I euthanized my cat and I think it was a mistake

gchinchilla1998

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Hello. Yesterday I euthanized my 8 yr 8 month cat Autumn. A few days ago she stopped eating and drinking and all she would do was sleep. When Id move her to her food dishes she would just look at it and then walk off and lie down before getting to the cat tree which she normally wouldn't do. (looking back I realized that she was doing that a bit before that too so maybe it began sooner than I thought.) She stopped using the litter box and she would not eat even sardines. She ate a couple treats and then stopped eating entirely. 4 years ago she did a similar thing--she stopped eating and drinking and would only sleep. When that happened I brought her to the vet and after some tests they said they didn't know what was causing it and that cats get like that sometimes. They gave her a fluid injection, told me to syringe feed her and give her some medicine (I forget exactly what--I think appetite stimulants and antibiotics). So when this happened I assumed it was the same, or pancreatitis, maybe even a stuck hairball cuz she had thrown up a few times (the past few years she threw up a lot and had a lot of haiballs so it didn't worry me as that was her usual behavior). So this time I began syringe feeding her every 4 or so hours. I made an emergency appointment and dropped her off in the morning. I was called and told she'd tested positive for Felv, that she was severely anemic, her gums and mucus membranes were white, and various other things and that it was the best decision to euthanize her. They said steroids and/or a blood transfusion might give her more time but that it probably wouldn't. I couldn't believe it. When my sister adopted her I'm assuming she was felv negative or else they would have told her. When she got her she was so skinny and had ringworm and I told myself I wouldn't get attached. Eventually though she chose me and became my cat and when we moved, my sister officially gave her to me. I love her so much. When I got my second cat, his paperwork was iffy--it didn't say whether he was felv negative. I had him isolated in a room anyways for introduction purposes. I remember sitting with Autumn in the dining room, her head was on my hand and I tld her I wouldn't do anything to endanger her and I didn't want our dynamic to change with another cat. He was tested negative. I was very adamant about getting him tested and checking every cat because I knew how bad felv was. My next cat was also felv negative but when he was 9 months old he got very severe fip that was effeting him neurologically and I had to euthanize him. It devastated me--he was my snuggle buddy and he was so young. I was in so much grief that I got a cold and then had a month of physical pain from grief reaction and sever hypochondria where I thought I was diyng, that my mom was dying, that my other cats would die from fip. I agonized whether I could have given him a couple more days, but at the end of the day I wanted to be there with him and I didn't want him to die alone in the middle of the night. About 6 months later I adopted another cat who was also negative for Felv. So I was and am in shock that Autumn had felv. They are indoor only, have never been around other cats, were all vaccinated, all negative. The vet said that sometimes it can be dormant, or maybe she had always had it. She said that it was rare that an 8 year old cat would have it. She said that her bloodwork exam and test showed it was felv and that she was dying from it and euthanasia was the best choice. I was scared for my other cats. I was scared that all of them were infected and they'd die. They all ate of the same bowls (they'd steal each others food), drank out of the same bowls etc. So I brought her home from the vet and everyone said goodbye to her. A family friend said I could try steroids or transfusions, but I said that the vet said they weren't good options. It took her in and they took awhile to come in. So I held her and she snuggled on me. She was always scared of the vet so she tried hiding once (looking back I realized that she'd jumped on to the bench so she wasn't as weak as maybe she should've been to consider euthanasia). I think her breathing was heavy but IDK. She snuggled her head under my wrist like she'd done so many times. And then they made her sleep. The whole time she was falling asleep my mind said "please no, please wake her up." and then then they euthanized her and she was gone. I feel like a wreak. At first I was just overwhelmed that this happened. She was the equivalent of a 45-50 year old woman. I thought I'd have another 8 years with her at least. But today I started looking things up online and some people said that the steroids had gotten their cats through a bad bout and they'd come around. When the vet had mentioned steroids I thought it would maybe only give her a couple days. I read about how people have given them antibiotics and appetite stimulants to get their cats through things (I'm not sure about anemia). I read about infectious anemia, and then wondered whether it was a false positive and that she actually had infectious anemia which is treatable. Or that I should have asked for a secnd opinion or even a third. I've seen this vet several times and like and trust her, but they can make mistakes. I did this when my other cat died from FIP, I wrote my vet wondering if it was the right thing and saying the grief and guilt were killing me. But now I truly believe I made the biggest mistake of my life. I feel like my fear for my other cats clouded my judgment. But now I've read that it's not as contagious as people used to think. I feel like I should've given it another day, did my own research. It was life and death, why didn't I think about it more. I truly don't know how to live with myself. I also have to get my other cats tested. I didn't know Felv could effect them this fast. I don't know what to do. I just want her back and feel like I made a horrible mistake. Just a week ago she would be waiting outside my door for me to feed her or would walk/run to the area Id feed them. She rub against my leg wanting pets and would beg for treats. I feel like it couldn't have made her that sick that fast. I don't know what to do.
 
