My cat Oliver was my best friend. He was found on the side of the road as a kitten so I adopted him and always said we deserved each other. Me being divorced and him being thrown away like that...we found friendship and unconditional love in each other. He wasn't an ordinary cat either. He talked all the time, it was like we understood each other ;). 

He played fetch and was at the garage door every night when I got home. I mean every night! After ten years he started to throw up, then gradually stopped using the litter box, increased drinking, then after a week to maybe two I recognized we needed to go to the vet. The reason it took so long is his behavior didn't change in terms of affection and I had two cats so it didn't stand out as much as it should have. When we got there the vet did an x-ray to determine Oliver had an enlarged kidney and something on this intestines that he thought was lymphoma but couldn't be sure because he was too green. I had to come back the next day!

Well he had to give Oliver a mouthful of this nasty tasting pain medication because he was crying at this point...something he had not done until then. Well those twelve hours were miserable for us. There was a gray cloud hanging over me. He cried and whimpered and drooled all night. He went into a corner (no doubt to die) a time or two, but didn't. At 7:00 a.m. I took him back to get put down after that confirmation came. I could hear him crying in the back because he was dehydrated and they couldn't get a vein. It eats away at me every minute.

Once they brought him back in the room he immediately calmed down and stared at me. I just told him it was OK and that it was almost over. I told him I loved him SOOOOOO much and that he could go night night. The decision to euthanize wasn't even a choice. What torments me now is how did we go from normal behavior to dying that quick? I am sure his time was up and I was just spared the body reacting to the cancer until they had to poke and prod but I can't help feeling like they killed him or hurt him in some way.....

I have such wonderful memories of and with Oliver...he was always loving and happy. I just want those memories to take presedence over the sadness of last week. I just need to know my baby didn't suffer and that I didn't do anything to prolong his agony. I just need peace and closure. He had a good life...that I know. I just need to feel good about it. He  had lymphoblastic lymphoma (sp?) by the way....deadly stuff and he was SO good in that we never knew it. Wow...what a shock. I am still in shock I think.

Can anyone relate to these questions and doubting????  Or better put...torturing yourself over their suffering??  Hoping to report soon that I have made peace....but right now, not so much. My other kitty is looking for him too :(

GB and thank for taking the time to read this.....any words of encouragement appreciated!
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Dana please know that cancer is terrible in animals. It is so sad for us because we never know that they are suffering until it is too late. We lost our first dog around 5 years ago to hemangiosarcoma. A cancer that comes on quickly and silently. Animals sometimes die without you even knowing they were ever sick.  We found out by accident about our dog and by that time it was too late.  We had 6 short weeks with him. Unfortunately more recently (2mos now) our dog Stella also had cancer.  We also did not know until it was too late. By the time she showed any symptoms the tumor was large and had spread to other organs. However the vet thought they could remove the spleen which was enlarged so we put her through that. I am still blaming myself for putting her through that misery that ultimately ended up in her suffering more. But I knew that there was a 50/50 chance that this would happen.  You also did what you thought was right to save your beloved Oliver.  It just happens that way with a lot of cancers. The animal acts perfectly normal for the longest time until it finally is interfering with their normal behaviors, eating, playing etc.  I am learning not to blame myself for not noticing the signs.  The vet told us upon biopsy that it probably started only a few months prior and by the time Stella exhibited any signs it had spread to the point where it was not curable.  Please do not blame yourself.  Animals are so good at masking their pain and sickness.  Please take heart in the fact that you gave him a wonderful life and saved him from most certain death when he was a kitten.  Hugs to you.

Vivian M.
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I am so very sorry for your loss of dear Oliver.
They very often do have cancer a long time without showing many signs....or we think there's nothing much wrong, just a couple of 'off days' or getting older -or something. They don't show much pain very often, until the final stages. Then it comes as a terrible shock to us -to find out they have to leave us, so suddenly.
I know. My Misty had Hemangiosarcoma. She showed no signs, until a lump came up on her ribs. Even then, I thought she had bruised her rib a bit, because she seemed well and ok. The vet said he thought it was Hemangiosarcoma after doing a needle-biopsy. I didn't believe him! Misty was still playing! Eating, sleeping well, running after the frisbee (yes even at over 14) I thought the vet must be wrong.
Then she suddenly had a big internal bleed only days later. She survived it and was recovering -even enjoying things again -when a second devastating bleed came, and I had to have her put to sleep quickly. We only really got 1 week's warning. She went from being a remarkably ageless and fit strong dog, to fighting for breath and her belly swelling like a water balloon. It was so fast.

I know you did the right thing for Oliver. He needed your help, and you gave it to him. It was the last kindness you could give him in this life. Freedom from his pain.
Bless you.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer

Misty's life after death:
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