Had to put my 10 year old cat down... Depressed...

MikeAW2010

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10 years ago I bought two orange tabbies. Ginger and Marshmallow. They both had flu’s and the animal shelter didn’t think they were going to survive. They heavily recommended I choose other pets but I took them anyway.

Ginger specifically was very ill and at times he couldn’t breathe. He wasn’t as active as Marshmallow and couldn’t keep up with him when playing. I would take him and put him under a blanket to allow him to rest and I took both him and Marshmallow to the vet on multiple accounts before finally killing off the flu. I had to bottle feed Ginger initially before he finally was up to strength and able to play.

Ginger would thank me by climbing onto my lap and kneading his paws on me and falling asleep on me while being petted. I then relocated from Atlanta GA to Seattle WA and took them with me. In Seattle they were about 1 years old, very active and hyper, would go into my bathroom and grab the bathroom tissue and scatter it all over my apartment so when I came home it looked like it snowed on my floor. Then they would wrestle and chase each other through my apartment during excursions at 3am waking me up to the sounds of cans, dishes and other objects falling from the kitchen counters.

One day though Ginger caught another flu and when he did he once again couldn’t breathe and has his eyes locked shut with crud. So I took him to the bathroom and turned the shower on hot and stood outside of the water with him and let steam fill up the room which helped open his sinuses up so he could breathe again and I dabbed all the crud off his eyes. After I did that he became more attached and more fond of me. He would cry for me whenever I left my apartment, he would go to the front door and scratch and yowl so loud you could hear it in the apartment halls. When I would come back home he would barrage me, and when I laid down he would immediately jump at the opportunity of pushing his paws into my gut or my chest and knead me before cuddling into my body and falling asleep, most specially, he would love pushing his purring face into my heart and listen to my heart beat.

Things job wise in Seattle at the time were shaky and I ended up having to move back to Atlanta, except my car blew an engine before I could leave which left me quite stiffed. I had to figure out a way to get back while also taking my cats. Flying at the time was going to be too expensive due to all the preliminary vet care needed, driving was impossible, but I didn’t give up. It turned out someone needed their vehicle delivered from Seattle to Orlando so I used it to relocate again, taking my cats with me back to Atlanta.

I had to crash with my mother / father. They didn’t have a very stable life and were constantly moving and consequently I had to move with them as I wasn’t able to find a decent paying job in ATL either at the time although that changed as time progressed. I took my cats everywhere we went even when things didn’t look like it was possible to take them. They grew an additional 6 years of age, mostly stable. Didn’t have any real conditions with them. Ginger always was my baby, would jump on my lap or knead into me or go to sleep with me and cuddle with me while I pet him to sleep. I felt that he was grateful by how much effort I kept into retaining him despite instability issues.

Things for me got better when I moved to Austin as I landed a much higher paying job. Of course my babies came with me and I settled in while spending a lot more time progressing my career. Finally Ginger and Marshmallow started experiencing health issues. Ginger specifically would not stop eating unless I took food away from him. I thought it was hyperthyroidism and had blood work done on him on multiple accounts and even sent it off to multiple labs but there was no trace. Later still I had X-rays done and nothing came up. He seemed insatiable. He was not like the cat I had before and he would gorge like I never fed him in his life. The vet said it may just be how he is, so I had been controlling his diet pretty strictly.

Later, back in our Atlanta property we found two feral cats, in a long story short I captured 2 of them because the neighboring businesses were having complaints about them and a few of them had been run over by cars, or captured by animal control. When I brought them back to Austin I had to spend a considerable amount of time socializing them which took time away from Ginger and Marshmallow. I still did spend as much time as I could with them. It took about a year for me to get the feral cats comfortable with me enough to allow me to pet them. Well anyway, one of them I have to keep in my bedroom, isolated because she isn’t friendly to other cats which greatly reduced the time Ginger and Marshmallow were able to sleep with me. I still made exceptions but had to do so with caution as to avoid cat fights.

