Came home today with dds to find cat on the path unable to move. His back legs don't work and he was bleating every so often. Took him inside onto bed gave food and phoned vet. Could only speak to receptionist so booked an appointment first thing tomorrow. He is calm, letting me stroke him, snoozing but bleats if I go out if the room. I tried to explain to Dds that he is old poorly and we will take him to vets in the morning. asking for advice really on how to explain to dd @5) and (7) if the vet insists there is nothing more we can do for him. DD is ill and may need to come with me to vets tomorrow which would make it worse for her.
Try and get someone to look after DD. It would be unfair to take her to the vets. I think children do understand why a pet has to die because you, as a family, do not want to see the pet very unhappy and unable to live and enjoy life as a pet should. However much pleasure they have given your family, there is a time to let go. My mum hung on to her cat for several years after she (the cat!) had a stroke and was incontinent. Only the birth of my DD made her see sense and take said cat to the vets. This cat was originally mine when I lived at home but I felt Mum was wrong to prolong its life when it was plainly not happy. "But she purrs" was Mum's view, but cats purr when they like you, not because they are ok. See what the vet says but having a pet means taking tough decisions, occasionally.
Thanks for your post blackmogul. I think she will be really upset so will go to vets and if he say he has to be put to sleep arrange another appointment later in the day. I agree it's quality of life that is important. Our cat rarely speaks but getting lots of bleats so while he is calm he is not ok