Sadie is ready to cross the bridge.

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zerosoma33

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My beautiful 16 yo calico Sadie, whom I've had for 12 wonderful years (since 2008) is nearing the end. We are a cat loving household with four adorable cats.

She had some hip wasting starting in 2018 but it wasn't anything alarming until about a year later when we began to see her drop weight and get cranky about "back there". I took her into a vet and he said she was healthy and happy and just geriatric, completely normal. She has always been of small stature but she got down to 8 lbs in 2019. She began getting allergies, REALLY bad breath, and sneezing a lot. I took her into another vet (we moved) to get the sneezing resolved and they said there was nothing wrong with her weight either. The bad breath was likely just sinus drainage. He sent me home with a feline toothbrush and some peanut butter kitty paste.

Fast forward to March 2020, we moved again and we took her in to a new vet for a routine exam and blood work due to a mouth ulcer. At this point she had lost another pound despite regular eating. Now she was starting to look concerningly skinny and began missing her taller jumps. Again, vet said everything was normal except for an elevated kidney marker that we should keep an eye on but wasn't too serious to worry about yet. Teeth and gums good, respiratory good, heart good. She recommended a follow up panel in 3-5 months. "A healthy old girl with a good daddy" is what they said. I asked again, three times now during this appointment about her weight. They said it was perfectly normal and she was just a skinny old girl.

Totally, completely normal cat. As she always was. Loved to cuddle. She had some trouble jumping and landing to her target, clumsy I guess, and was a little more "cranky" about certain areas being touched. A bit bonier now. She had a habit of stepping on our digital scale, so I was able to catch her weight every now and again. That 7 became 6 and eventually as of last month dipped to 5.7.

Bones were now pointy and sharp and her spine was easily felt and seen. She wobbled a lot while she walked and then progressed to wobbling sitting still.

For the last two weeks she developed a real hunger and would meow and meow whenever we were in the kitchen. Any time the fridge opened, or a soup can cracked, there she was! We let her lick our dishes clean, the tuna juice, the pork roast juice, soup can, whatever. I figured she was lacking in protein so I went out and bought her a bunch of high protein wet cat food and fed her once every day on top of our free feeding. She had no problem gulping down an entire 5.5 oz can. Apart from slimming down, she was a happy, lovey, well-groomed cat.

Fast forward to last Monday. She missed her jump from the floor to the bed entirely. I heard the thump. I woke up. Followed her to the other room where she sat, listless, staring into nothingness, wobbling. Called her name and she snapped out of it after a few kissy calls and came over but couldn't paw up on me. Later that day I saw her behind the foot rest on our grand piano. Hiding. I called her, no response. Opened a can and she came over but only ate a bit and then retreated to the piano. Was not interested in drinking. Just sitting still, wobbly, staring at the floor. I began to cry. I know she's either sick or dying. I gave it one more day and took her to the vet.

Vet confirmed end-stage kidney failure, low body temp, and heart murmurs. Offered a hospital stay for $1,000 to replenish fluids, try to raise body temp, and give her some heavy meds to stimulate her renal system. Or I could do a blood test also but basically to confirm what we already knew. I opted to have the vet hook her to a saline IV and warm her up and send her home with me the same day.

I asked her her honest opinion, if hospitalization would vastly improve her chances of surviving. The vet said probably not - it may prolong the inevitable. So if you want more time, it's an option. But Sadie is very far advanced in her disease. So, vet sent me home with poor Sadie and instructed me to love on her and keep her warm and fed if possible.

Since that day (yesterday) it has been a complete downward slope. I have cried (I'll bet) literal ounces of tears, over maybe 10 total breakdowns in the last 48 hours. I have literally never dealt with the death of a pet before. I always knew it was a terrible thing, but I had absolutely no idea. This is literally the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. My gosh it's just unbearable. I can't cry any more tears.

Any advice or hugs? I'm just trying to keep her comfortable and let her know she's loved. For instance she loves our little "road trips" where I take her for a little ride around town and she rests her body on my lap and her chin on my wrist. So far we've done three.

She has stopped eating and has began startling easily. Very jumpy. She still drinks now and then. Still loves to be held. I can't seem to let go. Been drinking and taking prescription meds to cope.

I've bounced all the hell between despair, to acceptance, to anger, to "it's not fair for this to happen to HER, she's such a good cat", to loneliness, depression, relief, and all back through again.

How does this happen so fast??

I felt I needed to talk about this and share this with some fellow cat lovers. Sorry for the long post!

2017 :
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lol

Yesterday :
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Krienze

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Beautiful, Sadie!

