Molly4always

I lost my cat, Molly, in January but I’m still so consumed with guilt because I didn’t take her to the vet sooner.  In December, she started not eating well but I just thought she was being finicky.  I’ve seen her stop eating food before that she previously liked.  But I should have known better since she was diabetic.  But since she ate the treats I gave her when I gave her the shot, I wasn’t too concerned.  In January, one day I noticed she seemed to be breathing hard although she wasn’t panting. I, also, noticed that she had barely eaten anything in the last 24 hours. So I took her to the vet that day.  Well, they drained a large amount of fluid from her lungs.  The vet looked at the fluid and said it looked like cancer but would send it to a pathologist to confirm.  She said if it was cancer, there was nothing they could do and she would not get better and recommended euthanasia. The next day the vet called and said Molly had adenocarcinoma cancer of the lungs.  I was devastated and hesitant about euthanasia fearing it was too soon.  But she had barely eaten in three days, was hiding and so restless that I felt she was in pain so I said goodbye to my sweet girl the next day.  

 I feel so bad because I didn’t take her to the vet when she first started to cut back on the amount of food she was eating.  I keep thinking maybe they could have caught it in time to save her.  But then I’m aware that by the time she had curtailed her eating, she probably already had cancer and even if I took her to the vet then, there may have still been nothing they could do, since I’ve read this type of cancer spreads quickly.  But the thing is I’ll never know. Do you think that I could have saved her if I took her to the vet earlier?

I’m usually pretty quick in taking my pets to the vet.  Oh, why did I hesitate!  It breaks my heart that she may have been hurting for a month while I did nothing.   

As if this is not bad enough, when I took her for her yearly exam in June, the vet said she needed a routine blood test in 3 months. Since that vet is so far away and Molly gets so stressed out on the long trip, I thought I’ll just wait until next June so it can all be done on one vet visit.  Now I’m wondering if that blood test could have revealed the cancer then which would have been 3 months prior to her first symptoms. Could that have saved her?  

This is breaking my heart. She was the sweetest kitty I’ve ever known and my sole companion and I feel I failed her in so many ways. 

Barbara

 

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Memories_of_Marmalade

Dear Barbara,

I'm so sorry for how you are feeling. I am 9 months in since I had my boy Marmalade put to sleep. And I still question myself and regret my decision. But he was becoming a shadow of his former self and I was so, so concerned as you were for your girl Molly, that he was in pain and suffering. I just could not allow that to continue. My lad was also around 11 years old.

I've learned so much reading this forum and chatting with others here. And as we know there is never a right decision it sems. Whether we seek treatment, opt for more medications and/or surgery or decide it is time to let our beloved's go we always live in regret. There are very rarely clear answers.

And as we also know cats and most animals are very good at hiding pack as if they were in the wild and ill or injured quite often they would be shunned and ousted by their colony. So they know how to hide their suffering. At time even purring louder to mask their pain and suffering.

Cats are so known for being finicky that it is even a cliche in advertisting foods for them. So you can't blame yourself for that. Sometimes my boy would eat like a horse and sometimes not. You could never tell when he would cycle back to having a good appetite.

I read quotes from 3 different Vet's "Treat one thing and it triggers something else." So at time it does appear to just let the cat heal up a bit on it's own, but again, we never really know.

3 days not eating is considered very serious as you know. And the condition Molly was diagnosed was was severe. She could have gotten much, much worse and suffered very badly. We once treated one of our cats with chemo and it was a mistake. Not the cost ($4,000) but her suffering. We should have let her go earlier. Our pets can easily become like little science experiments to Vet's and Animal Hospitals.

You did your best sweetie. How much you loved and cherished your Molly is so, so evident in all of your words. She knew how much you loved her and when the time came you were willing to suffer yourself, in order to end her suffering, and that is a testment to how much you truly loved Molly.

