Ziggy
My wife and I lost our cat Ziggy 4 days ago. I was completely against euthanasia all of my life. I felt it was unfair and a mean thing to do to animals. I had him for 16 years and he was about 17 and a half. Through all the adult stages of my life he was there always happy and affectionate. Now that he's not here, I feel incomplete and empty without him and our house feels empty. It is just a huge hole in my heart.

Ziggy has been dealing w hyperthyroidism for about 5 years. At first we could get the radioactive iodine cure at Cornell to cure it but we didn't have the money at that moment so we got medicine to help him. The life expectancy on the medicine is up to 4 years. We made a plan to save to get him the cure but when we had the money, our vet told us he wasn't stable enough to get it done he'd have to gain more weight. That was about 4 years ago. He was about 5.5 pounds and never really got back to his full weight.

4-5 times he almost died but we took him to the ER, had him get fluids and three months ago he was being eaten alive by maggots. It was unbearable to see and the emergency vet wanted us to put him down but I couldn't do it. We never planned to see that sight. The vet said there was an underlying issue that he was old and she was against us not putting him down.

We had the maggots cleaned off and brought him home knowing he could die at home any minute and that we'd be there for him. His fur before was matted and he had an open sore from the bites. He was skin and bone. They shaved most of his fur off. The night before the maggots was the first day I noticed he couldn't walk that well. He had been very thin since the hyperthyroid diagnosis but as our vet said at the end, he adjusted to living that way very well.

The day before the maggots he had some poop on his butt and I gave him a bath to clean it off. The emergency vet said there was an underlying issue and that the maggots would come back. Luckily we got wipes and kept him as clean and taken care of as we could and that never happened and we are glad he knows we didn't let him did like that and that we were there for him.

If there was ever anythibg we could do to save him, we did.

The vet visit before that, our vet had said there wasn't much more we could do for him and she gave him a bath because he was no longer cleaning himself that well. He threw up and peed on me the third to last time he went to the vet and the second to last three up on the way home. He didn't ever like being in the car.

He was on pills then topical medicine then that stopped working so we tried the food that has medicine in it but he threw or pooped that up for two weeks do when she saw him he was very weak. She thought he would die the week of taking him home after th maggots and told me she was there if I needed her that week.

He lived three more months. A month after the maggots, she saw him and said it was the best he had been in a long time. He gained a pound and his hair grew back nicely. We made some modifications for him I put his food bowls on 2 2x 4 pieces of wood so it would be easier to get to, we changed the litter so he could walk right into it without having to climb up we put him in a different room where he had stairs to get on the bed. His recovery was strong for a month he was eating a lot but then the past two months he only wanted milk and the last two days he didn't eat at all the last day just milk and his final day nothing.

I went to bed monday night and he had been sleeping on his bed on the floor most of the day but still conscious and still got around ok I picked him up and brought him to bed with me. His last month we moved him back upstairs w the other 2 cats we have and he jumped up on the bed and down many times which he hadn't been doing before the maggots incident for a couple months.

It was heartwarming to see. I slept w him in the Orange room he was in after the maggots incident many nights in a row and took walks w him. I sat w him in our bay window upstairs. I am grateful for that time I got with him. I just wish I spent all day w him his last conscious day.

Monday night, I picked him up and brought him to bed. He was so thin. I'd wrap his body in the covers and hug him that way. He was on my chest w my arms around him and we both went to sleep together.

My dog barked at 2am downstairs and I went to see what he needed and he directed me toward the upstairs or toward going outside so I thought he had to go out and let him out but he stood at the door not wanting to be outside so I went back upstairs and got back in bed w Ziggy.

My dog barked again adamantly so I got up again to see what he needed. This time when I came back to pick up Ziggy and put him back on top of me his body was completely lifeless. It's almost like my dog knew.

I started saying oh my god Ziggy. He felt dead. I went to the floor and he could not stand up. I tried to see if his eyes would follow my hands but they did not. I cried and laid w him for two hours from 2-4 am. He was still breathing but not there.

I brought him back to bed and laid him on top of me and his body echoed my body's shape. His head dangled down my neck and his legs along my side. I felt comforted briefly at his closeness but soon felt that it wasn't right the way his body was so lifeless. You just know your pet and this wasn't how he was.

I felt he'd be more comfortable on the floor so wrapped him in blankets and made him comfortable. He had a blank stare and couldn't hold his head up. He seemed unconscious.

I heard a noise after and think he fell and noticed he walked himself to the litter box. I'm not sure how?

At 5 am my wife checked to see if he was still alive and his eyes were closed but he was breathing.

When I got up I was with him most of the day until my wife got home from work around 430. All day he did not move or respond to anything I did. A few days earlier we got him pills from the vet for appetite. I went to get a syringe and gave him his medicine and that pill w cream but he spit it all out and got milk on his face.

He didn't want it. The day before he drank milk on his own and walked but he got it in his nose he couldn't hold his head up that well the day before. We cleaned him up and helped him however we could.

Around 6 or 5 my wife had me call the vet to see if we could get pain medication to ease any pain he may be in. They said to bring him in.

He hates the car so I didn't think he could take it but they said he probably would not know he was in the car because he was non responsive and he didn't.

Our options were to give him fluids, take him home w painkillers or to euthanize him. The liquids, my vet was worried something else could happen but they'd be closed and we all kind of felt he was so close to death that it would not help, even though I am questioning that I kind of know he was at the end. I've never seen him not respond that way. With the maggots, he was glazed over in the eyes but he still blinked and moved occasionally.

