I lost my cat Gigi a few months back. I got her when she was 10 and she was my first kitty. I had had dogs pretty much my whole life.  She was also the first pet that was truly mine. Not a family pet etc... I was the one solely responsible for her.
I was lucky to have her in my life and for the first 5 years she was very healthy. When she turned 15 her health started to decline and when I took her to the vet because I noticed she was losing weight I found out she had renal failure. I was devastated.  But, I found out that for cats it was not an automatic death sentence. I was relieved that we caught it soon enough and I was able to get her on a good diet and with some appetite enhancing meds and fluids she started to get better.
There were times she would yo yo and there was stress involved. And, many times I thought she was not going to make it. But, she always rallied. But, the last 10 months were difficult. She ended up in the hospital twice. Once with an anal gland that ruptured and the second she required surgery because she had a blockage in her urethra to the good kidney and they needed to put mechanism in her body to bypass the blockage and help with the kidney function. The second surgery I think took its toll on her. She rallied once again and most of the doctors could not believe how well she was doing. But her kidney values started to raise higher and could never really recover from what the blockage had done. For a good 6/7 months she did well and then the last couple of months it was obvious she could not continue to bounce back. Finally, two months before her 18th birthday I had to make the decision to let her go. This was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 
But, now I just feel a tremendous amount of guilt. For so long I did not want to be away for too long because I wanted to make sure she was OK. I had a great family that would take care of her so that was not a problem. But, I always felt guilty being away for too long. I had poured so much of myself into her care that I feel lost. But at the same time I feel a sense of relief which makes me feel horribly guilty. I miss her more than I can say, but I feel a weight has lifted in a way. I just feel like a terrible person. I just don't know how to feel about all of this.
Has anyone else gone through this?
Quote 0 0
I am very sorry about the loss of precious Gigi.  The patterns you describe with her health at the end of her life are very familiar.  Our cat Lenny went through many up and down cycles.  He would stop eating and it would look like the end and then he would rally again. But finally we had to make that terribly painful decision to let him go.  You gave Gigi an unselfish gift by taking away her pain and suffering at the price of taking on the grief and guilt that you now feel. The feelings you are having now are part of the normal grieving process.  We think of things we might have, should have, could have done--we feel relief that we are no longer seeing our precious baby so sick but guilty that we "shouldn't" feel relief..  The fact that we decide the moment that we let our beloved baby goes when we could have waited another day or done it a day sooner--it is easy to feel responsible and guilty for the death.  But the reality is that the disease was going to take Gigi and you couldn't stop that.  You did the best thing you could for her by not making her get worse and worse before her death.  As a result of her death, you have come to a group that none of us would choose to join.  But you are with people who understand the grief you are going through. I hope that knowing others understand is of some small comfort to you.
Quote 1 0
I know your pain I lost my little buddy 2 days ago.You should feel blessed you had more time to share with your little fur balls. For my self I was not given that chance you were blessed for your extra time.

I share all the guilt and pain your feeling its helps to share.
Quote 1 0
Dear Flatow, I am so sorry for your pain and your loss of Gigi. It sounds like you did the right thing. You helped her so much to fight this, for as long as she was able. Then when you saw she couldn't do it any more, you helped  her to cross over, out of this world. That is so much love you gave her.

Yes I have felt like you did when Gigi passed....a sense of relief. I felt that twice -once when my husband died, and again  when my mother died. They had been through so much and it was getting unfair. I wanted them to be released, and for it to end.
Mixed with the obvious grieving and mourning, there was a tremendous sense of relief....for them, but also for myself and my family, that the stress and long vigils were over.
So yes I do understand.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
Quote 1 0
Thank you all so much for your responses. I am sorry I was unable to post earlier. I was having difficulty getting back into the forum. It is comforting to know that others have gone through what I have. It does seem that some days are harder than others and it is nice to have a place to go to get support.
Quote 0 0
I think what Pannklaus said resonates with me so very much. Sometimes I wonder if I should have done more extreme measures with my dog but it is so true that "the reality is that the disease (or in my Cody's case a brain tumor or the Cushing's disease or other conditions he had) were going to take him anyway and I couldn't stop that." I may have gained a bit more time but I didn't want it to be at Cody's expense. I wanted him to have a quick, peaceful and painless death not the lingering torment that my mom went through because euthanasia (which in Greek means a good death) was not available to her. I'm at a loss to why it is humane to euthanize animals to end their suffering but not humans but I guess that's for another time and place.
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
Quote 1 0