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I just had to put down my 19 year old cat. I'm 25. I feel a bit as though she's all I had.. through everything she was there. So many times no one else was. She was the one constant and meant more to me than anything else ever.

It all happened so fast. . She started having troubles breathing slowly over a few days. Then last night it was worse. Had to take her to the vet this morning. Her chest was all full of liquid and weighing the options, and the alternatives, my vet and I agreed it was the right thing to do. She seemed so healthy. Her coat was prettier than ever and just everything seemed fine.. Last night though she cuddled with me overnight, but didn't seem right and laid in an odd way (to let her breathe as best as possible) and I knew it wasn't good.

I gave her the best life I could. I guess it's good that it wasn't a long ordeal? But I just feel so alone now. I keep expecting her to jump on by me.. but she never will again.

What should I do? I don't know what next..
 

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I've been there. Two years ago, I had to make the same heartbreaking decision over my 21 year old Karis. I was 25, I'd had her since I was 4. It was like losing a sister. I was devastated.

So believe me, I completely feel your loss.

Do you have any other animals? The first thing I did was hug my little Mika (she was my only other cat at the time).

Believe me, it does get easier but it's not an overnight thing. For months I'd spontaneously burst into tears. Even now when I think about her I feel them coming on, but it's not as instant as it used to be.

So whatever you do, don't forget about her. Remember all the awesome times you had together. That pain you feel in your chest is a reminder of how much you loved her! It may hurt to think about her, but it's worth it. Even now I'm tearing up remembering Karis, but I thank god I had 21 years with her. Not many owners get to say that and I can only hope I have the same with my other two.

Having another pet is a good distraction but if you don't already have one then I wouldn't advise getting one straight away. You can't ever replace a deceased friend and I've known people expect a new pet to be just like their old one and getting annoyed when they realise they're not.

I wish I could give you an easy way out of the pain you're feeling at the moment, but there really isn't one. Really all you have is time. The pain dulls eventually, but even now when I hear a little bell tinkle I look for Karis.

Talk to people. Don't let it eat you up inside. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. And there'll be times you remember the stupid stuff they used to do (I remember being jumped on in the night by Karis who had leaped about 10 ft from a wardrobe right onto my stomach...come on, be honest, there's something's they do that are serious laugh out loud moments), and you'll feel the sides of your mouth lift. It'll happen, it may not feel like it, but it will.

If you need to talk, ill happily listen.




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I am so sorry for your loss! It'd be like losing a sister I guess, being raised with a cat that long. I hope the pain eases soon and you are left with great memories of your cat. Yes, I think it was best that she succumbed suddenly and didn't linger in agony for any length of time. Hugs to you.
 

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The two of you basically grew up together, providing each other with love and encouragement the entire time. She went to the bridge content in knowing she had lived a life full of your mutual love. You took care of each other.

Please take care of yourself now. Don't ever feel like you can't continue to post here about her or your personal feelings.
 

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I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Not to diminish your pain, but at 25, everything is so intense and new...and this makes it harder. Your cat had a great life with lots of love and affection. No cat could ask for better. You shared 19 wonderful years and your kitty will be missed, but YOU must go on. You have decades ahead of you to share joy and happiness and have many successes in your life. Remember the good times; give yourself permission to mourn your kitty's death....and try to embrace all the good that is ahead of you. Maybe you can do something in your kitty's name...volunteer at an animal shelter, rescue another cat when you are ready, compile pictures of your cat and make a great hanging for your wall.
It is natural to cry and miss them....but 19 is a great, long life and kitty could not have done it without you!
 

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Good work on the long life span.

You have my permission to adopt.

A shelter kitty is waiting for you
 

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There is not much things worse in life than losing your best friend, that is about as rock bottom as it gets. But you did an amazing thing, whatever you did to have her live 19 long years, she must have had such love and wonderful care in her life to live that long. There is no escaping that pain that you feel, and you have to let yourself feel it. But you do have to go on, and it will get easier, and no, it won't be overnight. What Kbbargho said about remembering the funny, silly things about her.....that is absolutely the best thing you can do, remember the funny or silly stories about her, or the story of how you got her, whether you picked her out from a kitten yourself or how she came to be in your life, talk about her. We will be here to listen to you and laugh and smile hearing about those memories. It seriously was the best thing I did when I lost my dog 5 years ago. My whole family, we all talked about the things that he did, the troubles he caused us, we laughed about those things, and it really helped us all. And yes, grieve and remember her, and when you are ready, go get another kitty. When my dog died, I had a foster dog 5 days later.....I was not ready to adopt, but fostering helped me so much. And then when you are ready, a new kitty will help heal your heart, it really will. It will never be the same as what you had with your first kitty, but you will still learn to love another beautiful kitty and really will help you heal. When you are ready.