I am very against euthanizing and wanted him to die at home. Our vet said that he has had 13 lives so a slight chance he could bounce back w fluids but unlikely. She told us his heart was beating slowly and that he was dying. We took a lot of time to think about it. It's the weakest we'd ever seen him. We've seen him struggle or reach low points but he was always conscious and there mentally on some level.

He was not blinking the entire day he only blinked twice that I saw. If you put your finger to his eyes he would not blink.

I picked him up to see if he could stand and kept trying to see if his eyes or paws would respond and they didn't. Because he was completely non responsive and beginning to breath poorly we decided to do euthanization. I feel guilty admitting to deciding that. It's not what I wanted to ever have to do or decide and makes you feel responsible for his death.

Right before it got done he moved his paw an inch onto my finger. I told the vet to stop and not do it. It was the only movement I had seen him do all day. She gave us 20 more minutes w him. I tried one more time to pick him up and see if he could stand and he couldn't stand and it felt like his body was going to bend in half. I tried to see if his eyes or paws would react and they wouldn't he wasn't in there.

We went they w euthanization and our vet said he didn't move when she put the needles in and she thought he might die on his way back to the room. We stayed with him as she injected it and he had that blank stare before and after. His look didn't change.

We left balling out eyes out and haven't stopped crying since. We buried him last night at our home in a special spot with a note we wrote him, flowers and some of his things. We planted Bullbs in his grave to grow as a reminder of him. It was horrible. His body was in 2 black garbage bags with the blanket we brought him in with. We didn't know if we'd see him one last time but his body was very hard and I just held him in the blanket and cried.

I keep regretting not immediately getting him the radioactive cure when we could, not getting him the fluids, not knowing it was his last day. I built something for our fireplace on his last day conscious and went out to eat not knowing is never see him conscious again. I now regret doing those things. I thought he was just resting and would be ok many times he was ok again. I can't stop beating myself up and replaying it all.

My wife and i are now in vt celebrating our anniversary and crying while here and she thought maybe writing on this forum would help. We just read some other shared stories and cried as we read them.

I only did the euthanasia because I felt he was not there and our vet said its not always peaceful at home they can have terrible things happen and once she put it that way I didn't want to put him through that. I had this idea he would die at home.

My wife keeps telling me he died in my arms but his body was only partly there after that and not his mind. I feel horrible and a huge hole in my heart. Thinking what if I did this it that how did I not know it was his last day.

After he had the maggots I felt it was borrowed time and slept w him, took him outside talked to him told him I lived him I was somewhat ready but he bounced back and I wasn't ready at all to lose him. It hurts so badly and is not seeming possible to be without him in a full way. I feel like I'm no longer ok. He made me feel so happy knowing he was a part of my life. He brought me such constant comfort and joy and I miss him dearly. Looking for some support during this time. Thank you.
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Toes
Dear Ziggy's dad,

I lost my cat 6 weeks ago to kidney failure.

I noticed a drastic change in his appetite on the third week of August, I got him to the vet for a check up on that weekend. The blood test result was devastating...

His condition deteriorated drastically he could not eat or drink from the water bowl, and he could not sleep, I had to have him hospitalized as the vet said he needed the IV fluids immediately. I knew he did not like being in the clinic being with strange people and strange other furry ones there...it was emotionally devastating for me and for him... I could barely sleep at night without him at home thinking about him all night...

He was hospitalized for four days on IV and the vet said it might be better for both my cat and myself if he came home with me. They showed me how to perform the subcutaneous fluids and gave me the lot of his medications and the nutrient powder to take home.

It followed by two both physically and emotionally agonizing and draining weeks...

I too have a lot of "what if's" on my mind... I am picking myself up piece by piece...I could barely eat anything on the first week after he was diagnosed with the illness as I simply could not swallow food...I live on porridge and soup alone this past two months, I had started to eat the normal solid food these last few days.

Today is the first time I am able to write in some details about my cat's illness and the ordeal of the past months.

I too have a lot of issues about euthanasia...

I have no right however to shout against those who had to go through it... as much as I know I have no right to say I have the right to decide the death of any of our furry-feather-two-legs friends...

You loved Ziggy, as far as I can tell from your writing, and you should know deep down in your heart, that he knew you loved him...

Sad time for both you and your wife, wish you both peace and love.

Hugs...
Sharon

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Ziggy
Hi Sharon, thanks for your response. I'm a woman just so you know who you're writing to. My wife and i are two woman who are married. We are total animal lovers. I had Ziggy and my pomeranian and she had two dogs and cats when we met and we rescued a dog I found on a highway in wv last year. Sonyaloved Ziggy very much also. I never knew you could get the fluids and do them at home. My vet never offered that they said we had to go there to have it administered. It's a very heartbreaking experience. What happened to your cat at the end?
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Toes
Hi Ziggy's Mama,
Thanks for writing, I hope you are well and that life is kind on you especially during this rough time of your loss.

I believed that the vet knew that there was not much time left for my boy and that it was not helping him emotionally having to endure the stress of being in the clinic away from me, I had asked for a permission from them to let me stay overnight at the clinic to keep my baby company, it was not their policy to allow me to do that I was told which I understood.

I would never have thought that I could do a needle injection on a living breathing soul...I would faint just by the sight of a needle...it was a tug of war between my fear of needle and my boy's life, it took me seconds to say yes to the vet that I would do it, I was sweating and shaking yet at that moment I couldn't be more sure in my life that I wouldn't want that option.

My boy, whom I adopted from a rescue volunteer, rescued my life, faithfully by my side through the many rainy stormy days and lighted up my life for 13 years, gracefully... took care of my soul...passed away in his sleep...

So I hold on to that love...even that these last few days were dreadful and the depression was creeping in...

Take care of yourself and your wife, love to both of you. Sharon.

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