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Had to put my cat to sleep yesterday....


Catnapper

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My nearly 15 year old kitty was slowly dying of lymphoma, and yesterday it became clear that the bad parts of his life were outweighing the good, so I took him to the emergency vet and had him put to sleep. He died in my arms, and I buried him in the yard today with his favorite catnip toy.

I was really upset, and I'm sure I will be again, but right now I'm in robot mode. I don't have any tears left right now, although I'm sure all that cortisol is coursing through my veins and will produce some more at any moment.

I am taking a few days off work, and I guess I could have lied and said I had the flu or something, but I told the truth. I've been there four years, though, so I don't think it should be a problem, even though most of my (generally very conservative) coworkers think I'm just another crazy cat lady.

Besides the death, what's bugging me is that I had to take him to the emergency vet since it was Sunday, so my cat had to be freaked out right before he died. My regular vet will make a house call for euthanasia for existing patients, but on the weekends will only make house calls for large animals.

I am struggling to understand how my cat is less important than a horse (although obviously easier to transport). I can understand not making weekend calls every time that Fluffy or Spot gets an earache, but it seems cruel to me that the vet wouldn't come for the last thing my cat needed from him. I can also understand limiting the hours for emergency services (say 8 am to 8 pm or something), but my cat died in the afternoon. I would have paid the vet whatever he wanted.

Tomorrow when I am feeling better I am going to write the vet a letter and ask him to reconsider his policy, or at least explain it to me. Are there any vets or vet techs here that can help me understand it?

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I am so sorry you lost your kitty. I had mine put to sleep in April and I really struggled with allowing him to die in a scary vet's office. But I know that I was right there with him, and I think that is what mattered to him the most. I think that if you were there with your kitty, that is the most important thing.

It is hard that your own vet couldn't come, though. It was some comfort to me to be familiar with the vet that did it, though I did not know her well.

Take care of yourself.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself for a while. I lost my cat of 15 years last year and I'm still grieving him. They make such an imprint on our hearts and become members of the family. I really feel your pain.

I'm sure your kitty was happy to have you with him when he passed. He may have been a bit freaked out, but at least you were there with him and he smelled you and knew he was safe. I understand your anger towards your vet, that policy sounds a little silly to me too.

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I don't think any of our local vets will go to a house to euthanise a pet, although I could be wrong.

I'm sorry you had to use the emergency vet, but as Parapluie said, you were with him and I'm sure that was reassuring to him. Knowing you, I bet that cat had the best food and the best care and the best of everything during his 15 years.

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your kitty. I'm sure he was very special to you.

olga

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I am sad for your loss.

I have some little paws pushing into my leg at the moment, and it makes me remember just how precious all the these moments are.

I am amazed that you have a vet who makes home visits. I haven't ever had one of those. Thought they went by the wayside with James Herriot.

At any rate, I'm rambling.

I'm sorry for your loss and glad to hear you could be honest about it with your work. It's kinder that people know you are grieving.

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My condolences. You did the kindest thing you could have for your cat. I understand your anger at the vet. Be kind to yourself while you get through this, it's not easy losing a beloved pet.

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I'm sorry for the loss of your kitty. They really are part of the family. Our vet does house calls but we have to take them to the emergency service after hours, no matter what the problem is. I'm sure knowing you were with him helped him feel more at ease. Fur kids are smarter than we think. :) Take care of yourself, and don't listen to those people that think, "It's just a cat". We have them in our lives for years, sometimes up to 20 years, and we are supposed to only grieve a short period of time and then get over it? No. Grieve as long as you need. To be honest, I still tear up when I think about our first cat, Squeakers. She was the best cat ever. She died 10 years ago and while it got better, I really miss her still. be kind to yourself.

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I had to put our 21- year old cat to sleep in January. It was very difficult because, while his quality of life had been terrible for awhile, he wasn't getting ready to die in the next several days. I had to decide that it was time to let him rest in peace and feel strong and healthy again.

Our family went to the doctor and I stayed for the euthanasia. It was so hard, because I felt my cat's life was on my hands. My family was very upset too.

But we knew that we did what was for our car in the end, and that keeping him alive would have been for our happiness, and not for his. Please know you did the right thing, and that your pet thanks you for the difficult decision you made.

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I am so so sorry for your loss. I have never had to experience putting a loved pet to sleep, but I did lose a dog a few years ago so I can relate in a way. I'd had him since I was a child so it was very hard to say goodbye. My deepest sympathies, what you're going through is not easy. The thing that helped me most was knowing that my dog had experienced a good, long life with people who loved him and cared for him. You gave your special cat a wonderful life filled with love. Maybe that thought will offer you some comfort?

I think writing the letter is a good idea, I find that policy very strange as well.

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Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. I napped a good part of today away, which is unusual for me. Luckily I had my regular 3 month visit with my pdoc last week and I told him the end was near for my cat, so he won't be surprised if I suddenly show up needing help. I'm being hypervigilant of my mood.

Tomorrow I will go to the nursery and see about getting a bush of some sort to plant on my cat's grave. I tried to bury him under the oak tree, but was defeated before I got very far by the roots, so he's under the pine trees, instead. I will go back to work on Thursday.

I have one other kitty, also 15, and maybe he will last a bit longer. I let him sniff his friend's body so he won't look for him. The cat that died spent his last night sleeping on my feet, which was a wintertime ritual for him, so I think he knew it was the end, or maybe was hoping from that sign I would figure out that he was ready to go.

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