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Barki

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
My household is losing our wonderful 9yo cat Domino to lymphoma (mass in his intestines). He isn't my cat by pure ownership, belongs to a good friend and roommate, but since I moved to this house 2 years ago the cat has become a close and dear companion. He is the first cat I have ever bonded with, and he's taught me so much about how to befriend and respect the feline species.

In November we noticed he was losing a lot of weight so we took him to the vet. We thought his problem may be related to an ongoing sinus infection. His abdomen was xrayed and blood tested.. But no answers. Over the last few months he's been throwing up more and more.. A week or two ago he stopped eating altogether so he went straight to the vet. That's when we got the cancer diagnosis. He was put on prednisone and brightened up for a few days, but in the last 2 days he is refusing to eat again.

We've scheduled to have a vet make a housecall tomorrow to help ease his passage. Last time he stopped earing he got so sick and weak that he couldn't even stand being touched. I thought we would lose him then, but the I.V. Fluids and prednisone brought him back enough that he had another week or so of a somewhat active life. I am so thankful for this time to have been given to really say goodbye.

Unfortunately, as the hour draws closer and closer to when the vet will arrive, I can't help but feel apprehension rise up in me about euthanizing him rather than letting him die naturally when it's his own time. Like I said, the cats true owner is my friend and we've bonded through this experience. He asked me this morning if I thought it was time, and through talking to him for some time I got the feeling that he is desperate for the ordeal to be over.. Neither of us wants to see him suffer.

I also understand that my fear of Domino's suffering is just as much a fear of my -own- suffering. Since I know this, it is very hard for me to really know if I helped my roommate make the right decision about the euthanasia. I wish I could ask the cat and truly know.. He seemed to be in great discomfort this morning/afternoon (when we made the decision).. Didn't want to be touched, had a look of pain on his face (I know this look from past experience), but when my boyfriend got home in the evening, Domino seemed much more alert and responsive. He is drinking some milk when it is offered by my boyfriend, but not when it's given by me or my roommate..

Do you believe it's true that animals can sense their own passing and also the feelings of those they are close to? I know that even though my boyfriend hides it well, that he has a very hard time accepting endings of things (he's told me this is why he's never been much of a reader.. Can't stand it when the thing is over). Could the cat be "faking it" to him because he can sense that he hasn't let go , whereas he might behave more honestly around me or my roommate since we've come further in accepting his passing..?

All speculation.. But the point still stands that I am very afraid that we are not giving Domino a choice to pass on in the time/manner of his own choosing. Is it worse to let him endure the physical pain of dying in an effort to let him choose, or worse to force his death early to avoid his but also our own suffering?? I can't seem to escape the sense of wrongness in trying to assert our last ounce of control in the situation. It is inevitable that he dies.. But is it our right to decide when?

I have 10 hours left to either help my roommate make a decision or to say my last goodbye. It feels so surreal to be able to count it in hours.. In some ways I pray that while I've been writing, he's passed on his own, but it seems unlikely.

Thanks for reading, for the compassion and for any advice. My heart goes out to every one of you passing through this sacred rite of life.
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astringf

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm very sorry for the things you have been going through.  I also lost my beloved kitty due to lymphoma today.  I tried to let my little girl pass away on her own as well, but she suffered for a long time and lost all quality of life and I had to help her out.  It's a hard decision to try and figure out what is the best.  May the Lord bring you some comfort.
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Barki

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
astringf,
Thanks so much and I am also very sorry for your loss.

We had a housecall vet come over yesterday afternoon to help him along. I was blessed to have been able to spend all night with him comforting and receiving comfort. He purred right up to the very end.. it's hard not to feel like he knew what was happening and was trying to thank us for helping ease his pain. I know that sometimes cats purr when they are distressed or in pain, but every time during the night that i went to spend time with him, the purring always seemed to come from a place of love rather than fear. I am very glad we made the decision that we did. After he left I felt a deep wave of peace pass through me.

Thank you for responding, and I will pray for you to have the peace to make it through your own loss.
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