Anyway, During last week, Ginger barged into my room. I figured if he wanted to be there so bad then let him come. He laid down with me and snuggled up and in my mind I heard a voice tell me ‘you should always make time to spend with them as you never know how much time you have left’ ... well a few days later he wanted to come in again but this time I didn’t let him because the maintenance involved with him and the feral and I was tired... finally the day after that I woke up and came to feed him and found him convulsing and he couldn’t seem to properly breath. I didn’t know what was going on so I took him to the vet and they told me because the symptoms they wanted to see him first... ...when they did they told me to come inside (even despite Covid) and showed me his XRays. His lungs were heavily compacted by fluid surrounding them making it impossible for them to expand when he breathes and only about 1/3rd of their size. They also found a tumor in his stomach and suspected cancer and it had most likely spread to other areas of his body. They were typically pro saving the animal but they said it had gone too far and it had most likely spread to other parts of his body and that he would likely die. I asked them how did this go unnoticed? They told me cats can hide a lot of pain and medical conditions. They gave me the option to try to save him or put him down. I didn’t want his elderly years to be filled with pain. I asked if I could see him...

When I saw him, he wasn’t the same. He was coughing out fluids and panting and struggling. They had him on oxygen and he was barely coherent. I petted him for a moment... I told them and gave them authorization to put him to sleep... I kept petting him and I told him I loved him while they loaded the lethal dose... and I kept telling him I love him while they injected. I held him tight and closed my eyes while promising I loved him while I slowly felt him die... I’ve never felt anything go from living to dead... but especially my baby... I was crushed ... it was like there was nothing after that. Like he just ceases to exist... I cried all day and the day after. I couldn’t go to work either. I’ve been praying for him all day hoping that he really is in heaven and after all this is over that I will be reunited with him. Going through pictures and memories. Every time I go out to the living room I can’t believe he’s gone. He seemed so normal just even a week ago. I never saw this coming.


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Mr. Meow

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Your story will touch a lot of lives here. You are not alone, don't ever forget that.
For almost everyone, in every religion that believes in a heaven, or an afterlife, that place is considered a "paradise". I don't know about anyone else, but my paradise includes cats. Lots of cats. All the cats I've ever known and loved.
You spent so much time and love on Ginger that now it's his turn to watch over you. He'll never be far away, just like he was in life. He's healthy. He's happy. You should be proud of yourself for raising such an amazing boy, because I know he's proud of you.
We're always here for you. Always.
 

Antonio65

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Your story moved me to tears, it is clear in your words how strong the love and bond between you was. And I relate to you because I lived a similar strong bond story with one of my cats nad your Ginger look very much my Tom, who went away with FIP and had his chest filled with fluids.
You described what I know too well, unfortunately.

You couldn't do any better, you did everything possible, never let him down and were with him till his last breath, no cat could have asked for more.
One day you will meet again, Ginger will knead on your lap forever, and nothing will ever part you again, it will be a wonderful eternity.

RIP Ginger, you have known Love with a capital L.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I can tell how much you loved Ginger from your post. You did all you could for your boy. You ended his pain and broke your own heart doing that. I know he would Thank you for all the love you gave him. He'll be at the bridge pain free wondering why your so sad because he isn't. I truly believe that heaven is where our pet's go. And I do know that feeling of letting one go. I believe it feels like they cease, because their spirit has left their body. And they have moved on to heaven. RIP sweet boy Ginger watch over your human. :rbheart:
 
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MikeAW2010

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I made this for him...
It has been difficult coping all day...
Work was almost impossible... I have been crying off and on and my heart feels like there's a bullet in it...
I miss and love you very much Ginger.
I-love-you-ginger.png
 

jefferd18

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I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend,Ginger.
It sounds like Ginger was a very sickly kitten who wouldn't have even made it to ten weeks, much less ten years, if you hadn't come along. Your compassion and love for him not only added to his life, it is what MADE his life. Cancer is a demon and I seriously doubt Ginger would have beaten the odds even with medical intervention. You spared him from suffering in the short time he had left and that is what a good friend does.

I think his barging in your room at the end was his way of saying good-bye. He is a beautiful feline who knows what you did for him. You will see him again
 
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MikeAW2010

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I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend,Ginger.
It sounds like Ginger was a very sickly kitten who wouldn't have even made it to ten weeks, much less ten years, if you hadn't come along. Your compassion and love for him not only added to his life, it is what MADE his life. Cancer is a demon and I seriously doubt Ginger would have beaten the odds even with medical intervention. You spared him from suffering in the short time he had left and that is what a good friend does.

