can't forget not with her at the end

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Felix19+
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can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Felix19+ » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:08 pm

I had to have my cat Felix put to sleep 3 weeks ago - she was nearly 20 years old and I had always promised not to let her suffer at the end by letting things drag on. So I was determined to be strong for her. I asked if she could have a sedative first and the week before the vet I spoke to said it would be nice as the sedative would take about 10 minutes and I could spend that time to comfort her and to say goodbye.
I took Felix to an arranged appointment and when I got there a different vet was waiting and explained everything as the other vet had and I thought I was going in with her I think I froze as he said he would bring her back after he took her in the back room to sedate her and put in the catheter then I could say goodbye to her when he brought her back - I think there was a misunderstanding maybe he wanted to spare me or thought it best for Felix if he had asked me if I wanted to be with her I would have said - God yes ! I can't believe I didn't say I wanted to be with her I just clammed up and was pacing the reception room - the receptionist was on the phone and I didn't interrupt her - I can't believe it - I should have been with Felix all the time to comfort her and say goodbye- when the nurse brought her out she was very floppy and her pupils were wide open she must have been very frightened and I don't think Felix recognised me at that time especially with a mask on ! I stroked her for a couple of minutes I thought I heard her purring very quietly and then the vet gave her the anaesthetic and she was gone.
I got Felix from cat rescue when she was 16 months old and we had a close bond especially as I live alone and she would sleep by me on my bed purring away. She had been away with me on trips to Scotland and Yorkshire and was quite happy on long car journeys as long as she was by my side. She would always follow me into the garden and would go on walks with me to the park when it was quite - she was a real character. I cannot think of her without the great regret of not speaking up I just can't believe I let the vet take her and not say anything I should have been with her all the time. I have had 6 other cats over the years, two had to be put to sleep and I was with them and each loss very sad but I accepted it - I can't think of Felix without great regret.
I know it is too late now as I can't change anything - if only I could.

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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Mollycat » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:28 am

Sorry for your loss, what a wonderful gentle and devoted person you are. Felix was a very lucky old girl.

You were with her at the end. Felix was sedated, the catheter placed, and she was brought back to you for the final injection. The sedative is just like being extremely tired, when you're awake but really don't have the energy to lift your head off the pillow or speak. The saucer pupils are a normal side effect of sedatives and not a sign of any distress. And in levels of consciousness the sense of hearing is the last to go, so that even in a deep coma people can be aware of the presence of loved ones and what they are saying. So a sedated cat knows you are there.

A lot of things happen when our pets are put to sleep that we're often not prepared for or that nobody tells us in advance. Cats' eyes don't close, for example, even if we try to close them. They don't have eyelids like ours so it takes effort for them to close their eyes to sleep, so when they pass their eyes cannot be closed. It's unnerving the first time. Like any other living creature there is often some muscular twitch at the moment of passing or just after which can be misunderstood as distress. Sometimes (as both my unsedated cats have done) it's a cough, and it scares the rubbish out of you if you're not expecting it. My vet says it scares the rubbish out of you even when you know it's going to happen.

Vets increasingly give injections and fit catheters and perform other minor procedures in a back room away from owners, and many animals are calmer that way. Nothing is done any differently, but it's often less upsetting for owners not to have the insertion of a needle or tube into their cat's paw as part of their final memory. The one cat I did have sedated went a lot like it was for you and Felix, though he was sedated for very different reasons and we didn't get a choice. I wish I had spoken up for my Henry too, I felt rushed and judged and I wish I had insisted on 5 minutes to say goodbye to my angel boy, but he was in my arms as he drew his last breath.

The nature of grief is that we will always find something to feel guilty about, even when there is nothing. Regrets are part of bargaining and our minds struggling to make sense of enormous loss and overwhelming feelings.

They say we have that one special pet in a lifetime, we love them all but there is that one who feels like one soul with us. I am not sure if we ever truly get over those.

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fjm
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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by fjm » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:18 am

I was with one cat while she had the sedative - it was a very quick, gentle procedure, and not at all traumatic for the cat. Then, just like Felix, she drifted off in my arms calmly and peacefully. As Mollycat says, it is human nature to feel guilty, to think if-only, to crave for a few more minutes together, but you had been saying goodbye to Felix for some time, I am sure, and she felt loved and cared for and secure. It would have been very hard for you to control your grief while she was sedated, and she may well have picked up on that and been more distressed than comforted. You were with her as her spirit left her body, and the last thing she knew was your touch and your presence. Do not reproach yourself - you gave her the last and kindest gift of freedom from pain and discomfort, and made it as easy as possible for her, even if it was harder for you.