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have a 16 year old as well and I'm dreading her final days. It's a strange feeling and I absolutely hate that you're going through it! My heart goes out to you! Sadie is well loved, obviously! That's clear!

I wish I could offer you sound advice but... i think everyone is different as we take our journey with this. With Jack, I just knew when it was time to say goodbye. I could look at him and I just knew. I think you get hit with the realization that "This has to be done, it's for them. They don't deserve this pain" when it's time and you somehow manage to have the strength and courage to do it and I have absolutely no idea where it comes from, but you get it somehow and that strength gets you through it as best as possible.
 

di and bob

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She looks and acts exactly like my 16-year-old Burt at the end. So skinny, so weak..... He missed jumps too, I put up low stools to help him. I fed him what he would eat, Arby's roast beef, Chicken McNuggets, and hamburger patties at the end. I too cried buckets of tears until I was numb at the end. And then cried some more....
He lasted almost another year like this, I had arranged with the vet for him to come to the house when he got too bad. The other vet had moved on, it was a Sunday, and a cattle truck had overturned on the highway, needing the vet to attend to the injured and dying. He couldn't come. Burt woke us with yowling at 2 in the morning, we sat and held him because he was trying to run around, falling and yowling. For hours. It was excruciating watching him, helpless. Don't do this to your girl. She is in pain, you can see it in her eyes. Please somehow find the strength to let her go. When she gets too weak to walk without stumbling, when her eyes tell you it is time. This is something that has no cure, life has become enduring, not living. Give her one last gift of love. Of course it's not fair, it's horrible. We all want our loved ones to die peacefully in their sleep, that rarely happens. All living things fight against the coming darkness, but it comes for us all. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Don't let her end be one of suffering and fear, like my beloved Burt. She deserves a peaceful end, at home if possible.
You have built a bond over the years that will always be with you, it is spiritual, so eternal, it is love. She will forever be as close as your thoughts and prayers. No matter how much you think you are prepared for this, your heart will be broken. Grieving always brings doubt and guilt. But with the help of others who have stood in your shoes, you will find the strength to go on, as she would want you to, as you would want for her if you were the first to go.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, I will pray for her tiny soul. I don't know her, but I love her because she is so brave. Give her a kiss from me. God bless you for loving her so much.....
 

Norachan

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Poor old girl! I'm so sorry you are going through this.

I agree with di and bob di and bob If you think she is suffering you should do the loving thing and help her pass. It's the one last act of caring and compassion that we can show to our pets, letting them go when we so desperately want to cling on to them.

It's always heartbreaking, but I think being aware of what is happening with Sadie will be of some comfort to you. One thing I know is that it's somehow easier to know what happened and when and how, than it is to have a pet go missing and never know how they died.

Sending you hugs.

:hugs: :hugs: :hugs:
 

Docs Mom

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She is still a beautiful girl even in her skinny state..
For me, if she seems comfortable, I would let her pass at home. If she is in trouble breathing or in pain then I would take her in.

When she stops eating and drinking, the time is getting near. Give her lots of love and comfort in her last days...

Hugs,
Lisa and kitties
 

Talien

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I lost one of mine to sudden kidney failure this April so I can understand what you're dealing with. Her checkup 6 months earlier showed elevated kidney levels but nothing to worry about, then the last checkup showed they were 40% gone. Then she stopped eating and another visit just a few weeks later showed they were almost completely shut down. I opted for home visit euthanasia and even though it was almost $200 and I could barely afford it at the time I don't regret it.

One thing that might help is make a bucket list of things she really enjoyed and do as many of those things as you can with her, it sounds like you've sorta been doing that already with the car trips so try to think of a few more things.

But the biggest thing is don't let her suffer. It's never enough time, but when it gets to the point where it's quality of life vs. another day because it's hard to let go you just have to stop and think what's really best for her. It hurts more for us when they're gone, but taking their suffering away is part of our responsibility to them.
 

fionasmom

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She is a beautiful little girl and I am so sorry that you are faced with this. At this point, do anything that will keep her happy and comfortable but watch very carefully for signs that she is suffering. Cats are entirely stoic about pain; it is in their DNA as a centuries old survival skill and it is easy to think that they are just resting or seem comfortable when they are not.

I do agree that it is better to be one day too soon than one day too late. An ER vet old me once that she did not believe that animals look at time like we do and that "one more nice weekend" is not part of their frame of mind.

If you can do home euthanasia it will be better for all of you. However, it is more overriding that Sadie not suffer even if you do have to go to the clinic with her. Yes, this is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do and you need to be brave enough to do this for her at whatever point you feel is right.
 

