On Monday, January 11th, I made one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made in my life.  I had my dear kitty friend for the past nine years euthanized.  Cookie was born with a congenital defect of the ureters that caused one of his kidneys to stop functioning after a urinary blockage when he was about 3 years old.  He underwent a series of tests at that time that deemed his other kidney functional, so he lived quite happily and comfortably for six more years.  One specialist recommended the removal of the dead kidney, but his primary vet did not - I opted not since it would have been very invasive and risky; I did not want to subject him to that trauma.

As a result of these problems, he got a very serious e-coli infection in 2007 which he recovered from after 2 weeks of antibiotics.  The infection came back last week.  It literally happened overnight - Tuesday morning, he was running up and down the bed doing his alarm clock duty, but the next evening he was hiding in the closet and urinating outside of the litter box.  After one trip to the emergency vet, a trip to his regular vet (which confirmed the return of the infection), another round of antibiotics... it became clear that he was not bouncing back this time.  He became obsessed with water and would hang his head over his kitty fountain, not drinking.  We had to force-feed him baby food.  His condition from Thurs night - Sun night became exponentially worse.  His eyes became very sunken and his coat prickly and dull.  I desperately wanted the antibiotics to work this time, but they weren't.  

I went to work on Monday, but my best friend called, knowing my predicament, and offered to take him in to the vet.  I called the vet to alert them that my friend was bringing him.  I described his condition and they told me it would be best if he went straight to the emergency clinic.  The emergency vet called me and explained that his condition was very poor indeed, and would require hospitalization.  He read back the laundry list of health problems (the primary vet had faxed his chart) and I could tell by the tone in his voice that the outlook was grim.  I spoke with my husband, and my sister (who is a vet tech) and we unanimously agreed that it was time.  I didn't think I could even bring myself to say goodbye, my husband was prepared to handle it himself, but my sister said it was a must.  So I left work, drove straight to clinic where my husband was already waiting with him in a room, and I gave him his last pets and kisses and a heartfelt goodbye.  I couldn't bring myself to witness the injection.      

Cookie was a loving, smart cat.  He cuddled in my lap every evening, and slept on top of my feet every night.  He would fetch a mouse and bring it back, just like a dog.  He loved playing and taking naps with his brother, Biggie (he's a Maine Coon) who misses him terribly.  He was special for many reasons - more than I can think to name right now.  I loved him as much as my other cat, but he always had a special place in my heart because of his problems.   

The emotions I've felt since Monday are overwhelming.  I cry the most in the evenings, when we would have our cuddle time.  It feels completely wrong to be able to stretch out my feet completely on the bed.  I find his hairs all over my clothes.  I can't bring myself to remove his food bowl from the kitchen floor.  I feel that I must have done something wrong, and maybe I should have hospitalized him.  Maybe I could have extended his life if I had fed him better food, taken him to the vet more often for tests...  Everything in my home has started to remind me of him, no matter how insignificant.  Even food in the refrigerator that was there before he became sick makes me cry, because it reminds me of a happier time. 

This hurts worse than physical pain I've experienced.  My family and friends have been as supportive as they can, but I feel like no one really "gets" how bad this is for me.  My husband is upset by his passing, too - but he's very much an "upward and onward" type who is eager to get life back to normal.

I'd love to hear your own thoughts and stories.           

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I am so sorry for the grief that you are going through right now- speaking from experience, the pain can be terrible and overwhelming. Like you, my husband was upset, but has been able to put our dog Mollie's passing behind him.  I have found that it is impossible for me to do so- she really was my best friend and my loss has been devastating.

You know that you did the kindest thing you could for Cookie- you could not let him suffer any more. While it was terrible at the vet's, you will be glad that you were there with him- I know that while I found the grief unbearable when Mollie was put to sleep, and the memories of that dreadful time still haunt me, I have never regretted the decision to be there with her.

At home, we all know how difficult it can be- looking for our companions in their regular spots, hearing them in the house- it is really hard. The feelings you are having are completely normal- two months after the passing of Mollie, I still cry every day, but things are slowly getting better.

I know it is probably too soon for you right now, but at some point, you will be able to remember Cookie with a smile- not with tears. Cookie would not like you to be so sad- celebrate his long life rather than dwelling on the last few days.  This is something that we all must get our heads around- focusing on the horrible last days/hours is an absolute nightmare that will drive you crazy with grief. 

I found great support from others on this site when I had no where else to turn.  Take comfort in knowing that everyone here is traveling the same path and knows exactly the anguish you are going through.