I think his barging in your room at the end was his way of saying good-bye. He is a beautiful feline who knows what you did for him. You will see him again
That’s what hurts so bad. When he barged at my room, I didn’t let him in. I didn’t let him snuggle with me one last time. I did get one snuggle a few days earlier than that because he did the same thing but I didn’t the second time because I didn’t realize he was so ill. He seemed almost normal. He did convulse earlier that day but he stopped and I thought it wasn’t anything serious... I didn’t get a chance to hold him one more time and I feel terrible for it because really wanted to be with me.
 

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Rest you gentle, Ginger, dream you deep. You walk in someone's heart forever.

OH, my Dear New Friend, please don't dwell on not letting him in! HAD YOU KNOWN, you would have not only let him in, you would have not let him out of your arms until the Time came. Had we only known, but we don't. We can't. And that might be a blessing, after all. This is what I can tell you...Ginger lived, breathed and had his being surrounded by your love. And he knew that. He. Knew. That. Just as he knew, and knows still, that you helped him through the Gate between This Adventure and his Next Great Adventure. He knows that you sent your love with him to guide his way. Now, from That Place Where All Things Are Known, he sends his love, translated and purified into Love, back to you, to walk with you down through all your days until you meet again in joyous reunion. Because Love abides. Always, forever, Love abides.
 

Maria Bayote

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My heart aches for you. I am so very sorry for your loss.

I also believe in the afterlife; a place where my dearly departed dogs and my cats during my childhood would meet me at the entrance, for us to be all together again; a place where my current dogs and cats would be able to see each other again in case anyone of us leave ahead of each other.

I pray for your immediate healing from this grief. I pray that you will soon have to remember Ginger with more of happy tears, than of sadness.

Hang in there.
 

Antonio65

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What a wonderful tribute image you made for him. you should frame it and hang it on the wall.
I know what you feel for not letting him be with you one more time, but from my direct experience for a similar thing, don't let this thought dominate your mind or it will kill you!
 

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We all experience those 'should haves' that come up when a loved one leaves us. It is a very real part of grieving and it is because not one of us can predict what is in the future and not one of us is perfect....
You gave that precious boy 10 years he most likely would have never had, surviving and flourishing under your care and love. That is what he wanted most in life and you gladly provided that for him. There comes a time in every living thing's life that is existing rather than living. When life becomes day to day, filled with pain and no hope for relief. I believe your boy was at that point and you could NOT let him continue that way. This is where I relied on my vet's experience with things like this. They have seen much and their judgment is not clouded by love and the pain and horror of what is happening. My vet always told me," if this was MY cat......."
You had ten wonderful years with that boy. The bond of love that developed between the two of you is strong. It will forever be a part of your soul because it is spiritual, so eternal. He shared your life's journey for a while and is a beautiful part of your past now. NOTHING can take that from you, not even death, "Death cannot take that which never dies". He will forever be as close as your thoughts and prayers.
Do NOT make his death more important than his life. That can never be. His life was a big part of yours. His love is irreplaceable, so unique that it can never be replicated, but it can be added on to, to help it grow even stronger, even more special, by opening your heart to other loves. Distract your grief by doing something that would help you to feel better about yourself. Give cat food or litter to your local shelter, or a small donation. I 'sponsored a cat that was there the longest to help it get a home by paying for the adoption. and I did it in my loved one's name. Comfort your remaining little ones, they too miss their brother. You can find comfort in comforting others.....
My heart aches for you. I, too, was a complete mess after I lost my little one. The despair and grief can bring you to your knees with no notice. I am here to tell you it DOES get better. It will never leave you, but you find ways to cope. Try not to dwell on it, I know how hard that is, but it brings nothing but pain, and you have more than enough of that at the moment. Concentrate on his life and what he meant to you. He leaves you that. Move forward into life because that is what he would want for you, just as you would want for him if you were the first to go. Get through each day, and keep breathing, because that is what makes us alive. Time is the only thing that takes the sharp edges off of grief. One day at a time.......RIP dear Ginger. You will be dearly missed, 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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jefferd18

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That’s what hurts so bad. When he barged at my room, I didn’t let him in. I didn’t let him snuggle with me one last time. I did get one snuggle a few days earlier than that because he did the same thing but I didn’t the second time because I didn’t realize he was so ill. He seemed almost normal. He did convulse earlier that day but he stopped and I thought it wasn’t anything serious... I didn’t get a chance to hold him one more time and I feel terrible for it because really wanted to be with me.

