Posted by: Tiddlesmum Posts: 2 - Joined: Fri Nov 3rd, 2023 07:27 pm

#1368 - by Tiddlesmum >> Fri Nov 3rd, 2023 07:40 pm

How do you cope with the awful feelings of guilt when you have put your beautiful boy to sleep? It's been just over around 6 weeks and I'm crying every day and in so much despair. He was 17 and nearly 4 months, he had a long and very very happy life with me. I lost his brother at the age of 15 and a half  and since then Tiddles has  been my rock, my pain medication and my antidepressant. I've suffered a lot with anxiety this year and he was the only thing that was helping me to face the prospect of the winter, it seems so cruel that he would go at the end of the summer in the UK, and now the weather is getting colder.

He had renal disease which he has been managing and been around a stage 1-2 for nearly two years, so I honestly thought he would go on for at least another year, and I thought he would see Christmas at least. I have a video taken less than a month ago where I'm playing with him on the bed and everything is so normal.

I can't comprehend how things can deteriorate so quickly. I know that is common with older cats, one minute he's fine and then I noticed his belly was starting to get bloated, at first I just thought he was putting on weight.  As soon as I took him to the vet that's when my world crashed as I was told it was very serious and was a secondary condition to possibly heart disease or cancer.

He had an ultrasound but everything came back quite inconclusive and all his organs looked fine, other than the fact there was water in his abdomen and chest, they couldn't do too much in terms of investigation for example a CT scan, as that would have meant general anesthesia which would be risky for him. I was caught between a rock and a hard place.
The fluid that was drained from his abdomen has come back as not showing anything sinister.  The vet used a term I have never come across before called Modified Transudate. They drained 200 mls of yellow fluid from his chest which did make him a little bit more comfortable.

He then started to go off his food in a big way and would barely eat so he was put on Cerenia and Mirtazapine for his appetite. It didn't make any difference he would just eat one or two mouthfuls at the most, and I was trying to tempt him with his favorite food -tins of tuna, salmon,fish and chicken- he seemed hungry but he just could not eat. He also got some antibiotics for a slightly swollen tooth.

The draining of the fluid did appear to make him slightly more comfortable, but he just kept hiding away, he kept sleeping in places that were unusual for example underneath my dressing table and he wouldn't snuggle with me on the sofa like he always used to do.

I couldn't stand by and watch my cat deteriorate by not eating and wasting away.

I think what's really hard is the fact there wasn't any really conclusive data that came back but everything was pointing to a very serious condition, and the vet said in his 25 years of experience fluid build up in a cat's abdomen and chest is never good. Those last few days it just wasn't the same cat. He did purr when I stroked him and I knew that any effort he was making was for me because he loved me so much.

I am just stuck with these terrible almost winding feelings of guilt. The day that I had him put to sleep that morning he did go into his outdoor run and he ate a little bit of grass that I gave him, and the final picture I took of him he still looked like his perky and when I took him to the vet he was meowing, it wasn't like he was silent, there was still that familiar sign of my cat. He seemed very aware of his surroundings and this is what haunts me, perhaps it would have been better if he wasn't literally a deaths door?

I suffer with anxiety and I'm not a very social person so for most people say for example with big families, kids, etc then a cat or dog it's just the icing on the cake, but for me he was the whole cake. He eased my anxiety, he was my comfort blanket and my pain medication. I needed him as much as he needed me- if not more.

I would be so grateful if someone could put my mind to rest because of driving myself mad. ???????????? I think as well that my mind is starting to play tricks on me. I keep thinking horrible thoughts like "you took your cat in and put him to sleep, you killed him, you took him to the vets alive and then you brought him out dead" I know it's absolutely ridiculous, it's like my mind is blanking out how ill he got and remembering how healthy he was, and it's as if I put an animal down that was healthy- which he clearly wasn't! why does my brain do this to me!!!

Posted by: Admin Posts: 72 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#1370 - by Admin >> Sat Nov 4th, 2023 07:52 pm

The depth of your pain resonates so deeply through your words. It's clear how profound your bond with Tiddles was. He was a cherished companion and a beacon of comfort through your most trying times.

Guilt is a shattering burden, especially when it comes to making that unbearable decision for a beloved friend. Yet, looking through the lens of love and care you provided, it’s evident that your choice was steeped in the ultimate act of kindness. A selfless wish to spare him from further suffering. Remember, your decision was a reflection of your love, not a measure of your worth or intention.

The swift changes in Tiddles' health were indeed cruel. It's normal to reel from the shock and to wish for more time. It's also common to have these torturous thoughts, to wonder if things could have been different. This is part of the mind's way of grappling with loss. But this is not the reality you lived. You stood by Tiddles, fought for his comfort, and when the time came, you put his needs above your own heart's protest. That is the most selfless act of love.

You mentioned that Tiddles purred for you, a sign of his love and trust. In those moments, you were his safe place, his haven. And in your bravest moment, you chose to be his peace.

It’s okay to grieve, to cry, and to feel this loss deeply. With time, the weight of guilt will lighten. The memories of Tiddles' purrs, his companionship, and his undeniable joy in your shared life will grow stronger and more comforting. He was indeed the whole cake, and such sweetness will never fully leave you.

Please be gentle with yourself, as Tiddles would have wanted. You gave him a beautiful life, and in his final moments, you gave him the gentlest farewell. That’s not just love—that’s the purest form of it.

If you are on Facebook, please join our private group for much more support from like-minded pet carers. They are always there to hear and support you https://www.facebook.com/groups/theralphsite.
The Ralph Site Admin

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