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View Full Version : OT - My cat is dying :(


hedgehog
07-28-2006, 09:58 PM
I know this place has many "cat people" so i figured you'd understand...

He's 19 years old and has always been a loving, wonderful cat. He's also quite cheeky and rasty - full of piss and vinegar at times...

He's lived through a category 4 hurricane when he was let out by my sister's stupid roommate... He started off as my sister's cat (named Asbury after Asbury Park, NJ), then my dad's, then mine for the longest.... 14 years.

In the last 3 years he's been slowing down and getting really skinny... i try and feed him as much as he can eat but he still keeps getting skinnier (and he IS eating, just not keeping it on). I can tell he has a touch of arthritis in his right rear leg but he's still just as feisty as ever (and also even more snuggly).

Tonight i came home from having dinner with my sister and he's taken a terrible turn. I think he's had a stroke :crying: :crying: He was covered in diarrhea and is listing to the left when he walks. Most of the time he just stops and stares into space and can barely stand.

I don't know if he'll make it through the night... My dad is distraught. (Picture Robert DeNiro in "Meet the Parents" and Jinxy - that's exactly how my dad is with cat - totally wrapped up in him)

He's 19 years old - VERY old in cat years - so i've known this is just around the corner..... but it's still just as horribly shocking... He's been a big part of my life for so long....

-hh :crying:

Braden
07-28-2006, 10:03 PM
I am so sorry. I know how it feels to lose a pet. For what it's worth, I'm praying for you and your dad. Again, SO sorry. Just know that he's going to be at peace. Wish you the best.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-28-2006, 10:05 PM
Oh, HH!!! :heart: I'm so sorry to hear it. I'll be thinking of you.

vknits
07-28-2006, 10:06 PM
Dear Hedgehog,
My heart goes out to you. Although I do not have a cat anymore, at one point in my life we had 7 cats in our home. I loved them all and had to go through the agony of watching 2 of them pass. I hope your fond memories of him will pull you through. God Bless.

KellyK
07-28-2006, 10:11 PM
Im SO sorry, Hedgey..... losing a pet (I had to put my Katie down) is the hardest thing Ive EVER had to do. Ill be thinking about you and sending HUGS. :(

EssenceRose
07-28-2006, 10:23 PM
I am SO sorry!! I have 3 cats of my own and I know that they are family members and not just pets. I feel for you and I'm so sorry you have to go through this. :(

Ingrid
07-28-2006, 10:32 PM
My cat was 21 when she died and I also thought she'd had a stroke. She'd had such a good life that I didn't want to horrify her in the end by taking her to the vet. She went peacefully. It broke my heart because she was as old as my youngest daugher--we'd had her for 19 years. I still miss her and occasionally think that she's tapping at the window. My heart goes out to you. :heart: :heart:

BinkyKat
07-28-2006, 10:36 PM
:heart: :heart: :heart:
Hugs and Prayers to you, your family, and most of all Asbury. One of life's purest loves is that of an animal for their human...
We all care about you during this difficult time
:heart: :heart: :heart:

Treeling
07-28-2006, 10:37 PM
(((((((hugs)))))))

I've said a little prayer for you and kitty and dad. Just love him up tonight and stay with him and keep him company and tell him how wonderful he is and how happy he makes you.

jamiejeans
07-28-2006, 11:00 PM
How sad to hear about your kitty! I send you good thoughts and prayers (and so do my two cats Shady and Mr Kitty). I have always found it comforting in knowing what a wonderful life they had and how wonderful they make yours in return.

I don't know what I would do without my kitties, as many of KH feels, so please keep us posted.

orcoastknitter
07-28-2006, 11:27 PM
My heart goes out to you and you family.

Jodi &
Minnie, Oreo & Cookie

ladyindica2000
07-28-2006, 11:37 PM
Oh no. I feel for you and your family. We have 2 cats and I am close to them like that too. Big hugs!!

