I put my cat, Tabatha to sleep on Friday. She was 20 years old - I had her since I was 6. She was not just a cat to me. This was my companion, my partner, my best friend. I grew up with this cat by my side. She went with me everywhere, slept in my bed, comforted me when I cried & smiled when I was joyous. From elementary school to middle to high school to college to marrige to moving across the country. She was my everything. Tabatha was a fighter. She was feisty to everyone, but me. Showing me unconditional love for the last 20 years.

She had kidney failure. Chronic that is. Diagnosed about 4 years ago. It was not aggressive, but slow. The last year she had become really thin, about 5 pounds. She slept all day, had noticeable discomfort when jumping or walking. She really only drank water and ate if I gave her broth. BUT she still looked at me with her loving eyes, purred when I pet her, cuddled me when she could and enjoyed sitting in the sunlight.

I took her to the vet for a check up and just gave up. All week I kept telling myself it was just a check up, but in the back of my mind thinking it wasn't...the vet said she lost 3 pounds, her kidneys were small and her chemistry panel showed obvious signs of kidney disease.

I froze. I dont know what happened. How it happened. I said yes. I said go ahead with euthanasia. Before I knew it there she was in my arms, looking at me with those same loving eyes. Trusting. She fought it. She fought the vet till the last breath. My fighter.

I am ridden with guilt and disbelief that this is real. Why did I do it? I know she was old and things would of gotten worse...but why didnt I wait? I could of planned a whole "Tabatha" week of extra love, cuddling, tuna and attention. What did I just do? I find myself not knowing what to do in the silence. The guilt takes over. The image of her scared face. The sound of her fighting. I am horribly sad. I don't know how to handle the regret, the sadness and the memories.
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Hi@TabbysMom123. I know how you feel. I had no intention of putting my little kitten to sleep when I went to the vet. It was a decision I was sure I would say no to. And in the end I just watched it happen. I just stroked her head while she passed. And now I too am left with a crippling sense of grief and guilt.
As my husband put it, she is in pain and she can’t tell you how bad it is. Keeping her alive when she’s not eaten for days is more cruel than giving her mercy.
It’s the hardest decision. And I hope for you as much as myself that we can accept that we did the right thing. Letting an animal suffer when they can’t express their pain is not merciful. It still feels terrible though.
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Hi TabbysMom123,

First, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. Twenty years is a long time to be a part of someone’s life! And since you were six?? My goodness, you must be missing her terribly!

It’s so hard to see them decline because of disease. From what I hear, it’s especially true of kidney disease. That’s why we do it, why we sacrifice extra time with them. Because we know it just prolongs everything they have to go through. Whether she went when she did, or a week later, it would never feel like enough time. That moment at the vets would always have to be gone through, no matter when you chose to do it.

It is very difficult and for that, I am very sorry. Guilt and shock are all very much a part of the grieving process unfortunately. It is very evident you loved Tabatha and that you had her best interests at heart. Hang in there and post as much as you need to in order to work through this.
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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@thecatlady & @RileysMom:

Thank you for your kind words. I feel like I am trying to justify what I did by looking for similar stories. I miss her so much. It's hard to describe the sadness and guilt - I just can't be happy right now. Again, thank you. I'm sorry for any losses you had as well.
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Hi TabbysMom123...I didn't know where to turn so I thought I would check this area out and, low and behold, I read your post. I am so very sorry for your loss and can honestly say I know exactly what you are going through and feeling. Four weeks ago today I took my kitty Zipee to the vet because he just didn't seem to be feeling well. Although I have a family of kitties, Zipee always had a special place in my heart and we had a bond like no other. I thought the vet would just give him some medicine and send him home. She did some blood work on him and came in to tell us what it showed. After that I am blank, I literally cannot remember what she said other than renal failure, something about putting him to sleep, I honestly do not remember the visit. I remember a gut-wrenching pain ripping through me, it is all a blur. She made arrangements to come to my home in the early evening. I took Zipee home, where he started showing signs of feeling worse, so I made him as comfortable as I could. I was in shock. There is no way I would have agreed to putting him to sleep if I had been in my right way, not Zipee. Somewhere in the haze my vet shows up, we lay Zipee on my bed, she gives him the shot to make him sleepy, but when she tried to give him the shot to put him to sleep forever, he fought her. I should have stopped it then. I never should have agreed to put him to sleep to begin with. I have no idea how that conclusion was even come to. My boyfriend, who had been with  me at the office, said I had talked to the vet in great detail about what was wrong with Zipee and that this was best for him. I don't remember any of that. Zipee passed away on 1/22/18 and I continue to feel like someone punched me in the gut. Why did I agree with it? What was really wrong with him? Could I have taken him home and postponed the inevitable for a few days, a week? It seemed like one minute he was with me, the next he was gone. I have done everything I can think of to get through this agony, this guilt, the questions with no answers but I can't. Looking back on the few weeks before his passing I realized he was giving me clues that something was really wrong, his behavior wasn't the same, our routine was different but I didn't piece it all together. We had another baby, Keith, who was battling cancer so it seemed all my energy was focused on him. Zipee tried to tell me and I didn't hear him. If I had, he would probably be with me today, something I would give anything for. I know I'm not thinking rational but maybe I am...I need to be with Zipee right now...not tomorrow, not next year or the year after that, but now. I want to go pick him, Keith, and my kitty Bones up and go to Heaven. Will I? Probably not but the thought has passed through my mind more times than I can count. I do not want to live without him in my life, that's how much we loved each other, that was how close the bond was. I am empty, only functioning to take care of my other fur babies who need their mommy but I am dead inside. All there is now is guilt, sadness, and an unbearable grief. Who can help me to deal with that? There are no words that can be said, time is not healing the wound, how much longer does this pain go on because it's getting harder and harder to fight. I'm sorry for unloading but I don't know where else to turn, no one can really understand. All I keep asking myself is "Why?"
Cheryl Anne Koch
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