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How do you begin to deal with the guilt of having to euthanise?

(59 Posts)
Littlemissindependent Sat 12-Nov-16 10:25:13

I posted yesterday that I'd had to have my beautiful 3 year old girl pts. It was very sudden and unexpected and while I know it's only been a day I'm really struggling to cope with the decision I made. My hearts broken at the thought I may have made the wrong decision and ended her life too soon. She went so so peacefully in my arms but I just can't process that she's gone. She's been buried in my back garden under a rose bush and I've barely slept all night for feeling sick at the thought of my tiny little baby outside in the cold. I'm aware how stupid that sounds but I can't help how I feel. Stupid irrational thoughts in my head like what if she wasn't really truly gone when we buried her? I just don't know how to cope. I know her quality of life had been poor for the past few weeks but I genuinely hoped it could be managed with meds and I wouldn't be in this position for another few years. Just feel so broken.

LivingInMidnight Sat 12-Nov-16 10:48:39

You have to remember that it was the right thing to do for her. She's not suffering anymore. It's bloody horrible for you but for her it was the right thing to do.

The vet will have checked that she'd gone. I had the same worries, I kept asking people if she was definitely gone. She didn't look any different, it was so hard.

I'm in tears now thinking about my cat who died in August, but I promise it does get better. I spent the first day looking at old photos, then had to find ways to distract myself.

flowers I'm so sorry for your loss.

LivingInMidnight Sat 12-Nov-16 10:52:18

Also, I completely know what you mean about the being out in the cold part. It rained after we buried my cat and I had the same thoughts. I'm glad she's there but at the time the burial and all the things connected to it were so difficult.

Littlemissindependent Sat 12-Nov-16 10:54:08

Thank you x

Wolfiefan Sat 12-Nov-16 10:57:24

You put her first. That's how you cope. You stopped her suffering. Better a week too soon than a day too late.
Three years old though. That's tough. No wonder you feel so awful. Hard enough with my 19 year old last year.
She's not out in the cold. Have you heard of the rainbow bridge? She's in the warm with friends to play with. Never cold, never hungry and never in pain. The sun always shines.
But she's also locked up in your heart. All the memories that will one day make you smile. What a lucky girl to have such a loving owner.

MsMims Sat 12-Nov-16 14:57:03

The guilt and worries about letting her go too soon are normal. What did the vet say? Can you draw on their advice to comfort you that you made the right choice? She certainly will have passed away, the vet will have checked that flowers

I hope this doesn't upset you further, but it isn't too late to take her to a crematorium if you're struggling with her being buried outside. We keep the ashes of our pets in their favourite rooms, and I do get comfort knowing they are close to us.

Do take care of yourself.

Catzpyjamas Sat 12-Nov-16 15:18:33

I try to remember that having a terminally sick pet euthanased is a the last kindness you can do for them. It is a very very good thing to make a difficult decision that will stop an animal from suffering.

flowers for you. Be glad she's free from pain.

Icequeen01 Sat 12-Nov-16 17:18:03

I so know what you mean about worrying they are out in the cold. I have the ashes of 3 of my previous cats who sadly had to be PTS at various times. The plan was always to put their ashes into a patio pot and plant a rose on top so if we ever moved I could make sure they came too. Some of the ashes have been there for 5 years! I just can't bring myself to put them outside.

Littlemissindependent Sat 12-Nov-16 17:26:54

Thank you all. It's such a relief to not just be told to get a grip. I have 5 other cats but stupidly the house feels empty without her. She was a cruelty case and came to me as the scrawniest, smelliest little kitten. And grew into such a beautiful, pure white, bundle of fur who made me smile every day. I still can't believe she's gone. I genuinely don't know how to deal with how low I'm feeling today.

Knittedfrog Sat 12-Nov-16 17:49:35

Thursday 3rd November I could literally have written your post word for word. The only exception being that my 3 year old had no signs of illness before hand.
Everything you have described is how I'm feeling.
I struggled with having her buried in the garden but keep telling myself that her spirit is with me and not out in the cold.
I'm still absolutely devastated, miss her desperately and feel incredible sadness.
We spent the last 3 years together and I was closer to her than most humans.
I have no answers for you but wanted you to know that what you're feeling is normal and hopefully time will ease the sadness and pain for both of us.

LivingInMidnight Sat 12-Nov-16 18:04:26

So sorry frog flowers

Just give yourself time. It's never 'just a cat' - it's a beloved family member.

I remember one day feeling ridiculous at being so upset & a friend telling me that she had cried remembering a cat she lost 20 years ago when I told her about my cat.