Trish

jdee
07-29-2006, 12:00 AM
I am so sorry to hear this. I just lost my Sable Kitty last week, and I really feel for you. :crying: My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

It may not be much comfort now, but everyone is right in saying that you should think on the good things about his life, and the joy he brought you.

spooky
07-29-2006, 12:37 AM
I am so sorry to hear about you kitty! I just started tearing up after I read your post. My best friend (Spike my cat) died a year ago and I miss him everyday.

horve1
07-29-2006, 04:20 AM
I am so sad for you. I know exactly how you feel because we lost a wondrful little gray cat - Cinder - a few months ago in a very similar way except that she was only about 7. I sat and held her and talked to her during her last hour (and then some to be sure). It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I was glad she wasn't alone.

Wishing peace for all of you.

Angelia
07-29-2006, 07:30 AM
:heart: :heart: Hugs to you and your dad and to Asbury. I've had pets all my life, and losing one always hurts so very much, particularly one that has been with you as long as Asbury has. :crying:

:heart: :heart: :heart:

knotmaker
07-29-2006, 09:26 AM
I am so sorry to hear about your cat. :crying:

sara_jayne
07-29-2006, 09:48 AM
:heart: :heart: :heart:

Nikki
07-29-2006, 10:19 AM
I'm so sorry. It's very hard to lose a good friend. My prayers are with you and you're family.
Nikki

aylaanne
07-29-2006, 10:20 AM
Ugh, i can't even imagine. Thoughts and blessings to your family as you go through this difficult time. :( :crying:

Amber
07-29-2006, 10:28 AM
I'm so sorry. ((((((hugs)))))) :heart:

feministmama
07-29-2006, 11:21 AM
{{{{{{{{{{{{ :heart: :heart: :heart: }}}}}}}}}}}}}

rebecca
07-29-2006, 11:51 AM
:( I'm so very, very sorry and sad for ya'll. The loss of a pet is so traumatic (I lost my kittie, Snuggle, and parrotlet, Bo a few weeks ago) and sad. Please try to focus on the good things and the years of joy that your kittie brought to your life and you all to his.
Big Hugs to you all....

figaro
07-29-2006, 11:58 AM
I am so sorry to hear this, my cat Hobbes is 20 and me and my husband were just talking about how she is still alive and we wonder how much longer she has. I know that when she does go, I am going to be a wreck, she is MY cat, I have had her since she was a feral hissy faced kitten, it will kill me when she dies. I am sending out tons of positive thoughts for you and your kitty along with your family.

Ellen Edwards
07-29-2006, 01:36 PM
I'm so sorry about your kitty, although she's a very old girl!! I know you love her very much and she knows that, too. I had one that lived to be 17 and the last few months I fixed him fresh chicken breast and broth every day, and took him once a week to get fluids at the vet's.(His kidneys were failing, but he didn't have arthitis) I didn't know I'd be able to stand losing him--he was the last of my "children" since I'd had him since my kids were little.

the day I knew he was goingto die--he went and tried to hide behind the tv and he wet the rug before he could even get back there, I raced him to the vet's and held him whilet hey gave him a shot to put him to sleep. It was the best way for me...to know that we were together, that he knew I was holding him and talking to him and I can tell you it was a very sad day for me, and I'm tearing up as I write about it!! I still miss him and that was in 1996.

I'm such a sucker for animals--I have a cat now, but it''s so heartbreaking to lose them--I don't think I'll ever get another after him!

Good luck :heart: !

bjc1050
07-29-2006, 02:12 PM
So sorry to hear about your cat. Just hold onto all the good memories you share with your cat. It will help you to let go.

hedgehog
07-29-2006, 03:58 PM
Thank you so much for your concern and kindness... I do love this place...

He's doing a little better today.. Last night was quite scary watching him struggle with walking so much. Since it looked like he'd had a stroke i gave him half of a children's aspirin (which i'd been giving him once a week for his arthritis so i knew it would ok) and maybe that helped get his blood flowing a bit better...

He doesn't seem to know where he is. He hasn't meowed since yesterday and he's barely purring. I thought for sure he wouldn't make it through the night. I have a table in front of the window in my bedroom with a pillow on it. He loves that spot normally and last night that's where he wanted to be. He curled up and just sat there looking like his head was spinning...

