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I'm sorry. I don't know what this is about. I just feel so alone right now. There are people here who love Nic...but no one has ever loved him as intensely and hard as I did. As I do.

It's a tough decision. I had to let my Boots go to sleep. He couldn't eat, was walking like he was in pain, he didn't want to sit on my lap, he started hiding. On my third trip to the vet they finally realized it wasn't just a stomach ache but cancer. By then his third eyelid was showing, his nose was running, he couldn't really stand up and he howled like he was in pain and wanted to die. I let him go to sleep.
I have other cats and I take them to this same vet. I even pick up ill squirrels from here. These people understand death and grief. Instead of trying to hold grief in as I usually do, I told myself that I will just cry my head off. Just making that resolve helped a lot. Struggling to hold grief in just cause more grief.
Seth,
You may find this article helpful. It was written about dogs, but it applies to cats as well. I'm sorry that you and Nic are having to go through this and I hope you will both find relief soon, whatever that may be.
Megan
How Do You Know When It's Time?
I don't subscribe to the idea that dogs "will let us know when it's time", at least not in any conscious sense on their part.=A0=A0 For one thing, I've found in my years of counseling folks who have ill pets and often accompanying them through the euthanasia process, that this notion is often interpreted in a way that puts a lot of pressure on people when they're already stressed and grief-stricken.=A0 "What if I miss the signs? He looked miserable yesterday but not today.=A0 What if I act too soon or not soon enough?=A0 How could he ever let on that he wants it to end?=A0 But maybe I'm deluding myself that he feels better than he does."Dogs are not people.=A0 We lovingly anthropomorphize our dogs during our time together and there's no harm in that, even quite a bit of reward for both them and us.=A0 But the bottom line is that they are not people and they don't think in the way people think.=A0 (Many of us would argue that that speaks to the superiority of dogs.) These amazing beings love us and trust us implicitly.=A0 It just isn't part of their awareness that they should need to telegraph anything to us in order for their needs to be met or their well-being ensured.

They are quite sure that we, as their pack leaders, operate only in their best interest at all times.=A0 Emotional selfishness is not a concept in dogdom and they don't know how hard we sometimes have to fight against it ourselves. Dogs also have no mindset for emotional surrender or giving up.=A0 They have no awareness of the inevitability of death as we do and they have no fear of it.=A0 It is fear that so often influences and aggravates our perceptions when we are sick or dying and it becomes impossible to separate the fear out from the actual illness after a while.=A0=A0 But that's not the case with dogs.=A0 Whatever we observe to be wrong with our sick dogs, it's all illness.=A0 And we don't even see the full impact of that until it's at a very advanced point, because it's a dog's nature to endure and to sustain the norm at all costs.=A0 If that includes pain, then that's the way it is.=A0 Unlike us, they have never learned that letting pain show, or reporting on it, may generate relief or aid.=A0 So they endure, assuming in their deepest doggy subconscious that whatever we abide for them is what is to be abided.

If there is a "look in the eye", or an indication of giving up, that we think we see from our beloved dogs, it isn't a conscious attitude on their part or a decision to communicate something to us.=A0 It's just an indication of how tired and depleted they are.=A0 But they don't know there's any option other than struggling on, so that's what they do.=A0 We must assume that the discomfort we see is much less than the discomfort they really feel.=A0 And we do know of other options and it is entirely our obligation to always offer them the best option for that moment, be it further intervention, or none, or the gift of rest.

From the moment we embrace these animals when they first grace our lives, every day is one day closer to the day they must abandon their very temporary and faulty bodies and return to the state of total perfection and rapture they have always deserved.=A0 We march along one day at a time, watching and weighing and continuing to embrace and respect each stage as it comes.=A0 Today is a good day.=A0 Perhaps tomorrow will be, too, and perhaps next week and the weeks or months after.=A0 But there will eventually be a winding down.=A0 And we must not let that part of the cycle become our enemy.When I am faced with the ultimate decision about how I can best serve the animal I love so much, I try to set aside all the complications and rationales of what I may or may not understand medically and I try to clear my mind of any of the confusions and ups and downs that are so much a part of caring for a terminally ill pet.=A0 This is hard to do, because for months and often years we have been in this mode of weighing hard data, labs, food, how many ounces did he drink, should he have his rabies shot or not, etc.=A0=A0 But at some point it's time to put all of that in the academic folder and open the spiritual folder instead.=A0 At that point we are wise to ask ourselves the question:=A0 "Does he want to be here today, to experience this day in this way, as much as I want him to?"=A0=A0
Remember, dogs are not afraid, they are not carrying anxiety and fear of the unknown.=A0 So for them it's only about whether this day holds enough companionship and ease and routine so that they would choose to have those things more than anything else and that they are able to focus on those things beyond any discomfort or pain or frustration they may feel. How great is his burden of illness this day, and does he want/need to live through this day with this burden of illness as much as I want/need him to?=A0 If I honestly believe that his condition is such, his pleasures sufficient, that he would choose to persevere, then that's the answer and we press on.
If, on the other hand, I can look honestly and bravely at the situation and admit that he, with none of the fear or sadness that cripples me, would choose instead to rest, then my obligation is clear.=A0 Because he needs to know in his giant heart, beyond any doubt, that I will have the courage to make the hard decisions on his behalf, that I will always put his peace before my own, and that I am able to love him as unselfishly as he has loved me.After many years, and so very many loved ones now living on joyously in their forever home in my heart, this is the view I take.=A0 As my veterinarian, who is a good and loving friend, injects my precious one with that freedom elixir, I always place my hand on top of his hand that holds the syringe.=A0 He has chosen a life of healing animals and I know how terribly hard it is for him to give up on one.=A0 So I want to shoulder that burden with him so he's not alone.=A0 The law of my state says the veterinarian is the one licensed to administer the shot, not me.=A0 But a much higher law says this is my ultimate gift to my dog and the responsibility that I undertook on the day I welcomed that dog into my life forever.
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0= =A0=A0=A0=A0=A0
Hilary Brown=A0
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke
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- W.H. Murray
... But there might be a few who
remember my Nic...my beautiful ... He means more to me than all the world. ... He's dying. > Sethran

