How Did You Cope After Making The Decision To Euthanize?

veronica00

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After a struggle to make the right decision and too much watching my cat suffer with a very grim prognosis, I made the decision to let him go today.

I would love to hear from any members of the community who have had to make this decision and how did you cope? I feel physically sick and desperate and cannot imagine life without my big boy. I also worry about his brother who he was very close to.

Please help, I feel incredibly hopeless right now with the heart of my home gone in a split second today.

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stephanietx

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Not very well, actually. However, someone told me that making the decision to let my baby go was the most loving decision I could make for HER. She was miserable, not eating, not grooming, not LIVING, if you know what I mean. She was a shell of her former self and it was cruel to continue the discomfort she was experiencing. Taking comfort in knowing she was no longer in pain or suffering brought me comfort knowing I did the right thing. The other thing I had to do was to remind myself that I had made the right decision and to stop second guessing myself. We had been given 12 wonderful years together, and while I wish she was still with me today, I treasure those 12 years we had. I miss her dearly, but she left me with so many great memories. Focus on the memories, not the fact that you put your baby to sleep. Know you did the most loving thing for your baby.
 

mokapi

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The grief that's hitting you will come in waves. There is no one way to grieve and it is not a linear process.

I am sorry that this happened to you, but know that you made a decision that helped your baby no longer be in pain. The pain and the ache that lives alongside the emptiness that you're feeling right now is one of the most gut-wrenching and hurtful experiences a human can bear. There aren't enough words in the world to help you.

You did a COMPASSIONATE thing. When we take animals into our care, we're promising them the best life we can give them, and, as cruel as it feels to us, the best possible death. You helped him pass from one plane of existence into another...one where he's no longer in pain or discomfort or exhaustion. Imagine your baby at his very best, when he's happily snarfing down his favorite food, or playing with his favorite toy, or snuggling with you. That happiness and contentedness that he felt in those moments is how he feels now...forever. It's our job as their guardians to accept the burden of knowing when it's best to let them go.

I'm sorry that more people weren't able to help you in your other thread. We try to be very on top of that sort of thing in this community.

Give his brother extra love. Let him help heal the wound in your heart.

I'm sending you all the peaceful vibes I can muster.
 

dahli6

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We had to do this with our collie dog in February. I don't think about the action or the condition that preceded it. I remember the memories and I live in the present.
I agree the anyone who says to focus on the brother. He will feel the absence and will likely grieve. He could become despondent and lethargic while he grieves so make sure and find ways to keep him active and busy. Dote on him a bit, it will be comforting for you too.
 
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veronica00

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Thank you all for your thoughts. I can't stop thinking about his final days in that awful steel cage and I promised him I would take him home but never did. I think about the times I was frustrated with him just before his illness. I just feel guilt and hurt and emptiness. I cannot believe he will not be with us making us the family we were.

I am very worried about his brother and a little his sister. I wonder what they think. Did I just take Petey away? I hope they could sense he was sick and understand what happened but I fear they think I just got rid of him. They saw him in the crate before I took him to the ER.
 

dahli6

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Thank you all for your thoughts. I can't stop thinking about his final days in that awful steel cage and I promised him I would take him home but never did. I think about the times I was frustrated with him just before his illness. I just feel guilt and hurt and emptiness. I cannot believe he will not be with us making us the family we were.

I am very worried about his brother and a little his sister. I wonder what they think. Did I just take Petey away? I hope they could sense he was sick and understand what happened but I fear they think I just got rid of him. They saw him in the crate before I took him to the ER.
I wonder the same thing about our dog Shadow. Ever since it happened she has taken to jumping into the car or truck and absolutely will not budge. Like she wants us to take her to her friend.
I understand the feeling of guilt and pain.
I won't get into ethics or try to tell you not to think or feel what you will think or feel. You are having a hard time.