Mike we can't live our lives like it is the last day for us or our loved ones. Its just not realistic and none of us have a crystal ball.
I honestly don't believe that Ginger defined his life with you based on one day- it was everyday for ten years that he looked at- and it was a very good and loving life.
 
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MikeAW2010

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What do I do with all these feelings now. When I walk into the living room its almost like its a shock every day when I don't see him laying under the cat tree. It's difficult going out into the kitchen to feed my cats not seeing him rush up to me in his anxious meowing pulling at me and standing on his rear legs against the dish washer while I fix his food on the counter.. I had to put his food dish away in my closet. He used to rush up to Marshmallow's dish after Marshmallow was done eating to finish eating what was left. I just don't get how this all snuck up on me. He was acting perfectly healthy, playing, anxious about being fed, standing on his rear legs at the counter and also standing on his rear legs to be pet, wasn't lethargic all the way to the to the point where he started convulsing. When I took him to the vet I was just thinking, yeah a checkup and maybe an XRay and prescription and we'll be on our way. I had no idea I was going to be putting him to sleep. Its a major shock that he's now gone. I don't want to intrude on anyone theology or religion, I personally am a Christian and have been reading the bible more hoping that the lord will send me signs that I will revisit him or that he will visit me and that I will see him in the afterlife but in the time to come its going to be very hard. I've been letting Marshmallow sleep with me (Marshmallow is Ginger's brother, they're from the same litter) and I scheduled another vet appointment to have a thorough examination of Marshmallow as well. I keep remembering when Ginger would stand on his hind legs and pull me down (he is a big cat) and snuggle into my lap, or when he would grab my shoes while Im laying on the floor and start grinding his rear feet across my shoes. or when he would snuggle up beside me a fall asleep against my chest.. ..I miss him to death right now and it feels like I'm just not going to be able to bear it knowing I'll never see him again. I've been like unpredictable weather randomly crying off and on. I didn't go to work on Monday, I did on Tuesday but I was far from ready and the feelings crippled me. I worked remote half the day today and onsite the other half.. I did catch Marshmallow looking toward the front door, the same door he saw me take Ginger out of. It only happened once that I could notice. I can't tell if Marshmallow feels any grief or not. He 'seems' to be acting normally but I don't know what he truly feels...but just incase I've been keeping him close and holding him and petting him.. I feel Ginger would want me to take good care of his brother, but its a major struggle... especially knowing they are also no longer together.
 
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jefferd18

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I truly understand. Jeff, in my avatar, went outside on March 29th, 2019 and never came back. Something kept nagging at me the moment she went out so I found myself going to the front door every hour calling her name. I cried the whole night, finally passed out at four and woke up in panic an hour later. Something was not right. I found her on Sunday morning laying peacefully on the floor of my shed. There was no rhyme or reason why she died that night, she never acted sick and even ate a huge meal before she went out. The only explanation my vet could give was a blood clot. The only comfort he could give me, was that it was super quick and painless.

Now I have people in my life but Jeff was my light, she is the one who got me through an awful lot of hardships in the short eight years that I knew her.

I don't know if there is an afterlife, I tend to believe there is. I am not a religious person but I have seen and felt too much in my life that science just can not explain. I know you will see Ginger again.

Please allow yourself all the time you need to grieve and if it brings any comfort at all try doing something in Ginger's name. That is what helped me with Jeff. That, and reaching out to others.
 

Maria Bayote

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Now I have people in my life but Jeff was my light, she is the one who got me through an awful lot of hardships in the short eight years that I knew her.

