Hi to all the people on this forum.  You all put my feelings into words better than I can right now.

I am writing because I chose to euthanize my 1.5 year-old cat, Crystal.  We rescued her as a kitten.  She was such a good kitty and I thought I'd have her so much longer.  Over the holidays, I wasn't home as much as I usually am and that is when she became sick.  

She threw up a lot last week Tuesday, but she does that sometimes, so I thought it was the food, so I went back to her normal food.  Unfortunately I wasn't home much until Thursday and she still hadn't eaten.  Her litter box was clean.  Friday, New Year's day, she was very lethargic and wouldn't even drink water, but our vets were closed.  I mixed up a cat electrolyte solution and spent the night trying to get her hydrated.  

I managed to get her in Saturday morning to a vet out of town (all vets were completely booked on a Saturday that was the day after a holiday) and they did an x-ray and exam and diagnosed a "linear foreign body" which had bound up her intestines. She loved to play with and eat string.  I'd take it away if I saw, but I had no idea what it could do.  The vet said I must go to the Emergency Vet Clinic immediately.  

I had to drive her to an emergency vet, one of the longest drives of my life.  After being told the options, cost and guarded outcomes, I chose to euthanize.  Watching her go was intolerable.  She backed away from the vials like she knew....  I just wanted to yell "STOP! DON'T KILL MY KITTY!" but I just cried silently and tried to be strong for her, thanking her for giving us everything in her short life.  My friend Amy brought some positive energy to the situation, but when the pink vial was put in, it felt like I lost most of my soul.

Immediately upon returning home I was floored literally with crushing guilt and feeling like I had done the wrong thing.  I screamed and sobbed, took her things to the dumpster because I couldn't stand knowing she'd never use them again.  I sat on the floor in my living room, where I had spent the restless night with her, desperate to "wake up" from the terrible nightmare.

Any other week I would have caught this sooner.  Any other day, we'd be at my normal vet.

It's a crippling guilt and sadness that won't go away for long.  I've since done reading about this problem and found that the full recovery rate is under 65% for cats, less if the cat has become very ill.  

There is an additional universal sorrow from a young life being cut short, and I honestly don't know if I made the right choice sometimes.  Surgery and inpatient stay at an emergency vet would have been over $5000, and no one could tell me that it would work... they usually have to explore the entire intestine and make multiple cuts to remove it in segments so that it doesn't tear tissue.  I also had to consider that even if she pulled through, there could be a day where she pulls a string from something and it happens all over again.  

I'm plagued with remorse over it nonetheless.  I regret the days I didn't spend much time with her, especially last semester, as I was in night classes.  I thought I'd have time to make it up to her.  I was looking forward to this winter break just spending time at home with her.  

I didn't mean for this to be this long, thank you for anyone who has read this far.  And if you have cats - keep them away from string.  And give them a loving hug from Crystal and me.  

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aaww hon I am so sorry about crystal.  the choice you made was the hardest you have to make and many of us know exactly how you are feeling.  yes, you will second guess yourself up and down and all around but in the end we all make the choice best for our loved fur-baby even when that decision breaks our hearts into a million or so pieces.  you made the unselfish decision in the best interests of crystal - not yourself, and for that crystal knows you were heaven sent to her.  as for more time, we all believe we have more time, we all certainly wish we had more time with our loved fur-babies.  please do not let guilt get to you because if crystal could talk to you more than likely she would say thank you for being so compassionate to her situation.  this is a great forum filled with so many caring, loving souls who have lost their precious fur-babies and i for one can say i would have been totally lost had i not found this forum when i lost roxie.  many hugs, warm thoughts and prayers for you and crystal both.
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Thank you for your sympathy, Im happy to have found a place to talk about these feelings, as people who have never lost a pet dont understand & most people who have seem to get emotional & uncomfortable. Im a person that cannot shove feelings aside, I feel it all, in the moment. The only upside of this is that feelings come to a natural resolution & rarely haunt me. The downside is the rawness of it all. Thanks to everyone on here for not fearing these hard feelings and walking w me thru this.
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It has been over a month since our Vegas crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.  It has helped me to stop by and read through this forum and see that I am not alone and that there truly are people who understand the grief and pain we all feel from the loss of our companions.

So sorry about crystal, it is hard and it is not easy and it takes time but we all will move forward.
They will be always with us.
John & Renee
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hi ladyh, guilt is part of the grieving process...and your Crystal was so young, just a baby pretty much. Unfortunately life has no guarantees, and i too wonder why young pets are taken away so soon.

My dog Dakota was only 4 1/2 years old, and after a one week visit to the 24 vet and after well over $4,000 dollars spent on tests and what not to keep her alive, the vet said, the most humane thing would be to put her down. In the end, i had to.....My only last resort was to do a biopsy on Dakota, but the vet said her chances of even waking up after the surgery is very slim, and she would probably die in surgery, Dakota had anemia, and lost 8 lbs in a short amount of time, was very weak....and yes, i spend countless thousands of dollars to "keep her alive" when the ending result was she probably would not live anyways. I cannot go back on the could haves, and should haves...cuz that will not bring my baby back. I know i did the best for her and gave her 4 1/2 of a great life...and we only have a "temporary" separation for now...til we meet again.

Please know you did all that you could for your baby, and yes, this grieving path is a tough one, its all fresh and new for you now, please keep posting & know you are not alone.



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It is so easy to say "don't beat yourself up over this decision", but not so easy to put that into practice.  I think almost every one here has been faced with this problem.  It doesn't matter if it comes sooner or later, it is NEVER easy and NEVER without guilt in some fashion, even if you are certain you are doing the right thing you will find something to feel guilty over.  I am speaking here from experience, if you haven't figured that out yet.

I learned of this problem with kitties eating "ribbons" many years ago as well, WAY before computers so I had no way to research it as you did.  Apparently their little tongues are made so that they are unable to spit harmful things out once they get to playing with them.  All cat owners should be made aware of this, but I don't think the message is getting out even now.

Your post may save someone else from heartbreak, so I applaud you for your bravery in telling your story.

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Ladyh: It's true what Janice wrote. Whether our best buds are young or old, with cancer or in pain, it makes no difference. We can all feel guilt, remorse because the loss is so gut & heart & soul wrenching.
Please try & remember that you did the best that you could do @ that exact moment in time. You took Crystal's pain...which is a loving thing to do. I hope that your own pain lessens some-- being a part of this forum. We all understand. KC
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