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Author Topic:   How do you know it's time to let go?
New Member

Posts: 1
From:Chicago, IL USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 12-17-2003 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blondie1     Edit/Delete Message
This is so hard to write, but I need support from people who have been there. My beloved cat, Punk, was diagnosed with lymphoma two months ago. Even with regular checkups he'd gone from his normal 13 lbs. down to 8 lbs. so I knew something was wrong. He was first diagnosed with colitis, then further tests showed gastrointestinal lymphoma. Since there's not adefinite tumor, but many little ones, surgery is not an option. Nor do I want to put him through chemo, which I've read isn't that successful. The steroid type pills I'm giving him for colitis seem to help some; the vet says, if untreated, they usually live 8-12 more weeks...and it's now been 7 weeks. The vet says his intestinal walls are thickening so he doesn't absorb nutrients, so he's hungry and wants to eat all the time, yet doesn't gain any weight back... and consequently has diarrhea a lot. I now atch him constantly because he throws up from time to time and the diarrhea is a problem...he doesn't cover it and often misses getting it in his box completely. Tonight, he even had diarrhea on the floor, which he's never done before. He doesn't seem to be in pain, however, purrs when I pet him and enjoys being by my side...but he does sleep most of the day. Sometimes though he just sits and stares at me like he maybe doesn't know why he feels like he does and his face seems to be taking on a sadder look. I've always said I will never kill my baby, but I don't want him to suffer. Yet, I don't want to put him to sleep before his time. This is such an awful, lonely thing to go through...and it's made even more difficult for me because my husband has always hated my cat and is making it doubly difficult on me. He's very intolerant of Punk's "accidents" him the cat is just a major inconvenience. I've had Punk for 16 12/ years, longer than I've known my husband. Punk has been my "rock" through the good times and especially the bad, and I love him dearly. I have no children so he's become "my baby" and he's given me such unconditional love and support. Consequently I refuse to let him down in his declining days...he deserves all the care and attention he needs, no matter what that is. Furthermore, I refuse to put him down for someone else's convenience. But it is getting more and more difficult to constantly watch Punk and clean up after him, but is that a reason to put him down...isn't that what you do for a loved on in their old age? But I know I'll have to make that decision soon...but will do I know when it's actually time? I don't want him to suffer...but I want to hang on to him as long as possible. I can't bear to think that I won't be able to nuzzle my face against his warm, furry neck or hold him and kiss him anymore. How will he ever understand why I could take his life?

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Posts: 701
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 12-17-2003 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
Wow. That's a very heavy decision you have. You obviously love him so much and I think you'll end up making a decision based on what you feel is the best for him.

The only thing I can share with you from my own experience is this: I had my previous cat for 20.5 years. She just started to go down hill after 20 and a few months. She had all the medical treatment available to her, but my vet just said to keep her as content as possible. Give her a lot of love and her time will come. She passed away at the home she loved with me and people that love her at her side.

I'm really sorry about your kitty. I know what are going through.

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Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 12-17-2003 10:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
You wouldn't be taking his life, you would be relieving him from his suffering. It sounds like your cat is in pain and feels badly most of the time. If there isn't any hope for him to recover the kindest thing you can do for him is let him go. I know it is hard, but do you think he likes living like this. I think you and he will both know when it is time for him to go. Maybe you can find someone who will come to your house, so he can be at home.

I'm sorry that you are going through this. I know you love your cat and he will love you no matter what b/c you are doing what you think is best for him.

