passed away without any outside help, I really can't see any other way
post #4 of 16
Nor can I. I hope for Cleo's sake you can get this done quickly.
post #5 of 16
Would he consider another cat to love and let her go?

No other can replace Cleo, but another one could help heal the hole this will inevitably leave in his heart.

So sorry, and I hope she is allowed a peaceful ending to her precious life.
post #6 of 16
Losing a beloved pet is difficult for almost anyone. Your heart is in the right place, and I'm really happy to know there are people still out there who don't believe in allowing an animal to suffer for longer than it has to.

If you can sneak her off, I think that is a good approach, to stage it. At least that way your dad doesn't have to feel like he has no peace [in his mind.]

I hope all goes well, my condolences to you and your family.
post #7 of 16
hissy has a great web site, dealing with the pain of when a beloved pet dies. http://www.endingpain.info/content/view/11//
post #8 of 16
So sorry about your dad's cat. It's such a sad situation for the cat and your dad.
post #9 of 16
What does the vet say about her condition?
post #10 of 16
Just my two cents, more on the part of your dad. I used to work as a case manager with the elderly and had quite a few trainings on Alzheimers- in fact actually gave an in-service training. I understand that it may not be your dad's exact diagnosis. I think your mom needs to decide what to do. If she feels it is time for their kitty, she should sneak the cat off to have it put down, and bring it back to the home, or have the vet come to the house unbeknowest to your dad, and then tell him that the poor baby died in her sleep. The best thing for your dad is not to become agitated and to believe what he wants to. The down side is that your dad may still be clear enough to figure out what is going on.
I also think that having a pet is a great thing for anybody, but especially an elderly person who has health problems, as long the animals are cared for properly. My former clients derived such joy from their animals, especially cats! So I agree that getting a new kitty eventually is a good idea.
post #11 of 16
I know that this is very difficult for you. Whatever the solution is...
your Mum & Dad are blessed that they have a daughter who loves them enough to care.
post #12 of 16
You may be able to take the cat to the vet under the guise of having her admitted for medical treatment, then have her "die" there. Your dad will be upset, and probably upset at the vet, regardless.

If your dad has Alzheimer's, the loss of short term memory is a major issue. You can use this sort of to your advantage, though, by "replacing" the cat. My friend's mom has Alzheimer's and having a cat is kind of a double edged sword for her dad. The good thing is that her mom is much less depressed with the cat around. The bad news is that whenever the cat is out of her sight she goes around saying "where's my cat? where's my cat?". But she doesn't really remember her cat, and would probably not notice if it were a different cat.

I don't know if this will or won't work. It's kind of a version of the awful trick that they always have parents pull on sitcoms, where the kid's hamster dies and the parents try to trick the kid by getting a similar looking hamster. It might be worth a try, though.
post #13 of 16
I wouldn't try replacing hte cat - people with memory loss due to dementia can remember the strangest things. My Dad loves the cat they took from me when I moved abroad and although he is suffering from very severe short term memory loss he knows all about her and talks about her constantly. I do not think I will be able to take her back, though my mother would prefer it. He can also remember the colour of his car, though we stopped him driving 5 years ago, and he complains if he sees a similar one.
post #14 of 16
i don't have any advice for you. it's going to be hard, no matter what happens, both for you, your father and your mother.

i just wanted to offer a .
post #15 of 16
my hear to goes out to all of you , i just hope life takes:heart a turn that will work out for the best, its going to be a hard one wichever way things go.
i think i would try a younger cat just now then slowy go to the vet one day , and put her to sleep god , i wish you all the luck in the world and my thought will be with you let us know what the outcome is all the best cheryl xxxxxxx
post #16 of 16
Im so sorry for this terrible situation that you and your family are going through. If the vet says that Cleo is dying and is in pain, it would be humane to put her to sleep and then tell your father she died in her sleep. It is a lie but it is a lie that will spare Cleo further suffering, and will allow your father to not feel that he is the one that took Cleo from him, that it was a natural event. You or your mother may not feel perfectly comfortable about this, but it is an imperfect situation, that calls for the best that you can do. Good luck to you.
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