It really is one of the hardest things you will ever go through, and it really sucks that we have to outlive so many of our pets. It's one of the hardest things in life. But you have to keep moving forward and yes, keep your memories and funny and good times with this kitty, and be proud that you had a cat that lived for 19 years. 19 years! We pray to get that long out of our precious babies, and you did it hon, you have those wonderful 19 years of memories of her and you will always have that. Think how sad she would be to know that you are so crushed right now. Our kitties don't like it when we are that sad. So allow yourself your time to cry....you come here and cry to any of us, and we will cry along with you (I am crying right now along with you) and tell us all about her, and when you are ready, give another baby that kind of love. I like the suggestion that you could volunteer at a shelter, play with some baby kittens, offer to bottle feed some newborn babies, they will find something for you to do.

My heart is sad for you, but I really hope that you will reach out and let someone help you if you really need it. I know several people that needed counseling after losing a pet, and if you really feel that you need it, don't be afraid to ask for that kind of help. Please hang in there, and we are here to listen if you need to talk.
 

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Im so deeply sorry. The pain run s deep.

Make sure you cry. Seriously. Dont hold it in.
Cry as much as you need to .Bawl. Profound loss HURTS. DEEPLY

In time, you will find that you are smiling, even when you cry. It ok to smile too, when it's time.

:patback

hugs and love...to the both of you....

(my avatar is the special place where two of my beloved kitties are. 10 weeks apart they went. I wasnt ready. That was last fall. I still cry, but I smile too)


I just had to put down my 19 year old cat. I'm 25. I feel a bit as though she's all I had.. through everything she was there. So many times no one else was. She was the one constant and meant more to me than anything else ever.

It all happened so fast. . She started having troubles breathing slowly over a few days. Then last night it was worse. Had to take her to the vet this morning. Her chest was all full of liquid and weighing the options, and the alternatives, my vet and I agreed it was the right thing to do. She seemed so healthy. Her coat was prettier than ever and just everything seemed fine.. Last night though she cuddled with me overnight, but didn't seem right and laid in an odd way (to let her breathe as best as possible) and I knew it wasn't good.

I gave her the best life I could. I guess it's good that it wasn't a long ordeal? But I just feel so alone now. I keep expecting her to jump on by me.. but she never will again.

What should I do? I don't know what next..
 

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I'm so very very sorry for your loss. I know there's nothing I can say that will help ease the pain.

I can empathize. I have a cat now because (aside from my apartment now allowing dogs) I didn't feel ready to replace Mini, my dog of 16 years. It was over 5 years from her passing and I was afraid that I'd expect any dog I adopted to be her and wouldn't bond with it when it WAN"T her.

That's how I wound up with MowMOw, I figured I'd never expect a cat to be like her... I swear sometimes that he's Mini reincarnated. He's SO much like her. I honestly have NO idea how I"m going to cope when it's his time.

I will also admit that Shepherd Book was adopted partially to soften that blow when it happens. I wanted PLENTY of time to become super attached to him so I'd have a little someone to lean on.
 

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I am really sorry for your loss. I just put my baby down in March & I miss him dearly. What helped me is looking at photos of him & my other cat that crossed over 2 1/2 years ago. Plus, we adopted a 1 year old cat & have our dog to give lots of cuddles to.

It does get easier even though everything looks bleak now. Looking at the spots where my cats loved hanging out makes me sad & wish they were here.


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It hurts so much, I know. I am very sorry for your loss. Your cat lived a nice long life and it sounds like it was her time. I take some solice that now our loved ones are in peace without any suffering. It can happen fast with a senior cat. I also took a few days to cry my eyes out. Still things remind me and I cry. But time also helps us to go on and live. I made a lot of plans after the first couple of cry days with people to do things to take my mind off of it. Also I do remember wonderful times and particular personality of my friend. I am older and have had 4 cats and 4 dogs throughout the years and it never gets easier. You won't replace each one but if you love animals you will have others that you love.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
THank you all so much for your kind words.

I know I did the right thing for her. At least the rational part of me thinks so. THey could have tried to extract the fluid to help her breathe, but it sounds like it's not all that successful in older cats, and that it'd return in a matter of days. But that the underlying cause was most likely cancer, and that in itself is horrible. So, it seemed like having her go through the trauma of that experience, and then just getting worse would be more for my sake, than for hers.. but then it's like maybe I didn't try to fight enough for her life? But, it doesn't seem like that really.. I don't know. I'm really glad I stayed with her to the very end at the vet, I never would've forgiven myself if I hadn't. I got the private cremation, so I'll get the cremates back.