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Posts: 227
From:Perth, Western Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 12-18-2003 02:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyles101     Edit/Delete Message
so sorry to hear about your cat. id say the time to let go is when the animals cant fend for themselves and the pain is affecting their normal activities. eg they cant eat, sleep, move. if hes in no pain and can still eat and move then keep him alive until he dies i guess. just spoil him rotten and focus all your attention on him =]

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Posts: 4
From:Lavonia GA USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 12-18-2003 04:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kolabear     Edit/Delete Message
I do know how you feel. I had my cat of almost 17 years put to sleep last Sunday. She had been going to the vet for the last few weeks because she was starting to have kidney failure. I had my husband pick up the cat after one of her treatments and he told the vet that I had said I could just not have her put to sleep. But last Saturday all she mainly did was sleep alot. On Sunday she fell just trying to get to her food and water bowl. She laid beside me suffering she would twitch her foot when I said her name. At 5;00 I got in touch with the vet. I took her for her last trip. The vet told me I was doing the right thing that when they got where they could not run,jump,eat and do the things they usually did although it was hurting me it was best for her. I cried and he cried, after all he had been her vet all of her life. He assured me she would never get better. I know My husband cared about Muffin but he is not the animal lover that I am. I have three grown children and two grand children but I am still having a hard time with this. I cry alot. A house is just a house without a cat. With a cat it is a home. She was a beautiful himalyan persian with eyes so blue. When the time comes with your cat you will know as I did. But it is hard. But I just did not want her to suffer. Bless you and good luck. I care.


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Posts: 201
From:Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-18-2003 05:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lucidity03     Edit/Delete Message
I'm so sorry to hear about the tough decision you have to make. The only thing I can say is, follow your heart. Keep your beloved cat in your mind when making the decision.

In that I mean, it sounds like he's in more pain than not. If he only has a couple weeks left at most, I don't know if it would be that terrible if you let him go so he could be out of pain.

I remember making that tough decision with my mother when I was in college. My 17 yr. old cat had cancer and there was no treatment that could save her. We kept her around for as long as possible. But in the end, she lay in a bed we made for her and cried all the time. When she got to the point of not eating, drinking, purring, or getting to the litter (only a couple feet away) we knew it was time to say goodbye.

Waiting to take her for her final vet visit was difficult. My family cried for those days before we had to take her. But, what's odd is that after she passed on, we stopped crying a little bit. It was hard, but we knew in our hearts that we did the right thing by letting her escape her misery.

It's just me, but I know in my heart that when it's my time, she'll be there waiting for me on the other side.

My heart goes out to you and there is no way to ease your pain for now. Do what your heart says. Your cat knows you love him. If you make the decision to let him go, please know that your doing it out of love and for your kitty's sake. Don't feel guilty.

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Posts: 944
From:Columbus, Tx ,USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 12-18-2003 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Samsintentions     Edit/Delete Message
I'm so sorry to hear about this, its hard with any animal. I've had to put down a horse that meant the world to me. He jsut got old and couldn't get up anymore, Just the look in his eyes begged for relief.

Its a very hard desision, but when your baby looks you in the eyes, and you see that pleading, you'll know.

Love him, hold him, and keep him comfy and happy. You'll meet again. Just remember that.

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Posts: 17
From:Fort Worth, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 12-21-2003 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CatGuy     Edit/Delete Message
Sounds to me like it's close but not there yet. I would give it some more time and make things as comfortable and easy as possible on your cat.

Also, sorry if this is offensive, but your husband is very insensitive. He doesn't have to like the animal but he shouldn't be making the situation harder on you, and you CERTAINLY shouldn't have the animal put to sleep early to appease an intolerant human.

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New Member

Posts: 1
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-07-2004 02:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Del     Edit/Delete Message
I logged on to get some advice about my own cat, Mozart and was drawn to your email. I cried when I read about Punk and the really hard and lonely place you find yourself in. I can imagine things will still be very hard for you no matter where you are right now. I lost one of my two feline companions Christmas eve last year. Tamish had been with me for 12 years and was diagnosed with a tumour just two months earlier. It was so difficult to make the decision to let him go - but I feel some relief that he is finally out of pain. I know Punk will know he was/is deeply loved. The depth of your grief says something about the strength of your love and he was lucky indeed to have that love. Take care, Del

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