FG5
Tiggs (Tiggy) was a 9 year old happy and healthy cat, who loved being outdoors. She showed no signs of illness or slowing down.

I received a phonecall yesterday morning from my mother, who mentioned Tiggs didn't seem herself (although she was fine the day before). Tiggs was fatigued and lying on her side, not moving much. She tried to stand, but fell to her side, and was starting to meow. We arranged an appointment with the vets immediately. The vets examined her and said she was in pain, and that we could either investigate the cause or euthanise her. Given that the vets were unsure whether it was poisoning, a fracture, internal bleeding etc, we decided that investigating was the best option to give her a fighting chance. We left feeling more positive knowing she was in the best place, and perhaps she could be treated today and come home. The vets rang around 2 hours later asking basic questions about her flea treatment etc, I asked how she was doing and they mentioned she was comfortable, which made me feel positive. However, around 10 minutes later they rang again and said Tiggy had deteriorated and for us to make our way in. When we arrived we were told Tiggs had had a seizure which resulted in her being brain dead and unable to breathe. They were breathing for her whilst we made our way in. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep, as we were told she couldn't function on her own.

I'm now riddled with regret and overthinking. And I'm in shock at how quick this has all happened.

Her bloods, X-ray and ultrasounds came back fine. They believe she had blunt trauma to the head or a brain tumour, but there were no signs of this. When looking at information about seizures in cats, google also suggests they are manageable with medication, yet we lost Tiggy.

I keep replaying the day. I booked the day off to be with her, but I keep thinking how I should have spent more time with her in the morning. Tiggs hated being picked up, so I left her in her bed, stroking her now and again. Had I known it was as serious as it was, and that it would be her last day, I would have said a proper goodbye.

Likewise when I dropped her off, it was a distressing car ride, and I knew she needed help quick, so I didn't take much time in kissing her head and telling her I loved her, cause I thought she was coming home. I worry now that the last time she properly would have heard or felt that was then, and I rushed it.

When we were called in to say goodbye, I didn't crouch to look directly at her and tell her I love her, as we were told she wasn't responding due to her brain not working, but now I really wish I had. I feel sick with the thought that she technically passed away without us there in a place where she was unfamiliar.

I also moved out of home a few months ago, so have been seeing Tiggs less. Had I known she was poorly I would have gone to the house more. She was young, healthy and happy, I thought she had years left.

I can't stop thinking about her, or about yesterday. I keep wondering how this all actually happened. I keep questioning was enough done for her. But more importantly, I can't help overthink whether Tiggs knew I loved her and that I was there for her.

I'm struggling to cope with the fact that we drove home without her. I burst into tears when we pulled up outside the house, as she would always greet us on the wall, meow until we got out to give her a cuddle, and then follow us up the steps for strokes. I feel like a piece of my heart has been left behind.

Yesterday was also a lovely hot and sunny day, which was Tiggs' favourite. She loved sunbathing and would always sit next to me in the garden to do so, like my little shadow. When we drove home, I instinctly thought 'Tiggs would love today'. I got so upset cause she wasn't coming home.

It's breaking my heart, I haven't ate for over a day cause I have no appetite, and still have no appetite. My mood is so low. I just want her back, she was taken from us too soon, too quickly, and I'm struggling to cope without her.
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anang
You gave Tiggs the greatest gift ever, you gave her 9 long years of happiness, love, comfort and peace. Although it's a wretched though, think for a moment of all the cats on this earth that are abused or who live outside worrying about getting their next meal. Your baby was much loved by you, and please know that you gave her an incredible life.

Grieving is an ongoing process and not a fun one. But you have tons of support here. Everyone here has lost a beloved furry family member and we bond by sharing our experiences.

My thoughts are with you and your precious Tiggs,
Katie
K. Unger
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Dear FG5,

Welcome to this forum, despite the unfortunate circumstances. I am very sorry to learn of your recent loss of your beloved Tiggs (Tiggy.) I concur with Katie's comments above. Katie is a true ambassador of love, comfort, wisdom and goodwill here. I am glad she responded to your post first.

