10815442 tn?1413017425

Extreme guilt from putting cat to sleep

Hello, I am brand new here and actually joined this forum just to post this.

I'm new to this sort of thing but feel it's appropriate to give you a 'brief history' of this cat and it's special needs, for you to better understand my dilemma.  Sorry for the long read but bear with me

In January me and my girlfriend adopted Whiskey, a beautiful white Turkish Angora-  he was already 10 years old, and had no place mixed in with the kittens that were being adopted left and right.  
We quickly found out Whiskey had a bit of a health problem: he had a digestive issue where he could easily get blocked up and dehydrated; unable to defecate for much too long and then when he did it would be huge and painful for him.  My girlfriend and I both assumed this was how an older seemingly perfect (and super friendly) cat came to end up in a shelter and it just broke our hearts.  Fortunately this issue was solved after one quick trip to the vet, and an easy change in his diet.  We simply mixed his ordinary cat food with special laxative for cats and water.  Problem solved.  

Everything was great; his health issues were completely manageable and we loved Whiskey.

Recently, just out of the blue, we found piles of vomit here and there when we would come home from work. Whiskey had a knack for eating things he shouldn't so we figured this was just another one of those times. He would always be eating something stupid and throwing it up later. This time however, he wouldn't eat again. By the end of that same day he was throwing up when there was nothing left in his stomach-- it was green bile.

We took him to the vet that next morning.  We've taken him plenty of times and we weren't TOO worried- just the normal amount of concern that we've always had for these vet visits.  By this point it had been nearly 24 hours since the last time we know he ate.

The veterinarian seemed concerned after her initial check on Whiskey. And here's where the root of my guilt stems from.  The Dr returned with an X-Ray showing mysterious blockage in five different spots of Whiskey's intestine.  She couldn't make out what it was; I saw the X-Ray and couldn't tell what it was either.

Whiskey normally had, for lack of a better word, an AGGRESSIVE appetite. I mean we couldn't eat dinner without him hovering over our shoulder trying to swipe the food off our forks.  To see him suddenly have no interest in food and mope around all day was painful.  Everything happened so fast and we were left with either a complex surgery that 'might' work, or euthanasia.  

We ultimately decided to do it.

I keep thinking back to that day- it was just 2 days ago as I write this.   Did I choose too quickly?  Should I have done the surgery?  It's not like it was the first time we took him to the vet.  I feel so guilty that we did it right there and then, without bringing him home just for a little while and spend one last night with him.  Because remember, when we brought him in that day, putting him to sleep wasn't even a thought in our heads.
I know it's too late now but I just can't stop thinking about him- I feel like my hasty decision wasn't fair to the little guy.

This is the first pet I've ever had to say goodbye to in that way.  To others that have gone through it, how did you cope?
5 Responses
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7052683 tn?1392938795
I do not think there is a cat parent out there that would not understand your feeling of guilt. We have ALL been there. Problem is our beloved kits cannot talk , so when we make that final decision we always second guess ourselves. This is very normal.

Please put your mind to rest. We always make these decisions out of LOVE for our babies. We do not want to see them suffer, and I am sure he was suffering. You gave him the final act of love and kindness by allowing him to free of this pain.

Cats live in the moment, so as he went to sleep he knew how very lucky he was to have the love and care you provided for him. We cannot help where our little guys came from and change a thing about life before us. We can only show them how much they are cherished and loved by taking them into our hearts and caring for them in the moment.

I worked in Rescue and believe me, you and your girlfriend were his angels. Older cats have a very sad life if left at the Rescue. You saved his life and squeezed a lifetime f love into the time he had with you. No Guilt there!!!

Some people will put there cats thru all kinds of surgery and when the end result is their passing they too feel guilty.
We can never get it right As long as we have cherished them when they were in our care, that Love is the only thing that should matter to you--I know being Love is all that mattered to them.

So get some rest dad--you did the right thing for the right reason. That is the only thing that matters.
Whiskey will always be with you, you just have to be open enough to feel his presence.

God Bless you both you and your beloved Whiskey.
Helpful - 0
506791 tn?1439842983
I can only but echo CML's words...you took a chance on an older kitty and tried to give him a good life.  Whiskey had time he would not have, had you passed him by...you did good.

That Final Decision, that Last Act of Kindness, is the hardest loving decision we will ever make for our beloved little furry persons.

Second guessing is one of the penalties we pay for being the sort of people we are, willing to open our hearts to these little creatures.
Helpful - 0
8444768 tn?1416123086
I fully agree w/the above comments. Our beloved Butters lost his battle w/cancer yesterday. I had hoped he'd go quietly in his sleep w/me with him. He was terrified of the pet carrier and I didn't want his last memories to be of being shoved into the carrier and being afraid. As it happened, I was cradling him and singing his little ditties that I sang just for him and he went peacefully. It may be in this situation that nothing feels right bu my friend (thank you for being here for me, Jade!) reminded me that sometimes that's the best and kindest thing you can do for someone who's helpless. In time, you'll remember Whiskey with the happy memories. We are all for you anytime you'd like to talk of just need a shoulder. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
I am so sorry to hear about Whiskey.  Honestly i would of done the same thing.  He was a senior cat and surgery is risky at that age.  We have to love them enough to let them go.  In time the guilt will pass and you will know you did the right thing for Whiskey.  Until then, let yourself grieve and soon there will be a smile when you remember him~
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I went through a similar situation this past Monday.  Our choices were: risky surgery which he may die during or soon after due to complications or let him go peacefully.  We didn't expect to be put in that place and it was the hardest thing.  The guilt and the what-if thoughts can be overwhelming sometimes.  I know with time it will get better for me and for you too.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  We have take comfort in the fact that we gave these beautiful creatures a loving home while they were on earth with us.
Helpful - 0
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