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Bye, my sweet kitten

claudia (54814) writes | more than 11 years ago

User Journal 10

I've always grown up with pets --- mainly cats. We had one pedigree dog who was rambunctious and led us on thirst-inducing chases through the Nevada desert.

Cats, however, don't need to go through that effort. They just sit there and expect that you will love them.

I've always grown up with pets --- mainly cats. We had one pedigree dog who was rambunctious and led us on thirst-inducing chases through the Nevada desert.

Cats, however, don't need to go through that effort. They just sit there and expect that you will love them.

One night, some friends and I came back to my apartment and the Queen of Cats (Xantha) sat there just like the lovable, enticing Queen she was, deigning to chat with us! She did! She loved everyone. Even people that didn't like cats loved her. We were all adoring and chatting with her when she suddenly keeled over. It was either a stroke or heart attack. We ran to the vet immediately but there was nothing they could do for her, as she had already passed.

Now, today, I've actively decided to put one of my cats down. I've never done that before. His name is Rasputin. He's 16. Tomorrow at 3 pm. How did I know? I gave him some catnip -- his favorite thing in the world. He just sat there, his eyes glazed over and told me he didn't have the effort. Yes, he hasn't been feeling well lately and I don't like keeping him in further pain.

I've never done this before, but he definitely deserves a eulogy.

Pets have always died naturally in my world. When do you put someone out of their pain? Yes, I include pets in the "someone" realm.

Bye, sweet cat.

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Such a painful thing to do... (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6239057)

Sorry about that. You're making the right decision - My wife's mom had a dog that she let live way too long. It was really unfortunate. We were all happy when she had her put down, but it doesn't make it any easier.

I want to say more, but I'm not sure what else to say...

Here's to happy memories.

Sorry (1)

MousePotato (124958) | more than 11 years ago | (#6239211)

I had a cat that lived to be 17. When I had to have him put down because his liver gave up one day it was one of the toughest things I ever had to do. So many memories growing up with him. I couldn't belive how much emotion came out of me when the time came. My condolences to you and your cat. Spend tonite with him and love him much.

Re:Sorry (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 11 years ago | (#6240973)

I had a cat that lived to be 17. When I had to have him put down because his liver gave up one day it was one of the toughest things I ever had to do. So many memories growing up with him. I couldn't belive how much emotion came out of me when the time came. My condolences to you and your cat. Spend tonite with him and love him much.

Mine had to be put down last November (a stroke, and a liver tumor causing liver failure). Having lived with him for 15 years, losing him was a huge blow. A few weeks later, we took in a pair of homeless kittens, Shadow and Bramble - and Shadow ran away from home on Tuesday night. I know it's very painful for you, but it's the right thing to do - in time, the pain fades, and you're just left with memories of the best friend anyone can have. For now, be brave and remember you have to do it for his sake.

Raz (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#6239313)

I've known Raz for almost a year now and have known him to be very sweet, if a bit grumpy. (I would be too at that age!) He's been a darling friend to claudia, always playing with her and curling up at the foot of her bed. As he got to know me he became quite friendly towards me as well, even as I could tell that he was in pain and very tired in recent weeks.

You'll be missed, Raz.

had to kill mine yesterday (1)

memfree (227515) | more than 11 years ago | (#6246214)

I'm not happy about it. I'm especially guilty because it was a selfish act on my part -- not a compassionate act like yours. You are in a situation where it is truly for the best. I firmly believe that when recovery is impossible, a quick death is far more humane than being forced to continue a life of pain and misery.

I should explain. First, mine isn't dead yet, just at the SPCA, but I expect the worst. I'd 'saved' this cat from ending up at there a few years ago, but could not re-train him from 'messing' in prominent places when humans-less for more than 10 hours.

The vet says it isn't a medical condition and is unlikely to be simple finicky/cleanliness. I've had him mess the same day I'd not only freshly scooped the litter box, but done a complete change of litter -- then stayed at work too late. The company of other animals (cats and dogs) is not enough. He wants humans, and will pee/poop in obvious places if they aren't home when he wants.

This Monday, I made the mistake of stopping at home between ending work and getting groceries. Upon my return, the cat went to the middle of the living room and peed in plain view. I love him, but when I saw this, I just about lost it. I reached the point where I wanted to _hurt_ him. I was actively worried by the intensity of my anger, and decided it was unsafe for us to stay together.

So ... after a mere two days of failing to find anyone who'd take him (even as a fed-but-outside cat), I took him to the SPCA. I can't imagine anyone will adopt an old cat that messes when displeased, so I expect I've murdered my friend. He's completely mellow and loveable except for that one trait. He never bites, scratches, or breaks things; he's happy inside or out; always friendly and low key -- but who would bother to risk him when there are other, younger cats *without* known problems. And yeah, I could have kept silent about the soiling, but knowing how it stressed me, it seemed wrong not to give the full truth to potential rescuers.

