We had two Burmese cats for many years, Callebaut who lived to be 19 and Guinness who lived to be 20.  When Callebaut passed we were able to help him go when it was clear the time was quickly coming where his qualify of life not be good.  For Callebaut I wrote a poem about him - when grief came to the fore I was able to read the poem and it helped me.
With Guinness I waited WAY too long to help him go.  His last two months were horrible yet I could not bring myself to take that step.  Finally I was able to get a hold of myself and let him pass.  But two years later I am still struggling with letting go of the guilt of his last day.  I still cannot speak of him without almost sobbing (tears rolling down my face now).  I know I have to get past this but just cannot seem to, stuck in the same mental loop watching him struggle in his last days. 
We since have adopted two cats, brothers from a shelter and they are wonderful little guys.  But I still grieve so for Guinness.
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I am very sorry you are still struggling with your grief for Guinness. The memory of Guinness lives in your heart, not your grief. I'm sure there are many wonderful Guinness memories in his 20 year life. Please forgive yourself and remember Guinness with joy. I know it is hard to let go of the guilt and the memory of his final days. But I know he would want his memory to be a joyous one, not a sad one.

It could help to post a picture or a story of Guinness when he was young.

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Thanks so much.  I've posted my favorite picture of him.  Eyes are closed but he was purring like a motor when I took it.  

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I also have to say that just "talking" about him on this website has really helped me.  Not sure why - maybe it was time for me to just get a grip.  I have been able to write a reply, go through pictures of Guinness and post this one without breaking down.  It hurts and is so sad, but I'm feeling the love more than anything else.  
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He's a handsome boy. I'm glad you are feeling a little bit better and feeling the love.
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Dear Margaretduddy,

He was a very handsome lad indeed. I agree with Jan_H.

One thing many of us have learned here on this forum is "There are no right answers. when it comes to how you deal with the final days of your beloved."

It's truly a "damned if you do, damned if you don't situation."

You can:

1.) Begin or extend treatment (and medication) and it may result in their continued pain and suffering.

2.) Provide treatment and it triggers something else.

3.) Provide treatment which goes wrong.

4.) Avoid treatment which can contribute to their decline.

5.) Avoid treatment and it can in fact give them a little more time (less trips to the Vet and less medications can mean less stress)

7.) Allow them to try and pass away peacefully at home when their time comes which can be peaceful.

8.) Allow them to try and pass away peacefully at home when their time comes but that can be very tragic and heartbreaking.

9.) Have your beloved put to sleep which can also be peaceful.

10.) Have your beloved put to sleep which can go wrong and be tragic.

We never know.

It is a total roll of the dice much of the time and quite often our Vet's and/or Animal Hospitals either miss something, misdiagnose. which can make our choices even more difficult and complicated. And when you search the Internet there is ALL kinds of conflicting information.

It's a challenging situation for everyone it seems. This is validated by all of the stories shared here.

And the endless 2nd guessing and penance we put ourselves through is just part of the grieving process. Part of our journey through.

So please be gentle with yourself. You did what you could do at the time with what you were faced with.

Kind regards,
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