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To feel like I've sentenced this cat to death...

(26 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Apr-14 11:13:44

Backstory: my dad (parents are divorced) has got two gorgeous cats, brother and sister, aged 15. They are the biggest, fluffiest, sweetest cats in the world - I'm a huge cat lover! My dad goes abroad quite a lot and usually my mom goes in and feeds them for him but 6 months ago the decision was made for both cats to go and live with my mom for she loves them a lot more than my dad does smile

The female has been on thyroid medication for the last year but over the last month she has deteriorated to the point where me and mom find it upsetting to see her and watch her. I won't list all the examples of how we know she is quite ill, but it's got to the point where she is clearly suffering.

My mom has spoken to my dad about it a few times but his answer is, "She's still eating so she's fine." - she really isn't.

A few days ago I told my dad that enough is enough and it's cruel to make the cat live her life like this. I explained that my mom sees the cat every day whereas he never sees it, and so he should trust her judgement. I said that he's not the one who has to see the cat suffering every day so it's easy for him to ignore the issue. I told him all the signs that me and mom have noticed that show how downhill she has gone and that he needs to stop brushing it off and take it seriously.

The result is that she's being put to sleep this evening sad

I feel like her death is going to be my fault - she's not going to be here anymore and it's because I've told my dad to do it. I know she's suffering and it's really upsetting when my mom updates me on how the cat is, but I feel so guilty that she's being put to sleep because of me.

Her brother is going to miss her so much - they haven't been apart for 15 years. The whole thing is just horrible sad

You are doing the kindest thing for her.

I had 2 cats, sisters and one had an over active thyroid and was on the medication for a few years. When she was 16 she deteriorated so quickly that we had her PTS - sad as it was it was the kindest thing for her.

I honestly thought her sister would pine for her - she didn't at may be surprised.

Please don't feel bad - you would be far more unkind to let her carry on suffering. She has had 15 wonderful years, it's a good age for a cat and you are letting her go with dignity.

Hope you are ok.

CrazyOldCatLady Wed 23-Apr-14 11:27:00

It's not your fault, it's her illness. You did the right thing in persuading your dad to have some compassion for the poor girl.

lucycoco Wed 23-Apr-14 11:30:14

You MUSTN'T feel bad, you are doing a very kind thing in spite of it being by far the harder choice to make. That makes you a good person, in my book, and a person the cat is very lucky to have as her advocate at the moment.

I'm so sorry for your upsetting situation, but you should look back at your actions with absolute confidence that you did the right thing.

HavantGuard Wed 23-Apr-14 11:38:41

You've just done a very kind thing. Pets rely on their owners to make decisions that are in their best interests and that put their well being above our emotional attachment. The cat won't suffer anymore. That's what matters.

It will be hard for your mother but she wouldn't have agreed for it to be euthanised unless she felt that it was necessary.

grimbletart Wed 23-Apr-14 11:44:49

You have done the right thing OP. When we love someone (and that includes an animal) we do what is right for them however much it hurts us and however bad it makes us feel. That's what love is.

Birdsgottafly Wed 23-Apr-14 12:09:26

I agree that you have done the right thing.

I had to have my much lived (favourite) German Shepherd put down six years ago and i still wonder if I should of given him a couple more years. So I know how it feels, it is a upsetting dilemma.

Just have fresh chicken or fish alavable in case her brother goes off his food.

He will miss her, but cats do get over losing their companions.

NatashaBee Wed 23-Apr-14 12:12:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coumarin Wed 23-Apr-14 12:16:41

It's not because of you, it's because she's very ill. A vet wouldn't do it unless they also thought it was necessary. Can you have a chat with the vet yourself to reassure you?

Someone needed to speak up for her as she can't do it herself and that someone was you. You've done a kind thing.


strawberrypenguin Wed 23-Apr-14 12:20:27

You have done the best and kindest thing for her. It's a heartbreaking thing to have to do but unfortunately sometimes it is the one last thing we can do for our animals. She sounds like she has had a lovely life with you and that's what you need to remember.

jaysaway Wed 23-Apr-14 12:24:19

you are doing the cat the biggest favour you are doing nothing wrong you are stopping the suffering, My cat was 18 when she was put to sleep she had kidney failure she lived 6ish months after the diagnoses she was still eating little bits here and there but we decided her quality of life was so poor even with eating and drinking that we had to do it, don't get me wrong it is heartbreaking but it is kinder to do it than not,

jaysaway Wed 23-Apr-14 12:26:32

I had the notion that my cat would go off to die peacefully I had read that somewhere and was hoping it would go like that but in the end i just had to make that final decision

Darksideofthemoon88 Wed 23-Apr-14 12:29:30

You've done absolutely the right thing. It's horrible and no doubt it'll break your heart, but you absolutely can't let her continue to suffer - what you're doing is far kinder. Give her lots of love in the meantime. You've made the toughest decision of all - sending some love your way flowers

Pigglesworth Wed 23-Apr-14 13:05:07

I can understand how upset you feel because I felt similarly when my beloved 13 year old cat - previously diagnosed with feline asthma and an overactive thyroid condition, which were managed well with medication - was diagnosed with terminal cancer, stage 4 lymphoma. She went downhill rapidly after this diagnosis and needed to be euthanised within a month despite being given a longer prognosis.

