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Old 17-04-2013, 11:53
Jerrica09
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And another thing, does she need pre-sedation? I want her to go in the most peaceful way possible - but the receptionist seems a bit surprised that I wanted her put to actual sleep before being 'put to sleep'. I read some things saying that the main injection is the quickest way, but if she was already asleep she woudln't even notice the second injection woudl she?
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Old 17-04-2013, 12:14
MarellaK
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I know I keep replying to your thread but I went through a very similar experience with my own cat 2 years ago so I have a lot of empathy for what you are going through.

In my case, I was really worried about the euthanasia procedure as I didn't want my cat to struggle or be scared so my vet kindly sedated her pre procedure for which I am very grateful because he really struggled to find a vein in which to inject the anaesthetic agent. In fact, my cat took several minutes to die and needed a second injection. That won't happen with your cat because my cat had endured repeated drips and injections over the preceding weeks so her vein access was a lot more limited and difficult. Nevertheless you can ask for your cat to be sedated first although I believe this will cost more. A few years earlier I had taken my uncle's cat to be euthanised and she was just given the final injection with no problems and died within seconds.

As for keeping your cat comfortable at home, this is her last day with you and, as she has now stopped eating, she really is ready to die. I did what you are doing, letting my cat have freedom to do whatever she wanted to do. My cat spent most of her last full day at home outside in the garden either sleeping under a shrub or trying to follow me out to the front of the house through the back gate - she always loved getting out to the front for some reason. I brought her indoors later in the evening and brought her up to my bed where she stayed the whole night. I stroked her and talked to her as she purred. The next morning, she made no effort to get up at all and I knew that was it and I brought her to the vet.

I'll be thinking of you today and tomorrow.
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Old 17-04-2013, 13:02
Jerrica09
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Thank you Marella. It's nice to hear from you. I haven't told anyone (aside from my son) that she's dying because I know I would break down on the phone, and my family and friends know me to be quite un-emotional, so it would be weird. I had no idea I would react this way, I've cried so much I have had splitting headaches since Monday night. But I expected her to have 10 more years with us... I'm screening calls so I can answer to the vets if they call, but no-one else. I even cried on the phone when Sky cold-called me. I'm probably off their list now.

I've reached the point that I don't care what anything costs, I just want her to have the most comfortable experience possible. It's a shame we have no sun here today. She spent all of yesterday in the garden till 9pm and she was so alert, didn't sleep much at all. So maybe today's her day for sleeping.
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Old 17-04-2013, 14:02
eluf38
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I don't think I've ever posted on the pets thread before, but I feel as though I know you from GD and Advice Jerrica, and your thread struck such a cord with me.
My own cat Boots was nearly 20 and enjoyed good health all her life and very, very suddenly her stomach bloated and she was obviously in pain. Mum warned me that it happened so suddenly that it seemed she was 'giving up the ghost'. The day we took her to the vets she had perked up and was even trying to eat, but when the vet examined her she said that she had multiple problems, which had led to fluid on her stomach and although she might seem ready to go home, when she 'went downhill' it would be painful and distressing for her. The vet said she might have weeks, days or hours - but of course, if she was struggling to keep food and fluid down it would mean that she would be weaker and weaker.
We didn't want to put her through exploratory surgery or tests as it would be traumatic for her and possibly all we could be doing was prolonging her pain. The vet said she's lived to a good old age, but she was showing signs that she was 'ready to go'. I said goodbye to her that night. It was hard and I cried buckets - but because we didn't know how quickly she would deteriorate we didn't want to take her home and watch her suffer any more than she had to.
It was very peaceful and she wasn't distresssed at all. She was so weakened that there wasn't much fight in her anyway. She literally lay in my arms and went to sleep.

