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Bereavement

(19 Posts)
PolkaSpottyDotty Tue 11-Nov-14 14:05:14

I haven't been on MNet for ages, but I am turning here to talk and to try and help to deal with the hurt of losing my beloved 16 year old boy cat.

He had suffered with arthritis for the last year, but over the summer the muscle loss was becoming more and more evident. He really was a knock-kneed old gent. In the past few months, I had noticed an unusual smell from his mouth. The vet checked him out and could find nothing. We continued for a while on two meds to try and keep him comfortable - despite his arthritis and decreasing ability to get up onto our laps, or through the cat flap - he was eating well and appeared surprisingly healthy.

A couple of weeks ago, I became concerned about him. He had lost the sparkle in his eyes, and had retreated to my daughter's bedroom where he spent most of his time asleep. He came down once a day to eat, go outside and then he was straight back in and onto his warm spot. I'm ashamed to say I put off going back to the vet because I had that sinking feeling of knowing what was coming next.

Last week he started sneezing. Not just once or twice but almost continuously. The force of the sneeze made him look like the arthritis was really painful. I took him back last Friday to the vets, and she told me that he really was on his last legs now and we should prepare for the worst eventuality. She gave him a cortisone injection to make him more comfortable, and if there was any kind of polyp or growth in his upper airways she hoped it would relieve the symptoms.

He didn't pick up much over the weekend, but the cough / sneeze thing stopped. He has rallied round so many times, and in my heart I really wanted to see him looking a bit better again. We had booked euthanasia at home for this Friday, anticipating the worst but hoping for the best (which the vet was happy with and would cancel the appt if necessary).

I kept looking at him yesterday thinking that his breathing looked fast and laboured. He was in a bit of a daze, wandering, looking like he couldn't settle. I rang the vet and she booked him in for yesterday evening. I wanted reassuring that he wasn't in pain, or that I was imagining the breathing being odd to subconsciously justify euthanasia.

The vet took one look at my beautiful boy and I knew from her face that we were going to lose him there and then. She thinks he probably had a mediastinal tumour which was making breathing difficult. She was so kind, I knew I couldn't let him suffer. He was put to sleep, and very peacefully went off with his head in my hands, and being told how much we loved him and to sleep tight.

I am utterly devastated. I never expected the sense of loss, the grief and pain to be so bad. I know I did the right thing, I would never have let him suffer. My boy was a kind gentleman, who had been my friend for a long time. He was always there when I was sad - if I cried he would pop up out of nowhere and wrap himself around my shoulders. I'd tell him about what was wrong then have a chuckle about making his fur all wet. I spent many years trying for a baby with no luck and he was my surrogate child! He stopped me from being lonely while my husband was working long hours, and became a playmate for the children which eventually blessed our lives.

Any other time feeling this sad, he would've been here. I just want to hold him, to bury my face in the softest fur behind his ears and sob. I can't believe I am never going to see my boy again.

RIP George. You will forever be remembered and loved.

juneybean Tue 11-Nov-14 14:07:54

I'm so so sorry for your loss. Poor George, remember the good times you had with him.

Wolfiefan Tue 11-Nov-14 14:11:00

RIP George.
OP you did the kindest thing for your boy. It's the hardest thing a pet owner can ever do.
You have all those previous memories and you didn't let him suffer.
xx

Woozlebear Tue 11-Nov-14 14:25:17

Oh polka I'm welling up all over my lunch. It hurts so much and they leave such a hole in our lives, the furry little buggers. George sounds such a lovely boy and 16 years is a long time - you clearly had such a bond with him as well. It will take time.

Try to take comfort from the fact that you repaid his love and trust by looking after him the very best you could, and giving him a loving, gentle, peaceful end to his life.

So sorry.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 11-Nov-14 14:39:13

I'm so sorry. It was the kindest thing to do for him.

They are so special aren't they?.

Squarepegina Tue 11-Nov-14 14:50:28

Polka I'm so sorry for your loss. George sounds a lovely much loved part of the family cat and the pain of losing that is awful. You sound like you had a very special bond with him and you did what you had to do at the end. The awful pain is the price we pay for loving. One of our young cats was killed in the summer and having only had cats which had long and healthy lives I was heartbroken. I posted on here when I was in bits and the posts which showed that other posters knew how bad I felt did help. I hope they do for you now. Be gentle on yourself and know that in time you will look back in fondness at your life with your lovely George, he was a very lucky cat to be so loved.

russiandwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 17:27:52

oh polka your post has made me cry flowers

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can sympathise having lost 2 very lovely old boys in the past. I even kept a little bit of one of them's fur, I was so devastated. Oh dear, literally making myself cry thinking about it!