Kind regards,
James
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Bigcatsdad
Barbara,
I'm so very sorry for the loss of Molly.
We had to put down my big black cat, my buddy Albert about a month ago, he was 16. He had an inoperable mass in his abdomen and was hardly eating, drinking and was in pain. We had to make the painful decision to end and not prolong his suffering. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am just heart broken. Albert was a big guy, not fat just a friendly 22 pounds. He loved people and to be around people and never hissed or scratched anyone he was my best buddy. The house is just not the same without him. After the first week of true heart break and devastation the second brought guilt and regret, the what if's, should I have's. I finally spoke to the vet and she let me know that surgery would not have been possible. She also told me as James has said that cats have a way of hiding and masking their pain. They may have organs that start to fail or tumors that form and they mask it and don't show any signs. When they do start to have pain, stop eating and drinking and show signs something is wrong sometimes it's almost too late to do anything. She told me that she has seen small tumors form in cats and dogs that may be there for years and don't grow, just stay dormant. Then something can trigger them and within 2 weeks they are so big that it becomes terminal for the animal. This has brought me some comfort in that as painful and heart breaking as it was to put Albert to sleep there wasn't too much we could have done and we didn't make him suffer or prolong things.
You loved Molly and gave her a good home. Although it hurts so much and it is so heart breaking you had to do what was best for your special friend, she would understand this and there is no more pain. The love and bond and spirit you shared with Molly will last and will be with you forever.
I hope time and tears can slowly help ease your sadness.

My deepest condolences.
Bigcatsdad
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Molly4always

Thanks you for your kind words James.  I read your amazing story of Marmalade; he was a one of a kind kitty.  Another thing is I’ve struggled badly with anxiety and depression for years and it was so hard on me to take care of Molly especially after she got diabetes.  I even considered re-homing her if I found a good home but I just couldn’t part with her so I did the best I could.  It just wasn’t enough.

Bigcatsdad, thank you for your words from the vet.  They really help.  I read somewhere that our pets don’t know they’re sick so they carry on, as long as possible, appearing perfectly normal as they would in the wild.  There was nothing to indicate anything wrong except loss of appetite.  Below is a picture of her 15 days before she died.  I was shocked when I saw the date I took this pic after she passed because she looked ok. It was taken on my last Christmas Eve with her.  My beautiful baby!
C83F38DA-0344-41ED-82DD-177CE593E293.jpeg   

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Jan_H
Barbara,

I am very sorry for your loss of your sweet, gorgeous Molly. She looks amazing in the picture, not sick at all. Years ago I had a diabetic cat and I know what a commitment it is to care for a diabetic cat. Clearly you were taking wonderful care of her. Her coat, eyes and weight indicate she is healthy. As others have stated, cats do hide their pain and illness from us. I think they just accept things and continue on. Last year my cat was diagnosed with cancer and there was nothing they could do. An earlier diagnosis would not have saved him and I expect it would have been the same for your cat Molly.

My condolences,
Jan
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Pootiepaws
I too am very sorry for your loss.  I too have regrets of my kitty that acquired diabetes at the age of 11.  She lived many 5-6 more years with insulin treatments and diabetic food.  I always gave her small treats of my human food as she begged for it. Again,  small treats or tastes,  nothing to really upset her diabetes. You may have seen my post earlier that I lost her on New Year's day.  She started having seizures after the age of 16,  and the vet requested I put her down,  but they didn't live with her, and at that time,  I didn't feel they understood the fire and life I still saw in her.  She had occasional seizures for the last 2 years of her life,  but I stayed with her and smothered honey on her gums to help her recover.  This past year I had to take her for a U.T.I. for medication,  and after that visit I noticed a steady decline in her health over the last 3 months of her life.  She declined eating, and I would put food on my finger and pry her mouth open just to give her nutrients.  But she was 18-pushing 19,  many beyond years of her healthy counterparts.
I had her reluctantly scheduled to put her down on Jan 3rd which was a Saturday.  I made the appointment new years eve,  but she passed on her own terms at home with me.  I still question if I did everything I could,  but I also know there was nothing more than I could do.
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Molly4always
Thanks you everyone for your kind words. I see so many posts from those who lost their pets suddenly when there was no sign of illness. Our babies are just too good at acting like all is well although I’ll always feel bad about delaying taking her to the vet even though it may not have changed the outcome.

Sometimes I still regret when I got her euthanized. I got my sister to take some pictures of her at the vet beforehand because she had just got a new iPhone. Looking at those pictures, I’d think she looked so normal. Some times I just cry and say I killed my baby!! I should have brought her home to die naturally. She was alive and I let them end her life. She could have lived a little longer even though I know she would probably have been suffering. But sometimes I just can’t shake the thought that I killed her. Maybe I just wanted to be with her just a little longer. What I wouldn’t give to hold her one more time and tell her I’m so sorry I failed her. I love you baby girl!
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Memories_of_Marmalade


If you go and read the posts of those who didn't put their pet to sleep before they passed from "natural causes", some of those stories are some of the saddest and most tragic ones here on the forum. What can happen to a pet who lingers until the end can be beyond horrific. Your little girl was spared a potentially terrible fate. The time to put them down is BEFORE they detoriate to the point of looking terrible and dying and suffering a miserable death. You had your girl put to sleep while there was still some of the original "her" present. 

