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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 19 1/2 old male. He is on pain medication due to a degenerated hip. He is too old for hip surgery according to our vet. He counters the unsteadiness of his hip with his front legs. He started to loose muscle mass after his hip started causing him to limp and he could exercise that must.

He has shown the classic signs of a stroke three times including the inability to get up and walk without assitence; confusion; walking in circles; loss of hearing and site; spasms. During his last observed spell, yesterday morning, he leaked some urine. He previously had slowly recovered to his normal elderly state.

Last night I moved him from near a table to be closer to the furnace duct and did not think much of the fact that he did not wake up or react as he old and has been sleeping more. When I checked him later I found him to be in deep sleep from which we has not yet awakened. I suspect he suffered another stroke while he was asleep.

He is not camatose in that his ears will twitch back if you say his name near him or he hears a noise in another room. He appears to be in a deep REM dreaming state of sleep. I stayed by his side all night long on the floor made sure he was warm and observe him. I have him positioned on his side on some towels with his head slighty upward. He occasionally slightly moves his legs; moves his paws as if kneading; and wrinkles his wiskers. Petting him or combing does not appear to produce any reaction. His eyes remain shut all the time. He does not mellow or give an verbal signals.

Online reference sites suggest the other two possible states may be shock or stupor. I have not tried a stronger stimulas such as a small pinch or a very load noice. If we have to put him down later today it is best that he continues to dream and never wakes as opposed to being awake and having to endure the stress of riding in a car and seeing a vet. The emergency vet services do not open up for another few hours as we are in a rural area.

I am thinking he suffered another stroke and it damaged the part of the brain which allows him to wake up.

Hope tha makes sense - I haven't had any sleep in a long time.
 

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This is so sad. I have absolutely no experience in this situation, but I do believe your instincts are correct. I would do exactly the same, let him be for now and then take this sweet boy to the vet and release him from his suffering. I am so sorry your family is going through this.
 

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If we have to put him down later today it is best that he continues to dream and never wakes as opposed to being awake and having to endure the stress of riding in a car and seeing a vet.
It sounds like you're doing what's best in a bad situation. I hope your kitty doesn't suffer any more and you get some peaceful sleep soon.
 

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Ahhh. I hope he made his exit peacefully without the trauma of a vet trip. What a way to go, in sleep. :) I'm not sure what condition I'd be in after dealing with that overnight. ... what's that old saying: "Days are long, years are short"? Much sympathy. Watching is slow motion.
 

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We finally got hold of the off hours vet service that local vets contract with. They said that the trip to put him sleep could wait until Monday as he was not in any pain as he was asleep.

The kneading behavior gradually became more of a slight walking motion while lay on his side. If I went away from his side for 10 or so minutes this would stop. Saying his name again or stroking him would usually start this walking motion again. His favorite activity was be escorted on walks around the yard to patrol his territory - which might explain the walking motion when he knew I was near. Partially opening his eye and placing a finger in front of it would not create any reaction in the pupil; however, touching the hair around the eye would cause him to immediately close it.

After being up for more than 24 hours I was able to have two other family members monitor him while I tried to get some sleep. He gradually opened one eye and became conscious. He made attempts to get up but his hip can no longer support him. By holding up his hips with two hands he was able to walk around the house. He is able to still have bowel movements and pee but of course cannot use the liter box unless we place him inside and hold him up. He drinks water. He does not want to eat and is not interested in catnip. We mixed pain medication for his hip in his wet food so his hip is likely irritating him but he still wants to walk around even with assistance.

So I guess we will have a chance to say goodbye this way.

He was from a group of three cats from two liters we got from a farm in December 2000. The vet estimated they were 3-4 months old. His sister, who was nearly as large as he was, died at age 7 from sudden kidney failure. The 3rd cat from the second liter is still with us and is able to still climb, but has started to loose muscle mass during the last year and is having some bathroom related accidents. In his prime he was 19 pounds and very strong but gentle. He was still trying to become "friendly" another 14 year old female here just over a month ago.