This morning he's walking a bit better but he's still a little wobbly. He hasn't eaten although i did get him to drink some water from a tuna can. I think he's definitely dehydrated so i'm trying to get him to drink ANYTHING to make him comfortable.

I'm pretty sure he's had some brain damage from his ordeal last night. He's really glassy-eyed and is just slowly doing laps around the house like he doesn't know where or who he is.

I thought about taking him to the vet but he ABHORS the vet like no other cat i've ever seen. (I don't think the vet likes him too much either!) He's an odd one in that he is really super even-tempered at home but THE MINUTE he realizes he's at the vet he turns into Mr. Hyde - growling, hissing, snarling, writhing, screaming.. ugh, it's utterly traumatic for everyone. (I don't think the vet believes me that he's completely placid at home). So i'm kinda torn about taking him in to the vet.. I'm sure he'd benefit from getting fluids and some attention, but i'm pretty sure it would be unduly stressful for him - he views it as torture - i don't have the heart.

Right now he's sleeping in my bedroom window and i'm off to go buy him some low-sodium chicken broth...

boo.. this sucks

But I'm so grateful for the compassion among the members here... It is so unique and wonderful....

*hugs to you all!*
-hh

Treeling
07-29-2006, 04:50 PM
I support your decision to keep him at home. If you read up on hospice for humans, you'll see that as your body winds down, the mind does too-- meaning that sometimes our panic that an animal is "suffering" or "in terrible pain" is misplaced. Often people are just kind of "out of it" and it sounds like Asbury is peacefully "out of it," too. Signs like shallow breathing or restlessness are often taken to mean "pain" but can simply be the evidence of a body/mind slowing down. A trip to the vet could cause more distress for Asbury than his current state is. On the flip side, a dying person's out-of-it-ness can mean that it's appropriate for the decision-maker to handle the process in a way that is least distressing for herself-- chances are Asbury wouldn't really notice going to the vet as much as usual at the moment if you felt that was what you needed to have happen.

If you started to see signs of real pain, then you would know that he needed relief. One option (I remember Anne Lamott wrote a wonderful article about this after her dog Sadie passed) is to contact the vet and ask for pain medication that you can administer at home and to ask what signs would tell you that pain meds are needed. It's not really too tough to give pets subcutaneous injections, and the pet hardly notices when they're quite ill. (You could also ask for an iv bag and give Asbury some extra-fluids that way-- I did this once for a cat I was catsitting and it truly was no big deal. The needle just goes into the scruff of the neck and you allow a nice big bolus of fluid to build up, like a hump. Kitty absorbs it over the next couple hours. You'd be amazed at the difference it makes, too.) And strong pain meds given at home are a nice halfway point between letting nature take its course and euthanasia-- they may hurry the end somewhat, but they don't really cause it. Same with people who go onto morphine towards the end of their lives.

Thinking about you and sending you lots of comfort vibes...

spooky
07-29-2006, 04:55 PM
I have found the best way to get a cat to drink water is to put some ice cubes in it. My cat tries to bite at the ice and in turn has to drink water. Maybe that will help. :heart:

samm
07-29-2006, 05:50 PM
I would call the vet and ask about the things you can do to keep Asbury as comfortable as possible. I wonder if she would notice if you took her to the vet? Hard to know. I've always stayed with my furkids when they needed to have their suffering ended, and it has always been peaceful for them. It's hard to lose a member of the family like Asbury. I understand what you are feeling and hold out a hand in comfort for you. I think you are doing the right thing at the moment, and a previous post about giving fluids and pain meds seemed very wise. I'll be thinking about you. samm with Eloise, Clementine, and Moo, who send purrs, and the dogs who send sloppy kisses, Sianidh, Tobie and Angus.

Andrea
07-29-2006, 05:55 PM
:heart: :heart: :heart: I'm so sorry. I hate that these little guys come into our lives and steal our hearts. It makes for them passing so much harder. I think about how devastated I will be when mine pass and it makes me cry and get sick to my stomach.