Knittedfrog Sat 12-Nov-16 18:15:10

Thank you Midnight.
Funny how strangers on a screen are so much more understanding and 'get it' more than friends in rl.

ladyballs Sat 12-Nov-16 18:33:54

Hello lovely flowers

I agree with others that you've done your lovely kitty a huge kindness. You did the right thing for her, not you.

Be kind to yourself. flowers

ghostyslovesheets Sat 12-Nov-16 19:32:03

oh it is so sad and so hard - my cat had a brain tumor and was at the end but STILL the guilt came

some one here said 'better a day too early than a day too late' - honestly you did the right thing - you didn't prolong suffering - you did the right thing flowers

cozietoesie Sat 12-Nov-16 20:12:34


I didn't intervene in the death of my dearly beloved Twoago and I regret that deeply, even today. You made the right decision for her - and I bet it wasn't easy. If I had the choice again, I'd have done the same for my boy rather than leaving things to take their course. It's having the fortitude to put the cat's welfare first in your mind and I didn't have that back then. I salute you for caring so much.

Wolfiefan Sat 12-Nov-16 20:14:36

It's not just a cat. I agree. You are talking about a member of your family.

Weedsnseeds1 Sat 12-Nov-16 21:48:56

Don't feel guilty. You made a hard decision that had to be made. It is never nice, but it's humane and your last gift to your pet. If it was legal, I would want someone to do this for me when the time comes.

Littlemissindependent Sun 13-Nov-16 16:23:48

Such a help to come on here, read these messages and know that people understand.
Am massively struggling with guilt. Guilt that I didn't pick up on the signs sooner, guilt that I didn't ask for a second opinion when the first vet fobbed me off, massive guilt about having her pts but mostly guilty at the what ifs? What if her bloods come back on Wednesday (as they still will even though she's gone) and show that it could have been managed? What if it wasn't a clot? What if I've made the wrong decision? I don't know how to deal with the guilt. I haven't eaten since Thursday night and just feel sick and keep bursting into tears. Every time I draw the curtains I feel guilty for shutting her out in the cold. I know I probably sound irrational but it's how I feel. I just don't know how to cope.

Knittedfrog Sun 13-Nov-16 16:33:04

I think all you're feeling is perfectly natural. All the guilt just shows how much you loved her.
She's not out in the cold, she's gone onto a better place.
You're are grieving and all these emotions are part of the grieving process. As I said in an earlier post I am going through the same thing and can relate to how you feel.
You feel so strongly because you care so much.
Please be kind to yourself, it will get better.
Sorry, but of a rambly post!

ItsaTenfromDen Sun 13-Nov-16 16:37:39

I said goodbye to my boy in April, even now I shed a tear every day. I know it was the best thing, but I was just not ready. As my DH says, 'but he was'

LivingInMidnight Sun 13-Nov-16 16:38:04

I promise she's not cold and I promise it will get easier. You made the best decision for her based on everything you knew. She was very clearly suffering and you did what every responsible pet owner should do. Please don't think you've let her down, you haven't.

Do you feel up to visiting her? Go and tell her how much you loved her and miss her. If it helps you put a fleece under the rose bush, it won't do any harm.

Try and keep yourself as busy as you can. Please eat something, just toast even. She wouldn't want you to make yourself ill.

lottieandmia Sun 13-Nov-16 16:38:18

I'm so sorry - I know you must be feeling awful. I am sure no vet would put a 3 year old cat to sleep unless they knew there was no hope. Also hcm is hard to recognise - you really mustn't blame yourself. flowers

justdontevenfuckingstart Sun 13-Nov-16 16:39:29

Stop with the guilt! It works the other way too, not a cat but we lost our dog two years ago the day before we were going to go to the vets to pts. The guilt my oh feels that we didn't do it sooner was awful. You did the right thing. Stop with the what ifs. You did what you did and it was right. She isn't suffering and passed over peacefully and that is absolutely the best thing you could have done for her xx

Autumnchill Sun 13-Nov-16 20:37:16

I had to make the decision today. Our 16 yr old was in renal failure and over the weekend his weight dropped and he started to become disorientated. Today he wasn't eating and started throwing up. I knew going to the vets that I wouldn't be coming home with him. My heart is broken.

I miss him but I know I've done the right thing as I wouldn't want him to go downhill suddenly while I was at work, at least today, I could be with him but my God it hurts.

cozietoesie Sun 13-Nov-16 20:43:24

It does, Autumn. I'm very sorry.

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