Just, I'm a bit scared and uncertain now about everything and the future. She was the one constant bright spot in my life, that kept me going through all the dark times. She never really warmed to anyone except for me, despite never being treated ill by anyone, and, like, she was a very small cat and had the softest, silkiest fur I've ever felt (objective, I swear) on a cat, but she would never let anyone pet her except for me. Despite being barely 7lbs, she'd still try to attack people's feet like she was ten times her size. I felt like she needed me, and that I had to be strong and whatnot for her sake. Since the thought of what would happen to her without me was just too much. If she got "lost" and thought no one (she'd accept my mother as a second-best if necessary) was home, she'd wander the house meowing pitifully--she was never left home alone overnight. Like, she'd more or less dictate what time I went to sleep, since if I were reading in bed for too long she'd get impatient and make it clear she was ready to go to sleep--since I sleep on my side and she liked to curl up in the space between my arm and body, basically taking full advantage of a 360 degree space heater, and being completely adorable, since I could always feel the vibration of her purring when first settling in. Sleeping tonight is going to be so horrible.

Maybe there had been a couple signs though that something was amiss, since she hadn't brought me any mice (toy) for a few weeks. Typically, in the evening, she'd leave my side very decidedly and return a few minutes later with a mouse. Also, I'd noticed little clumps of fur like matting together it seemed at the very base, just like ~10 hairs, but it was unusual.. Also, she'd be more finicky with her food, in that she'd eat a little bit of it at first only, and then return hours later to eat more. I'm not sure if those were indicators. I finally left the house a bit ago to go on a long run, and when I came back I had to take care of her wet food from this morning that she never ate. That was tough.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get another cat. She'd been the only cat for about 15 years. There had been another, but my sister took it with her when she moved and then my cat just became so much happier and more comfortable/secure, and it was clear she would be the only cat from them on. So for long, it's been just her and I, and she was/is just the absolute perfect cat to me, and no other could possibly compare. LIke, she was a true cat personality, in that she had an attitude and didn't want anything to do most people and had that 'cat' look, a mild disdainful blank look, down pat, but then was so cuddly and affectionate with me. The number of pictures I have of her, and then of her with me, is ridiculous. But, I'm glad for it now.
 

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THank you all so much for your kind words.

I know I did the right thing for her. At least the rational part of me thinks so. THey could have tried to extract the fluid to help her breathe, but it sounds like it's not all that successful in older cats, and that it'd return in a matter of days. But that the underlying cause was most likely cancer, and that in itself is horrible. So, it seemed like having her go through the trauma of that experience, and then just getting worse would be more for my sake, than for hers.. but then it's like maybe I didn't try to fight enough for her life? But, it doesn't seem like that really.. I don't know. I'm really glad I stayed with her to the very end at the vet, I never would've forgiven myself if I hadn't. I got the private cremation, so I'll get the cremates back."


I just went through this 2 weeks ago and I am familiar with the thoughts of doing the right thing, noticing, fighting, etc. I feel we did the right thing. We have the ability to choose to spare our fur family of the end of life suffering and to be with them at the end. Since we can't be with them at the vets in the back, we allow them to pass on with the assurance of a loved one right with them. We assume the pain and the loss. She sounds like a lovely cat who loved you so much. She had a happy life and a long life too. Just don't second guess everything if it hurts you more. This is the cycle of life. I know I wish I could have one more pet and hug but I also know they are in peace.
 

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My vet actually did let me stay by my cat's side through the euthanasia. I decided to have a different vet (at the same office) than normal do it. My usual vet is a man, who is an awesome vet, and I love him, but my cat hated him! Like his voice/presence, etc. So I asked the woman vet to do it instead.
 

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The way you describe her typical cat personality gives me a perfect picture of her :) A typical cat with the disdainful look and only warming to you, and how she brought you the mice, I do, I have the perfect image of her now. I love that little cat personality, and one of mine has that same little attitude, and most people find it really annoying, I find it cute, especially when they annoyance is directed at others and yet they love you so much. I guess that's what makes us cat people, that we actually have an overabundance of love for these little creatures with such attitudes :)
 

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My vet actually did let me stay by my cat's side through the euthanasia. I decided to have a different vet (at the same office) than normal do it. My usual vet is a man, who is an awesome vet, and I love him, but my cat hated him! Like his voice/presence, etc. So I asked the woman vet to do it instead.
That was a smart and compassionate decision. There was no need to unduly add to the cat's stress. Give it some time, you will find you have an inner strength that you never knew existed and one day a little furball will reach out to you. Maybe she/he will stumble across you and you will have been chosen, or maybe you will visit a shelter and someone will speak to you. You have a lot to give to an unfortunate cat soul so don't give up on the idea of loving again.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet that you've had a special bond with is an incredibly hard thing to go through. I went through it last year when I had to put Ziggy to sleep because of cancer. He was with me for over 13 years and most of that time it was just him and me. I preferred his company over 99% of the people I know and I cried every day for 3 weeks after he was gone.

The healing really began after we got Gazoo. It shifted my focus away from grieving for a lost friend to taking care of a new, full of energy, crazy kitten. Only you can decide if that is right for you, but it definitely helped me.

