Had to let Otto go, and feel guilt and worry about how it transpired.

electra

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Hi everyone,
I moved with my beloved Otto (10) to the city, after living in the mountains for his whole life. We were down here for less than two months when a neighbor cat (a very mean cat) jumped into the yard, bit Otto and caused a wound that abscessed...got it treated, but Otto didn't seem the same, after.

He started eating differently, he started sleeping outside (and hiding in the bushes, rather than coming inside), and he looked in pain, at times. This is after he'd been on pain meds for the abscess and had been given a shot of antibiotics that would last 10 days.

(To be honest, for the past year I haven't been convinced that he's been totally healthy, but a couple of different vets couldn't pinpoint it, though he does have asthma (controlled by prednisone) and some low-level kidney disease (due to the pred and maybe some other things). )

About a week after the attack, he wasn't eating much and I brought him to a new vet (we're new to the city) who was very recommended. The vet examined him, was surprised he was alive (given his dehydration), sent him home with some foods to get him eating, and said, this doesn't look promising. After another day of Otto still not eating much, and hiding much of the time, and looking in pain, the bloodwork came back and everything was awful. Kidneys, liver, etc. The vet said we could try blood transfusion and it would be costly and probably wouldn't give him much more life, and kindly suggested...well, you know...and the next day I agreed.

Of course, that day he spent most of his day in the closet, but a friend came over before we went to the vet, and Otto came out of the closet, meowing 'hello'!, like nothing was wrong. But then he hunkered down again in pain. So, we went.

It all happened so quickly. I feel guilt that I didn't take him elsewhere. I also know that I'd rather my cat weren't alive, than suffering, and it was terrible to see him in pain. Could the antibiotic been causing him nausea? But the bloodwork was so awful.

I just...I feel guilt, and worry that I acted too fast. But I don't have thousands of dollars to spend, nor do i want to prolong an animal's life for my own benefit, if he's suffering. I just...Ugh. We want to provide safety and happiness to our dear furred friends, but eventually we cannot.

Obviously I don't want to be told I should have done something differently, as I don't think I can live with that. Do things sometimes go downhill, healthwise, so quickly? Can an attack, and added stress of a new living situation, sometimes make health deteriorate quickly? Ugh. I'm not sure exactly what I'm asking. But thought I'd post here, in hopes of receiving...resassurance? Maybe. Thanks, everyone. :(
 

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sunny578

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I'm so sorry for your loss. Death is not something that I am at peace with, but I have found brighthaven.org to be a great resource. I think their primary work has to do with supporting owners with hospice care for their pet, but they also offer consultations that address ways that you can commemorate your pet, talk about the dying process, etc. It's all so hard and horrible, IMO:(
 

Mamanyt1953

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Given his horrible blood work, I think, myself, that you made the right decision. You MIGHT have tried any number of treatments, none of which would be guaranteed to work, many of which would have made him miserable. I am, on the whole, glad that you did not. Here is the thing...cats live in an eternal now. They do not view the past with regrets (although they do remember), nor do they view the future with either hope or dread. For Otto, what he felt NOW is what is, and would be. That is why I advise people, NEVER on their worst day! Send them on their way while there is still some joy to be had, send them gently, and with your love. Which is exactly what you did. Otto lived, breathed and had his being in your love. You helped him pass through the Gate between This Adventure and his Next Great Adventure with your love to guide his way. Now, from That Place Where All Things Are Known, Otto sends his love, translated and purified into Love, back to you to walk beside you down through all your days. Because Love abides. Always, forever, Love abides.

Rest you gentle, Otto, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. From your post you did everything you could for Otto. You ended his suffering and broke your own heart doing that. Unfortunately with grief the ifs and buts hit hard. It's normal for us to think this way. But I can assure you that your boy didn't want to be in pain and would thank you for giving him peace. He'll be in good company at the bridge. RIP sweet Otto :rbheart:
 

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I know it's easier said than done, but please don't beat yourself up. You did everything you possibly could for Otto. Sometimes the best thing we can do for them is know when to let go. You gave Otto the best care possible and all the love in the world. :hugs:

Rest in peace, sweet boy. :rbheart:
 
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electra

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Given his horrible blood work, I think, myself, that you made the right decision. You MIGHT have tried any number of treatments, none of which would be guaranteed to work, many of which would have made him miserable. I am, on the whole, glad that you did not. Here is the thing...cats live in an eternal now. They do not view the past with regrets (although they do remember), nor do they view the future with either hope or dread. For Otto, what he felt NOW is what is, and would be. That is why I advise people, NEVER on their worst day! Send them on their way while there is still some joy to be had, send them gently, and with your love. Which is exactly what you did. Otto lived, breathed and had his being in your love. You helped him pass through the Gate between This Adventure and his Next Great Adventure with your love to guide his way. Now, from That Place Where All Things Are Known, Otto sends his love, translated and purified into Love, back to you to walk beside you down through all your days. Because Love abides. Always, forever, Love abides.

