Oct. 1, 2015 we adopted two wonderful cats, Flora and Margo, from a nearby shelter. Flora had already been spayed and Margo was spayed before adoption, as was shelter policy. We brought them home and they settled in immediately, although Flora had a bit of a cold that she passed on to Margo. We followed the vet directions on antibiotics and Flora recovered. Margo, on the other hand, maintained a stuffy nose usually covered in green mucus. Margo also maintained her distance from the food and water bowls until Flora finished. So, to help her keep from losing weight from starving, we started feeding Margo on my bed, fending Flora off so Margo would eat and feel protected. But things never got better and Margo started eating less and less.

A month in, we noticed Margo being more lethargic and discussed the antibiotic use and such with the vet. We were recommended to force feed Margo, which I did. I could get almost 1/3 of a can of pureed cat food down at a time before she was done feeding. By Nov. 17, 2015, Margo was in pretty bad shape. Despite faucet drinking, syringe feeding, and all the love we could muster in keeping her guarded and safe, she went limp. She would lay in her cat bed and didn't have the energy to move from it to the litter box only a couple feet away. It was at that point we took her into the vet the next evening to find out what was wrong, despite our best efforts.

The prognosis was hyperthyroidism and peritonitis.

Before we could get her home on the 19th, I received a call from the vet at lunch that she wasn't responding to any treatments and that we needed to come in. My housemates and I discussed the situation and two of us went in. The news was bad. In the interim between the phone call with the vet and our arrival, some 5 hours later, Margo's SKIN had started peeling off her. There was no choice except to euthanize. So, while we were there, the nurse went ahead. I will never forget talking to her as she lay on the table. I gave her a slow blink and she returned it and she was gone.

Ever since then, i have felt overwhelming guilt that I killed our cat. It was my decision to take her to the vet, my decision to put her down. Even 2 months along and I still can't find it to forgive myself. I break into tears at every fleeting thought of her and how I failed to help her find her purr. 

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Oh PLEASE don't do this to yourself.  You did MORE than most anyone would or could.  If you read more here you will find that most of us feel guilt for one reason or another.  Your baby was in TERRIBLE pain.  You had no choice but to HELP her.  She would have passed over the bridge anyway, you just saved her a TON of pain.  You HELPED her.  NOT helping any animal in that much pain would be beyond words that I can find.  You had no choice.

I think that all of us here understand the sudden crying spells that hit out of nowhere, so you are not alone.  Feel free here to say anything you feel.  This site is full of wonderful people, all hurting, and no one will judge you here.

Sending you hugs and hope that soon you can accept that you had no choice.
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Here it is March and I'm still in the same spot. 

I have been having dreams ever since November where I'm standing in a dark land with a dark, overcast sky. On the horizon, there is a bright light. As I'm walking toward the light, Margo is meandering from the light toward me in her normal, sultry slink, paying no attention to the surroundings as usual. She stops when she sees me and breaks out into an all-out prey-chasing, leaping run. She jumps higher than she ever did in life and I catch her. She curls up in my arms and settles down for a bit, all happy and content. 

Then she looks up at me and sees that I've been crying. I tell her how sorry I am that I killed her and that I failed her for helping her find hers purr. I keep hugging her close and just repeating it over and over how sorry I am.

Margo looks me straight in the eyes and tells me it's ok. She says,  "You didn't kill me, it was the virus. I was in so much pain before but now I'm not." She starts purring, a loud, resounding thrum that reverberates off of ground and sky. She says "Here's my purr. You helped me find it. I have it now. You didn't fail me."

She jumps down and figure 8's. "Look at me. My skin isn't off. I'm not hurting. I'm in a place where I'm warm, have plenty to do, plenty to eat and drink, like at home." 

I kneel down and pet her. I just keep repeating how sorry I am.

Margo cuddles back up on my legs and says, "You've got to let this go. You have to forgive yourself. You didn't kill me. You let me have my purr back. It doesn't matter how long it takes, but you have GOT to forgive yourself."

With that, she climbs off my legs and starts walking back toward the light. Every few steps, she turns around and looks back at me. "Please, forgive yourself. I'm ok. I don't hate you. I love you. I forgive you for taking away my pain, but you have to forgive yourself. I'll be here for you when you need me, but you have GOT to forgive yourself." She continues repeating this as she walks away. She stops every so often and gives me a long, slow blink. "You remember I did this when I was leaving. I still love you, but you have GOT to forgive yourself." Her form slowly dissolves into the light.

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We all know the guilt and I have felt it myself too. After reading Margo's story you have nothing to feel guilty about. You did everything that you could for her. You showed her the most absolute gift of love by not letting her be in pain anymore. We had to make the decision years ago to put our dog to sleep. It was a very hard decision but I kept hearing my mom saying to me "Was he a good dog" "Does he deserve to suffer". She had said that to me when I was a child and we had to put our dog to sleep. I believe that Margo will continue to visit you in your dreams until you can forgive yourself. She is happy and healthy again and she wants you to be happy too. I know about the crying too. I still cry every day since I lost my dog Gunner 78 days ago. The tears come out of nowhere. Please be kind to yourself. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
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I understand your pain as I lost my cat to peritonitis 3 weeks ago. Ollie was a beautiful big ginger boy that I found as a tiny kitten in a park when walking my dog. The illness that killed him was a mutation of a common virus but he had a poor immune system and couldn't fight it. He had a lot of virus like illness over his short life.. he was only 3. I feel so bad that I didn't notice sooner he was so ill but it still wouldn't have changed the outcome. Two weeks attending vet and he was gone. You did everything you could for Margo but I know from first hand experience how horrible peritonitis is. It's terrible to see them suffer like that and feel so helpless because you can't help them. You did the absolute right thing for her like I did for Ollie.. even though it doesn't feel like it . im sure Margo and Ollie knew how much they were loved and were glad when the suffering ended. Maybe they've met up wherever they are.. they would make a lovely couple they're both stunners
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Guilt is almost as difficult as just plain old missing them. They are in a better place though.

We can debate all day and night about what the right and wrong decisions are, however, what matters is how much care and compassion we have for our dear pets. You witnessed her go through a lot of pain, so you acted upon your protective instincts to do whatever you could to comfort her. Sometimes we just don't know all of the right answers, sometimes we don't even know all of the right questions. Again though, what matters, is love. Stay strong and have faith. If you need support please continue to share your thoughts and feelings.
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I would also like to wish you my condolences, JodyFish and Sasha. Your experiences have given me a lot of solace and reassurance with not needing to feel so guilty thanks so much.
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