tigerseye
Last July, a week after my father-in-law died from cancer, our oldest cat became very ill, very quickly.  It seemed to come from nowhere, so we thought he'd somehow been poisoned, even though he never went outside the house.  I took him to the vet, thinking he'd be okay.  They found a large tumor.  He looked miserable and lifeless on the exam table.  We decided to euthanize him after talking to the vet.  I cried for days.  We adopted him the same week we got married.  He'd been with us for ten years, but was probably about 13 when he died.  He was my husband's best friend, and my husband is a "tough guy" who doesn't look like the stereotypical cat person.  But those two were inseparable.  It all happened so quickly that we had no time to process it.  One day, he seemed fine.  The next day, he was dead. 

Three months later, about two weeks ago, MY best little friend started breathing differently.  He was our 9-year-old cat.  He'd had some health issues over the years, like a heart murmur and diabetes, but he seemed okay and had been to the vet just a couple of months ago for his blood sugar monitoring.  I immediately worried that the breathing was a sign that his heart was worsening, but my husband didn't think it was anything to panic over. 

I took him to the vet the next day, and they first thought it was severe pneumonia because his white blood cell count was very high.  They put him on medication, gave him a steroidal shot, and sent him home.  That night, he seemed a little better, but still not right.  And he wouldn't eat.  And his breathing was still so labored and worrying.

When I got home from work the next day, I thought he was dead, but when I touched him, he raised his head and looked at me.  I immediately called the vet, and she told me that after looking over his x-rays with another doctor, they could see that his heart walls were thinning.  She told me that they had planned to call me to tell me to take him as soon as possible to a specialized vet for more information, but I called her before she got around to it.  She then told me to get him to the emergency vet right away, which I did.

I knew when we left the house that I would not be bringing him home.  I could just feel it, and I could hear how miserably sick he felt.  I'm no vet, but I could hear in his little pathetic meow that his chest was full of fluid.  He sounded nothing like himself.  It was horrible how he sounded.
  
After an hour, they came and told me that yes, his heart was failing, and that they believed his white blood cell count was due to cancer, not an infection like my other vet had believed.  She offered me a possible treatment option that was far out of my ability to pay, but she recommended euthanasia.  She did not believe he could realistically recover from what was happening.

Putting him down was excruciating for me.  He was only 9, and I always thought he'd be with me for years to come.  And we'd just lost our other cat, and that was still fresh.  I felt so guilty because this particular cat was such a baby, and such a scaredy cat, and I didn't want to send him on the journey.  I cried and cried while I waited for them to finish prepping him for it, because I was so worried that he would be afraid or feel alone.  But the logical side of me could see how terrible he felt, and that he needed to go.  The last few days he was alive, while he was so sick, he preferred lying on the tile floor on his belly.  So I placed him on the floor at the vet's office, and knelt beside him while she euthanized him.  I petted him and kissed him on the head as he went. 

I could hardly even drive myself home.  I was alone at the vet's office because my husband works out of town three nights a week, but he ended up driving all the way home that night to be with me because he knew how distraught I was.  I took a sick day the next day.  I was worthless.

I've had a hard time the last couple of weeks.  I haven't allowed myself to feel it much because I end up sobbing and sobbing, and I can't because I have so much going on at work.  I just wish I could have done more for him, and I miss him so much.

Today, I finally got around to gathering up all his medications and insulin syringes and donating them to the vet.  All of his things were still in my refrigerator and on my kitchen counter.  I couldn't bear to get rid of them because they all had his name on them, but I wanted them to go to good use for someone who might not be able to afford medications. 

Both of our cats were cremated and are now in our living room.  We're not sure where we will put them permanently.  For now, they're staying on a shelf in there.  Every day, I touch the urns to say hello and tell them I miss them.  It's been so hard having to lose them both so quickly.

We still have one cat and two dogs, but they're all getting old.  I know we will lose them, too, with the passing of time.  At least our remaining cat has been handling this well.  He seems lonely at times, but we are spoiling him with extra attention to keep him from getting depressed.

Thanks for reading my story.  I am crying as I type.  I miss my cats more than I can say.  They were family.  



