Monday morning, I had to put down my sweet cat, Casey. He was 17 1/2 years old; I got him and his sister - who I still have - when they were 6 weeks old. We believe now that he had kidney failure. In hindsight, I know he had it for a while, but never appeared to be ill. He got sick quickly, just over the weekend, and by Monday morning I knew he was suffering terribly. We took him to the vet, but it was obvious what needed to be done. We brought him home and buried him in the back yard. I am so thankful we recently moved back to the property where I lived when I got him in 1997.

I cannot describe the pain and grief I feel. I have lost pets in the past, but was never affected like this. It may be because I've never lost a pet who lived that long. Maybe it's because he was such a sweet cat with a great personality. He loved people, loved sitting on mine or my husband's lap, begged for food at the table, and would play fetch with toy mice. He slept with us every night, even the night before he died, which I am grateful for.

I feel so guilty! I should have known something was wrong sooner...even though until this weekend he showed no real signs of illness. But looking back there are things I should have noticed. He drank a lot of water, but then again he always had. He had lost some weight, but I assumed it was his age. His breath stunk, but don't most animals?  These are the things I told myself at the time. But I should have known.

I don't know what to do with the grief I feel. I am heartbroken. I miss him so much. He was my baby. I know he had a wonderful life for over 17 years and was loved very much. But I wasn't ready to say goodbye.
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Hi Kim,
I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your sweet Casey.  I totally understand the deep grief you are feeling now, and I also understand the questioning and feelings of guilt.

9 months ago I lost my beagle, Bella, to kidney failure.  I just want to reassure you that it was not your fault that you did not notice sooner.  We only picked up Bella's condition because she went to the vet to get her teeth cleaned and they did blood tests before they gave her a sedative.  The vet told us that kidney disease can be a "silent killer" and unfortunately, by the time it is diagnosed, it is often in the latter stages.  After Bella's diagnosis we tried everything the vet could recommend.  Each treatment perked her up for a little while and then she would start to become a bit lethargic etc.  I promised her that I would never knowingly let her get to the stage of real suffering, so after 3 months of trying everything, she took a downhill turn and we decided to end her suffering before she reached the extreme pain.  I tell you this to put your mind at ease.  Kidney disease moves quickly, very weren't to know.  Do not blame yourself.

I often "talk" to Bella now and tell her that I just want 1 more day, but honestly, that would never be enough.  We are never ready to say goodbye.  We wanted to keep Casey and Bella with us forever.  They are our babies and the "new normal" without them is so hard to adjust to.

Hold your memories close in your heart.  They are yours to keep forever.  No-one can take them away.  I hope that those memories of Casey will soon bring you more smiles than tears.

I wish you peace and healing and the ability to be kind to yourself.  You were a great mom/mum and Casey was very lucky....and so were you.
(Bella, Charli and Buddy's very lucky mum)

My gorgeous girl, Bella  26/07/2004 - 03/04/2014
"You were once by our side, but you will be forever in our hearts. Until we meet again baby girl."
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Thank you for your kind words. It does make me feel better to know that maybe I wasn't negligent in not seeing the signs sooner. Each day gets a little better. I still miss him terribly. There are things I wish I had done - fed him more canned cat food, which was usually just a treat; let him drink out of the bathtub faucet as often as he wanted; little things like that.

I still cannot believe I'll never see him again. I find myself looking for him in his normal napping places (when  he wasn't on my husband's lap or sunning in the window) and I miss feeling him curled up next to me at night in bed. I feel blessed that he didn't suffer for days or weeks, but it didn't give me time to get used to the idea that he might not be around much longer. How selfish it would be to wish he had suffered more just so I would be more prepared for his passing. It all came quickly, so for that I should be grateful.
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