I offer this damning recount in the hopes that my far-from-mandatory action will ease any morality concerns on your decision. There's no comparing my selfish escape from petty complaints with the altruism of you helping your friend avoid prolonged suffering

Re:had to kill mine yesterday (1)

claudia (54814) | more than 11 years ago | (#6246776)

Wow, memfree. I know exactly what that is like. I once adopted a cat from the SPCA, but the cat peed everywhere -- including on my roommate's bed. It was horrible to have to bring him back. There was nothing medically wrong with him, but certainly something psychological. I still cringe whenever I think about what might have happened to him.

I also told myself shortly thereafter that I'd quit adopting old cats because that was such a painful thing to do.

Hah! Some promise. I can't stop. All I do know is that I did give both Raz (who I adopted when he was 6) and Xantha (who I adopted as a feral cat from Greece) a nice and probably longer life than they might have. It's my only consolation -- on top of a new cat, Collanera.

Part of the reason I'm putting Raz to sleep is because he poops everywhere. On the bed. On the futon. On the floor. But he does so because he's sick. I don't know memfree, if it's any consolation for you, maybe your old, sweet cat was sick and the vet was just wrong. It does happen. I've gotten different diagnoses for Raz -- one: he has liver failure and the other that he just needs to drink more water. In any case, he's in pain when he poops and he poops outside of the litter box to let me know he's in pain.

And, if the vet wasn't wrong, I'm sure your cat had some happiness just being with you. AND there might be someone who thinks like me that will adopt him.

Re:had to kill mine yesterday (1)

memfree (227515) | more than 11 years ago | (#6252790)

I still feel like an evil human being, but it is nice to hear that someone knows what it is like to deal with cat messes.

The whole 4-legged crew is stressed out about missing one of their clan/pack, so I'm thinking of getting another cat, myself ... but I'm not ready for that right now. And yeah, if/when I do, it'll be another shelter-rescue.

You've got my best wishes for you and yours.

My cats (1)

MonTemplar (174120) | more than 11 years ago | (#6253759)

Both deceased. Minou died aged 12 - she caught and ate a bird, and we think something stuck in her gullet or somesuch. She died as she lived, already on the lookout for an unwary bird. Miciha died a few years ago, aged 16. She stopped eating and became slow and weak. When she went and hid under the stairs, we knew that she knew her end was near. The vet diagnosed a tumour growing in her stomach, and we had her put to sleep so that she wouldn't suffer anymore.

Unfortunately, pets don't last forever, and it can be a wrench when they go.

Meet Garfield, (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6261171)


The true inverse of his cartoon alter-ego. Being a wild kittin when I found him near the railway, this cat has either been up in the curtains, or out in the garden. He had so much energy that he soon took up the fight with the big fat cat of the neighbours, who reigned with an absurd and ultra extremist territorial despotism over the gardens behind our houses. Eventually, Garfield, being brave and impulsive the young cat that he is, first set out to conquer the tree (which succeeded, however, untill today it is still a bit unclear who conquered who, as the cat had to be saved out of that very same evil tree), then took hold of the favourite sunbathing spot up on the roof of the neighbours boathouse, then engaged in small morning riots on the territory of the neighbour cat when the dawn was still fresh, complete with full fledged opera concerts and dramatic acting.

While in the blossom of his life, and now convincingly dominating the neighbour cat who was slowly whimpering away ( and finally gave up and decided to move with her boss to another place), Garfield learned how hard it can be for a cat to chase girl-cats that live across a busy 4 lane road. But then you don't know garfield. WHile his back was completely fractured, he dragged himself towards our garden where we found him, we then rushed him to the nearby vet, who fixed him up fantastically, and who ordered him to stay home for another 6 weeks. Right. Merely 1.5 weeks later, our cat was allready happily chasing birds again, even if he was not terribly elegant in style. One year leter, the cat was perfectly allright, not a trace of his fracture could be seen, not in his posture, not in his acrobatic jumps across the greens. But it was that time again.. and the girl-cats still lived across that 4 lane busy traffic street...

Sorry for your Loss (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6312309)

Sorry to hear about this, but you did make the right decision. Keeping an animal alive at a point when the animal is clearly unhappy or in pain is a selfish action, done to delay our pain and feelings of loss.

I grew up with various companion animals, and had to deal with them being put to sleep when their health detoriated. One male red-point siamese cat, loving and sweet and friendly beyond words, whose body just began to fail, and he stopped eating, getting more and more emaciated, and stoppped doing much of anything. One female cocker spaniel, adorable beyond belief, who had a stroke, and just wandered around, running into things, barely reacting to anything, showing no interest in anything but sleeping.

They were both extremely hard, but it was time for both of them, and I'd never give up the experiences for anything.

I worry because I have four cats now (not intentionally - the second one adopted turned out to be pregnant, and two kittens claimed us too much to give them away), and all of them are within a year of age, and they oldest is now 7. I worry that they'll go close to each other, which will be very painful. I try not to think of it too much - I'm tearing up even now. (Not good at work!!)

I join you in saying goodbye.
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