I would like to touch on a few things that you might find comforting:

1.) An average cats life expectancy on the street, or in the wild is only 2 to 5 years. By your adopting Tiggs, you doubled or even tripled her lifespan. We humans achieve this by providing pets with shelter (from the weather / elements and natural predators) access to regular food, fresh water, the occasional trip to the Vet's (possible medication(s) & treatment), love and affection (which is important to a pets overall well being.) So Tiggy was technically already a senior at the age of 9.

The truth is we cheat nature. We meddle with it by helping our beloved pets. But quite often, their minds and bodies begin to break down naturally when they reach an older age. It is true that some cats live to 15 and even 20 years old +. But quite often sadly they do not. There are countless posts on this forum indicating that. Cats pass away from 2 years to 5 to 7 years all the time unfortunately. 

2.) I had to put my boy to sleep 13 weeks ago this week. And I also opted not to pick him up or handle him too much, when I realized he was in pain & distress. That is normal. You were showing your little girl care, compassion and concern by not picking her up, handling her and kissing her etc. When someone is sick, they don't always want to be touched. And your girl had no way to communicate that to you, so you chose the wiser, safer route.

3.) There was no way for you to know that Tiggs was going to deteriorate at her age. It was a normal expectation to assume she would be around for years to come. You don't need to beat yourself up for assuming what was logical, based upon deductive reasoning.

4.) Our pets realize that we have things that we do each day that they don't fully understand and comprehend. We are just these mysterious, larger, loving creatures that go out on walkabouts (as the Aussies have termed it) and they probably assume that we are out hunting for them, as we bring back food. If Tiggs ever thought about you? Wondered about you? Missed you? It was with love & affection, not judgment of any kind. Pet's give us unconditional love even when we are not present.
That is why they are always so happy to see us each time that they do.

5.) You didn't say goodbye fully, as Tiggs was technically already gone the last time you saw her and you were most likely in shock and disbelief. If you need to, you can speak to her now in a prayer. I still talk to my boy all the time. I speak to his ashes several times a day.

6.) They say that when we agree to end our pets pain and suffering by showing them mercy, we then take their pain and suffering onto ourselves. We transfer it to our own minds and bodies. That is the bargain each of us makes when we have a pet put down. That is what you are now processing through your grief. Time is an important part of the grieving process. Your mind and body have a built-in healing factor. You just need to be gentle with yourself and continue to travel through time and heal. And "this too shall pass." The proof that it will is posted 1000 times on this forum by our Veterans who survived their grief and overcame it to remember only their most cherished and happiest memories of their lost beloved's.

When my boy Marmalade departed this World, he took my heart with him, as I had surrendered it to him completely a few years ago. I feel the same was as you do. : / 

Please know that you are not alone. You are never alone. Tiggs is with you in spirit. We are all with you in comradeship.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
James
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Andee
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your little Tiggy. No matter how or when our pets die, we are never ready to lose them. Reliving in our minds the days and moments leading up to their deaths is a natural part of grieving. Questioning our decisions, our actions, and all our should'ves, could'ves, would'ves are all parts of our grieving, also. Allow yourself to grieve and be patient with yourself as you go through the process. It isn't your fault and you didn't do anything wrong even though it may feel like you did. Circumstances allowed you very few choices. Tiggs knew you loved her and did what you could for her. Animals just seem to know these things, especially cats, they are instinctively brilliant. But, if it helps, go ahead and tell her out loud now. It's been almost eight months since my cat died and I still tell her occasionally that I love her and miss her.
Furry Love Is Forever
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danzey
Andee.....Your right, somehow they just know (I'm convinced of that)
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FG5
To Anang (Katie), Memories-of-Marmalade (James), Andee and Danzey:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my first post and provide advice and support. I have found some comfort reading your words.

Some of you suggested to speak to Tiggs outloud. So last night, I looked to the sky to say a few words, and there was one single star looking back at me. It felt like that could have been my little Tiggy, shining bright. I said a few words, and hope to do so again tonight, I felt it helped a little.

I'm missing Tiggy so much. I look for her when I pull up outside the house, and I look for her on her favourite window sill. Her paw prints are still on the windows from where she would jump in and out, and her treats are still here. Everywhere I look reminds me of her.

We have our family names on a chalkboard in the kitchen, her name is still there. It hurts me to see it, but hurts me even more to think of rubbing it off.