Rest you gentle, Otto, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.
Oh--Oh--Thank you for this. What an incredibly lovely thing to write. My abiding thanks, to you! And big hug. Soothes me and makes me feel much better...xo
 
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electra

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I'm so sorry for your loss. From your post you did everything you could for Otto. You ended his suffering and broke your own heart doing that. Unfortunately with grief the ifs and buts hit hard. It's normal for us to think this way. But I can assure you that your boy didn't want to be in pain and would thank you for giving him peace. He'll be in good company at the bridge. RIP sweet Otto :rbheart:
Thank you so very much. Helps me a lot. Hugs. x
 
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electra

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I know it's easier said than done, but please don't beat yourself up. You did everything you possibly could for Otto. Sometimes the best thing we can do for them is know when to let go. You gave Otto the best care possible and all the love in the world. :hugs:

Rest in peace, sweet boy. :rbheart:
Thank you, Betsy. I really appreciate this. xoxo
 

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I have found that over the years even though you spend a lot of money and try many treatments, it almost always ends the same way....you lose them. When cats are ready to go, and yes, even 10-year-olds, there is just not anything that can be done. You knew Otto better than anyone, if he seemed to be in pain, then he was, and with his bloodwork being that bad, his systems were most likely shutting down. You did your best at the time with what you had. There will ALWAYS be guilt and all those should haves, could haves, because not one of us is perfect. Nothing can change the outcome. Guilt comes with intent. But the only real intention you had was to love him and help him in any way you could. There is no blame there.
At times like these, I always rely on what my vet has to offer, they have seen much more than any of us, and know the signs of the end, They know suffering way too much. You could not let that sweet boy suffer. As said above, it is way better a day too early than a day too late........
Otto's love will always be a part of you, the love he so freely gave you cannot just disappear, it is spiritual, so eternal. His going left a huge hole in your life, but time will eventually fill that hole with the help of his memories of better times. It is consuming your life right now as death always does, but to be alive means to really live, and trying to change the past just will not happen. No matter how much we want to. Concentrate on the good he brought to your life, there were many more happy years than sad. To have never met him at all would have spared you the pain, but at what cost? His sweet love is a treasure.
Don't beat yourself up over something you can't change. His love is secure, it will never be replaced, but rather enhanced with any new loves you develop over the years. to be loved and remembered after death is an honor. Let his sweet love fill that emptiness you have right now, he will forever parallel your life's journey, tied together with the bonds of love.
My heart goes out to you. I know the pain of loss, it never gets easier or hurts less. Each loss is unique to the person experiencing it, because each love is a sharing of your spirit, unique as a snowflake. Do not be afraid to love again, it is what makes life worth living......RIP beautiful Otto. You will never be forgotten, you will always have a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 
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electra

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I have found that over the years even though you spend a lot of money and try many treatments, it almost always ends the same way....you lose them. When cats are ready to go, and yes, even 10-year-olds, there is just not anything that can be done. You knew Otto better than anyone, if he seemed to be in pain, then he was, and with his bloodwork being that bad, his systems were most likely shutting down. You did your best at the time with what you had. There will ALWAYS be guilt and all those should haves, could haves, because not one of us is perfect. Nothing can change the outcome. Guilt comes with intent. But the only real intention you had was to love him and help him in any way you could. There is no blame there.
At times like these, I always rely on what my vet has to offer, they have seen much more than any of us, and know the signs of the end, They know suffering way too much. You could not let that sweet boy suffer. As said above, it is way better a day too early than a day too late........
Otto's love will always be a part of you, the love he so freely gave you cannot just disappear, it is spiritual, so eternal. His going left a huge hole in your life, but time will eventually fill that hole with the help of his memories of better times. It is consuming your life right now as death always does, but to be alive means to really live, and trying to change the past just will not happen. No matter how much we want to. Concentrate on the good he brought to your life, there were many more happy years than sad. To have never met him at all would have spared you the pain, but at what cost? His sweet love is a treasure.
Don't beat yourself up over something you can't change. His love is secure, it will never be replaced, but rather enhanced with any new loves you develop over the years. to be loved and remembered after death is an honor. Let his sweet love fill that emptiness you have right now, he will forever parallel your life's journey, tied together with the bonds of love.
My heart goes out to you. I know the pain of loss, it never gets easier or hurts less. Each loss is unique to the person experiencing it, because each love is a sharing of your spirit, unique as a snowflake. Do not be afraid to love again, it is what makes life worth living......RIP beautiful Otto. You will never be forgotten, you will always have a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
Di and Bob, did I ever thank you for this? It helped me so much. Thank you, from my heart! xoxo
 