George sounds like he was very loved and gave you much back in return. Keep a picture of him out where you can see it - we still laugh about the silly things ours used to do and remember them that way as it does help. It will take you time to adjust. Be kind to yourself and keep your chin up. George would want you to x

chockbic Tue 11-Nov-14 17:40:50

Sorry for the loss of George.

We lost our beloved girl in July.

It's early days for you, give time to grieve.

BigcatLittlecat Tue 11-Nov-14 17:49:03

Your post made me cry. Poor you and George. Even knowing that it is the right thing, it's just so traumatic. We had our big girl pts in the summer which was heartbreaking but what was worse was seeing my DH so upset and crying. Had never seen him cry in 14 years. What we did which people may not condone is get a new kitten straight away. We got one from the same rescue centre within 5 days. She didn't replace but she made the loss a lot easier. Apart from the fact she has issues with my wallpaper in various parts of the house! But that's a whole other thread! grin
Take care of yourself and remember George's magic.

I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a faithful loving friend.
Be kind to yourself xx

Spickle Thu 13-Nov-14 07:48:38

So sorry for your loss. RIP George. But you did the kindest thing possible for a very dear friend.

Am in tears reading your OP as we had our beautiful 15 year old cat Spike PTS on Tuesday and everything you wrote applies to us, we've been in bits this week.

Iwouldratherbemuckingout Thu 13-Nov-14 21:09:23

Oh polka, Im so so sorry. I know how much it hurts - I lost my three old boys over a year, and when zeb went, I couldn't bear it. The pain was intolerable. The house was so empty. I'm afraid three little rescue cats soon came to fill the emptiness - not to replace, but to help heal and all the love had to have somewhere to go.
Only time will help, I'm so sorry x

timtam23 Thu 13-Nov-14 22:48:12

So sorry polka

RIP George flowers

It is really hard, I had to have my 2 old cats put to sleep (last September and this May just gone) and I still sometimes cry when I think about them. Like George, they had been my friends & companions for many years, it was just me & them before I met DH & had the children. It does take quite a while to grieve & to adapt to the cat not being by your side any more. Take care of yourslef.

Hassled Thu 13-Nov-14 22:50:21

I'm so sorry - I lost a cat who'd got to 17, and it was like a sledgehammer. All you can tell yourself is that he's not suffering anymore. He sounds like he was a lovely cat.

PolkaSpottyDotty Tue 18-Nov-14 11:18:55

Thanks everyone for your kind words.

I suppose the week has got easier as it has passed. I am still finding coming home very difficult, George would always be waiting for me on the step and it is very strange without him there.

I am collecting his ashes from the vets tomorrow. In some ways it feels as though I am bringing him home, and I am hoping that it will continue to get easier once I have dealt with getting his ashes.

He really was a big part of my daily life, adjusting to the change isn't easy. I miss him so much.

hiddenhome Thu 20-Nov-14 23:48:18

What helped me with my cat related grief was to take in a rescue cat. At first, you think it's not possible to love them as much, but they find their way into your heart and gradually the pain starts to ease.

Sorry for your loss flowers

Perhaps give it some time then visit a rescue centre. So many kitties out there needing a loving home.

Marina11 Fri 21-Nov-14 20:53:50

Hi Polka

I've just seen your thread. I do hope that your pain is easing. Also, Spickle - and she's right - What you did what the most loving thing you could do for an old friend.

Our little Molly (well, she wasn't little in the sense that she was about 15 or 16 - rescue cat - we'll never know how old she really was) was PTS three weeks ago. We miss her hugely. I look at the sofas that she pretty much shredded and miss her even more. Her picture is our desktop background so whenever I put the computer on, her lovely face with gorgeous green eyes looks down kindly on me.

We still have our other cat - I think he's missing her so of course he's getting even more cuddles than usual.

Hidden is right - if you get another cat - and rescue is always good - your heart will be smitten once again! In the meantime, Polka and Spickle, take care of yourselves and know that you did a brave, kind, loving thing. xx

slippermaiden Sat 22-Nov-14 22:24:05

So sad for you xx

SalvatoreGirl Mon 24-Nov-14 23:14:41

So sorry to hear about George x
It's just about a year since I took our 19yr old O'Malley to be pts and I cried for weeks afterwards. I still miss him but it was the right thing to do for him. He was always "talking" to us whenever you looked at him or stroked him he would meow and purr our other cat not so much.
Since he's been gone the other one has taken over the "talking" as if to compensate.

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