Don't feel guilty that you're letting her go 'too early'. You kept her safe, looked after her well and gave her a much longer and happier life than she might otherwise have had. Quality of life is important, and if she can't eat or drink then her strength isn't going to last long. You're doing absolutley the right thing tomorrow. Cry all you want, but I hope that you'll feel a bit better afterwards because what you're doing is a kind and unselfish thing. You'll feel horrible, and it hurts to say goodbye - but it's a quick, painless and dignified end and isn't that what we all want for our loved ones?
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Old 17-04-2013, 15:06
Yeah_Jackie
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My pal had pre-sedation. If it is good enough for humans before an anaesthetic it was good enough for my pal.

Such sad days. She knows she's loved and you offer a final kindness. Try to be kind to yourself too. You really are doing the most humane thing as devastating as that may be for you.

You know your girl, you know what is best to do for her today in your situation. There isn't right or wrongs.
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Old 17-04-2013, 16:08
Jerrica09
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I don't think I've ever posted on the pets thread before, but I feel as though I know you from GD and Advice Jerrica, and your thread struck such a cord with me.
My own cat Boots was nearly 20 and enjoyed good health all her life and very, very suddenly her stomach bloated and she was obviously in pain. Mum warned me that it happened so suddenly that it seemed she was 'giving up the ghost'. The day we took her to the vets she had perked up and was even trying to eat, but when the vet examined her she said that she had multiple problems, which had led to fluid on her stomach and although she might seem ready to go home, when she 'went downhill' it would be painful and distressing for her. The vet said she might have weeks, days or hours - but of course, if she was struggling to keep food and fluid down it would mean that she would be weaker and weaker.
We didn't want to put her through exploratory surgery or tests as it would be traumatic for her and possibly all we could be doing was prolonging her pain. The vet said she's lived to a good old age, but she was showing signs that she was 'ready to go'. I said goodbye to her that night. It was hard and I cried buckets - but because we didn't know how quickly she would deteriorate we didn't want to take her home and watch her suffer any more than she had to.
It was very peaceful and she wasn't distresssed at all. She was so weakened that there wasn't much fight in her anyway. She literally lay in my arms and went to sleep.

Don't feel guilty that you're letting her go 'too early'. You kept her safe, looked after her well and gave her a much longer and happier life than she might otherwise have had. Quality of life is important, and if she can't eat or drink then her strength isn't going to last long. You're doing absolutley the right thing tomorrow. Cry all you want, but I hope that you'll feel a bit better afterwards because what you're doing is a kind and unselfish thing. You'll feel horrible, and it hurts to say goodbye - but it's a quick, painless and dignified end and isn't that what we all want for our loved ones?
Thank you I really appreciate what you say.

But to be honest I'm stressing now I'm into her last 24 hours. I'm not at peace with this at all. I feel guilty that I don't have the money to pay for more exploratory tests. She had 100 worth of scans, but the vet said she had a 'mass' (plus fluid around it and on her chest), she even said it could possibly be a kidney! It feels so vague. I was lying awake last night thinking, what if it's just a huge hairball? I feel I'm giving up on her with no answers, but I also don't feel I should put it off and have her suffering for longer. I'm glad they don't autopsy cats. If I ever found I'd ended her life over something curable I couldn't forgive myself. She looks so healthy. I would post a picture if I knew how.

She's up, she ate some food (the jelly off the meat and some dry food) and had water, used her litter tray and has gone to sit outside again.

My pal had pre-sedation. If it is good enough for humans before an anaesthetic it was good enough for my pal.

Such sad days. She knows she's loved and you offer a final kindness. Try to be kind to yourself too. You really are doing the most humane thing as devastating as that may be for you.

You know your girl, you know what is best to do for her today in your situation. There isn't right or wrongs.
I will definitely get her the pre-sedation then, thank you.
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Old 17-04-2013, 16:19
Jerrica09
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Sorry if I'm babbling on too much here, but i's the only thing on my mind and I can't talk to anyone. I can't talk to my son either because he only wants to talk when there are decisions to be made. He doesn't like it when I'm emotional, he's dealing with it in his own way. I told my sons teacher why he will be staying home tomorrow, and she wasn't impressed at all. I could tell she was thinking 'what a load of fuss over a cat'. But she's such an important part of our family. There are people in my street who would be heartbroken if they knew what was going on with her, she has better social skills than I do so she has plenty of admirers. She even used to sit in the street to greet the primary school kids on their way home, until a little sod kicked her a few weeks ago (which makes me even angrier now I know she was ill).
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Old 17-04-2013, 16:43
Yeah_Jackie
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Babble away and pay no heed to the teacher that's tripping over themselves with empathy. Sounds like a great role model for kids.