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gchinchilla1998

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The pain is made even worse because I'm Catholic and many christians believe that animals don't have souls. I don't believe that but the what iffs kill me. I keep feeling like I sent my babies into nothingness. I'm in so much pain. I told Autumn that I didn't know what she would see or where she would go. She should have had so much longer. Her and Emrys (my FIP cat). I have to believe that animals have souls because I've seen too much pain and suffering of animals, like the Yulin dog and cat meat festival, which after I learned about and the pictures I saw completely broke me. I kept crying at work and didn't want to go on living because I couldn't even imagine the horrible pain and suffering. I have to believe that if God is love and I love them that He loves them so much more. I have to believe that Autumn and Emrys and Chance and Cleo and Truffles and Caesar and Yukon and Melody and all my hamsters and fish are all happy. That Chance my dog who could no longer walk is now running. And that Autumn who knew him longest, and him are reunited and happy. That Tut and Oliver, my cats that my parents got rid of when I was 12--13, bacause they chewed on cords, that one day I can tell them I'm sorry cuz my parents made me put them in the crate and they pawed at my hands. That I'm so sorry. I don't have any friends and no one really cares about me or my life. I've always had my pets. I've always loved animals so much and have a bond with them. Even other people's pets love me. When I was confirmed, the saint I chose was St. Francis of Assisi. I wanted to be a vet before the vet clinic has now become a nightmare for me. I just don't know what to do. I could lose all my cats cuz the other two (one is diabetic) could also get it a die young. And I feel like I made a huge mistake with Autumn, my little Bean, and she deserved so much more. I can't get her meows out of my head as we drove to the vet or how I told her things would all be okay.
 

di and bob

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I can feel your pain and anguish, losing a loved one can tear a heart in two.....all these doubts, all the anguish, are normal in grieving, we always have should haves could haves that come into play at a time like this. Please don't torture yourself with all these feelings that cannot change anything. Guilt is something that comes with intent. Your only intent was to love that precious girl and to end the pain that was in her future from such a horrible disease. My cats may have FeLV, one was diagnosed and his mama and brother have been with him all his life. I did not get them tested because it wouldn't matter, I would never separate them after all these years. FeLV is a disease that spares some but almost always means a decline and suffering until death. You spared your sweet girl that suffering. My boy gets SO sick the vet gives him days, it is suffering that I would never want for another. I did much research on this and found that most of the consensus now is that living together and sharing bowls, litter boxes, etc. does NOT spread the disease. It takes a fight, the introduction of the virus through fighting or mating.
Animals all have souls, anything that breathes and has a brain does. It is just not immortal like humans But that does not mean that we won't see them again after this life, God will have them there because what makes us so happy in life, we will know and have after death also. This is so because He is merciful and can do anything. The least of the sparrows when they fall is known to him because everything with a soul is created and loved by him. Even the Pope stated we will see our loved ones again, human or pet. What is bonded through love will never be broken. They will live on through us, through our immortal soul, through love which is spiritual, so eternal.
Your sweet girl is at peace because she has your love. She is free of her pain, she is happy and waiting with the rest of your loved ones. For her, and the others the time will pass in the blink of an eye, it is us left back here that will suffer.
Listen to your vets. They have seen so much. Yoru little girl was suffering a slow lingering death and you ended her pain. Do not beat yoruself up over this. Hold those that are left in your care close, do not take precious time away from them by suffering alone in your agony. share your pain and let their love soothe your broken heart.
Do something in memory of sweet Autumn. Give some litter or cat food to your local shelter or to a food pantry, and do it her name. it will help you feel a little better about yoruself. Try to remember, none of us are perfect. I have done so much in this life I reget. But never regret taking away a future of pain and suffering. You may delay it for a time, but maybe not. It is something that does not go away. You did what you did at the time with the advise of those who have seen this so many times. Have seen so much suffering.
I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Time is the only thing that helps. give your poor broken heart time to heal. Though a scar will always remain. You are not alone, many of us have stood in yoru shoes. We are here to tell you that the sun will rise tomorrow, just take one day at a time......RIP precious Autumn. You will be dearly missed, you will always have a secure place in a loving herat. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 
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Mamanyt1953

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

Oh, my dear, all any of us can do is the best that we know at the time. I would focus on the fact that you trust this vet, and this is what was recommended. And with that degree of anemia, her chances of survive would have been very low, even had you been able to spend unlimited money on her care.

I believe to the depths of my being that animals have souls. I know that they do, as surely as I know that I have one. She will be waiting for you, and what a joyous reunion you will have!
 

Furballsmom

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You're getting wonderful support here. These words may help

When somebody loves a Cat, that is about mirroring the feeling of the Cat about the human. The beautiful thing is that the Love built this way survives the material body.

and also these folks may be able to provide positive thoughts and help, the Bronze membership is free;
Membership Checkout – APLB
 
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aurorabee

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I am so sorry for your loss. We suffer with you. I'm sure you know that in our grief reactions we will ruminate and obsess (I am so guilty of doing this) because we are trying to regain some sense of control in the face of our devastating loss. I can tell you my dearly departed also jumped up on the bed the night she passed.

You mentioned St-Francis....I would recommend Fr Jack Wintz's (another Franciscan, I find they are so heart centred) book I Will See You in Heaven, it may give you some comfort.
https://www.amazon.com/Will-See-You-Heaven-Lovers/dp/1557259593/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1MT0HDKL8DQZ6&keywords=I+will+see+you+in+heaven+cat&qid=1652654119&sprefix=i+will+see+you+in+heaven+cat,aps,155&sr=8-2&tag=thecatsite

Hugs to you and may your other cats give you gentle comfort during this difficult time.
 
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