Smores - 36 days gone - I'm not doing well...

YodaTotoroCat

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First time posting on this site - I just really needed help.

It has been almost 5 weeks without Smores and I am not doing well. Smores was a stray cat that we adopted (or she adopted us) 8 years ago when she began hanging out outside our home. We have two other cats. The vet thought Smores was about 8 - she had already lost a lot of her teeth, so the vet was not 100% sure of her age. She was the calmest, friendliest, most loving cat - acting as a mediator for the other two and greeting (headbutting) every person that came inside our home.

Smores started to decline a couple of years ago. She lost a lot of weight and her eating habits became very irregular. We had to have a number of her other teeth removed, and she has several bouts of urinary tract infections. Over the last few months, she started declining more rapidly. We gave her so much of the food that she used to love and she would only sometimes eat it - tuna, as many treats as she wanted, chicken that we would hand feed to her. She would only drink from a glass cup that we left on our kitchen table. She also seemed confused and unsettled - she had a hard time getting comfortable and resting and would pace back and forth and make sort of confused meows at us. She would fall or stumble sometimes when she jumped, and she did not groom as much as she used to. We used wipes to assist with the cleaning. She also started peeing on us and had trouble defecating. The vet could not really find anything wrong with her numbers, and just suspected she was just getting old - although we never did any more advanced testing, like for cancer or something.

My partner is the main caregiver (spending all day with her) for Smores and loves her immensely. She believed that Smores was suffering and needed to be put to sleep as the last act of love that we could show her. We had a cat in 2013 that we waited too long with and she died in our home - which was a terrible, terrible process. I agreed to this outcome and 4 days later Smores left our family. I honestly have so many doubts and regrets and I am having a very hard time letting go. She still spent time with the family on the couch as we watched tv. She would still occasionally play on the scratching pad and she did seem to eat well sometimes. She still loved her siblings and the catnip parties we had. There are just so many what ifs - would she have bounced back if we waited? Should we have bought her diapers and talked to the vet again for other medicine options or testing? Would a liquid diet have helped, or closing her in a small room? What about vitamin or appetite supplements? Would she have been better once the weather became less humid?

When we went for the procedure, the vet used a mask with gas in the beginning and Smores fought against it. Was she fighting to come home? Was she content with our decision and at peace? Was she happy with the life she had? It is so hard not to ever know. I have cried every day since and I think I need counseling. Thanks for listening...
 

Krienze

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It's okay to grieve and to be sad!!! When you lose a furry family member... you're still losing a family member. I think people who don't have cats don't understand that. It's beyond painful, a gut punch and the fact that you feel the way you do is I think... how most of us feel, so please don't feel shame in it. If you feel like you need counseling, do it. Do whatever you think will help you grieve and cope.

If it helps ease your mind at all, most vets that I know and my personal experience, will not put an animal down if they don't think it's time. I asked my vet last year, point blank, looked him in the eye and asked "is it time to let go of Isabel?" and he told me no. She still had quality of life left. This year, I asked him the same question and he confirmed my fear, he said it was time. Most vets will be honest and most will, again in my experience, tell you if they think it's too soon.

Letting Smores go was a beautiful act of love, one that you and your partner had to be brave to do. Smores knew you had that love for her and she trusted you. Fighting against the mask was probably only because it was uncomfortable.

I'm so sorry for your loss =( I hope you find peace in her memory soon
 

crystal dawn

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I'm so sorry it's so hard having to make that decision and follow through with it. From everthing you said here you made the right decision. Smores would have continued to decline and suffer if you didn't do it. Its natural for a cat to fight against a mask being put over their face. It's weird to them. I say you did right by smores even though it was the hardest thing to do.
 

di and bob

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I'm so sorry you are going through this, we grieve just as hard as we loved....The chances of Smores 'bouncing back' or finding something that could be cured were very, very small. She was fighting to put up a good front, as all cats do, and it was exhausting and confusing for her. At times like these, it is a good idea to ask up front at the vets what their opinion is. They have been there so many times and have seen so much suffering, their heads are not clouded with love and concern as ours are. There is a saying that I have clung to....."Better a day early, then a day too late". You have witnessed that in 2013. I have too. It was time to say goodbye.
Now comes the part where doubt and guilt come into the grieving process. It always does, because NOONE is perfect. There will always be something to feel bad about in any relationship, especially when there is no chance to rectify it, and many times there is nothing there anyway, just the way WE perceive it. You have to have intent to be guilty of something. The only intentions you had were to love her and make her life good. Please try to concentrate on the 8 good years you spent with her, don't dwell on the end, it only brings heartache and pain. She was in your life for a reason, and that reason was to bring love and happiness into your life. don't let tears and grief overshadow all her work. To be remembered and loved after death is a great honor, your tribute is an example of that. She is at peace because she carries a little piece of your heart within her soul, and left behind a piece of her own to bring you comfort. This bond of love will be with you forever, not even death can break it, "death cannot take that which never dies". Her love will be safe within you, and will grow and get even stronger with each love you add beside her own. She loved her life and enjoyed every minute of it. Go forward into life and seek its beauty and happiness as she did. Live each and every day in love and happiness, not sorrow, it is what she would want for you, it is what you would want for her if you were the first to go. Because it is love.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all, God bless you for loving her so much......RIP precious Smores. You will be dearly missed, you will forever have secure places in loving hearts. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 
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YodaTotoroCat

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Thank you all so much for the kind and caring responses. It helps a lot to know that there are other people out there that understand and that have experienced similar situations. It just seems so raw and painful in the beginning stages, and we just have to take things a day at a time. This is a wonderful community that makes a huge difference to people. Thanks everyone!
 

Mamanyt1953

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

I'm going to be very blunt here. You are questioning Smore's' fighting the mask. NO, she was not fighting for life. She was acting instinctively. NO cat wants something placed over its face. However, I also believe that we should not ever wait until a cat is in abject misery to perform this Act of Love for them. For cats, "now" is "forever." Please, Universe, give me the strength to let my own baby go while she still has some joy in her life, even the simplest ones. Don't let me drag it out until there is nothing but misery left. YOU WERE SO STRONG! You were her rock, her safe place. You did right by her. You walked with her to the Gate between This Adventure and her Next Great Adventure, and sent her on her way with your love to guide her steps. Now, from That Place Where All Things Are Known, she blesses you for your kindness. Her only sorrow is your sorrow, and she sends her love, now translated and purified into Love, back to walk with you and your partner down through all of your days. Because Love abides. Always, forever, Love abides.
 
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YodaTotoroCat

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Mamanyt1953: Thank you so much for the response. It means more to me than words can express. You putting it so bluntly about the mask really put things in perspective, and definitely helps me to put the mask wearing in context. Your wisdom and kindness is very soothing during this difficult time, and I am so grateful for your words. Our cats are in our families forever, and that love remains until the end of time.
 

GustifursMom

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Very sorry for your loss. When my cat died someone in this site said this to me and it helped:

You did the right thing. You took away her suffering. Now it's up to you to carry that suffering for her, as a noble gesture of love for her.

Grief doesn't have a time limit or a timeline. It's okay to be sad and to not be okay.
 
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