It's important to remember her vitality too. It kind of confirms the difficult decision you have made on her behalf.

I know the timing isn't brilliant but you may want to at some point have an online memorial to your girl and I'm not sure at what point I'll get to post this...

You can do one HERE for free.

Shit! I just visited my pal's and now I'm off again!
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Old 17-04-2013, 17:33
MarellaK
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Thank you
But to be honest I'm stressing now I'm into her last 24 hours. I'm not at peace with this at all. I feel guilty that I don't have the money to pay for more exploratory tests. She had 100 worth of scans, but the vet said she had a 'mass' (plus fluid around it and on her chest), she even said it could possibly be a kidney! It feels so vague. I was lying awake last night thinking, what if it's just a huge hairball? I feel I'm giving up on her with no answers, but I also don't feel I should put it off and have her suffering for longer. I'm glad they don't autopsy cats. If I ever found I'd ended her life over something curable I couldn't forgive myself. She looks so healthy. I would post a picture if I knew how.
The only way the vet could be absolutely sure it was a tumour would be to take a biopsy which is a very invasive procedure - my cat had a biopsy taken when the vet tried and failed to remove the tumour, during surgery, and it took almost a week to get the result back (it's pretty much the same with humans in the NHS). I had tried to persuade myself that it might not be cancer after all but perhaps a large abscess which could be treated - but I was disappointed as I believe you would be too. Most cats with large masses in their abdomen have cancer and I'm afraid your cat is at the average age for developing a lymphoma. My cat, at 16, was rather old to have presented with that sort of cancer.

In addition, you said that your cat also had fluid around her lungs which was making her gasp for breath. This is very serious and points to quite advanced disease - my cat's lungs were always clear even when she developed cat flu as a result of being immuno-suppressed. I felt really bad about putting my cat to sleep when she had endured so much treatment, her tumour had actually shrunk and all her organs were working well, but the side effects of the treatment were just too much for her to bear and she had just given up. I met a man whose cat had also undergone surgery and chemotherapy and, although his cat lived for well over a year after treatment, he said he wouldn't put another cat through all that.

I know you can't quite believe what is happening at the moment and frantically clutching at straws but I would definitely be guided by your vet's views on the most likely diagnosis and prognosis. You will feel terrible for quite a while, I cried and cried so much before my Tabs was put to sleep that I didn't think I would have any tears left for afterwards - but I did. I found talking to a Blue Cross Counsellor very cathartic and I withdrew from my friends and family for a while because I just couldn't stop crying. You will reconcile yourself with what has happened eventually and think back on your little cat with fond, loving and happy memories.
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Old 17-04-2013, 18:13
avasgranny
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My thoughts are with you today and will be thinking of you tomorrow too. xx
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Old 17-04-2013, 18:19
eluf38
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Thank you I really appreciate what you say.

But to be honest I'm stressing now I'm into her last 24 hours. I'm not at peace with this at all. I feel guilty that I don't have the money to pay for more exploratory tests. She had 100 worth of scans, but the vet said she had a 'mass' (plus fluid around it and on her chest), she even said it could possibly be a kidney! It feels so vague. I was lying awake last night thinking, what if it's just a huge hairball? I feel I'm giving up on her with no answers, but I also don't feel I should put it off and have her suffering for longer. I'm glad they don't autopsy cats. If I ever found I'd ended her life over something curable I couldn't forgive myself. She looks so healthy. I would post a picture if I knew how.

