S987292

Hello,

I'm just looking for a safe space to process the things I'm feeling.... It feels unbearable. 

My cat had a upper respiratory tract infection. She was starting to get better 2 days after being on antibiotics and then the third morning I noticed her breathing rate was really high and breathing looked labored even though her upper respiratory symptoms were getting better. The vet took an x-ray in March and missed a tumor growing in her lungs. They did a repeat chest x-ray and found a lot of fluid in the plural space that was compressing her lungs. The tumor looked bigger on this x-ray. The vet said I had the option of trying to take the fluid out of the pleural space. So I opted to try. The vet said my baby cat was really distressed during the procedure. She said it was difficult to withdraw the fluid and she only got a small amount out. The fluid was “thick and chunky.” The vet said that even if she took the fluid out, it would come back because of the tumour and it’s not fair to the kitty to let her suffer with struggling to breathe. 

I’m having so much trouble with guilt. Thinking I didn’t do enough. I should’ve done more. I should’ve asked more questions. I should have done anything instead of let her life be taken from her. Even if it was something small to give her a couple more days. Just a couple more days to love her and hold her. She was in my arms. She trusted me to keep her safe and I let her life be taken from her.

Some of my thoughts sound like. I don’t even know if the growth in her lung was cancerous. Couldn’t she have sedated her to do the procedure of taking fluid out of the lungs? Maybe then she could have gotten more out. Maybe the fluid wouldn’t have come back as quickly as the vet thought and I’d have much more time with her. Maybe the fluid was from the infection and not the tumor and we could’ve withdrawn it and done IV antibiotics. Why didn’t I request the fluid withdrawn from her lungs be tested instead of just let her die? She was still alert and bright but just really struggling to breathe and the vet said it's better now than to wait until she has to suffer so much she becomes lethargic and unconscious. I failed her. I was her voice and I failed her. And I regret it so much. I feel so broken. 

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Peach
I'm sorry for your loss.
These questions will haunt you if you let them.. I did this to myself for months. Please try not to. It might be possible that the vet could not sedate her during the procedure because sedation could have an effect on her breathing too which would interfere with the procedure? You could always ask them too if it will help you with your grieving.

I have regrets about my soulmate, Beck, that passed away last year. And I didn't have them until recently when I lost my two girls Cleo and Sphinx (it's been a rough year and a half...) but I was selfish and I wanted to keep Beck with me, just a few more days... I booked him for a euthanasia but he passed away two days before the appointment. I waited too long. I feel incredible guilt but I know he forgives me for my selfishness, he was my best friend. Because of it I feel that I made some better decisions with my girls.

I don't think you failed her. We as pet parents can only do our best.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened” ~ Anatole France
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Memories_of_Marmalade
Dear S987292,

I am so sorry for your recent loss. You can easily tell from your words, compassion and heartbreak how much you truly loved and adored your little girl.

Rest assured you did the right thing when the time came. You DID try valiantly to save her and she tried bravely to carry through that final medical procedure as best she could. But it was best to let her go when she was still "Her." While she still had some dignity and life left in her. Our beloved's can not communicate exactly what they are feeling when they are not well. They can be in tremendous pain and suffering and try to hide it as that is what they are instinctively designed to do. So that they are not ousted from their packs.

What many of us have learned here is there is no right answer. You're damned if continue treatment and your damned if you don't. Evidently the endless 2nd guessing is part of the grieving process that we must go through.

I had to put my own boy down and I realize now it was the only decision to make at the time. I had to let him go. I had to put his needs above my own at the end. Even though I wished we could have had one last evening or morning together. But I owned him mercy. He brought so much love and light into my life during the time we were together.

Please be gentle with yourself and just continue to travel through time and heal. Soon the memories of your beloved that will come to mind when you think of her will predominately be your happiest ones. You'll see sweetheart.

Kind regards and my sincerest condolences,
James
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fvernon
I read your post and had to sign up to this forum...I came here looking for answers myself.  My 17 year old cat was put to sleep a week ago after developing struvite crystals (which he initially seemed to be getting better from after I nursed him for a week).  It was a week ago and I am feeling so lost and down so I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and I understand how you are feeling.  It is by far, the most painful thing I have ever been through and I really hope that the post above is right, that we have an innate ability to heal in time - that gives me hope.
I would love to tell you not to keep beating yourself up and feeling guilty and going over everything in your mind but I am doing the same thing, it's exhausting.  So yeah, I hope this helps in some way as I know reading your post made me realise that I am not the only one going through this.  
Take care,

Fliss
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KadyMcGann
I just had to let my cat, Gretal, go. I had had her since I was 9 years old and I just turned 22, so she was with me for a lot of my childhood and young adulthood. I would look to her for comfort and happiness, and she was truly my best friend while she was on this earth. I felt like her mom, her protector, and when the doctor said there was nothing they could do about her blood clots I felt like I had failed her. We were only at the vet a few months ago and they said she was a healthy girl, even though she was past 10 years old, and now I feel so confused. What if I had made them do more tests, would they have found something earlier? Would medicine have been able to prolong her life? These questions have been haunting me since I let her go, it's difficult to convince myself that I didn't do anything wrong, but when I truly think about it I know I put 100% of my heart into loving for her and caring for her and I know that she felt that love through out her life, as I'm sure your cat felt the love you gave her, and that nothing I could've done different would have made her live a much longer and healthier life. Nature chose it's course, and when the time came for her protector to choose whether or not to let her go painlessly or to prolong her life with stressful procedures and meds, I chose to show her mercy and let her cross into the next phase peacefully. You showed your cat mercy, which is the greatest thing you could've given her as her protector. She did trust you and you did not betray that trust by letting her go, if anything you showed the depth of your love for her by making the difficult decision to end her suffering. I promise that you did the right thing. Don't beat yourself up, as I'm trying not to beat myself up. The best we can do is find solace in the love that we showed our cats and hold that love in our heart forever, I'm sure if your cat could say she would agree that you did the right thing but not allowing her life to go on painfully. 
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