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Saying goodbyes and helping the children cope

15 replies

ConfessionsOfaFlask · 01/11/2011 10:42

Our dear 13Y boy is on his last days. He's having several seizures everyday (it started very suddenly and keeps increasing) caused by a tumor or a bloodclot on the brain. Sad

DH took him to the vets today and they basically said it's a matter of days/weeks or we can give him a peaceful death when we are ready.

I'm beside myself with sadness and how will I explain it to our girls. They grew up with the cat and love him dearly. I would appreciate any tips on how to deal with it as a family and help the girls cope with his imminent departure.

OP posts:
TalkinPeace2 · 01/11/2011 14:25

after old cat had come home from the vet for the last time I curled his body up in the base of his carrier as if he was asleep
by the time the kids had come home from school he was set hard.
we all hugged and rubbed him and cried buckets (i'm crying now - it was 3 years ago)
then as the ground was frozen we wrapped him up tightly in a pillow case and put him in the freezer
the following weekend we buried him under the apple tree with a tray of his favourite food and put his sunbathing stone on top.

stinkyfluffycat · 01/11/2011 23:38

Not much help here, just wanted to say sorry, it must be so hard.

bumpybecky · 01/11/2011 23:53

I'm so sorry :(

You don't say how old the girls are, but whatever you say I'd recommend being as honest as you can. There's Goodbye Mog but I've not managed to order it let alone read it as I'd just cry!

In our case when the cat went the kids didn't miss him too much (he was very neurotic and hid 99% of the time, I don't think the other cats realised he'd gone for a few days!). The dog being PTS in January was incredibly hard :( we told them all in advance that she was very poorly and that the vet couldn't make her better. They all got to say goodbye before she went to the vet. dd1 (then 12) was in the room when it happened (she's braver than me - I was at home). ds was only just 3 when Treacle (dog) died and he didn't understand and I don't think he does now 10 months later. He still asks when she's coming back :( The girls (then 12, 10 and 5) all understood though and were sad but reassured by knowing they were doing the kindest thing.

ConfessionsOfaFlask · 02/11/2011 11:56

Thanks so much for taking the time to post.

We had a chat with the girls last night (8,9 & 11). Lots of tears , questions...

The girls understand we dont want to extend what is probably not a great life at the moment.

We are spoiling him rotten,all his favourite things and food. Loads of cuddles. He's lost quite a bit of weight but still eating and drinking. We will probably take him early next week.

We decided when the time comes we will have him cremated and bury his ashes under his favourite spot in the garden. I think doing this will help us all and the children like the idea of him being in the garden as it was his life. He was a prolific hunter and guardian of our flower borders. Bless him.

So hard to think he won't be sleeping by my feet anymore. Sad

OP posts:
Lizcat · 02/11/2011 13:12

I am sorry to hear about your old boy. As a vet and a mum I will give you my thoughts on the end of a pets life.
Firstly you have talked to your girls about how we make this decision because we love our pets.
Next I would give them the choice of whether they would like to be there or not, for some children being able to stroke their beloved pet right to the very end of their life is very important.
Bury his ashes (or him) is a great idea as it helps the children to perform the rituals of death.
Finally this is one of the reasons why we have pets to enable our children to experience death and it's rituals before it is a human member of the family. It allows them to learn how to express their grief appropriately.

noarguments · 02/11/2011 23:01

We have been through this recently. I think you have to take your cues from them. Our old lady cat (18) had to be PTS two weeks ago - we explained to kids before it happened, they understood, were upset but not hearbroken, like they were when a younger cat got run over. On that occasion, we were all completely traumatised. We had him cremated elsewhere, but the we all wrote little notes to say goodbye, folded them up (without reading each others), then took them outside and burnt them, and sprinkled the little pile of ashes in the garden. It was a lovely send off.

TheOriginalFAB · 06/11/2011 17:43

Has the vet not offered any medication for the fits?

JAMW · 06/11/2011 20:56

So sorry. My DS is only 11 weeks so don't have any advice, just wanted to say how lucky your cat is to have you love him!

ConfessionsOfaFlask · 10/11/2011 11:15

FAB- No they didn't because of his age and advanced state. He is also notorious for being difficult with medication/handling. It takes the Vet and 2 to 3 nurses to do any injection/blood sample etc. It realy upsets him.

However, he's had a good week so we're just keeping an eye on him and waiting for the sign that he is really unhappy/deteriorating. So far I think he's okay but sleeping loads and only going out for toilet breaks which is unlike him as he used to spend all day outside.

Thanks for your answers, it really helped.

The girls are getting used to the idea even if they are very sad to know we don't have much time left. In a way it's better than losing him suddenly. Sad

OP posts:
TheOriginalFAB · 10/11/2011 11:20

I hope you are able to enjoy many more weeks with FlaskCat.

ConfessionsOfaFlask · 17/11/2011 12:37

FlaskCat went to sleep last night. Sad he was deteriorating rapidly over the last few days. Poor boy.

The girls and I cried so much last night. They came with me to the Vets but I stayed with him while he went as they were a bit scared to see him go.

He bit/scratched DD8 when she tried to say goodbye to him, she says she hopes the scar stays forever Sad. I must say, the Vet and Nurse were absolutely brilliant because I was a complete mess.

We cried, hugged and I let the girls stay up to watch their favorite shows with a hot chocolate to settle them and they did go to bed okay in the end.

We will have his ashes back in a couple of days and we can lay them to rest in his favorite garden spot.

OP posts:
bumpybecky · 17/11/2011 12:48

I'm so sorry :(

be gentle to yourself and your dds over the next few days and weeks, it's a horrible thing to lose a pet. It will get easier with time though, I know it's a cliche but it is true.

I'd recommend scattering ashes sooner rather than later. We didn't and now it's turning into a big thing and dragging up all the :( again - better to get it over with while it's all still a bit raw I think.

OrmIrian · 17/11/2011 12:51

Sorry to hear this Sad

Wolfiefan · 17/11/2011 14:03

Poor you. My poor boy had cancer which we were treating and it was all quite optimistic when he was involved in a hit and run. We have decided to sponsor a pet that can't be homed. (eg feral) I also plan on getting a digital photo frame. I don't want a little shrine to him but thought a display of family photos would be nice. When the time is right sharing the nice stories of when he was fit and well is lovely. Tearful myself now!

TheOriginalFAB · 17/11/2011 14:15

Oh gosh, I wasn't expecting that. I am so sorry for you all Sad.

RIP FlaskCat.

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