Sunshine, aka Sunny, Sunny - October 2000 to February 2020.

Here is a picture of him on a wood pile from a bulletin board full of cat pictures. Its scratched with claw marks as our two 1 year olds like to attack the pictures sometimes.

128946
 

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What a beautiful cat. I've always wanted a big orange boy, I've heard they're the most lovable cats ever. He's had a long, good life with you. I can only hope to have my two remaining girls with me for 19 years. He's only known love from you and will go gently in the arms of people who have loved him his whole life.
 

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I thought I'd add this in case it would help someone else.

The vet was not able to see him until 10:00am on Monday.

I stayed up throughout the night and morning and used several techniques to try to keep him comfortable.

The last stroke he had while asleep appears to have robbed him of most of his site as his eyes would not follow the direction of your fingers. If you said his name his head would immediately turn in your direction and his eyes would seemingly be looking straight at your face but the pupils would not refocus.

I transferred him to a 1.5' a 1.75' shallow blanket lined box and held him on my lap so he would be heated from underneath. As he had limited sight it was important to keep saying his name so he knew you were nearby and would relax to go asleep. By adding some petting and positioning one hand near his nose so he could detect my scent he was able to sleep for periods of time. I kept his head slightly elevated based on advise from another website which stated to keep feline stroke victim's head elevated 20 degrees to prevent possible fluid buildup on the brain.

He would typically wakeup by moaning a few times and moving his front legs in an attempt to pull himself out of the box ad/or an attempt to walk. He was able to sometimes calm back down and immediately sleep again by transferring him directly to my lap. Most of the time when he woke he wanted to get up and walk. By holding up his hind quarters he was to walk around the house as his front legs and chest were still strong. The stroke and lack of visions would cause him to turn in circles and sometime venture into corners where his whiskers told told him he could no longer go forward but due to his stroke he did not know how to backup or turn out of the corner on his own. I eventually made a wide strap out of a bath towel that was looped under his mid section, with the two ends gathered above him to act as a handle that I could grasp while walking next to him. This strap provided more freedom of movement and was much easier on me due to a ruptured disk in my back.

After walking for several minutes he would be tired enough to go back to sleep in the box. His other favorite activity besides walking and patrolling was playing in water. He like to lick the water off plants after a rain, even doing so while there was a mild rain. He also enjoyed sitting out on the front porch on my lap during a rain shower and playing in the water pooling on the cement. I would occasionally carry him, or guide him on one of his walks, to a shallow water dish in the kitchen that he could sit next to drink from. I was able to feed him juice from canned chicken a couple times.

When the sedative was administered I placed his head in one palm and petted him with my other hand. I also verbally repeated my various nicknames for him so he would know I was there - his ears would perk up when hearing this. The sedative procedure was difficult to take part in as he started moving his front legs once again, bearing his front claws, and digging into the towel as if trying to walk again. This process took several minutes, although it felt like it was forever, probably due to his large size. The vet would alternately rub him to try to comfort him and to test how effective the sedative was. He eventually stopped moving his ears from hearing his name due to the sedative but I kept saying his name just in case he could still hear me on some level of consciousness.

A rubbered tourniquet was placed around the base of his front leg. The doctor felt for a vein and injected a drug to stop his heart. It took around 30-40 seconds for the drug to work. As he became limp a tiny faint gasp came from his mouth.
 

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Licking the water off plants after a rain. What a sweet image that is. He is no longer in pain. Hold on to that image and to that fact. I'm so very sorry for your loss.
 

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What a wonderful ending! You gave him everything you possibly could.

Much sympathy to you and your family on his passing. Tears....
 

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I know your heart is hurting. I’m so sorry. He was a magnificent friend. What a wonderful life you had together. What a beautiful love story for all of us to hear about. A lot of us are feeling sad with you. Take care
 

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Yes orange boys are the best, as I write this I'm checking to see if my latest a tuxedo named Buddy is sleeping, I am so sorry for your loss but so happy to have your memories and testament to a beautiful relationship.
?Sunny is with my guy Dizzy and they wait for us.?
 
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