I still keep a couple pictures of Ziggy around the house, along with one of his toys. Every Saturday around 11:30am (that was the day/time he left us) I think about him.

You did right by your cat and gave her a great life. Kudos to you for taking such good care of her for all those years. Maybe one day, when you are ready, you'll do the same for another little fur ball who needs a good home.
 

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I'm so sorry. :( I can't imagine how hard it must be after that many years together. Other than remembering all of the happy times you had and the silly things she did, the only piece of advice I can give you is to try not to talk to people who don't have pets, or those who don't understand how we consider our pets human friends. I found it very hurtful that some of my friends, even very close ones, thought my grief was excessive, and that I'd "get over it" in a few days. I hope it'll help you a little to find yourself here among people who know how deep the pain is.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks all again!

My mom has been quite helpful the past couple days. I've often wished that she and I were closer, and got on better, and we've actually come together a bit as a result. After high school, I couldn't really figure out what I wanted to do, and since then I have, and only have 1 year left of undergrad. Consequently, I've been living at home (I like my parents, and it makes sense), which is why my cat had been able to live in the same house for her entire life, and why my mom is so affected also--since she was pretty much the prime caregiver for the necessary parts, such as feeding and daily litter box(es!) cleaning, whereas I benefited by far the most from all the fun things, like cuddling, etc. My dad went with me to the vet yesterday (a first, I've always just gone alone with her), but let me be there alone with the vet during the final moments, which is what I wanted, and I think he was genuinely surprised to find how much he cared for her, and how emotional it was for him--considering the cat didn't care all that much for him.. It's weird kinda to think of a little creature that has lived its entire life in the same building (except leaving about 12 times or so to go to the vet). Unfortunately, also as a result, every single thing in my house reminds me of her. Especially my room. Just, everything, every spot, every item basically, has a mental imagery attached to it with her, which makes it difficult.

I'm so thankful now that I took SO many pictures, and videos of her doing everyday cat things (chasing after toys, cleaning herself, washing her cute little face, twitching in her sleep when dreaming, audio of her purring, etc). On Dropbox, due to phone auto-upload, I pretty much have pictures from almost every single day for the past year or so. Looking now I can kind of see when she started to not sleep/lie quite right (around the beginning of the month), which is tough to look at now.

I'm thankful also that the usual vet, the man, was very honest about the situation. And after talking to him, and then the woman vet who would've done the procedure to try to drain the fluid since it was more her specialty (that's when I met her and found her demeanor soothing and then asked her to do the euthanasia), and I made my decision, and then after I told him my decision, I asked him he if he thought it was the right one, and he said that he knew it was. I found that somewhat comforting. He's a good vet; like, he owns the practice and could easily have talked up this expensive procedure and whatnot, but he cares, so he wouldn't do that ever. That said, I have no idea what the bill was for the euthanasia and private cremation (my dad paid, and then waited in the car for me, so that I could just leave through the side door)..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Also, the house just feels SO unbelievably empty. This is the first time I can remember that we haven't had a cat. Since, we'd always had two before mine, so, well, there was always one at least..

And, I've always seen so much merit in adopting older cats, for obvious reasons, yet all I want now is a little kitten really.. I feel that any adult cat we'd get just would seem very dull/disappointing and not special, and just wrong, since the comparison would be there, and like I'd almost resent it for not being my cat.. And it seems like a kitten would be just so different, that that could be avoided maybe. But, I'm really, really afraid that a new cat wouldn't like me the best.. like, maybe wouldn't want to cuddle with me at night, etc. etc.. and that's what I miss so much, so it'd be so sad if that were the case..

But then, also, I can't help but feel like I let my cat down, and that she's not here anymore, so maybe I shouldn't get another, and maybe I shouldn't like be happy with another cat.. I don't know.

Whenever I saw her looking cute and warming my heart, I'd often say to her 'oh kitty, whatever would I do without you?', and I just never thought I'd have to find out so soon.. and it's the worst. ANd whenever I'd leave my house for a bit, when she'd be home alone (a couple hours max) I'd always say 'bye darling kitty, be good', even if she was sleeping under the bed or something out of sight, and I keep catching myself wanting to do that.. and that's also the worst.. and whenever I'd return and see her I'd cuddle-attack her (lol, you know what I mean I hope.. when a cat just looks so cute that you can't resist petting and snuggling next to or scooping up to cuddle) and say 'did you miss me? I missed you! you were probably sleeping the whole time though...', and I'll never get to say that again, and that's also the worst.

((also, I should note, I swear she did have a name, but she came, at 6 months, already named with one we didn't choose, and having been the only cat for so long, I stopped addressing her by anything other than 'kitty' or other pet names, such as sweet pea, love, cute-kitty, darling, etc))
 
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