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Hi Pam,

I just wanted to thank you for your kind reply to my thread.  The support is such a comfort to me.  I am so sorry about your Mollie.  I totally understand how you feel.  Losing my sweet Cookie has left such a void in my life...  I hope I will be able to reconcile myself with this loss in time, but it just doesn't feel possible right now. 
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So very sorry for your loss of your baby. One week ago I had to put my baby Dillon (dog) to sleep. The worse feeling in the world, to make that decision. It is like a nightmare you never wake up from. There are times I cant breath, it hits you like a bullet in your chest , the thought of them not with you.

Crying seems to almost never stop. I was not even eating, I felt so bad that my boy wasnt able to eat the last two days of his life, why should i be able too.

Somehow, you regain strength day by day to move forward. You have to take it one day at a time, and dont hold back the grief. Talk with ones who have pets and understand.

I believe the innocents of all animals are in an amazing beautiful place, and we too will see them again, without the pain.

This site and the wonderful people on here can help with this heart felt situtition. We are all here for you, and understand the pain.

Again, so very sorry for your loss.

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Joining in to say how sorry I am for your loss, and like so many others, I understand fully how you are feeling at this time.

We are coming up on two months since we lost our dog Sassy in November-not a day goes by that we don't have some conversation about her, the things she used to do, her favorites, etc.  We still have tears, but it is better than when we first lost her, as we could not even finish sentences without uncontrolled sobbing.

Do what feels right for you, and don't let anyone set a timetable for your grief - after 2 months, we still have her food and water bowls on the floor in the same place, still have many of her toys around, etc.  Although it is at times painful to look at them, it is more painful for us to just sweep them up and put them away, but that is us.  Everyone has to do what is right for them, when it is right.  Don't let others judge or comment on the magnitude of your grief.  Communicate here, or with those family and friends who understand-don't let your feelings be dismissed or trivialized.

Above all, don't feel guilty for your actions - it was out of a sense of love and responsibility, and knowing that you could not let your Cookie suffer, but instead took on that suffering and loss in your own heart. Those who do so have love as the source of the courage that they call upon.  Cookie knew, and understood, so don't take blame for yourself.

I will keep you and your baby in my thoughts and prayers, and know that we will see them again one day - what would heaven be without them.
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Thank you Kathy and Mac for your kind words and advice.  I, too, will keep Dillon and Sassy in my prayers.  I'm so thankful that I found this site where I can share my feelings with people who understand.  Each day is marginally better than the last, but the evenings are always the worst...  I spend my days at work and always looked forward to cuddling Cookie in the evening. =(  I've even considered not going home until late at night, just to avoid that crushing sadness.

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I dont know how well this would help anyone. Last night I was trying to figure out something I could have close to me from Dillon. There are so many things to do. I just wanted something to wear. So, last night I found at Target name bracelets, under 20 dollars, ( not that money is an issue ) ..I really wanted something i could wear and show. So, i ordered this bracelet from Target with Dillons name on it.

I truly cant wait to get it and wear it proudly !!! ...Just alittle information I thought I would share with others.

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Kathy, I think that's a good idea!  I, too, want to do something but I don't know what.  I've looked at the memorials on this site and elsewhere on the internet - they're very touching, but I think I would crumble right now if I had to go through pictures.  Maybe in time.  A bracelet seems like a great way to remember Dillon.

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I am sorry to heard of your lost. I can tell you that you did the right thing. I too had to put my belove best friend to sleep 6 weeks agos. All I can say is finding a peaceful moment with my boy here helps me. I am having a very hard time dealing with it, the lost of a best freind is tough and I would have done anything to making him better but it was his time and no matter what we would of done wouldn't of make him happy or pain free or maybe he would of die in surgey or soon after, but still I remmeber his last moments and that what get me. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't cry infact i have been crying for about 30 mins now and when it starts if i can I go to his site and talk to him and give him treats and then come here and read, thats seems to get thru the next step.... I have got a ceadr chest and put all of his thing in it and have place a picture of him on the top. His ashes are setting there along with a keep sake box with his paw print made of clay in it. Again I am so sorry.... 
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i am so sorry about your loss. i have lost mine too last friday nite.. you did the right thing this way he won't suffer no more. sometimes we human can't handle the loss of our little companions and we do what it takes to keep them alive.. but we have to tell ourselves that if they are suffering of pain and discomfort we have to let them go. you gave him a good life and he is now in a good place with no pain and happy looking down at you and thank you for such a joyful life.
time will heel your pain.. please think of good time and don't beat yourself up so much. it is easier said than done because i am going through this myself right now..

best wishes
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