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Putting our cat to sleep...I need to call the vet today.

(37 Posts)
HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 10:01:42

I'm a jibbering wreck over this decision and certainly don't feel like an almost 40 year old 'grown up' and thought perhaps I could seek clarity and hopefully comfort and rational thought here..

So the long and short of it is that my (I say mine as I've had him from a kitten for 14 years and DH, of 5 years isn't a 'cat person' and I know what he thinks, therefore the decision fall weighty on my shoulders) poor cat has had a lump on his leg for a good number of months now, it's burst and been treated with antibiotics, but never healed. On the last trip to the vets the vet said it was a tumour and possibly cancer.

She gave me two option of having an operation, depending on what the outcome of the antibiotics was and if it healed - and I hate to say it but as she said, it would be costly, in the region of £320, and then a biopsy, in the region of £90, to confirm her diagnosis or if it didn't just heal then in her words 'they wouldn't judge me if I wanted to have him put to sleep as he was elderly'

Whilst the lump is all gammy and leaking pus- he does however, seem sort of unconcerned, he still has an appetite (possibly in my mind, as I hate to admit otherwise and he is getting skinny) and he's not limping or anything

SO this is where I struggle. He can't continue with like this - he's currently confined to living in the kitchen (though does go out) I feel mean, evil and cruel thinking we 100% can't afford the operation and all the fees associated with it, to not prolong the life for long and therefore putting him to sleep does seem the kindest, most rational decision ? Doesn't it ?

Sorry for long post - please be gentle, as I say, I feel absolutely agonised by feeling cruel, irresponsible and wracked with guilt to be contemplating putting him to sleep and can't bear to think today is his last day...

ClaimedByMe Wed 26-Jun-13 10:06:08

I am going to be no help but give you flowers

I am in complete denial that anything will happen to my cats.

kilmuir Wed 26-Jun-13 10:11:48

Its the last kind thing you need to do for your dear cat. I had to ring to arrange to have my dear 16 year old labrador put to sleep. I xould hardly speak, but receptionist was so kind.
be strong.x

loler Wed 26-Jun-13 10:22:28

Sounds like you are completely doing the right thing. Making the choice now means that he will never have suffered. I think you know when the right time to do it is.

It's really hard but it will be a massive relief after. When I made a similar choice, I stayed and held my cat - she was really poorly and it was a calm end.

Hugs to you.

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 10:43:07

Thank you for speedy responses, trying not to well up at desk!

claimed, yep that's me in denial!

kilmuir, sorry to hear about your dog, a dear friend recently had to have her's put to sleep and I've chatted to her about it and like you say, she could hardly speak and not someone known to ever not be able to do that!

loler, wise words, as you say, I don't want him to suffer and I don't know that whilst he might 'appear' ok, what could be going on inside could be bad and it will only get worse.

thanks again, am going to try and summon strength to make the call to vets and then I guess I'm half way there..

aside from my emotional feelings, am a really practical person - loler, you say you stayed with your cat - I'm not entirely sure I have strength of being to do that ? Is it expected that you do ? I sort of would have liked to bury him in the garden, though not sure that's practical and whether I want to have a dead cat in a box sort of scenario coming home? My friend had her dog cremated and got the ashes, I don't think that's me either.. Any practical tips?

ClaimedByMe Wed 26-Jun-13 11:02:21

You can get them cremated but not have the ashes back, ive had all my guinea pigs cremated and got the ashes back in a wee urn, they are kept at my mums with her 2 cats and guinea pigs ashes. We don't have enough space to bury them and too many foxes and cats around here they would just get dug up.

we are actually quite a normal family although that post makes me sound like a nutter

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 11:09:11

thanks claimed, ahh yes, I hadn't thought of the prospect of it being dug up and space etc. I guess when we buried our cat as kids it was in a much bigger garden - I did think that it might not be ideal. Will enquire with vets about cremation.

fond memories of my childhood guinea pigs.. don't worry you don't sound at all nuts to me! she says recalling walking round local park with best friend and a dolls pram full of baby guinea pigs, giving old ladies frights when they wanted to look at our dolls!

loler Wed 26-Jun-13 11:12:39

I was asked if I wanted to stay (had dog put to sleep previous year and DH went with her - felt completely unreal as I didn't see her go).
The nurse held the cat while the vet gave her a small injection. She used to hate the vet but she was obviously very poorly (although looked fine but skinny), as she didn't fight it at all. She just lay down and went to sleep. I stroked her paw the whole time - was sort of comforting knowing that I'd been there for her. They asked if I wanted time with her - I didn't , gave her a stroke and said goodbye.
I could have taken her home with me but chose for them to have her cremated (i didn't want the ashes).

It's really hard but couldn't face leaving her alone with the vet. Vets are really really good at doing this - they must have to do it all the time. Whatever you chose to do they wil help you feel that you've made a good choice. Do the right thing for you.

If today isn't a good day for you to do it then leave until tomorrow.

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 11:24:54

food for thought, thanks again loler for speedy reply, as you say, I'm sort of thinking I might want to feel I'm there for him..

My aim is to make the call today and then go tomorrow - I've specifically booked time off work (as DD will be at childminders) and like you say, I do sort of know it will be a relief in some ways as I know it's time... I guess I can decide at the vets what to do.

Just another quick question popped to mind - I'm assuming (having geared myself up for all this with your speedy help!) that the vet is unlikely to question my decision - they do keep records don't they ? I hadn't thought that they might suddenly tell me they can't do this ?

rubyflipper Wed 26-Jun-13 11:32:50

Poor you.

