My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

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Kris35
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My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:53 pm

My darling Oodyboo who would have been 22 in January died last night. She had CKD but just a few days ago was still playing and jumping up and down off the bed. Last few days she had been weak on her hind legs and also no poo for four days. Took her to vets yesterday and we gave her an antibiotic injection for a urine infection. We left it that if no poos, bad legs by Saturday, might be time. Last night we went to bed cuddling at midnight. Two hours later I woke up and it was as if she were having a vivid dream. Twiching slightly and excited breathing but nothing major. Then I realised she was fading. I blew into her mouth but nothing. Her eyes were glazed. I rushed her to the vets two minutes away and had her PTS. They said she was unconscious. I want to know though, while I was asleep (and we fell asleep holding hands), did I miss her struggling to breathe before she slipped into a coma, or did she, is it usual they drift from sleep to coma without struggling? Thanks. I hate to think of her gaspi g for breath while conscious.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Mollycat » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:14 pm

So sorry for your loss, what a grand old age. May she be chasing butterflies at the Bridge now.

I wish I could offer you a comforting reassurance that she knew nothing about it and simply never woke up, but truth is I can't. All I can suggest is that if she had been struggling I'm sure you would have woken up sooner, as she was cuddled up to you, if her slight twitching was enough to wake you. Perhaps your vet can offer the reassurance you're looking for. But I do know that we humans have the most amazing way of finding something to feel bad about even when there is nothing. Be kind to yourself through this sad time.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:20 pm

Thankyou Molly. I think I'm in shock at the moment. My friend Anna said just the same as you. Am going to talk to vet though just to see if she can shed some light on animals simply slipping off. I think she did and if so, it's the best you can ask for.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by fjm » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:21 pm

I think she fell asleep warm and safe in your arms, and did not wake up again. If you woke up because she was twitching I very much doubt that she was struggling to breath earlier, without waking you. I think it much more likely that she had the equivalent of a stroke, and was unconscious through the last few hours. As Mollycat says, we humans can so easily find reasons to blame ourselves, or to wish we had done things differently. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to Oodyboo, and know you did your absolute best for her through to the very end.

Fly high, Oodyboo - free, young, and without pain.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:27 pm

Oh God I'm crying here at what you just said. Thankyou. We went to bed at midnight and I woke up two hours later to find her twitching slightly. It's weird now I think about it. I was holding her paw as we fell asleep and thought it felt cold. The only thing is, when I woke up, she was on the pillow next to me. I can't remember if I put her there or not, I may have done half asleep. But if not she obvs got there on her own. I'm trying to remember.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kay » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:49 pm

it's difficult to stop the last few days or hours or minutes playing over and over in our minds when a beloved pet dies

but you have 21 years of her life to remember and celebrate, and you will be able to let go of those final 2 hours in time, I promise you

she was with you and you were with her as she began her final journey, and although it might not seem like it now, that made you very privileged

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:59 pm

Oh God Kay, thankyou. I do feel so lucky because I do think it was peaceful for her. But I still worry that she suffered, we just can't ever be sure can we. The vet told me Oodyboo was indeed unconscious when I took her in. She was unconscious when I woke up two hours later. I blew into her mouth and nothing, and thank goodness for that. Seriously if that had brought her round, she would have suffered as I rushed her to the vets. It was my instinct at the time. I'm finding comfort that she is at home with me in the fridge, but tomorrow I take her for private cremation. Thankyou.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by exlibris » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:43 am

My little Twitch did the same. She was twitching a lot, but I think that was just neurons firing, she wasn't conscious. I take great comfort that she died as I held her, so if she was aware in any way I comforted her. I think your Oodyboo knew nothing of what happened, it's really good that you were able to comfort her with cuddles before she left you.
Even at 22, when you know she would be coming to the end, it's a horrible shock. She's been part of your life so long, but you've given her a good life, and you did all you could for her at the end.
RIP Oodyboo. My thoughts are with you Kris35.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:45 pm

Hi Kris. Other forum members have expressed their condolences so much better than I ever could, but I am so very sorry to hear of Oody's passing, yet how wonderful that she left you while cossetted in peace, comfort and your enduring love. Massive virtual hugs heading your way.

