Mistakes I Have Made and I have Lost A Friend - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Mistakes I Have Made and I have Lost A Friend

I just want to remind people of a few things TO do regarding your cat and his/her welfare. I hope this is appropriate.

My cat of 4 years, Chloe, passed away this evening.

She always had upper respitory problems. The vet said she would always have this problem. I tried numerous oral suspension antibiotics. She would eventually become resistant to them all. Albon did the best and she eventually quit responding to this med as well.

I'm going to admit that I had neglected her as of late. I am in the middle of remodeling a house and trying to get my current house up for sale. I made sure she always had food and water and a nice rub when I got home.

What I took for granted was she would always be ok aside from the UR. I didn't follow up on shots like I should have and didn't take her in for checkups. Sadly I see the mistakes I made with Chloe and my heart is truly breaking tonight. Not for me, but for her.

I called for her this morning getting ready for work and she never came. I came home tonight after looking at what was being done to the other house and I found her in her cat litter box. She wouldn't come out and I lifted the top off. When I picked her up and set her on the floor she flopped over in the position I laid her in. She had cat litter in one eye and much in her mouth. My heart dropped. I tried to get her to come around and she let out two wails.

She then had a seizure. Again she was lifeless afterwards. I called the afterhours vet and had to wait on a return call. She had another seizure again. I was beside myself. We have had a flea problem I thought we had under decent control. There were many "running" and hopping off of her.

She had another seizure and died. Between seeing the fleas leaving in droves from the "host" and getting a grip, she was gone, is something I will never forget.

I buried her in my flower garden and came in and sat down to figure out what I had done wrong. Everything....

Did I get those shots like I was told to do? NO
Did I take her for a checkup like I should have? NO
Did I dip her weekly to make sure she was comfortable? NO
Did I work on my current house to make sure it was rid of fleas? NO
Did I explore any procedures to see if she could breathe better? NO
Did I do anything important other than set out food and water? NO

I cried till my head was aching beyond belief. Not for me but for her. A sweet and loving cat I had no business having in my home. Petting and feeding is not enough. As a single person I took our companionship for granted. I don't have her to cuddle with anymore.

I am to blame for this and I know it.

I just wanted to remind people of the simple things that can make a difference in your cat's life. I neglected to see those simple things and rushed an end to a life that should have never happened.

It will be a long time before I own another cat. Being a caretaker is not so simple. I'm sure I'll get over it with time, but Chloe will never be able to. I didn't afford her that time.
*astre* is offline  
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 261
I am so sorry you had to go thru this. And I'm sorry for the loss of Chloe. I think of having a pet, as having a child - they do require alot of care. Some more than others. My Rocky is my baby. Your posting reminded all of us not to take our pets for granted.

May Chloe RIP.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minnesota
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That was a real sad testimony, obviously not easy to right,

thanks for being honest and posting what has to be a hard lesson to learn,

my cat had a watery eye yesterday and your post reminded me to be sure to check her and the 2 others over good more often,

I can be very busy too and not always give the cats the attention they require,

may you find peace and take what you've learned from Chloe for the better in the future,

as being sad and grieving should last for a while but you must eventually function the best you can for the life you have,

and the experience to help out those who may need to be pointed in the right direction.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Thanks for the support.

I had a cat, Louie, many moons ago. I worked a second shift job and he was so enjoyable. People commented how he was friendly as a dog. He never knew a stranger. I had him for 9 years. He developed feline leukemia (I didn't get his shots either and let him out once in a while) and wasted away very fast. I finally took matters in my own hands and put him to sleep. I was there throughout the process. That was hard but I think anyone that does have their animal put down to be there. It will make you feel better after it's all said and done.

Chloe was sick when I got her. I got her at PetSmart. I was taking the cat carrier I had bleached and canned food to donate to this organization that was there that night adopting cats to folks. Instead of leaving the stuff and going home I ended up paying for the adoption and taking her home.

They called five different times wanting to take her back and let me have another cat. I couldn't do that. I already had her to the vet for the UR. My vet said that the organization I got her from was poorly run and they were forever bringing their cats in for Chloe's problem. Whatever was wrong they were just passing it around, over and over. I finally told the people to bug off. I felt she had probably been shuffled around as it was. She wasn't a kitten when I got her.

Somewhere I dropped the ball on her care. I still have these huge feelings of guilt today. It's rough knowing you could have done a lot better. With Louie I was sad for me. But with Chloe, as I've said, I've been extremely sad for her.

I see tons of people on this board that are very responsible. That makes me happy.

I'll say this. I may have extended her life a little longer. I know people that will put down a cat for just about anything. She was happy most of the time. She loved to "butt" heads with me. If I was busy in the kitchen she would hop up on the counter and stand there. As soon as I put my head down she would run up and softly tap my head like she was a ram. Funniest thing I ever saw. And she was always curled up next to me when I watched t.v. And she loved sleeping under the covers of the bed in the winter. All I had to do was lift back the sheet and she would jump right in. She stayed there all night. She was gentle as a lamb. One of the sweetest creatures I have ever had. When I saw her having a seizure one after another it killed me.

I hope she rests in peace too. She's got to be in peace! The memory of her is still strong. I keep looking for her or mistake a pair of sandals on the floor for her all curled up. Bless the beasts and the children..

I've learned a hard lesson. I'm sad she had to be the lesson.