She's up, she ate some food (the jelly off the meat and some dry food) and had water, used her litter tray and has gone to sit outside again.
I'm going to say some things you might not like to hear Jerrica, but I say them because I don't want you to feel that there's something you haven't done. You have no cause to reproach yourself.
Firstly, vets are the most skilled of physicans. They have to be, as pets can't explain what is making them feel unwell! If the vet thought there was hope of a cure, then they would have suggested surgery and therapy. Sometimes they don't want to come out and say 'there's no hope' but if they can't present you with a course of treatment then it's an indication.

The same thing has happened to my mum's best friend's mother. She's nearly 90 and in hospital and my mum's friend was in a similar situation to yourself -wondering about long term care, social workers, feeding, zimmer frames... and it was only when the doctor gently said, 'let's concentrate on helping your mother recover the surgery' that it hit home that her mother might not get well again. We're all hoping for a recovery, but the reality is that her mum is old and frail, and any medical intervention is life-threatening.

Your cat is no longer a kitten, and even if surgery could be performed, that's no guarentee of recovery. We've lost 5 pets to cancer and they were all 10 years or older, and in all case but one the vet advised against surgery because chances were that the animals wouldn't survive the ansaethetic.
Only one, (Dad's current labrador) is in remission and that's because the cancer was caught early. In my experience cancer is very aggressive and takes hold of animals very quickly.

My sister's cat, Cleo, went blind, had tumors in her stomach and my last memories of her are very sad because she seemed lost in her own world. It was as though she didn't want to bother with anyone any more. Losing her sight and her ability to eat, she wasn't her usual affectionate self. She was nearly 20, she seemed fed up and withdrawn and like a ghost of her former self. It's hard for me to remember her like that. I prefer to remember her bullying the dogs!

You are doing what's best for your cat. Sadly, what's best for her may be hardest for you; but concentrate not on what's going to happen, but on all that you've shared together. It's a dignified end to a happy existence. It's better for her to go when she's still 'her'. Trust me.
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Old 18-04-2013, 14:59
Yeah_Jackie
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Thinking of you today ...
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Old 18-04-2013, 15:16
Frillynix
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Just wanted to say Ive been reading your thread since the beginning but didnt post as you got so much good advice - however I can just imagine how you are feeling at the minute and wanted you to know that a lot of us have been through this, and that you did everything you could - dont ever doubt that!

look after yourself.
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Old 18-04-2013, 16:45
MarellaK
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Jerrica, I don't know if you're going to come back to this thread for a while because I know how upset you will be feeling at the moment. I just wanted to say that I've been thinking of you and your cat today. Just remember that she knew you loved her, you looked after her and gave her a wonderful life.
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Old 18-04-2013, 17:52
StaceySky
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I've been reading through your thread and all the comments.
I've been thinking of you and your cat.
From what you said you have given her a great life and your cat loves you just a much as you loved her.
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Old 18-04-2013, 19:20
Jerrica09
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Hi, thank you for your comments everyone. I probably shouldn't be posting now, I'm all over the place, but I don't know what to do with myself!

Emily passed away this afternoon. I was very unsure as since yesterday afternoon she'd been eating, drinking, using her litter box. But she also looked quiet and upset, and was walking carefully. Last night we had a lovely moment. She sat by my chair looking at me, and when I asked if she wanted to come up she chirped and stood up for me to lift her. She used to jump up on my lap all the time, but the last time was Sunday night when she was uncomfortable and got straight down. She stayed in my lap for half an hour. It's a memory I'll treasure.

Today I lifted her onto my sons bed, her favourite place. She slept there for a couple of hours, and had only been downstairs for twenty minutes, sitting in the chair next to mine, when the vet came, her regular vet, a lovely woman, very compassionate.