I blamed myself and thought I had killed her by going ahead with the euthanasia despite the fact that the vet felt my cat was not yet "in pain", but was clearly in my opinion uncomfortable. (The vet estimated my cat to have 1-3 days remaining to live at that point.) I cried a lot for 3 months afterwards blaming myself for cutting my cat's life short, but now realise I did the right thing and in fact could have made that decision earlier than I did. My cat's companion (male cat) who was bought at the same time and had grown up with her initially missed her but we bought another young adult female cat and after a rocky start, they quickly became "friends" and spend most of their days together.

Anyway, my point is that you are definitely doing the right and kind thing and deep down you must know this, or this would not be happening. It will really be painful for you initially but with time you will understand and be comfortable with the fact that you did the right thing. People generally regret the opposite decision - allowing the animal to continue to suffer or undergo invasive or distressing medical procedures, as they cannot bear to part with their pet. That is putting yourself first rather than your pet. Best wishes to you, try to be kind to yourself and talk to trusted others about how you are feeling.

MissPlumBroughtALadder Wed 23-Apr-14 13:19:39

A wonderful saying I read once: Better a week too soon than a day too late.
She's a lucky cat and you are doing the right thing.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 23-Apr-14 13:35:00

I don't understand what you're saying at all. You said the cat's life wasn't worth living and it wasn't fair to keep her like this any longer. What exactly did you mean him to do other than exactly what he's done? Were you thinking there was an operation or a change in medication that would have helped rather than ending her (currently sad) life? Because if not - and surely it would be risky at 15 years of age even if there were - I don't understand why you feel guilty.

Sad, yes, of course, that a nice animal has become so ill, and you'll miss her, but I'd have thought you must be comforted by knowing she is not suffering any more because of your intervention. If you didn't want it to come to an end then what you said to your dad was pointless - wasn't it?

Sorry to sound harsh (as I realise I do) but... confused

Squirrelsmum Wed 23-Apr-14 13:50:24

sad It is a hard call but you are doing the right thing for the cat.

thegreylady Wed 23-Apr-14 14:14:07

My two lovely cats are 15+ now and I know that one of them is becoming much more feeble. It is so hard I know but the kindest thing is to have a suffering pet pts.

Blithereens Wed 23-Apr-14 14:23:55

You haven't sentenced her to death, sweetheart. You have helped to bring an end to her suffering. It's awful but you are doing the right thing. She is lucky to have humans who want to do the right thing by her. thanks

LEMmingaround Wed 23-Apr-14 14:34:38

One of the hardest things i had to deal with as a vet nurse was when owners WOULDN'T put their pets to sleep. I shed more tears over that than ever having to PTS an animal that was clearly suffering.

The cat is old and that is most likely the reason why a thyroid operation wasn't practical. That is actually quite a good age for a cat so he has obviously had a good life.

It is very easy to say don't feel guilty because you will, i did with each and every one of my pets but you know deep down that you don't really have a choice, well you do, but the right thing to do is let them die a painless and dignified death. I don't know if an animal understands dying, but they understand pain and you can see the releif on their faces when that stops.

You are doing the right thing.

gobbynorthernbird Wed 23-Apr-14 14:47:01

A difficult decision, but the right one. You are doing the best for the poor cat.

Madeyemoodysmum Wed 23-Apr-14 15:11:00

You poor thing, I can understand this as I have two getting old cats that are the best of friends. I dread the day they are separated. You have done the right thing though. As soon as one is suffering I will have to make that horrible decision too. Hugs to you.

SlimJiminy Wed 23-Apr-14 15:23:46

I like MissPlum's saying above: "Better a week too soon than a day too late." It's so sad. But you're doing the right thing. thanks

Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Apr-14 20:02:28

I've just spoken to my parents and the deed has been done. My dad collected her from my mom's house and then took her to the Vets. He said that spending just that short amount of time with her he could see she wasn't right. He said the whole process was very calm and that the Vet was brilliant. He sounded really upset and it's made me a bit tearful. At least my dad was in agreement at the end which has definitely eased my guilt.

My mom said the male cat has already started looking for his sister, I can't bear the thought of him losing his companion and being alone. My mom has got this week off work so at least he won't be alone.

Thank you everyone for all your kind words x

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 23-Apr-14 21:26:16

Take care, you didn't sentence her to death but made the best decision for the cat.

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