|Posted by: Lucy+Florence
|Posts: 1 - Joined: Fri Nov 4th, 2022 06:48 pm
Hi, one month ago today my beloved Florence was put to sleep. She was my first cat and I rescued her (already "9 or 10"!)from an animal shelter three years ago. We had a fantastic three years together during the pandemic and she was my best buddy and slept in my bed (!).
She deteriorated rapidly through September and I had to rapidly readjust my fantasy of Florence living for years and years and dying painlessly in her sleep at some future unforeseen point.
As a first time pet owner I feel it was hard for me to make the "right" decisions as I tried to wade through the deep waters of a pet confronting a terminal illness. I was totally out of my depth and consistently seemed to not know what to do, or what sign was an emergency or what wasn't, or how to negotiate the rapidly dwindling options and restricted terms. It's hard not to blame myself for being inexperienced and having to learn "on the job". I feel sad that I kept hoping that she would "get better".
The vet said it was a large tumor attached to Florence's liver. I feel sad too that it came to this, and the whole process of Florence's last two weeks, the euthanasia and "after-life care" - none of it was something I wanted to experience or happen.
I think with cancer it can be difficult because you don't necessarily get to have a "good" goodbye. Florence was fading for a while before she died, and so I felt like I had already had to gradually let go of my pet as she had been before during that time. By the end I had a patient, not a pet, and my bedroom was Florence's hospice rather than her home.
Hoping that after a while the good memories will resurface, and the gratitude towards my pandemic pal and sidekick will remain untarnished by the final frontier of what turned out to be cancer care. I have been grieving badly but hope to volunteer soon at an animal rescue and then eventually readopt.
Any comforting advice gratefully received! Lucy
Sincere condolences for your loss, Lucy. It sounds like you and Florence had a wonderful relationship during her physical time with you. There is no 'right' way to navigate the journey towards the end. The most important thing is the love between you and that all your decisions were out of kindness and in Florence's best interests. That is all we can ask for and aspire to do.
Unfortunately, these forums do not get much attention now as we have a private Facebook group that is active and busy. If you use Facebook, do request to join if you have not already. https://www.facebook.com/groups/theralphsite/