Issi

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:51 am

exlibris wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:43 am
My little Twitch did the same. She was twitching a lot, but I think that was just neurons firing, she wasn't conscious. I take great comfort that she died as I held her, so if she was aware in any way I comforted her. I think your Oodyboo knew nothing of what happened, it's really good that you were able to comfort her with cuddles before she left you.
Even at 22, when you know she would be coming to the end, it's a horrible shock. She's been part of your life so long, but you've given her a good life, and you did all you could for her at the end.
RIP Oodyboo. My thoughts are with you Kris35.
Thankyou for this. I'm trying to understand if she was aware or not. She was unresponsive because they touched her eyeballs but that doesn't mean she wasn't aware? I thought when they died in their sleep they just took a last breath and that was it. Now I'm worrying because they didn't give her a sedative, they gave her the anaesthetic because she was 'out'. But I'm scared she was aware.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:52 am

Thankyou Issi, but I'm worried she was aware.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:03 pm

I doubt it very much honey. Years ago I had an operation. The theatre nurses said I totally freaked them out because even though unconscious, my eyes refused to close, would snap open and 'follow them' whenever they touched them or tried to tape them down. I was totally unaware. I think Exlibris put it very well, his experience with Twitch mirroring what happened in the final moments of my friend's 19yr old cat. Oody was given a gift not granted to many pets or humans, a peaceful, comfortable, fear and pain free slipping away from this life. But possessing human frailties and deeply loving her for so many years, sadly you will continue to beat yourself up for a while yet. We all do, because it takes a while to come to terms with the fact our loved one has gone. To paraphrase something you once said to me, be kind to yourself my love and be assured, it will pass.

Issi

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:49 pm

Did I say that to you? I'd not posted in here for ages. But thankyou so much. Have tears in my eyes here again. I know she was lucky and she gifted me by dying peacefully (I hope) so I didn't have to make that decision. I've been grieving her for years thinking she didn't have long left. She had CKD and her numbers were so high but she couldn't take a phosphorus binder. .I even got some flown in from America after joining a Facebook CKD group, but Oody was allergic to pretty much everything. On her notes it says this: Oodyboo has end stage renal disease but somehow manages to thrive. It's a mystery!

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Mollycat » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:15 pm

Neatly put, Issi.

Kris, there is a whole spectrum from conscious and aware all the way through to dead, it's usually hearing or touch that goes last in the senses and the eyes or more specifically the pupils are the last thing to be able to respond. You say Oody's eyes were glazed - that happens in the final moments of shutting down. The light of life really does go out. If the vet was able to touch her eyeball with no response from her pupils then even involuntary reflex responses were gone. Cats' eyes can't close when they die so it can seem to us like it hasn't happened yet, but it has. For some minutes it can be hard to be sure, that's why vets always double check for any trace of heartbeat after euthanasia. And then there's the cough you almost always get just as the vet has put the stethoscope down and they are definitely gone and it makes you jump out of your skin, but this is just another part of they process of a body dying, another twitch, if you like.

Dying isn't an instant thing, it's a process, even if it only takes a few seconds. Sometimes the heart beats after breathing has stopped, sometimes breathing goes on while the brain shuts down. I can completely understand that you need to know and that knowing Oody is at peace now isn't enough for you, but from what you describe it sounds like there was no trauma for her and what you witnessed was more likely the final physiological responses of her body shutting down naturally. This burning question is really about you finding peace, isn't it? Oody has hers now, even if there was a moment of discomfort just before she reached it. Sometimes there are no answers and we have to find our peace without them, rationalising, and in the end accepting that we can never truly know for sure. Even for a cat that is conscious and ready to go, the trip to the vets and having a paw shaved and a needle in a vein is still a little discomfort before the barbiturate takes effect and relief comes. We humans like to think we can sanitize all discomfort out of life, but we can't beat nature at every turn.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:56 pm

Yes it was two cough like noises Oody made now come to think of it. But other's I've had put to sleep who had a sedative before the anaesthetic, have never made any noise.

I know I'm looking for the perfect death - completely stress free, and like you say, I will never know for sure, and I know I should let it go, but this is still raw for me. We all do this I think, as part of the grieving process. I'm talking to the vet tomorrow night just so I can hear what she has to say, as that night is a bit of a blur for me.

Yes, even if there was some discomfort, I should be grateful that she went the way that she did.

Your post above has made me feel a bit calmer, so thankyou for that.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Mollycat » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:32 pm

Bobby made two coughs. I was expecting the first, the second still made me jump. The vet said it still makes her jump every time.

Hope your vet can give you some more solid reassurance, something more concrete to set your mind at rest.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:47 pm

Thankyou Mollycat.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:55 am

I seem to remember there was a post on here yesterday which has now gone - unless I'm losing my mind. I was about to reply but I think it's gone.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Mollycat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:07 am

I think Oodyboo is on three separate threads now, your two posts and my tribute to my boys. Hope the vet can put your mind at rest later.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:26 am

Yes I've got alerts for them all. There was a lovely post on here yesterday which I was about to answer but it has gone. It doesn't matter though. Thanks so much everyone for all your informative and kind words.