I don't know if there is an afterlife, I tend to believe there is. I am not a religious person but I have seen and felt too much in my life that science just can not explain. I know you will see Ginger again.
These lines made me cry. It is so amazing how some humans like us form such a deep bond with our pets.
 

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I am so sorry that you lost your little friend, this was a love story....he had the 10 years here because of you and the love and care that you took of him, without that he wouldn't have had a good life. But it is never easy when it is their time to go, and when we are present and holding them when they are being put down it is a very emotional, tough moment, I know...and the memory of how that felt and went down will stay with you for quite awhile, your mind and body and soul have to come to terms with it and it takes awhile to get the poison out of your system, and it can and will play mental and physical games with you which is normal, but they eventually start to settle down and your heart begins to mend.

He was so cute, he looks like our old boy Simba who we guesstimate to be about 18, looks like a younger version of him.

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

I am so sorry that you lost your little friend, but you will be reunited one day down the line and it will be wonderful, tears of joy not sadness. I hope that your heart heals a bit more each day, God Bless....:alright: :grouphug2: :rbheart:
 
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MikeAW2010

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Last week was very difficult to get through, especially to go to work. I’ve been praying and asking for signs that he still lives in spirit. I’ve been letting Marshmallow sleep with me despite the feral cat in my room, so far nothing bad has come of it but Marshmallow does have tensions. Marshmallow isn’t liking being pet very much so I’m taking him to the vet today to make sure nothing is wrong with him physically.

Today I managed to wake up without tears in my eyes from remembering his death but the pain is still pretty strong. I keep having flashbacks of that moment where I was telling him I loved him while feeling him die in my hand. He was confused and in pain and then suddenly that’s just it.. I’m praying he is still alive in spirit... I took Marshmallow to the vet today. He needs dental extractions. They will do X-rays during the extraction to make sure nothing else is going on. As I gave Marshmallow his pain killers and antibiotics I remembered doing this for Ginger and several of my cats including Marshmallow in the past remembering that I have gone all out in taking care of them and this really just caught me off guard... I miss my baby... I long to be able to see him again.
 

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I was told that it takes about 1.5 years after a loved ones death to be able to start to handle it and I have found it to be pretty accurate, so you are very much in the initial stages yet, and don't be surprised if it comes and goes. I remember when Sebastian died in my arms suddenly one day after work I was pretty numb for awhile, I think it was so traumatic that I couldn't wrap my mind around it, but about 1 month later it hit me like a ton of bricks. I recall sitting in the car one night while Deb was in a store, and it was like someone popped a DVD or video in my head and pressed "play", it was like I was watching he and I on that horrible night and the tears just started to flow, I couldn't stop it but it was my mind's way of trying to work things out I guess. That was late 2015, I still can recall that night but the sting has long since left, I still do not like to rehash that but if I do I can handle it, as I know that he is fine now, just fine, as is your little friend, and when we meet again one day-and we will-it will be wonderful. :rbheart:
 

jefferd18

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I was told that it takes about 1.5 years after a loved ones death to be able to start to handle it and I have found it to be pretty accurate, so you are very much in the initial stages yet, and don't be surprised if it comes and goes. I remember when Sebastian died in my arms suddenly one day after work I was pretty numb for awhile, I think it was so traumatic that I couldn't wrap my mind around it, but about 1 month later it hit me like a ton of bricks. I recall sitting in the car one night while Deb was in a store, and it was like someone popped a DVD or video in my head and pressed "play", it was like I was watching he and I on that horrible night and the tears just started to flow, I couldn't stop it but it was my mind's way of trying to work things out I guess. That was late 2015, I still can recall that night but the sting has long since left, I still do not like to rehash that but if I do I can handle it, as I know that he is fine now, just fine, as is your little friend, and when we meet again one day-and we will-it will be wonderful. :rbheart:


Yes, that time line seems to be right. It took me about that length of time to make peace with Jeff's passing. I had some really hard and disturbing moments when dealing with the loss of her, like sitting in my car at 2 a.m. and seeing if she would appear and come down the sidewalk towards me. I knew better but I missed her so much. I hope she is sitting with both Sebastian and Ginger now.:)
 
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