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electra

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Everyone, I'm just perusing your notes again, as I've been hit hard with guilt, what-ifs, the whole thing. And reading your kind, heartfelt, thoughtful and personal notes help me SO much. I am so grateful. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, whether with your current cats or the sweet memory of past ones (who are still with us, of course). Thank you for these notes that help lessen the pain for me. You have no idea (or, I guess, you do). xoxoxo
 

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The "Firsts" are horrible, aren't they? The first Christmas is one of the worst, to me. The next one will be better. However...sit still and quiet...let your heart rest and listen for a still, small purr. With you still. He is with you still.
 
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electra

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The "Firsts" are horrible, aren't they? The first Christmas is one of the worst, to me. The next one will be better. However...sit still and quiet...let your heart rest and listen for a still, small purr. With you still. He is with you still.
Thank you so much. Hug.
 

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We pray we can give you something that is very elusive on the journey of grief, especially in the beginning, hope.....Hope that someday you will not hurt so bad, hope that the world will begin again to have some kind of normalcy, hope that the sharp edges of grief will eventually fade, and they will, in time. But it takes a lot of time, some need more than others. Somewhere deep inside of you, you have strength. It comes from the love you shared with that precious boy and is something you will always have. But it takes a lot of first steps, a lot of them backward, but eventually, you will find peace in knowing he is always near, and will continue loving you too. Take care of yourself and grasp any happiness and beauty you can find, no matter how small and insignificant. You will get through this, one day at a time......
 

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I agree with others, I think you made the right choice for Otto.

Often owners deeply regret waiting too long to make that difficult decision, all the while their loved one is suffering.

You stepped up when Otto needed you most. You did not fail him. You put his needs first, even though it meant pain and suffering for you.

Be proud you had the courage and relieved he isnt suffering.

That is selfless love.
 
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electra

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I agree with others, I think you made the right choice for Otto.

Often owners deeply regret waiting too long to make that difficult decision, all the while their loved one is suffering.

You stepped up when Otto needed you most. You did not fail him. You put his needs first, even though it meant pain and suffering for you.

Be proud you had the courage and relieved he isnt suffering.

That is selfless love.

Thank you, Purr-fect. That's really helpful, as what I struggle with most are the last days...Did I do the right thing, at the right time, etc? I'm not used to making decisions like these, for sentient beings (hopefully nobody has TOO much experience with that)...I guess we're never sure of exact timing, etc etc. Thanks. This all helps so much, your note and everyone else's. Much love to you. xo
 
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electra

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We pray we can give you something that is very elusive on the journey of grief, especially in the beginning, hope.....Hope that someday you will not hurt so bad, hope that the world will begin again to have some kind of normalcy, hope that the sharp edges of grief will eventually fade, and they will, in time. But it takes a lot of time, some need more than others. Somewhere deep inside of you, you have strength. It comes from the love you shared with that precious boy and is something you will always have. But it takes a lot of first steps, a lot of them backward, but eventually, you will find peace in knowing he is always near, and will continue loving you too. Take care of yourself and grasp any happiness and beauty you can find, no matter how small and insignificant. You will get through this, one day at a time......
Thanks, Di and Bob. So grateful for your support. xx
 

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Thank you, Purr-fect. That's really helpful, as what I struggle with most are the last days...Did I do the right thing, at the right time, etc? I'm not used to making decisions like these, for sentient beings (hopefully nobody has TOO much experience with that)...I guess we're never sure of exact timing, etc etc. Thanks. This all helps so much, your note and everyone else's. Much love to you. xo
Electra, none of us can ever know for certain if we made that difficult decision too soon.

If you make the choice too soon, he is gone, but suffered less. If you make the choice too late, he is gone but suffered more.

In our hearts, we usually know if we made it too late. Knowing the choice was made too late is a terrible burden of guilt, on top of the loss.

When you think of Otto, try not to think of the loss, but rather the love you two shared. He would not want you to suffer. He is only gone if you forget him.
 
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electra

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Thank you. I'm realizing now that his death was part of a greater change, in both our lives, of which I felt profoundly guilty (regarding him). A big move away from his beloved hunting grounds, and perhaps a move that contributed to his demise (?). But it couldn't be helped, and I did everything to (try to) keep him happy and safe. In the end, things happen despite our best intentions...I know this. He had a wonderful life. We had a wonderful bond. Thanks for saying that he wouldn't want me to suffer...This is very powerful. It's 'forgiveness' and love from the animal I loved. Big hug. xo
 
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