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Help me make the decision(20 Posts)
I know I've posted before, but I'm struggling.
Portia is nearly 19, kidneys going (drinks gallons pees gallons, mostly on the landing despite two litter trays). Her semi long fur is now all matted underneath, though I have managed to chop a few matts out. She's down to 2.2 kg and barely eats... goes a day or so without then eats a little.
She's stiff and struggles to get moving in the morning and spends most of the day curled up in a little padded cat bed on the dining table..reached by steps put there for her. She is a bit senile... yowls at walls and randomly,
She's had steroid shots every few weeks which perk her up a little but this time the improvement was short lived. She just looks exhausted and bewildered. Tonight DH said he felt it was time and I should call the vet to come and have her pts.
A few weeks ago I felt it was time, but she rallied a little. Then my Mum (ultimate cat lover) came for Xmas and was shocked at how Portia looked... I guess we are used to how thin and frail she looks.
BUT she still purrs when I stroke her, still tilts her head to have a scratch of her bony little neck and I just can't FEEL it's time because she isn't horribly ill as such. Some evenings she totters in and purrs next to me and my heart breaks at the thought of her not being here.. 19 years is a bloody long time and she's such a faithful little girl.
Tell me ..am I wrong to keep her going? Our old vet has retired and the new ones seem more invested in keeping her going with injections, but I'm not sure if they are right ..they seem to be all about the money.
How will I KNOW ? I knew with Morphy as he was in pain and it felt the kindest thing, but she is frail and senile but doesn't appear to be in much discomfort.
Help me .
Vet nurse here and with kindness, it sounds like it is time to let her go.
Purring is something that is very misleading as it is something cats do when very unwell and uncomfortable. It isquite different to the purring with pleasure that they do.
We have a saying that says "better a week too early than a day too late".
I know its hard but i think you are going to have to be strong.
From a horribly practical point if view, bear in mind that most vets will be closed on new years day and ooh vets unlikely to be able to facilitate a home visit.
19 years is a fantastic age. She must be very loved
It is hard but it does sound like it's time and at 19 she has had a wonderful long life. Different illnesses but our girl bounced back from being ill and had a few more weeks before we had to let her go. I had already had "that conversation" with our vet and we knew she didn't have long left. Poor thing was 1.8kg the day before she went.
Thank you for replying. She's been a pain in the ass for most of those 19 years a proper feisty tortie who until this year, slapped me awake every morning with a claw across the nose. Never a lap cat, but a sit near and swipe pasta off my plate kind of a girl... super hunter until she was 15!
She's such a personality, even until the last few months but now she is just tottering , peeing and sleeping. But having her pts feels like murder..I wish she would just go in her sleep (don't we all?)
I have the vets on wednesday with the other two (Obie is going for his shave of shame and they are due jabs) so I will ask about having them come to the house .
How can a 2 kilo ball of matted fur have such a hold on our hearts? But she does...
Oh this has caught at my heart.
LEM what a very kindhearted gentle response for the OP and it’s often that an ‘outsider’ can see the right answer.
Sending you the gentlest of hugs Still and know you have to be brave for your darling girl
We had to make this decision for our old girl. I had always thought of it as preventing suffering. But the lovely vet we saw said it was about maintaining dignity. And she had none.
Does your cat still enjoy the things that make them “them”?
Can you improve things? Old girl was fine for ages on painkillers and thyroid treatment and a heat mat and daily furminating. And then she wasn’t.
It is the hardest thing but sometimes the most unselfish thing you can do. I wish they could speak just the once to say “enough”.
It’s so hard when they just slowly decline.
Wishing you strength and thinking of you. It’s a horrid time.
When it's your own it's hard but it's not murder. Our upstairs neighbour's cat passed away in her sleep aged 18 and a half. She had hyperthyroidism, diabetes and was getting a bit stiff but went very peacefully on her favourite chair. It does happen but not often.
Definitely speak to the vets and look after yourself .
PS. Hopefully Obie won't go AWOL pre shave.
I agree that it sounds like it's time. Its not until someone else sees them that you realise how much they've gone down hill. It's a horrible decision to have to make. But it's your final act of love for her.
It's so hard, isn't it. I knew my 16 year old girl was struggling, but we reached a point where there was nothing we could do relieve her discomfort, stop her losing weight or cure her breathing issues. As well as going senile. The vet said she was likely to go into crisis. He couldn't predict when, but said it's hugely distressing for the pet and the owner, and it was kinder to act sooner than later. She was pts this morning. So very quick and peaceful, tickling her little face.
I think I posted on your last thread still and my views are the same. I do think that it is time to let her go, and often it is only when they are gone that you can really see how poorly they had been. For a cat that had a strong personality if she is a shadow of her former self then I think life isn't what. it should be for her and I honestly think that you will feel relieved that that is no longer suffering.
A cat should live life with enthusiasm, not simply endure it. It isn't murder, euthanasia actually means a good death, something that we should be able to gift our much loved animals when life is no longer pleasant for them. x
Ah you poor love, but it is definitely time to say goodbye. It is that last act of kindness which we can afford our beloved pets. I kept my previous Birman girl going too long with kidney failure - by a couple of days maybe, but how I wish I had spared her those last 48 hours.
I turn to these words often.
“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”
― Irving Townsend
Personally I think we should live in Philip Pullman's worlds where we would have our souls represented by an animal who is our (benign) daemon. Only from the moment of birth to the last second of death seems sufficient to me. Anything else feels like short change.
Sending much love to you.
I take massive comfort that Fatty had a peaceful and dignified death before she really started to suffer. I also think I you might find it a relief.
OP I just read this and wanted to send a very unmumsnetlike hug. You and Portia both sound lovely and I hope you're ok.
OP, I think it sounds like time. I love my cat so very much, and it would break my heart to lose her, but I would absolutely hate for her to not be her funny, brave, chatty, cheeky self.
Poor wee baba, I hope you both have some peace now.
What a beautiful poem.. thank you Threetoedsloth I'm going to print that out.
And yes..I'm so with Philip Pullman. My daemon was my previous Maine Coon Morphy, he was my absolute soul mate and part of me went when he did.
I have changed vets this week and will be taking Portia to talk about end of life options. I'm hanging on for one more week because my DD1 is visiting and wants to see her one last time. Portia is sleepy but has managed to nag me for fresh fish today and looks comfy enough tonight I feel she will carry on just getting a bit weaker until the time I decide, which makes it so hard, but if she shows any sign of being distressed or more uncomfortable I will have her pts straight away.
Thinking of you and your lovely girl
Bless your heart, to be honest if the decision is made I wouldn't take her to discuss, it will only cause her more stress and most vets are happy to discuss end of life issues over the phone if needed. I'd simply book a home visit for euthanasia in your shoes.
I really hope she manages to stay comfortable until your daughter can see her, but be prepared that you may need to act in the interim.
I'm sorry to sound like an evil doom and gloom merchant, I really don't want to be, but I've experienced so many cases where owners have hung on too long at the pets expense that I feel I have to voice my concerns. I've also had the terrible anguish and guilt of leaving an animal too long myself and it is something I'd never let happen again.
I'd also give an unmumsnetty hug if I could too. I know you will act in Portia's best interests. x
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