Just... this
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stephanietx

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You can't beat yourself up or question your decisions. You other kitties will grieve. Spend time with them and tell them you know they don't understand what's happened, but that you still love them. Just be with them and love on them.
 

mokapi

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The fact that you were with him when he died makes up for steel cage. Frustration, annoyance, etc. is a natural emotion-- think about the burdens caregivers face. It would be inhuman to not feel stress. Your frustration is just as natural as the guilt you're feeling about it. But your frustration didn't define your relationship with him...your love did.

They may be confused for a while, but I think animals can also sense when another is sick, and he may very well have communicated with them how poorly he felt...we can't possibly know. Just make sure his brother and his sister have your love. Try to turn the heartache you have into love for the other two...let them help you to heal. When you're ready, maybe another cat will come into your life, one that needs the space in your heart that Petey was filling.

I don't mean to sound like "there's always another cat", but people who are meant to have many cats in their lives will have many cats in their lives. The cycle of a loving home and a loving, compassionate departure will always continue. We are only fortunate enough to get their love and affection for so long. It's incredibly unfair, but it lets us save and love more and more.
 
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veronica00

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This makes me feel better mokapi mokapi "But your frustration didn't define your relationship with him...your love did.'

For some reason all I can remember is the moments when I didn't have time for him or I impatiently pushed him aside while doing dishes. I would do anything to have that monkey walk over my clean dish towel one more time.

I also feel guilt for when a coworker at a new job asked me how many cats I have and I said 2. Now I really do have 2. I don't know why I said it, I didn't want to be the single crazy cat lady. I feel like I put that out in the universe and the universe responded.
 

mokapi

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I completely understand. The fact that he kept being a silly monkey and walking on your dish towels (and probably everything else that ever kept him from getting at least 104% of your attention) tells me that it didn't bother him too much. For every time you didn't have time for him, I bet there were 10 times when you'd snuggle him or give him exactly the attention he wanted.

I understand why you did that...when I had a cat, a dog, a rabbit, and two hamsters, I'd usually say "one cat and one dog". When my younger cat was still living outdoors, before I was able to neuter him, I didn't bring him up to anyone. I don't think that the universe reacts to inert words. I think the universe reacts to intentions.
 
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veronica00

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Thank you mokapi mokapi dealing with guilt on top of grief and loss is destroying me. I do not know how I will find joy again. Such a big part of my life was making Petey happy - a toy he might like, a new dog bed (he was a big boy and like dog beds where he could stretch out.

My house and my heart are empty tonight without him. I never actually believed he wouldn't recover no matter how worried I got.
 

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How very sad for you! I went thru this 2 years and 7 months about with my beloved Rizzo! He was my first cat and I did everything wrong with him. Read the posts under the Story of Rizzo in the crossing the bridge forum. Your post made me cry so I went back and re-read it. I believe that he will be with you now you just will not see him. Take comfort in that we all go through this and the pain is unbelievable. The saying "to love and to have lost is better.......".
 
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veronica00

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I will read the thread now. The emptiness and profound sorrow I feel is worse than I could have ever imagined. I don't know how to even function. I have to try to go to work tomorrow and I have absolutely no idea how I will accomplish that. I don't even want to sit by the tv tonight where Petey would join me always right up next to me.

I think I tried so hard to make him happy and his happiness was most of what I looked forward to in life. This might be because I almost lost him 2 years ago and was so grateful he was still with me.
 

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I understand why you feel that way... I do that to myself also, but it doesn't make it true!

You describe your pets as your family and that is what they feel & know from you! I've lost 3 of my pets in the last 2 years. 1 to a traumatic, avoidable accident (July 9, 2015) 1 to cancer (August 8, 2016) & 1 to old age in March of this year. It is soul crushing and you have to feel it to work through it.

Give yourself a break and talk to your other pets about why Petey isn't there. Let them be your soft place to land and know that YOU didn't cause this and Petey doesn't blame you for anything. If he left his little paw prints on your heart and he enriched your life with love then KNOW that he fulfilled his purpose in his short but VERY LOVED life.