I don't know if it was right to have her put to sleep at home or not. When she is on the way to the vet she can mentally prepare herself for treatment. The look on her face was shock, like she'd been ambushed in her own home. I held her on my lap for the pre-sedation, on my sons t-shirt. I thought the smell might be calming for her - he couldn't face being there. I thought the first jab would make her unconscious but it didn't. She struggled to get down and as the vet had left me with her, I let her get down. She staggered to the doormat and laid down. I stroked her till she calmed down and carried her back to the sofa and put her on my lapShe was still conscious when she was injected with the overdose. She turned her head away from the needle and had a desperate look on her face. It was so upsetting. She passed away within seconds. I could feel her body relax. Oddly I found it comforting to be holding her and stroking her after she'd passed. The only time I've ever been able to hold her paws without her snatching them away, or touch her sensitive ears without worrying about bothering her. The vet left to give me time with her. I arranged her on the towel she'd brought. Her eyes were open but she looked peaceful. I told her I loved her, and that she was a good girl and a pretty girl which she always liked to hear, then they took her away. I'm happy that I mostly managed to hold back from crying till she'd died.

Everywhere I look, even outside I have such strong associations with her. It's bizarre to look everywhere and not find her. It feels wrong. I tidied away her toys and bowls, just for something to do, which may have been a mistake. The only thing I haven't removed yet is her litter tray. It will leave the emptiest space.

My son hasn't shown me any emotion, though I'm certain he's cried in his room. He's already asking about getting a new pet which is heartbreaking to hear at the moment, like we can just replace her. He loved her dearly, but he has autism which affectes how he processes things.

Something I realised was that Ems has avoided our sofa for weeks. I put her on it the other day and she jumped straight off. She used to practically live on it. I hope she didn't have a sense that it's where she'd die. I have such a problem with it right now. When I look at the sofa I see her lying on the vets towel. It only happened four hours ago though.

I'm sorry, I know it's not what you're supposed to say - but I wish I hadn't done it. She had more time in her I'm sure. I read some online stories about euthanized cats and they mostly sounded like they were on their last legs. I feel I hurried to end her life, so she wouldn't suffer later. I don't thnik she was ready to go. She seemed to be getting stronger, especially today. I just feel horrendously guilty. I feel like I helped to murder her. I hope I'll feel differently soon. One good thign to come out of this - I will never have another pet without constant full insurance, no more taking for granted that things are okay. She was such a special girl. One scan... I should have fought harder for her.
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Old 18-04-2013, 19:55
MarellaK
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Jerrica, I'm so sorry. I probably left my Tabitha a bit late because I couldn't bear to have her put to sleep when she still seemed lively, I kept postponing her euthanasia and it does sound like your cat may probably have had a few more days - but it would only have been a few more days at best I'm sure. You never let your cat deteriorate as I did. Your cat was not going to get any better and at least you got a vet who knew her rather than an emergency locum which you might have done if you had left it for a few more days (eg over the weekend).

I am glad I didn't have my cat put to sleep at home as planned because my Tabs regarded her home as her sanctuary but, on the other hand, she did have to undergo one last car journey which is never pleasant for cats. Whichever option you chose would have presented a dilemma. Either way, you would be questioning your decision and wishing you had done the alternative.

I am surprised the pre-sedation did not completely sedate your cat as it completely knocked my cat out but, as I said, I probably waited a bit too long with my cat and she was just wanting to sleep at the end. Even so, I still felt as you do, as if I had decided to 'murder' her because her tumour had actually shrunk and I kept wondering afterwards if I should have delayed just a few more days to see if she would perk up. In hindsight, I know I made the right decision and I should have made it a couple of days earlier.

I think you're going to feel bad for some time, particularly as it all happened so quickly. Please be assured that, even if you had all the money in the world, your cat would not have survived for more than a few months with lots of unpleasant and uncomfortable treatment and vet visits.

You will feel better eventually but it takes time. Many of us here on the forum do completely understand your grief and self-doubt but I am certain you acted in your cat's best interests.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:11
avasgranny
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Jerrica, I'm so sorry. I probably left my Tabitha a bit late because I couldn't bear to have her put to sleep when she still seemed lively, I kept postponing her euthanasia and it does sound like your cat may probably have had a few more days - but it would only have been a few more days at best I'm sure. You never let your cat deteriorate as I did. Your cat was not going to get any better and at least you got a vet who knew her rather than an emergency locum which you might have done if you had left it for a few more days (eg over the weekend).