Sethran,
I remember you and Nic. My heart goes out to you during this most difficult time. I'm sorry I can't offer more than these words to comfort you and Nic. Annie
Most of you won't know me. I haven't posted here for probably over a year...my computer suffered a fatal crash ... a few who remember my Nic...my beautiful boy. I'm not sure why I'm posting this...I just need to, I guess.

Seth,
I do remember you and Nic. I'm so sorry about what you're going through. I just put my wonderful dog to sleep after a recent diagnosis of cancer, we had far too little time together. It's hard as hell to watch a loved one die before your very eyes. I think another poster's recommendation of talking to Nic's vets about this is a good one. For me, knowing when it was time was defining the "essential Bubbas" - what were the things that he couldn't live without, and when he couldn't enjoy those anymore that would signal it was time. For Bubbas it was going outside for a walk, and me. When he was in so much pain he didn't recognize me and couldn't walk, I knew.
You'll be in my thoughts.
xoxo,
Karen
I remember you, & I remember Nic. It's very difficult - sad, anxious, worrisome, etc. - when CRF (or any chronic, fatal illness, I imagine) gets to this stage, & trying to second-guess when the time is right for euthanasia.
With my first CRF cat, she had that 'inward' look to her eyes one day; that was my clue. With my 2nd CRF cat, she was lying out on the porch sunning herself, but began to go into respiratory distress: that was the signal, in her case.
In both cases, they were probably at the approximate stage at which Nic is now. IOW, some normal things occurring, but many less than there used to be. When you know it's coming soon - a downward slope that isn't going to go back up again - no matter what treatments are tried, and you have to try & pinpoint the best time to say "That's it; this is the right time"; difficult, to say the least.
Also, re: euthanasia timing - I kept the image of my cats teetering on top of a fence & wanted to catch them before they actually fell off the fence. Don't know if that will help you at all... With my first cat I truly think I succeeded in 'catching' her in time; with my second cat, I think I missed by about an hour. IOW - I wish I'd somehow managed to take her in before she went into respiratory distress - but in reality there was really no way of knowing when that was going to happen. Just do the best that you can.

If you can have the vet come to the house to do a home euthanasia, I personally think that would be great.
If you go to the vet's, you can ask to arrange to leave (& perhaps even come in) by a different entrance, have the bill mailed to you, etc., so that you don't have to deal w/ all of the grief & the waiting room, front desk, etc. at the same time. I've found my vets' office to be very accommodating about it. Also, both times I found that the time leading up to the euthanasia - the days & weeks, were considerably more stressful than the actual procedure. I assume that YMMV, but some others have also echoed that opinion.
Pets for Nic & my sympathies to you.
Cathy

"Staccato signals of constant information..."
("The Boy in the Bubble") Paul Simon
Most of you won't know me. I haven't posted here for probably over a year...my computer suffered a fatal crash and I never bothered to rejoin my newsgroups after it was fixed. But there might be a few who remember my Nic...my beautiful boy.

I remember you and Nic. I hope you can find some peace in the days and weeks to come. It's so hard to see our loved ones go. I can tell you liove him very much.
Take care,
Lyn
Most of you won't know me. I haven't posted here for probably over a year...my computer suffered a fatal crash ... a few who remember my Nic...my beautiful boy. I'm not sure why I'm posting this...I just need to, I guess.

I'm so sorry about your buddy. I can't pretend to know what you're going through, I haven't been there yet. The more I read these types of posts though, the more I find myself praying that a jumbo jet drops an engine on my house or something, while me and my babies are happily playing together, unaware..
But the people I love and who also care for him...they want this to stop. They want the pills and ... in his eyes? Or should I wait until the light is gone and he's down to 3lbs and can't walk?

A poignant post.
Hard though it may be, I think it's by far the best to err on the side of killing early rather than waiting until he's on the edge of the grave. Given your words above, I think you feel this too.

The cat has no concept of medical care, or of the possibility of recovery, or any similar human pegs to hang hope onto. However, we can also guess that they have no fear of death, and none of the existential angst a dying human can feel. So for the cat death is just a release from suffering, if their human acts in timely fashion. As such, you can spare the cat the type of slow and terrible death that many humans experience in their dotage.
And now he just got down off the bed and is eating on his own. God. People who say you should enjoy the time you have left with dying pets or people are being cruel.

You enjoyed the previous 15 years. You may suffer now, but your cat will have given you more than his death can take away.

Steve.
So sorry to hear about Nic. I know what it is to have to make the decision you are facing. Just know there are a lot of people out here sending you and Nic their prayers and thoughts.
Judy F
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