Keep sharing; this is an awesome, supportive community and you now have a very large support system moving forward. :alright:
 

kashmir64

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I don't regret any of the ones I put down. They were suffering and I ended the pain. Peacefully. Don't get me wrong, I miss them to this day, but it would have been worse if I didn't do it.
The only one that really tears me up, was my Mau. We don't have an emergency vet up here and everybody in both towns were closed. He died a horrible suffering death. All I could do is hold him, make him comfortable and cry. When I think about how happy he made me, I should have been able to take his pain away, but my hands were tied.
I really wish I could have euthanized him to spare the suffering. I should have been able to help him.
 
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veronica00

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LotsOfFur LotsOfFur I know I need to be there for Charlie and Lulu. Especially Charlie as he was bonded with Petey. He is being very needy and crawling onto my lap and I am trying to comfort him. I wish I could explain what happened to them, I wonder what they are thinking but know they are feeling lost like I do. Petey was the centerpiece of our family and one funny little man.

R riley1 I just started reading your Story of Rizzo, it is amazing and heart warming and I feel exactly as you do.. this house is too big for me even though I have 2 other cats and a dog. Petey left his stamp everywhere, I see him in everything and I hope someday it will make me smile but right now it makes me want to cry and throw up. I miss him so.

I may post in crossing the bridge at some point, I didn't realize it existed. I'd love to believe Petey is smiling down on us. He is the first cat I have ever lost and it is soul breaking.
 
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veronica00

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Oh kashmir64 kashmir64 you cannot blame yourself for that! Mau had you there to comfort him in his suffering and he knew that you were with him. If you could have ended it more quickly you would have. Like you, I did not want my Petey to continue to go one more hour not being able to breathe and looking like a shell of himself. Unfortunately, the vet swaddled him up in a blanket and put him on my lap and after the first anesthesia shot he tried to jump out of my lap, it wasn't peaceful. But once he went limp I kissed him all over his back and smelled him and told him I loved him and there would be no more suffering.
 

neely

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The emptiness and profound sorrow I feel is worse than I could have ever imagined. I don't know how to even function. I have to try to go to work tomorrow and I have absolutely no idea how I will accomplish that. I don't even want to sit by the tv tonight where Petey would join me always right up next to me.
Allow me to start by saying my heartfelt sympathies go out to you. I think we all need to grieve in our own way and it is important to take all the time you need. You will never forget Petey but in time you will accept that you helped ease his pain. I completely understand how difficult it will be to go to work tomorrow. I was under the same stress after losing my 3 year old Persian, Gizmo, to FIP. Looking back I don't know how I did it except that being at work distracted me if that helps at all.

When we made the decision to put one of our first cats to sleep because he had an incurable illness and his organs were shutting down my husband went to the vet alone. He thought he could handle it but when he got to the vet's office he couldn't go in and walked back to the car crying. He did eventually go in but entered and exited the back door. It's one of the hardest moments in any pet lover's life. :bawling:

If it's too difficult for you to sit by the tv tonight knowing Petey will not be beside you then change your routine temporarily. Also you may want to do what I did, just a suggestion - make a memory box, put all of Petey's favorite momentos in there including your favorite pics of him. Sending very special thoughts to you at this time of sadness. :hugs:
 
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veronica00

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Yes it was the hardest moment but I also felt I had no choice. I am single and as I looked around the ER waiting room I saw all couples and thought how much easier it would be to share this grief I am carrying. I agree that work will be a distraction. My boss said I could work from home tomorrow but I think I need to leave the house. I just hope I can do it.
 

neely

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I tried to insert, then cancel a quote but something happened so hope this reply goes through. I'm terribly sorry you were in the ER waiting room alone and agree it would have been more comforting to be there with a companion. I wish I could say something else to help you but please know that I am sincerely sorry and understand you did the kindest act for your dear boy. If it helps to write a tribute in Crossing the Bridge please do so but if you're not ready i understand that too. Once again, my deepest regrets.
 
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