LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Help & Support for those who have lost a beloved cat
KazzaLou33
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:59 pm

LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby KazzaLou33 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:13 pm

My cat was euthanized after being with me for 20 years. I think I can honestly say she saved my life after a very painful divorce. She was the only cat who sat on my lap and comforted me. She had been ill with renal and thyroid problems, but seemed to be coping well on medication for the last few years, but deteriorated over the last month. My vet was happy to keep taking my money, but when it ran out, I went to the RSPCA they said she was painfully thin, obviously in ill health, and said the best option is euthanasia. They said I could take her home for the weekend with medication to make her comfortable, but I felt it would just prolong the agony. I'm suffering from so much guilt - should I have questioned the vet earlier, did I prolong her suffering, should I have stayed in the ŕoom when she was euthanized instead of fleeing like a coward. I can't get the picture out of my head after it was done of her still, eyes wide open, obviously no life. My only comfort was being told she had enough energy to hiss at the vet whilst she was being injected. After 20 years of having an indoor cat, everywhere I look I miss her, my lap is empty, my heart is aching, and despite knowing I did the best thing for her, knowing I will never hear her meow or purr again is more than I can bear and I can't stop crying.

User avatar
Ruth B
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 901
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:31 am
No. of cats in household: 4

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby Ruth B » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:46 pm

I am so sorry to read this and while I know it will help little, I can say that what you are going through is perfectly normal and all part of the grieving process so don't be ashamed of the tears and try not to feel guilty about the decision you made, it was the right one at the right time.

You had her as a friend and family member for 20 years, which is a good age, and you gave her a happy life for those 20 years. When she became ill you gave her what treatment was available and as long as she was still happy and showing signs of wanting to live then you didn't prolong anything. It is a dreadful shame that when the money runs out you have to make that decision, but it is far better to let her go to sleep peacefully rather than to keep her alive and suffering which without the medication she was on, she would have been. Cats in their old age can go thin but still be full of life, so in my mind that doesn't mean you were prolonging anything.

I have been with 3 of my cats when they were put to sleep, the first two were ill and it was the kindest option and in both cases I believe I could see something leave them after they had had the injection. The third was to old age, he deteriorated very quickly, I made the appointment in the morning to take him to the vets when i got in from work, and by the time I got home he had no interest in life or what was going on around him, I firmly believe that what i saw leave in the others had already left him even though his body was still breathing. So, in my opinion, what you saw was literally just her body, her spirit was gone and that spirit is what made her who she was. You might find you see that spirit around in the coming weeks or it might be she has already gone onto wherever it is spirits go. As for whether you should have stayed with her, only you could make that choice and it is a hard one, you think you ran off like a coward, but do you think being there and her knowing how upset you were would have made her feel any better, cats are very good at picking up on emotions and there is a good chance that you being that upset would have meant that she didn't go as peacefully.

Try and remember the good times and not dwell to much on the end, it may seem hard now but it will improve, and you will remember her life not her death. One day, when you are ready, I am sure that there will be another little cat waiting for you to come and find them, ready to give you many happy years and to be with you and sit on your lap when you need them to.

KazzaLou33
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby KazzaLou33 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:11 pm

Thanks so much - I'm still devastated, but your reply helped a little. Still waiting for her to walk round a corner or jump on my lap - guess that will take time.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1457
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby Kay » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:48 pm

20 years is a wonderfully long time to share with your girl and of course you are going to miss her terribly

do try to put your natural grief into her loss rather than the circumstances surrounding it - you must have done an awful lot of things very right to get her to such an age and parting with her was something that had to happen eventually

when I have lost a beloved cat the knowledge that inevitably we will outlive several companions has helped me to accept it - that is just how it is, and nothing we do can change it

and it does mean that there will always be new homes for other cats who need one

KazzaLou33
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby KazzaLou33 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:03 pm

Yes - thank you. 20 wonderful years. I did take on 2 street cats, but they aren't lap cats. Still they are a comfort. I did the best I could - like you say, I must have done something right!

Thanks so much.

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby Mayday21 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:42 pm

Hi Kazza I would only reiterate what Kay & Ruth have posted. Post whatever you're going through & you'll be supported all the way. RIP little fur babe & have fun at the Bridge. Vivian

KazzaLou33
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby KazzaLou33 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:11 am

All wise words - thank you. I'm going to get her ashes Friday - I'm dreading it. I'm sitting here tonight and I still keep expecting her to walk in - I keep seeing her face - my lap is empty. I wish I could stop crying!

Melster1973
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:09 am

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby Melster1973 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:37 am

Hi there- I am so sorry for your loss- I am going through the same thing right now. 3 days ago I had to put my 17 year old cat Mimi to sleep because she had mega colon with severe obstipation. She had be winding down over the last 6 months, but up until the day she died I would say she was happy. I just didn't want her to suffer an agonizing death, and that's the direction she was heading. I was able to spend quality time saying goodbye and she died in my arms peacefully. Since that time I have been an absolute wreck- I can barely function. I can't eat. I had a terrible nightmare about her last night. I cry all of the time. I have so much guilt- i didn't realize there was a problem until it was too late. I keep thinking if I had caught this sooner she maybe would have had a few years more with me. There were times she would throw up or miss the cat box and I chocked it up to her being an old cat. She was my best friend and was so loving and loyal no matter what. I miss her terribly and wonder if I'll ever feel better. Are things getting any easier for you?

User avatar
bobbys girl
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3124
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Co. Fermanagh

Re: LOSING MY CAT AFTER 20 YEARS

Postby bobbys girl » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:16 am

Oh God bless the two of you. You are going through something I wouldn't wish on anyone. I agree with all Kay and Ruth have said. It will get better and it takes as long as it takes. Be gentle with yourselves and be aware that even when the raw grief has left you, there will still be odd occasions that knock you sideways. I'm afraid it is all part of the package that comes with sharing your lives with these wonderful animals.

As for their spirits - some years back we lost our lovely grey Lurcher, Katie, to stomach cancer. It all happened very fast, she wasn't even that ill. After her death I saw her on a number of occasions - just a flash of grey, out of the corner of my eye. Feeling a little silly, I mentioned it to my husband, he said he had seen her too and that as he had been away at the time he had asked her to 'keep an eye on the family'. When he returned we never saw her again. But our older cats, who remember her, still sit on the stone that marks her grave.

Stay strong and know we are here for you.

Sue x


Return to “Bereavement Support”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests