Ah I'm sorry, that sounds like a very difficult situation. I assume you've already tried obvious solutions like sedating before a vet visit, and home vet visits? Would your vet be willing to work with you remotely / by video call, and just try to treat him based on symptoms only?I can really relate to this. My first cat Tigger, I was told by my dad (who didn't know better) that cats didn't need major health care. And now I know a lot of the signs of illness we didn't understand / ignored. But I feel like we can be forgiven since it was the 80s / 90s and we didn't have the internet to check. Tigger died at home of kidney failure. We only knew at the very end as we went to the vet. I discovered her dead body by going in to kiss her on the bed of my dad only days later and picking up her head and feeling wet and how lite her head was... she died at 10. I was devastated.
I moved to grad school and got Boo Boo. Boo was a world traveling act, I got her in Michigan and brought her home and back to DC and back home. Boo lived with me for 8 years but, was given vaccines without my permission in the side of her torso and developed a large mass which eventually became a bleeding boil. I took her to the vet but they said it was cancer and not likely to be cured. She had to sit around with a cone on her neck and she was miserable. I put her down. But I could do it because I knew it was cancer.
Then I got Buckwheat. I vowed I was going to do everything possible to keep this one healthy and the internet was around... so I used it. I stopped feeding kibble.. and went to grain free wet food. And largely Buckwheat has made it to 15 (his birthday is coming up soon. But I have never had a cat last for 15 years before. Now my kitty is looking "off". He gets very lame about 1x per week. He often looks like he is not bright eyed and bushy tailed. He still eats fine, drinks fine, uses the litter box fine. But now I don't know when enough is enough. Another massive problem is that Buckwheat has become hysterical at the vet. He now cannot be seen by the vet. The vet even suggests that he not be seen because it just isn't worth it. Buckwheat hurts himself. So I cannot really have him examined.
Covid 19 has made it even harder. Most of Bucky's life I have been at work. Even when I got him as a kitten I only had two weeks off. He got used to me being gone all day. But covid-- he had an adjustment period. But that period has ultimately been great for both of us. I think we have bonded. He loves to feel safe and guarded while he sleeps and is more receptive to my petting and kissing him. When I worked outside the home I think he saw me as a roommate who was his feeding machine. Now I think he sees me as a friend who also happens to be his feeding machine. So for me it is difficult to consider putting him down. Maybe I will feel different when I go back to work and I see him for about 4 hours a day.
I always targeted 16 as the end date.. (maybe just random) and I think I am going to try for that.. but in the last 3 months I have really wondered if I am going to make it there.
If I was ever able to come up with a solution I would have. I just don't see one. I have tried everything.Ah I'm sorry, that sounds like a very difficult situation. I assume you've already tried obvious solutions like sedating before a vet visit, and home vet visits? Would your vet be willing to work with you remotely / by video call, and just try to treat him based on symptoms only?
How frustrating - I hope there's something you can do. It's always hard when they go before their time