Yesterday, after weeks of preparation (mentally, emotionally) I put my beloved cat of 17 years to sleep. My heart is broken and I am riddled with guilt. His name was Tiger and I loved him dearly, and he loved me. He was my boy. I feel like I betrayed him. I was the person he adored and trusted fully, and I put him to sleep. I can’t stop thinking, crying, shouting out. Will this pain and horrific guilt ease? Does he forgive me or know I only wanted the best for him? I’ve never hurt like this.
Kimberly wallen
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Dear Kimberly,

I am so sorry for what your boy "Tiger" went through and for what you had to experience and are coping with. You can easily tell just how much you loved, adored and cherished your cat in all of the words you chose to write in your post.

I had to put my own cat down too. Like your "Tiger" he was my boy. My "Spirit Animal" in many ways.

My cat was an orange and white Tabby I named "Marmalade." He was really my only friend and companion. We only knew each other for 4 1/2 years, he was a senior cat and near completely deaf. He was around 11 years old the Vet thought. I met "Marmalade" up in the high desert country of New Mexico when our paths crossed. He changed my life and he saved my life. We were homeless and on the road for 3 1/2 months and he never tried to run from me or abandoned me, when he could have countless times. He stuck with me through think and thin, even when we had no food to eat.

In the end I had to let my boy go. I could no longer allow him to deteoriate or be in pain and suffering. I had to put his needs first, including over my own. Although it completely devastated me.

Yes, I am here to tell you that the pain and the guilt WILL ease. Which is evidenced by so many posts here on the forum, it will just take some time. I am 1 year 2 months as of this day into my grief. I am still sad, but it is not the same. There are stretches of time where I can feel that I have or am healing. Just continue to travel through time sweetie. With each breath you are healing. With every minute you are healing. That may not seem like that is happening but that is the case.

They say that: 

"When we decide to end our beloved's pain and suffering, we than take thier pain and suffering onto ourselves. And then we process it through our grief. That is the bargain we made."

The guilt, regret and remorse is part of that process. As it the endless 2nd guessing. It is a form of penance we put ourselves through. To try and wrap our minds around what has happened.

They also say that:

"Grief is like a tide, sometimes it raises up to your knees, and then up to your waist, then your chest and then up to your neck and then it can completely cover and engulf you, and pull you down deep. And then it will lower. And then you can breath again."

The key many of us have found is to just wait for the tide of grief to recede. It will.

"This too shall pass."

What matters are not the final moments of your boys life at the very end, but everything in between. From the day you two first met. And then all the good moments, hours, days, nights, weeks, months and years. All the love, joy, smile, laughter, companionship. All the special times that you shared with your "Tiger." All the way up just prior to when he fell ill or faced something that resulted in your having to show him mercy for some other reason.

Thank you for sharing a bit of your story about "Tiger" with us. Now we know about him too. There must be so much to your story as there is for each of us here.

Please know that you are not alone. We are with you in comradeship as your "Tiger" is with you in spirit. Always.

My kind regards & sincerest condolences,
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Dear James,
Thank you. Your words and thoughts help. I’m so glad I found this site to help me through this pain.

Kimberly wallen
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First of all, you should be proud that your cat lived to 17!  For some reason, my cats are only living to 12.  Putting an animal to sleep is the most selfless act of love any cat mom would do!  Pet parents tend to want what is best for them rather than the cat!  Your decision was the right one, and you should not second guess it.

I know how you feel as I just lost my beloved cat "DD" this Saturday, July 11th.  He was almost 13.  He was fine on Friday.  On Saturday morning, he urinated on my bed, which he never did.  We rushed him to the emergency vet around 5:30 in the morning to be told he was in very critical condition, was having trouble breathing, and probably had sepsis.  The vet could feel a tumor, so it appears he had cancer.  Because of Covid-19, we were not able to go in with him.  He passed away without us, and we took his lifeless body home to be buried near his sister.  His beloved sister passed away two years ago at the age of 10 from cancer. 

So you see, Kim, you were very fortunate to have had Tiger for 17 years!  Do not feel guilty but feel joy for having loved him and taken such good care of him.  I have volunteered at animal rescue groups throughout the years and have seen animals surrendered because of no time, moving, had a baby, etc.  Some animals are surrendered at the end of their lives.  

The pain will indeed subside, to be replaced in your heart by loving memories.  There will be other fur babies in your life, who will never take Tiger's place, but the unconditional love will be the same.

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Thank you, and I’m so sorry for your loss
Kimberly wallen
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