Good luck, and many smooches to Asbury :heart: :heart: :heart:

KellyK
07-29-2006, 09:12 PM
If you come to the point where you feel Asbury should be seen, I wonder if your vet (or SOME vet) would make a house call for you? If you've had a long relationship with your vet, he might....

More HUGS, Hedgey! :heart:

07-29-2006, 10:42 PM
First let me say that I am so very sorry for you and your baby. Our German Shepherd passed away 1 1/2 yrs ago. We took him in to the vet. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and only had a few weeks left. Each day after he was diagnosed he got worse and worse to the point that he had to hold his leg up when he stood. I'll never forget how he looked in the yard and I knew then and there it was time.

He was in too much pain for me to keep him home to pass away there. I put up with it for a week and I couldn't do it too him anymore. I know that taking your cat to the vet will terrify him, but they do give them a sedative to calm them down.

I totally understand how you feel, believe me, but what if Ashbury is in pain? Taking him in will make his suffering end. Whatever you decide I just wanted to give my point of view. (I'm sorry if it sounds harsh :( ) I know every situation is different, just be sure he's not hurting.

I wish you all the best. Again, I'm very sorry you have to go through this.

Jeremy
07-29-2006, 10:49 PM
I really don't know what to say except my heart and prayers are with you all. He may have had a stroke but also keep in mind that mental status changes and other symptoms can come as a result of dehydration.

Mrs.H
07-30-2006, 12:08 AM
I am so sorry about your precious cat, I can feel your distress from here. We loss our beagle(Bubba) a year ago this last March. He was my personal therapy dog, my DH and DD decided I need a dog after I got home from rehab following my spinal cord injury, and one of my DD's friends beagle's had puppies the same week I was injured. Out of all the puppies in the litter Bubba chose me, ran straight to me and would not leave me, the others were very wary of my wheelchair, but not Bubba! He helped me avoid becoming clinically depressed, and kept me busy, gave me a reason to get my butt out of the bed everyday. He was my special buddy for almost 12 years, until a inoperable brain tumor stole his joy for living.
We were extremely lucky that he truly enjoyed got to see his vet., that made the day I had to take him for his last visit a little easier for the both of us. When I rolled in there with Bubba in my lap, everyone there knew the time had come, and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. He never left my lap until after he had passed, and his passing was so peaceful, I had no doubt I had done the right thing for my sweet baby boy.

I am grateful we still have his adopted haft brother Sparky, but now I fear he won't be with us much longer. I urge you to find a vet who will come to your home to see your sweet baby, or at the very least give you what meds you need to keep her comfortable yourself. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Linda

Braden
07-30-2006, 03:42 AM
:heart: :heart: :heart: I'm so sorry. I hate that these little guys come into our lives and steal our hearts. It makes for them passing so much harder.

I feel the same way. My cat is 11, so she has a little while left. knock on wood.

betweenshades
07-30-2006, 06:31 AM
I went through this exact same thing a few years back. My Zipper was 19 as well.

*hugs*

I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

janelanespaintbrush
07-30-2006, 09:09 AM
There's not much I can say that others haven't already expressed more articulately, but I just wanted to offer some more hugs. :heart: Our kitty is getting on in years (she's 16) and even though she's always been very healthy, I sometimes find myself making sure she's breathing when she's asleep. I don't know what I'll do when she leaves us.

ekgheiy
07-30-2006, 03:53 PM
My feline bud is 18 and showing too. My heart goes out to you!! :heart: :verysad:

dustinac
07-30-2006, 04:30 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your furbaby.. sending you hugs :heart:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-30-2006, 05:22 PM
Hi Hedgy... I just popped in to see how you were doing. I agree, it's right to keep kitty at home. let her be at peace with the people she loves; no sne in dragging truma into it. Stanley and Cheddar send their love, too :heart:

cgd
07-30-2006, 05:35 PM
So sorry about your furry baby . . .