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Lillymylove
I’m so sorry to hear about your losses it’s such a hard time thx for sharing your story it helps coming here.
Take care
David 
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Chinadoll
Tigerseye, I am so sorry for your losses, for this journey of grief you must begin. Reading your story I could feel the pain and sorrow you share, but also the wonderful love you had for them, it comes through above all else. I donated all my dog's meds to the vet also, it was so difficult to make that effort but I knew someone who couldn't afford them would be able to give them to their love. I lost both my dogs in 3 months time and one cat 2 months earlier. It's been a hard struggle, the first few months were so terrible, but it has been 10 months now and I'm a little better. Still cry, still have waves of emotions come over me, but I handle it a little better. The tears will help, let them flow. I had them cremated also, they are on a shelf together, as they were in life. I touch them each day and give them a kiss. I wish I had words to make you be at peace, but I don't. Grieve as you must, there are no rules or standards. The bonds we form with our loved ones are so strong and unique, they will last a lifetime. They will always be in your heart, with you each moment, thanking you for the love you gave them and watching over you forever. Blessings to you.
Charlie
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camunki
I am so sorry for you losing 2 pets in such a close period of time, what were their names?

I am glad you gave your kitty 13 years of life and for your other kitty 9 years seems alot less, but you did give him 9 years of the best life he could want.

I still have my dog bowls from my pets who went to heaven, the bowls are still on the counter with the medications. I lost my Daizy, Munki and Jemma all within a 22 month period and I miss them all dearly. I too, kiss their ashes each and every morning just to let them know how much they are loved.

These upcoming months are by far the hardest, I am glad you are posting here because it does take away that "alone" feeling.

My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.

Cam


 
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Merlysmum
Your post broke my heart. I had to have my sweet dog euthanized in August and I am still barely able to cope. If I were to lose my cat now, I truly don't know how I would cope. Like all of us on this forum, I have cried rivers of tears and expect to do so for years to come, whether I ever feel well enough to get another dog or not. Even if I do, he or she will never mean what Merlin did. I am glad you have your husband to grieve with. I'm sure it helps to have someone there who knows exactly what you're going through. Your grief is so fresh at 2 weeks, I am impressed that you can work. It must be hard to focus. Try to make a special time when you can think about your "kids" and mourn as much as you need to.
When it hurts this much, you know you've lost someone who brightened your life and the world.
I'll be thinking of you. Please know that you are not alone.
Joanne Brigden
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Eileennellie
I know how you feel. I lost my 8 1/2 year old Doberman, Dobie, suddenly in July, then had to euthanize my 12 1/2 year old Doberman, Paris, on October 29th. Losing such important members of the family in close succession is terrible, and I'm so sorry for your losses. I was just coming to terms with losing Dobie when Paris started showing signs of degenerative myelopathy. I think she hid it and held on for me, to make sure I would be ok. Our pets do so much for us. Spending time with our remaining pets and making it as wonderful as possible is a great way to honor our former pets and help cope with those losses. I hope you find peace.
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exburt
tigerseye, 

your post grabbed me because of its intersections with my recent Bridge experience with our late cat Poopy. Heart failure. Fluids building in the chest. But the main shared experience was the desire of both of our dear departed's for cool tile floors. My last picture of Poopy was her chilling on the tile floors in our kitchen. That was the last thing she made herself do before the Rainbow Bridge vet arrived. She was quite the fighter, all the way to the end. 

One thing you wrote, about "The logical side of me could see how terrible he felt, and that he needed to go". I don't see it as the logical side. Over time, I've come to accept that whenever I choose to take a pet into our family, it's with a promise we make to them that, when it's their time, we give the gift of a serene and peaceful death. We just live too damn long. It wasn't your "logical side" talking to you when you euthanized your best little friend. It was your loving side.  

I admire you.  As much as it hurts, you did right by your little guys. The RB community is there with support with your grieving. I wish you all the best while you process your losses.  

Burt


B Weinstein
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tigerseye
Thank you for all the replies.  It has been such a stressful year.  Losing my two cats has added another layer of grief to an already bad time.  Our first cat died just four days after we buried my husband's father.   It was a terrible week. 

I'm considering going to a pet loss support group that my vet suggested.  I just feel so sad sometimes without them.  I'm trying to focus on my cat and two dogs that are still with us, and just make them as happy as I can. 

I keep hoping that I will have a sign that they are still with us in spirit.  I believe that our pets have souls, and I would love to feel them near me again.  So far, I've felt nothing.
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MartinisMom
I cried reading your post. I completely understand how you feel. Losing one is awful enough much less more then one at a time. In 10 months I have lost my 3 oldest cats, and my female Chihuahua, Martini. I cry every single day over missing them. I wish I could do like you did and donate her medications but I still cannot move her things or my cats things.  They are our children and losing them is so utterly heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to you..
Martinis Mom
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Eileennellie
I took Paris's remaining medications to the local shelter yesterday. I feel better having them go to good use. A sweet kitty came to greet me and climbed into my arms while I was there, so I carried him around for a while. I felt better after that.
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