I am glad I didn't have my cat put to sleep at home as planned because my Tabs regarded her home as her sanctuary but, on the other hand, she did have to undergo one last car journey which is never pleasant for cats. Whichever option you chose would have presented a dilemma. Either way, you would be questioning your decision and wishing you had done the alternative.

I am surprised the pre-sedation did not completely sedate your cat as it completely knocked my cat out but, as I said, I probably waited a bit too long with my cat and she was just wanting to sleep at the end. Even so, I still felt as you do, as if I had decided to 'murder' her because her tumour had actually shrunk and I kept wondering afterwards if I should have delayed just a few more days to see if she would perk up. In hindsight, I know I made the right decision and I should have made it a couple of days earlier.

I think you're going to feel bad for some time, particularly as it all happened so quickly. Please be assured that, even if you had all the money in the world, your cat would not have survived for more than a few months with lots of unpleasant and uncomfortable treatment and vet visits.

You will feel better eventually but it takes time. Many of us here on the forum do completely understand your grief and self-doubt but I am certain you acted in your cat's best interests.
Be kind to yourself tonight/tomorrow etc. Letting our babies go is the hardest thing in the world but we do it because we love them enough not to want them to suffer. I too have put off the inevitable with one of my cats. The guilt I feel now all these years later is horrendous. Take care. xx
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:15
wazzyboy
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Hugs from our house. We have been where you are. No matter when, where or how, you always end up agonising. It's hard enough losing them, without that too. Try your best to focus on your love and all the good stuff. In time, that is what will endure.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:25
Smithman
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Thinking of you - take care x
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Old 18-04-2013, 21:11
Shrike
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A truely moving post, Jerrica - you have my sympathy and admiration for being able to write such a thing at this time.
Please don't beat yourself up over this - Emily had a great life with people who loved her and did the best for her at the end. I really don't think it would have turned out any different if you had thrown money at treatment - for her to have declined so rapidly she must have been very near the end. Cats are very good at hiding things - our old family cat died naturally at the vets from cancer when he'd only been behaving oddly a couple of days.

If your son wants a new pet then please let him - you aren't replacing Emily as the new cat will have its own personality. As I posted on a thread recently you should view it as giving a cat the chance of a loving home.
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Old 18-04-2013, 22:50
queenshaks
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Sorry for your loss Jerrica

RIP Ems x
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:05
Jerrica09
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Thank you so much for all the kind comments in this thread. And not one wind-up merchant. I'd hardly believe I was on DS!

My son would adopt a new cat tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I could do it again. I'm feeling worse and worse tbh. I keep thinking I hear her. I had a moment of not thinking about her, and heard what sounded like a scratch at the front door. I was automatically walking to open it when I remembered. And when I adjusted the living room curtains I checked behind as I always do to see if she was on the windowsill. I'm exhausted, but I'm going to have to be much more knackered before I can face going to bed. I think that's going to be where my thoughts are worst.

I actually logged back in just to say that I hope no-one feels bad for recommending pre-sedation or a home visit. I'm devastated that they didn't go as smoothly as I hoped, but I think maybe my vet didn't understand that the point was to send her off to sleep rather than just relax her a bit. And going to the vets could have turned out just as traumatic. I was never going to walk away from the experience smiling whatever happened, but I made the right decision staying with her. And at least she was happy and enjoying her day until the last 10 minutes of her life. She was so enjoying having every bit of my attention from Monday to Thursday, even though she was feeling fragile. I do feel thankful that I didn't lose her in a shocking way like a car accident. I got to spend a few days making sure she knew how much we loved her. I hope that's going to comfort me soon.. My heart actually hurts. Isn't it horrendous that when you lose your best friend, the only person you could comfort you is your best friend? It's like a sick joke
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:44
Shrike
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She was a beautiful cat, Jerrica - nice and furry too

Its going to be hard over the next few days, but you'll cope. Eventually the pain goes and you just remember the good times.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:47
Jerrica09
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She was a beautiful cat, Jerrica - nice and furry too

Its going to be hard over the next few days, but you'll cope. Eventually the pain goes and you just remember the good times.
Thanks I'm sure you're right.
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