When Tiggs was here, we had 2 cats in the house. Whenever there was a noise, I'd always wonder who was up to mischief. I did that yesterday, then realised the question was no longer an actual question, with Tiggy no longer here. Tiggs didn't really like our other cat, and it upsets me that her final 2 years where spent with another cat which she did not like (even though I love them both).

Before leaving the house, I would always give each pet a kiss and cuddle. I feel like I'm forgetting to find Tiggy and give her hers. How fast this has all happened has made me feel like it's not real in a way, and that Tiggy is still out and about playing as she always was.

Was I right to trust my vet? They mentioned they had no facilities there to scan her brain, yet I was told due to damage to her brain she couldn't go on. After time to think, I now wish I'd questioned this more. But I'm assuming the other tests suggested this. They mentioned she wouldn't survive without the ventilation she was on, and that's the only reason I agreed to doing what we did. We felt like we had no other choice.

Having your pet put to sleep is extremely difficult to cope with. I couldn't leave her on her own when they did it, but the scene is now etched into my memories. I stroked her paw as she passed. The worst part was that she moved at the end, like a stretch. I was told this was natural but this part makes me feel so ill. This is the part which makes me worry she was in pain from our choice.

I wish I had looked directly at her before hand, told her I loved her. I'm hoping as you've said above that the 9 years prior to this, and her instinct told her that I loved her and that I was there doing the best for her.

I can't be on my own at the moment, otherwise I lose myself in thoughts and tears. When I do end up on my own, this forum is providing me with comfort to keep me talking and reading. I feel more at ease being here.
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redgirlraven
I am so sorry for your loss of Tiggs. Reading about her passing is triggerering for me as she sounds just like my sweet Roary. If you look through my older posts you will see my grief and guilt racked posts. Roary was also 9 and the picture of health. Literally never had a health issue. I too left him alone with my ex for over a year (I moved across country with my daughter) and it took a long time to go get him (there were a lot of variables involved but I will never forgive myself for the lost time and abandonment- I too thought we had tears left together). He was only with me again for 1.5 years and without warning one morning he was short of breath, panting, unable to climb the stairs. Off the the emergency vet we went and I spent over 10,000 dollars trying to save him and get him diagnosed. Ultimately I was told he had a cyst in his chest (a board certified radiologist told me this after an ultrasound under anesthesia) he needed open chest surgery to survive. I took out a loan and he was at the “best” vet hospital around 24/7 in an oxygen cage which terrified as they waited to get him on the surgery schedule. He was literally hiding under his little bed for the last 36 hours of his life in their emergency department in an O2 cage and wouldn’t come near the armholes to let me pet him. He was always a scarred cat about everyone but me - but that environment was too stressful for him. They took him to surgery and I too felt hopeful as the tech said “Don’t worry I wand with the surgeon and radiologist this morning as they discussed his case and the surgeon is confident she can get the whole cyst”. I stupidly left and was over an hour away in traffic when they called to say there was no cyst and his whole chest was riddled with cancer! They told me the best thing to do would be let him go in the table and not wake him up to suffer. That is what I did. Screaming and sobbing in the car stuck in traffic. I hate myself for not staying. I was so deluded.
I swear to you he had no lost an ounce of weight and prior to that morning was 100% himself. How could he have had such advanced cancer?
Anyway, I do t know if this is helpful to you or not telling you this story. Just know you are not alone. Many of us have regrets and wish we could have known sooner or better and done things differently. I know I have so many regrets that pull at me each day. I loved my Roary just as you lived you sweet kitty. I am so sorry for your loss.
AR
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FG5
To Redgirlraven,

Thank you for sharing your story of your Roary. I can imagine the sadness you must have felt in that situation, and my heart goes out to you.

As much as it is sad to read how others have also lost their pets (a member of their family), I appreciate you sharing your story, as I feel less alone.

I expected Tiggs to live for another 5/6 years, and like you, saw no signs at all of any changes to weight or behaviour. I really wish I had known, to have made the most of her time left.

I wish I could go back and do things differently, but this forum is teaching me that no matter how our pets leave this world, we would always be filled with regret and guilt. I'm trying to remember that I did the best I could for my Tiggs, as I'm sure you did for your Roary

Hoping that we all find peace soon, and that our pets knew how much we loved them.
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