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Feeling dreadful

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

#1369 - by Tiddlesmum >> Fri Nov 3rd, 2023 10:52 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: Amy W Posts: 1 - Joined: Mon Nov 13th, 2023 10:05 pm

#1371 - by Amy W >> Mon Nov 13th, 2023 10:50 pm

Hi, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of Tiddles. I also have anxiety and my cat was my rock. Firstly, every emotion you’re feeling is completely valid, and I want to reassure you that all of us who have lost pets have felt the guilt you’ve described about taking your Tiddles to the vets. Remember you did the best thing for him, he lived a long life and the vet sadly gave a poor prognosis. I think it’s incredibly brave of owners who put their animals needs before their own. You knew he was going to deteriorate, and you decided to give him a comfortable end and not letting him suffer. It sounds like he had a good, normal start to his day by going outside and eating grass. You say he was alert so knows that you were with him for his final moments - he wasn’t unconscious, in pain, or struggling to breathe. You’ve saved him from suffering, you absolutely did not kill him. Brains like to play awful tricks on us like this. When you have these negative thoughts, it might be helpful to look at old photos of him when he was healthy, and remind yourself of all the happy memories and love that you shared over the years. And keep telling yourself you’ve saved him from suffering. When I have negative thoughts, I say out loud “stop it” and try and distract myself otherwise I go into a bit of a thought spiral. I hope you feel reassured that what you’re feeling is totally normal, it’s a horrible thought to have but from what I’ve read your Tiddles is loved and you saved him from suffering by giving him a peaceful end.

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