Guys, thanks for letting me post here. It makes things easier..
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 09:33 AM
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Tragic. RIP sweet, innocent Chloe.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by *astre*
...She loved to "butt" heads with me. If I was busy in the kitchen she would hop up on the counter and stand there. As soon as I put my head down she would run up and softly tap my head like she was a ram. Funniest thing I ever saw.
One of my cats, Tommy, does the same thing. He's always on the counter begging for kibble and loves to butt heads too. He's 12-13 years old and he adopted me when he was a kitten.

Cats are such heartwarming creatures. I'm sorry for your loss. Chloe was a special cat, and her spirit is still there, with you.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 03:12 PM
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I am so sorry about Chloe, what a difficult post that must have been to write.

Chloe had a home and an owner who cared about her, that is more that a lot of cats ever have. Please remember that as you grieve.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 12:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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What a terrible heartache! I'm so sorry astre.

I understand how you feel, believe me. The sweet precious girl in my avatar was a cat I loved like my own child for 12 years. The last 3 years of her life she suffered from megacolon and took medication for it. Several times she had to have impacted stools removed manually. 3 days before we had to put her down, I noticed a lump on the side of her belly. It wasn't unusual for them to appear when she had a large stool forming. Sometimes she passed them on her own and sometimes she didn't and that's when we had to take her to the vet to get them out. I kept checking the lump for a couple of days and when she didn't pass it I thought she needed another "cleanout". I took her to my vet's clinic that morning and went to work, thinking I would pick her up afterwards and take her home like every time before.

I got the call about a half hour before I was supposed to get off work. The doctor said she had a large tumor on her spleen. They saw it on an x-ray. She said Pearl was very weak and I needed to come down there right away. It didn't look good, she said. I instantly broke down crying and felt like I was going to faint. I work in a pet store, I was out on the sales floor where customers could see me bawling and I didn't give a **** who saw me. My husband who also works there found me and he knew right away what it was. We left immediately.

When I got there the doctor took me into an exam room and showed me the x-ray. The tumor was big, almost the size of a banana. It was only the tip of it that I felt on her side. Of course I asked right away if it could be removed and if she had a good chance of getting through the surgery. The doctor told me in a guarded tone of voice that we could try, but Pearl was very, very weak. She didn't seem optimistic about it at all. She said if we do nothing, she will probably live for a week...maybe. I asked if I could go back and see Pearl, and she walked my husband and I back to where she was.

The sight of her and the sound of her crying is something I will never forget even if I live to be 134. She couldn't even sit up and she was howling like I had never heard her do before. I touched her and told her that Mommy was here and I hadn't left her. She could only move her eyes to look at me. I knew right then that she wasn't coming home again...and I felt in that instant the same overwhelming pain a parent must feel when they lose a child. I looked over at my husband and even though he only knew Pearl for 3 years and was never a "cat person" until he met me he was crying his eyes out too. He has no idea how much I love him for that, my first husband would have said it's only a cat and I'd have probably killed him.

I told the doctor I didn't want Pearl to die on an operating table without me being able to be there for her. She said she understood and then she did something I never ever expected, she hugged me and told me I was doing the best thing because she knew Pearl was not going to live through any surgery. She said she only discussed the surgery with us because she felt morally obligated to and not because she had any hope of saving her.

I carried Pearl into the exam room and the doctor left us alone with her until we were ready. I patted her and kissed her a few last times and stayed where I could look into her eyes. I wanted my face to be the last thing she ever saw and my voice telling her I loved her to be the last thing she ever heard. She was the first cat I had been able to keep for more than 2 or 3 years, what with different situations coming up where my mother gave my cats away or my ex-husband taking some when we split up. This was the first time I went through losing any of my cats to death. I owed it to Pearl, to be there for her until the end.

To this day and probably for the rest of my life I will wonder if she would have not died had I only gotten her to the vet sooner. I feel like I let her down because I thought it was the same kind of blockage she had before.

Pearl was such a sweet and loving little soul, I think she'd forgive me.

If there really is a heaven or an afterlife or whatever, I'll be looking for her there.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Izzy was a newborn kitten I fostered a few years ago. He was found just after the remnants of a hurricane blew through. He was so tiny - his eyes were still closed. Shortly after I got him he began to sniffle. The vet was closed that night when it started and he looked okay so I waited until morning. When I got him to the vet I was told he had pneumonia and probably wouldn't live through the night. But Izzy was a fighter and he made it until 6am and sunrise just to prove the vet wrong. I wondered for a long time what would have happened if I had gotten to the vet sooner. I later found out that Izzy had a littermate that died with symptoms of pneumonia. If I had known that, could I have taken some steps to save Izzy? In the end I realized that it didn't matter because I couldn't change it. What I did change was the quality of his short little life. He was held and fed and loved more in that short time than some cats are in a whole lifetime. It's still sad, but things could have been so much worse for him. Imagine if you had never taken Chloe or had given her back. I'm so sorry it didn't end well, but you did give her a better life.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 98
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Oliver back in December to FIP and I went through the same thing you are going through right now. What did I miss? Is there something else I could have done? What should I do differently from now on? Needless to say, Miss Kitty and Catbot (my remaining two kitties) are fawned and fretted over and spoiled. We still miss Oliver sooo much ...

I know that right now there is not alot that people can say that will comfort you. Just know that we all know what you are going through. Know too that you did the best that you knew how to do for Chloe, and she knew that. I can't tell you not to beat yourself up over it, because you will. I can't tell you not to be upset, because I know you are. I can only tell you to be strong. The wound of her passing will heal in time.

RIP Chloe ....
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