CatLover49

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Im so very sorry you are going through this
Sweet Sweet precious kitty
Im sorry for ya to
And I know how you feel..I just lost my precious Snowball to lung damage...the 8th of July /2020
And im still hurting
Maybe we all can pull together and support each other that has or is loosing a precious cat or cats
:alright::(:petcat:😞😔😭😢
 

Hoboforeternity

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i am sorry that you are experiencing it.

my first time was 10 week old kitty that i was nursing after i found him wounded. it's hard and i still miss him, but vet said he will suffer the more it goes on. the least i could do was stayed with him until the end. he died purring in my arms.
 
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zerosoma33

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Thanks for the kind wishes everybody. I wish that she'd just go. I don't want to euthanize her. But the little tater just keeps hanging on. Unfortunately she can't walk or stand now, just folds like a house of cards. So I just hold her and take her where she wants to go. I know that's tough for her. I just hold her and love her and sing to her.

Eating sporadically but not enough to survive on. Tuna juice is working wonders though.

I pray she goes in her sleep. But I need to be prepared just in case she doesn't. Does it get much worse from here? Or will she pass quietly? We have been discussing euthanasia

This morning

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Such a tired girl.

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Oh herrow!!

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Oh, is is photo time? :) yawn!
 
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Talien

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Thanks for the kind wishes everybody. I wish that she'd just go. I don't want to euthanize her. But the little tater just keeps hanging on. Unfortunately she can't walk or stand now, just folds like a house of cards. So I just hold her and take her where she wants to go. I know that's tough for her. I just hold her and love her and sing to her.

Eating sporadically but not enough to survive on. Tuna juice is working wonders though.

I pray she goes in her sleep. But I need to be prepared just in case she doesn't. Does it get much worse from here? Or will she pass quietly? We have been discussing euthanasia
Unfortunately it probably will get worse, most Cats begin to go into seizures in end stage kidney failure. You're the one who has to make the decision on when, but if you want my opinion I would have arranged for euthanasia as soon as she stopped being able to walk as that is one of the signs that it's getting to the point where her body is shutting down. If it's that bad it's entirely possible she's suffering but just isn't showing it, Cats are masters at hiding pain and discomfort.
 

fionasmom

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You are doing all you can for your baby but this is not going to get better. She may pass quietly at home on her own, but you will never know if she was in pain. My experience with cats has been that the worse pain, ironically the more shut down they become, especially with something like kidney disease. To me, her eyes look detached and distracted as if she is focusing on something like pain or nausea.
 

denice

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I am so sorry. No it won't get better. I think all of us with a cat near the end hope that they will go quietly in their sleep. All living creatures fight to remain alive, the survival instinct is one of the strongest instincts that all living creatures share. I have always made 'the decision' rather then watching them continue to fight to hang on.
 

Razum'dar

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I'm so sorry, she's lovely and looks as sweet as you describe. I'm going through something similar, I'm slowly losing both my cats at once. I'm going to echo what others have said. As hard as it is to do..if she can't even stand, I think it's time to say goodbye. But only you can make that call for her. I wish mine would go quietly in their sleep too..unfortunately I seriously doubt that'll be the case. Think if it were you, what would you want? Hold her in your arms as she drifts to peaceful sleep. I'm fighting and struggling trying to decide when the time is for my 2, and if they were at her stage, I'd make the call. :(
 

Norachan

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I took in a feral tom cat once that had been horribly injured in cat fights. He needed stitches to hold all the wounds in his back together, antibiotics, pain killers and, of course, he had to be neutered and treated for worms and other parasites.

He was FIV+ and we knew he wasn't going to live that long, but he had a wonderful year with us.

When he stopped being able to eat and his organs started shutting down we knew it was getting near time. One morning he couldn't walk anymore. I had to carry him to his litter box and hold him over it while he peed. There was no coming back from that point. No quality of life anymore. We made the decision to help him pass then.

The vet injects a sedative at first, so you can hold them in your arms and pet them and say your goodbyes. Then it's one last injection to stop their heart and they are free.

I'm so sorry, I know how hard this is going to be for you. We're all here sharing your pain with you.

:hugs:
 

di and bob

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My heart breaks for your pain.....
Your life will be upended for a long while, the hole it leaves in our lives is unbearable at times. Just try to remember she is at peace now because she has your love. She is forever as close as your thoughts and prayers. When you are able, please immortalize her story at our Crossing the Bridge. To be remembered and mourned is a great honor and she will have that there.
I will keep you all in my prayers......
 
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