I have a 16 year old domestic orange tabby named Nacho. He has been my cuddle bunny for years. he is not like most cats, that are aloof and disinterested in humans, he has always been sort of obsessed with me. He follows me from room to room, has to always lay on my lap or legs, and my husband says he howls for me when I am not home. So, you can see, we are very very close.
A week ago, Nacho howled in pain, and stopped eating. (he is usually a chow hound that wakes me up to eat at 5am). It was on a sunday morning, so we took him to an emergency vet hospital, not our regular vet. They kept him in the hospital for three days. He was dehydrated although he was drinking massive amounts of water, and huge amounts of urine was being produced. the vet suspected diabetes, but did not give him insulin right away to see if the sugar levels came down. he was over 800..it came down the same day to about 200, so they said no diabetes, just stress related. His kidney levels were high, maybe kidney disease, the levels came down the same day, so no severe if it was. He was constipated, so they gave him enemas to empty him out. He has two different blood work ups and an xray to rule out cancer, mass or fluid in his stomach. All blood work was fine, no mass, no cancer, no fluid. All good news, right? they sent him home with me with just an appetite stimulant since he was barely eating, and an anti acid for his stomach. that's it. they said they cant see any other reason except he is old.
Well, he came home so weak, he cannot barely walk. He was worse coming home. they had IVs, catheters, and needles everywhere on him and he was black under his neck with bruising they said from a line going in there. shaved his stomach, his arms. He is barely moving around, he walks about two feet and then has to rest. he is drinking water, and going in the litter box a small amount of urine, but no BM in a week. He won't eat at all, and is very lathargic. He does purr when we pet him and he seems interested in us as he tries to follow me from the rooms some times, the rest of the time, he hides behind my desk. He is so weak and his eyes do not look right. kind of dialated all the time.
The biggest part of me says no more Drs, no more needles, no more IVs and small cages, and catheters and pain, just stay home and rest until it is his time to go. The vet says he is not in pain or we would know it.
I have people telling me it's time to let him go and put him to sleep. I just can't say the words to end his life. not when he is not suffering, and happy just to lay next to me right now. I want him to die happy, not alone in a cage.
How do I know I am doing the right thing? how do I know for sure he is not suffering? he is going downhill daily, but how long can he hang on this way? If it is his time to go, I understand that, but I dont want to end it just because he is old. how do you let go? how do I know it is time?