Put the poor old gent to sleep. He's had a wonderful life with you and it's time to let him go.

loler Wed 26-Jun-13 11:36:35

If the vet has suggested it as an option then they will definitely have kept records and are likely to be waiting for your call (ours was a large vets and they remembered me straight away).

Hope the call goes OK

Signet2012 Wed 26-Jun-13 11:38:00

I got my lovely dog PTS in December I miss him every day.

He had an problem with his throat and like you I told myself he still loved his food, likes his walks and was ok for now.

When I eventually took him the diagnosis was nothing could be done (his throat had paralysed) and he advised PTS.

I asked the vet of he was suffering and he told me kindly but honestly yes. He said its animals instinct to hide their discomfort until it becomes unmanageable for them (to prevent them from being seen as the weak link in the pack)

He told me any longer would be cruel. He also told me much better a week too early than a day too late.

You know in your heart though, I did. I just looked at him one day and realised the lights in his eyes had gone out. It broke my heart. He was much more than a dog to me. But it was the right thing to do for him.

SoupDragon Wed 26-Jun-13 11:55:57

I had to have SoupKitten PTS a couple of weeks ago (she was 5 and had degenerative heart failure) The vet was happy to try more medication but I was not prepared to go through it all only to be back in a few months to have her PTS.

I still feel a little bad but I didn't stay with her, I left her and basically ran. She was cremated and I did not have the ashes returned or anything. It was the worst thing I have had to do in my life so far.

I ordered a brass plaque for our garden bench which has her name and dates on it so we have a memorial but no chance of having her exhumed by foxes.

Good luck with your decision - it is a horrible one to make.

Signet2012 Wed 26-Jun-13 11:59:56

Oh and I stayed with him trying to hide the fact I was crying from dh and the dog and the vet!

I Also got his ashes back in a lovely little box with his name on that lives on the sideboard above were he used to lay.

I think it cost about 240 in all. He was a big dog and that was for the consultation, a sedation to make him calm, the injection, cremation, his ashes back and the box.

The vets sent us a sympathy card which was a nice touch then sent marketing a few months later with a flier in saying you may feel ready to get another dog now bastards

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 12:14:26

oh ladies thank you, thank you for the kind words.. am sorry to hear about your dog signet and cat soup I did smile signet what bastard vets!

right well I've got the number and feeling strong enough to make the call.

kilmuir Wed 26-Jun-13 12:18:18

let us know how you get on.x

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 13:54:32

Well I've phoned the vet, the receptionist was really kind and helpful..--whilst I mumbled on about my help and support and posting on Mumsnet!-- and eventually got out the words I needed.

So we have an appointment for tonight as I was all over place and if possible for me to catch him as as soon as I put the phone down I realised realistically I hadn't prepared for that and want to take some photos and sit with him for a while tonight.. so she's also said it's no problem if I cancel and they have spaces tomorrow. Anyway's small steps and that and she was so supportive and said that the notes did indicate it wasn't good.

Thanks again so much... really made world of difference to me feeling 'confident' in feeling this is the right thing to do.

loler Wed 26-Jun-13 13:57:59

Have lots of cuddles - you really are doing the right thing.

Make sure you have a bottle of something good to toast him with x

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 14:11:18

thanks loler, I can't help but reflect on my phonecall - she must have thought I was bonkers as I kept quoting what you kind women had said on here!

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 14:12:03

ps yes, bottle of something for sure!

loler Wed 26-Jun-13 14:16:30

I just use 'someone I know said' when referring to mums net.

You did just fine holding it together long enough to get an appointment. - take care

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 14:18:57

haha, I wish I had the foresight to think of that line instead of my mad ramble.. arghh, now just to see if he home when I get there and perhaps it's better to go for it tonight then drag it out or I'll be wired and even more insane by tomorrow afternoon!

tobiasfunke Wed 26-Jun-13 14:19:30

You are doing the right thing. I have had to this 3 times now and actually when I look back on it the only regret I have is that I let the first cat linger too long.

I have held the cats whilst they are PTS and it is very peaceful apart from my bawling. The vets are always very kind.
I have taken 2 home to bury and the other one had to be cremated as we were moving house- but I kept a bit of his fur.

Everytime I do it I always think I hope someone takes me to the vet when I get old and sick.

Good luck. It is a very sad thing but the last kindness you can do for them.

Lottie4 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:31:42

Firstly if money is an issue, would the vet accept monthly payments? Does the vet feel the operation will be successful? Putting aside his current lifestyle due to the problem, what is his quality of life like? The answers to these questions may not help you come to a decision, but they are all things I would ask myself.

My two will be 14 soon and at the present time live life to the full. My husband wouldn't be cruel to them, but they are very much my cats and he will let me decide as and when. I'm very lucky to have saved £15 a month towards vets fees since I had them, so have a nice amount put aside so I'm lucky that wouldn't be an issue. I've recently said to my husband though I wouldn't be willing to put them through anything which they didn't stand a good chance of recovering from and having a good quality of life. Most vets will probably only state the facts and let you judge, but it might be worth having a word with them and asking what they think is fairer.

Whatever you decide, don't kick yourself, he has had a great life and is clearly well cared for - this isn't the case for all cats

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Jun-13 14:33:00

tobais goodness, sorry you've had to do it 3 times.. makes me feel strong to think of that.

Still not sure I'll be strong enough to be able to hold him and may have to leave vet too it - I a bit of a lightweight when it comes to needles and if I found it all too much I'm prone to fainting which I'm not sure would be good. Wondering if my DH despite his appearing non fussed about him, might actually need to come with me and perhaps he can be there I know he's got a soft spot somewhere for the cat!!! will mull that over.

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