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:23 pm

Kris35 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:55 am
I seem to remember there was a post on here yesterday which has now gone - unless I'm losing my mind. I was about to reply but I think it's gone.
Hi Kris, please accept my apologies, that was me. I deleted the post because I suddenly thought you might not want to be reminded of the past. I posted about my return to Catchat in 2016 after the sudden and unexpected loss of my wee Geezer, Armand and darling beautiful Cody within four weeks of each other. I was totally bereft. I remember because you also posted about dear Oody being desperately sick and how the end was nigh but miraculously, the wee trouper rallied. For some weird and wonderful reason, across the threads a 'group' conversation then took place. There was a lady whose husband took in animal waifs and strays, her rescue Jackdaw having been killed by a fox, a neglected donkey had wandered across her husband's eyeline. We really teased her about getting a bigger Cat flap and litter tray. We chatted about the friendliness of Glasgow folk,another bereaved lady regaling us with tales of knowing just about everyone in her hometown in Northern Ireland. Then suddenly, it morphed on to the best recipe for making Sloe Gin, me claiming if you drank mine, you would never get another migraine! I recall laughing out loud at someone's description of her red wine drinking. Despite the enduring grief of most concerned, a thread of comfort, support and yes, fun ran across the various posts, it was lovely. Do you recall I was planning a move to Spain and we talked about your friend living out there with her dogs having suffered the loss of previous pets? I planned to look her up? Also my big grey hooligan of a cat Gandhi? Sadly, we are now alone and I feel I have no reason to post here any more. I am thinking of you honey and do hope you have found the answers to your question. I have never forgotten you sustaining me on my search for mine.

Big virtual hugs

Issi

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:43 pm

Awwww Issi, no I thought it was a lovely post - and I want to be reminded of Oody ALL the time. I was just saying to my friend the one thing that scares me is forgetting how she smells and feels. I've just put some of her claw clippings and fur in with her ashes.

I do remember our posts now. And you DO have reason to post in here. Your support and experience for starters. Did you move to Spain in the end? My friend is still out there for half the year but she has fallen out with me. I messaged her the other day to tell her about Oody, but nothing. Mind you, I did block her straight after, but she could easily reach me other ways.

I remember your posts about Gandhi too. Are you animal-less now?

I went to an animal sanctuary yesterday and nearly bought a black cat home with me but I'm glad I didn't. Weirdly as much as I will always love Oody and miss her so much, the fact is she was anally incontinent for four years, so I'm kind of enjoying the break. I think if I got a cat now, I would be obsessed with it and stressing about leaving it when I went out. Oody came everywhere with me in a Sainsbury's shopping bag.

Is this group conversation on this forum? I'd like to dig it out and post on it to see how everyone is getting on.

Thanks for your support. xxx

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:00 pm

Kris35 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:43 pm

I remember your posts about Gandhi too. Are you animal-less now??

Is this group conversation on this forum? I'd like to dig it out and post on it to see how everyone is getting on.

Thanks for your support. xxx
Hi Kris. Sitting here waiting for plumber and I thought I would reply. Actually it's also to stop me indulging in internet shopping the sales. The group conversation was spread over General Chat and Bereavement forum. I had joined somewhere about 2010 before leaving and re joining 2016. A group of us seemed to meld on the General Chat in particular, folk used to post some unusual stories. I remember I had posted a story about my husband/doctor/cat (you had to be there!) which caused some hilarity and rather.. ahem.. cheeky responses. A forum member said 'more please', and it just took off. The 'chat' side seems to have a much more serious side these days. No we didn't move to Spain. As soon as Brexit and the prospect of leaving the EU came into play, Spain immediately shut down access to it's excellent health service, residency permits.. this not being a political forum, I'll say no more. We did however put our Victorian house on the market, received six excellent offers within a week, deal was sealed within 3 weeks, then moved to a lovely modern flat with great views and garden. Yes, sadly, we are now alone. Interesting about your friend. Reminds me of that line in Shirley Valentine 'they used to be great mates, I don't see them anymore'. I think that has happened to all of us at some point in our lives. Now if someone asks me for a favour or a coffee, I apply the 5 second rule. Breathe in for 5 secs, breath out.. NO thanks, because I know I'm never going to see them again unless they want something. (It comes under the heading.. small favours.. big pitfalls) Suppose I am fortunate in having a good relationship with my scattered family, and a couple of friends dating back to 1973 makes things easier, less stressful. Oh dear, this is a CAT forum and I'm prattling on about relationships. Well honey, I do hope the pain of losing wee Oody is easing a little, those first couple of weeks are truly horrible aren't they, and that life on the whole treats you well. I'm off now. Can't think of anything more I can contribute to Catchat but may check in out of nosiness someday.

Great HUGE virtual hugs and good vibes heading your way

Issi

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Re: My old cat went into a coma in her sleep

Post by Kris35 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:46 pm

Hi Issie,

Not sure you'll come back to read this so I'll keep it short. Thankyou for your chatty replies. 😀. Wishing you well. It's tough but I'm hoping to re-home two fiv cats soon. Take care lovely. Xx

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