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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Felix19+ » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:09 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:28 am


Thank you very much for your reply - it has has given me a little reassurance in your knowledge of the effects of sedation and why most vets do more procedures without the owner being there although I will always believe Felix would have wanted me with her. I would have been calm while I was with her it was because we were parted that I was agitated - the nurse said Felix was agitated at first and then settled and she was very sweet and good and the vet made it as nice as he could for her - I'm afraid Felix had been stone deaf for quite a while so she couldn't hear me but I stroked her and like you say I hope she knew I was there.

Thank you so much - it helps to talk things through.

Sorry for your loss, what a wonderful gentle and devoted person you are. Felix was a very lucky old girl.

You were with her at the end. Felix was sedated, the catheter placed, and she was brought back to you for the final injection. The sedative is just like being extremely tired, when you're awake but really don't have the energy to lift your head off the pillow or speak. The saucer pupils are a normal side effect of sedatives and not a sign of any distress. And in levels of consciousness the sense of hearing is the last to go, so that even in a deep coma people can be aware of the presence of loved ones and what they are saying. So a sedated cat knows you are there.

A lot of things happen when our pets are put to sleep that we're often not prepared for or that nobody tells us in advance. Cats' eyes don't close, for example, even if we try to close them. They don't have eyelids like ours so it takes effort for them to close their eyes to sleep, so when they pass their eyes cannot be closed. It's unnerving the first time. Like any other living creature there is often some muscular twitch at the moment of passing or just after which can be misunderstood as distress. Sometimes (as both my unsedated cats have done) it's a cough, and it scares the rubbish out of you if you're not expecting it. My vet says it scares the rubbish out of you even when you know it's going to happen.

Vets increasingly give injections and fit catheters and perform other minor procedures in a back room away from owners, and many animals are calmer that way. Nothing is done any differently, but it's often less upsetting for owners not to have the insertion of a needle or tube into their cat's paw as part of their final memory. The one cat I did have sedated went a lot like it was for you and Felix, though he was sedated for very different reasons and we didn't get a choice. I wish I had spoken up for my Henry too, I felt rushed and judged and I wish I had insisted on 5 minutes to say goodbye to my angel boy, but he was in my arms as he drew his last breath.

The nature of grief is that we will always find something to feel guilty about, even when there is nothing. Regrets are part of bargaining and our minds struggling to make sense of enormous loss and overwhelming feelings.

They say we have that one special pet in a lifetime, we love them all but there is that one who feels like one soul with us. I am not sure if we ever truly get over those.

Felix19+
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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Felix19+ » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:27 pm

fjm wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:18 am

Thank you so much for your reply and all the things you say - you are right that I had been saying goodbye to Felix for sometime. Your words are helping me to come to terms with what happened.


I was with one cat while she had the sedative - it was a very quick, gentle procedure, and not at all traumatic for the cat. Then, just like Felix, she drifted off in my arms calmly and peacefully. As Mollycat says, it is human nature to feel guilty, to think if-only, to crave for a few more minutes together, but you had been saying goodbye to Felix for some time, I am sure, and she felt loved and cared for and secure. It would have been very hard for you to control your grief while she was sedated, and she may well have picked up on that and been more distressed than comforted. You were with her as her spirit left her body, and the last thing she knew was your touch and your presence. Do not reproach yourself - you gave her the last and kindest gift of freedom from pain and discomfort, and made it as easy as possible for her, even if it was harder for you.

Felix19+
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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Felix19+ » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:30 pm

sorry I've put my reply in the wrong place - with your quote !

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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Mollycat » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:01 am

We're only human :)

Absolutely understand and agree about being there, all the way through, but at the very end you were, and Felix would have known.

Felix19+
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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Felix19+ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:33 pm

thank you x

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fjm
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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by fjm » Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:58 pm

I found this article potentially helpful: https://thebark.com/content/mourning-our-dogs

Felix19+
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Re: can't forget not with her at the end

Post by Felix19+ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:06 pm

Thank you fjm -I have found this article very interesting and helpful - and it also rings true with me that I haven't felt guilt as I didn't choose not to be with Felix but that I have had overwhelming regret in that I didn't make things happen differently - as time passes that torture is becoming less painful.

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