If she was allowed to suffer, that would have been for you, not for her. You let her go because even though you didn't want to let her go. You put her needs first.

You didn't fail her, you spared her. You took her pain and suffering onto yourself. That is what you are feeling sweetie. Please be gentle with yourself. Your little girl would not want you to suffer or be in pain or live in regret. She knew that you loved, adored and cherished her. Always.

James
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Molly4always

Thank you, James, for your kind words.  You are right because if I had waited to have her euthanized it would have caused her much more suffering.  I let her go while she was still the sweet girl I knew. She even let me hold her at the vet, which she didn’t like, probably because she was just so tired and hurting. I think that like others our feelings are so raw that sometimes we doubt even when we did the right thing for our precious babies.

I, also, want to thank others who have told me how when our pets get cancer it can happen do fast. And by the time they show symptoms it’s usually too late.  I realize that there’s not much I could have done to save her although I’ll never know for sure.  I read so many online articles and stories of pets with cancer.  Only in the rare cases do they even survive.  Molly really didn’t have a chance against the big C.

I think our guilt comes because we love them so much.  Sometimes we make mistakes in taking care of our pets but it’s not because we didn’t love them. It’s because we’re not perfect.  And if we knew what to do beforehand that would have changed the outcome, we would have surely done it. I know I would have done anything to save my Molly. 

Barbara

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Furbabies78

I lost my cat, Molly, in January but I’m still so consumed with guilt because I didn’t take her to the vet sooner.  In December, she started not eating well but I just thought she was being finicky.  I’ve seen her stop eating food before that she previously liked.  But I should have known better since she was diabetic.  But since she ate the treats I gave her when I gave her the shot, I wasn’t too concerned.  In January, one day I noticed she seemed to be breathing hard although she wasn’t panting. I, also, noticed that she had barely eaten anything in the last 24 hours. So I took her to the vet that day.  Well, they drained a large amount of fluid from her lungs.  The vet looked at the fluid and said it looked like cancer but would send it to a pathologist to confirm.  She said if it was cancer, there was nothing they could do and she would not get better and recommended euthanasia. The next day the vet called and said Molly had adenocarcinoma cancer of the lungs.  I was devastated and hesitant about euthanasia fearing it was too soon.  But she had barely eaten in three days, was hiding and so restless that I felt she was in pain so I said goodbye to my sweet girl the next day.  

 I feel so bad because I didn’t take her to the vet when she first started to cut back on the amount of food she was eating.  I keep thinking maybe they could have caught it in time to save her.  But then I’m aware that by the time she had curtailed her eating, she probably already had cancer and even if I took her to the vet then, there may have still been nothing they could do, since I’ve read this type of cancer spreads quickly.  But the thing is I’ll never know. Do you think that I could have saved her if I took her to the vet earlier?

I’m usually pretty quick in taking my pets to the vet.  Oh, why did I hesitate!  It breaks my heart that she may have been hurting for a month while I did nothing.   

As if this is not bad enough, when I took her for her yearly exam in June, the vet said she needed a routine blood test in 3 months. Since that vet is so far away and Molly gets so stressed out on the long trip, I thought I’ll just wait until next June so it can all be done on one vet visit.  Now I’m wondering if that blood test could have revealed the cancer then which would have been 3 months prior to her first symptoms. Could that have saved her?  

This is breaking my heart. She was the sweetest kitty I’ve ever known and my sole companion and I feel I failed her in so many ways. 

Barbara

Omg I feel your pain, the questioning and the guilt. feel free to reach out. 

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Molly4always

It’s been nearly 2 months and then yesterday, the sorrow over losing Molly just hit me again and I just bawled. I didn’t think I’d get through a busy day but somehow I did.  I miss my sweet girl so much.  It feels like I’ve been on auto-pilot since she died, just doing what I have to.  It still seems kinda unreal that she’s really gone.  Can you grieve so much that you just feel numb? It’s when I cry that I realize that she’s really gone.  

I was thinking that my memories of her will probably fade in time because she’s no longer a part of my everyday life.  I can’t tell how much that just breaks my heart so much; I don’t want to forget a thing.  I want my memories and love for her to be as fresh as the day I lost her. This just hurts so much.

Barbara

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