Mer
07-30-2006, 09:04 PM
So sorry to hear about your kitty. Sending hugs! :heart:

hedgehog
07-31-2006, 10:38 AM
Thank you, everyone... I'm so grateful to have compassionate friends here. You're all so incredibly lovely - it's most heart-warming... I truly love this place!! :heart:

I wrote the other day that he seemed to be doing better but wasn't eating or drinking anything. This went on for most of Saturday, making me more and more worried about him... I mean, i know he's as old as Methusela in cat years so i don't expect him to miraculously get better, BUT i can't stand to think of him dehydrating and suffering kidney failure, system failure, etc... If he's going to go, please let it be in the most comfort possible...

So, i called the vet on Saturday to see what they had to say. He doesn't seem to be in ANY pain, but he just seems to be in an altered state - disoriented and perhaps confused, but not in pain. He's a little "off" in that he wanders around and is sitting on the bathroom floor most of the time - he NEVER "hung out" in the bathroom before. He's also walking better. The vet said that if he doesn't look like he's in pain it's a good thing, but to try and make sure he has the basics. He recommended trying to get some water or pedialyte (gatorade/lucozade) down him using a syringe (luckily we use really big ones in my lab which i could easily get).

So i first tried water and it was so obvious he was terribly dehydrated. His gums and tongue were soooo dry and pale. Not good. So i'd gently push some water on his tongue and he'd swallow it down. We spilled more than we ingested at first but I felt better (and i'm sure he did as well). Then i went out and got some unflavored pedialyte and have been trying to get him to drink that at 3 hour intervals. He's getting better with it and his stomach makes SERIOUS rumbling noises when he does swallow like he's hungry.

So that was Saturday... Yesterday i woke up and gave him more pedialyte and he's drinking it down MUCH more easily. He still goes and stands over his water bowl like he knows he should drink but never follows through (like he can't remember how). He's been doing this a bunch. BUT, his gums and tongue look completely hydrated and healthy from all the pedialyte he's been drinking (a sign he's not dehydrated).

I also bought some new cat food for him Saturday (he's on a special low-sodium diet food but it's only one flavor) that is also low-sodium but a different flavor. Yesterday morning i tried to see if he wanted some of it or the water that drained off of it.... He ate it!! All of the amount i gave him and a little more!! I fed him again later in the day (tried in the evening, no go) and then he ate again this morning. So that's good!

He's definitely NOT out of the woods by any means and i understand that... but so long as he has the basic care and is comfortable i feel better.. and i'm sure he feels better as well...

So we'll see what the next few hours and days bring...

Asbury and i thank you for your love... We are so, so very grateful for your suggestions, thoughts and well-wishes... :heart:

-hh

Ingrid
07-31-2006, 11:21 AM
It looks like you're doing everything you can and that he's hanging in there. There are worse things than being a bit confused--it happens to most of us in our dotage, too. ;)

janelanespaintbrush
07-31-2006, 11:36 AM
I'm so glad to hear that he's getting better! Be sure to keep us posted on his progress.

feministmama
07-31-2006, 01:19 PM
Whew! Sounds like kitty is doing better. You're such a good mum. Keeping my fingers crossed :heart:

mulene
07-31-2006, 01:24 PM
HUGE hugs HH! I know how terribly upsetting this is - my first ever cat, aged 14 (same age as I was) died at 14 - he had a stroke. Alas he didn't recover well at all but he went peacefully. It was heartbreaking for me and my dad who also loved him to pieces - though he would never let on that he did!

I'm glad to hear things are a little better and what you have been doing sounds great and a big help to kitty. Fingers crossed that things continue to improve.

SandraEllen
07-31-2006, 02:04 PM
glad to hear he's doing better.

dplantlady
07-31-2006, 06:06 PM
Blessings to you, your kitty, and your dad from me, Sable & Peregrine.

Diane

jamiejeans
07-31-2006, 07:38 PM
I am so glad to hear he is turning a corner. What a great cat mother you are in taking the time to comfort him and care for him.

Keep us posted!

mks22300
07-31-2006, 07:51 PM
I'm so glad your kitty is doing better! I hope he keeps getting better too!