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Old 27.08.2011, 16:00
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My cat's last trip

Hi,

I have my cat since 12 years, we have lived in 4 differents countries together and she has been with me for the most important events in my life.

My sweet furry best friend is old and she is slowly reaching the end. She used to be a happy fatso who lived to eat. She doesn't have the same passion for food anymore and she eats less, much less. She is losing a lot of weight and I can feel every bones on her body. She used to have that big layer of fat everywhere.

Before we moved, she had an kidney infection and the vet told us it was because she was old. Her kidneys are shutting down slowly and soon, she'll be gone.


How do you get ready for that? How do you prepare yourself?

I am going to get in touch with the vet about what to do, how they can organise everything for cremation, etc. Because I don't want to deal with the stress to find someone when I'll be crying her loss.

How do you get ready for that? How do you explain to your child that our sweet friend is gone?

I have no idea how long she still have. I look at the way she is changing and I know it won't last longer than a few months. She doesn't suffer but if she began to, I won't let her in pain.

Any experience with kidneys failure in cats?

Nil
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Old 27.08.2011, 16:28
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Re: My cat's last trip

I am so sorry to hear that, Nil. I lost a beloved cat when I was growing up and it was crushing. Just make her as comfortable as possible, let her know you love her (or him), take photos now. That is a very old age for a cat, you know, she's had a good life. I don't know what else to say...I never got a cat again because of that.
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Old 27.08.2011, 16:30
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Re: My cat's last trip

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I am so sorry to hear that, Nil. I lost a beloved cat when I was growing up and it was crushing. Just make her as comfortable as possible, let her know you love her (or him), take photos now. That is a very old age for a cat, you know, she's had a good life. I don't know what else to say...I never got a cat again because of that.
Thanks!

She is actually 14 years old. I thought it wasn't old since so many of them can live up to 16-18 even 20 years of age.

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Old 27.08.2011, 16:32
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Re: My cat's last trip

Oh, Nil - I'm so very sorry.

In all your posts about your cat, the love you have for her, that she is such a big part of your lives, has shone through. That love will help you with this decision.

Although I have been through this too many times, I'm not sure one is every truly prepared - I guess my advice is to remember that euthanasia is an act of love. Because we love them so, we do not allow our pets to suffer once it becomes clear that further help is not possible.

You are right to make the practical arrangements in advance, while you are still thinking clearly. If your vet has your wishes written down, he/she can take charge if you find that you are unable to do so at the time.

For me, it has been important to wait for 'the sign' - I don't know what else to call it - the moment when suddenly it becomes crystal clear to you, the loving owner, that your pet is ready to go. It can be a look in your cat's eyes, perhaps a feeling that comes over your heart - but somehow, from one minute to the next, one just knows.

My vet has always told me that if I am unsure whether or not the time has come, then is not yet time.

Each time the grief afterwards has caused me to start doubting my decision - but then I remember that moment - and it helps. I'm glad I waited until I saw 'the sign'.

But this is such a personal thing, between you and your cat, guided by your vet. Follow your heart, follow your instincts. You'll get it right, because you love your pet.

As I don't have children I haven't had the extra difficulty of helping a child through the grief - but here is as article a friend has recommended, about how to talk to children about the death of a pet:

http://www.ottawahumane.ca/your-pets/petdeath.cfm

As the time approaches, give yourself all the time you need to be with your cat, savor the touch of her fur, the way she feels cuddling in your lap. These memories, and all the memories of all the good times together, will bring you comfort when you most need it.

May you find strength in the days, weeks or months ahead, and may you take comfort knowing that your cat has lived a very happy life, thanks to you.
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Old 27.08.2011, 16:38
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Re: My cat's last trip

Nil, I am afraid that there is not really anything to prepare you for the loss of your beloved pet. It is truly one of the worst aspects of owning an animal that becomes part of your lfe.
You just have to tell yourself that you gave this animal a wonderful life and that when that wonderful life is becomig not so good - then you make the right decision.
I lost my beloved dog that I had for 16 years and we shared everything but I knew that she was getting older and her quality was not so good - but not a day goes by that I don't have a happy thought.
Regarding telling your daughter, I have always been quite honest about losing a pet, they will experience this and it is life - so hard.
I can offer you no more than any other pet owner can - it is horrible but the downside to a truly wonderful experience..xx
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Old 27.08.2011, 16:42
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Re: My cat's last trip

Shame, but I think she had a good life with you.
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Old 27.08.2011, 16:51
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Re: My cat's last trip

We lost both our ferrets a few months ago (the male let himself die after the female went) and they were both older than my son. He had always known them, they were part of the family.

It was very unsettling for him to see them go, especially as we had to put our female Leia to sleep. He had a lot of very practical questions to which I didn't really know what to answer. I'm not a religious person, so what do you say to a child who wants to know where is his animal, what is death, etc.?

I'm afraid I don't have a ready-made answer to offer you Nil, but I think it's important for the child to be part of the grief process, and to speak a lot about it.

Last weekend we went to the zoo, and my son burst into tears when he saw the ferrets there. Proof that the grieving process can take a long time, even for a child.

Sad as it is, we can't protect our kids from everything. The death of a beloved pet is a way to learn about loss and sadness, which are also a part of life.
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:15
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Re: My cat's last trip

Three years ago today, I had to say goodbye to my beloved little Susie, shown in my avatar, my teckel/yorkie cross. She was just 6 weeks short of her 17th birthday, and had been with me since she was 7 weeks old. I loved her more than anything on this earth. For two months, I could not even talk about my loss. However, one thing stood me in good stead, and that was the fact that I had visited my vet regularly as Susie's health began to decline, and he advised me when it was the moment to say the final goodbye. It is not an easy decision to make, but letting your pet go when her quality of life is not what you would wish for her, is the ultimate act of love.

My thoughts are with you and your dearly loved companion.
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:28
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Re: My cat's last trip

Kidney failure can't be a nice way to bow out. Did the vet offer options to circumvent suffering ?

Sorry to be so grim
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:30
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Re: My cat's last trip

Oh dear, the kidneys - my dad's cat has only got a few more days left, his kidneys are shot, he barely eats and he's stopped cleaning himself. My dad is watching him closely for any signs of him being in pain but so far the cat is ok in himself, still purrs and meows, so my father feels he can't put him to sleep yet. But he will if he senses the cat is uncomfortable. So like meloncollie says, you can only make sure the cat is spoilt rotten for the last few weeks of her life and explain to your little girl that this is a part of life and loving something (I guess for pets you could say someone) very much - sometimes you have to say goodbye, even if it is terribly painful.

I admire how calmly you are going about this - I was in tears just reading about it. Big hug, Nil.
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:50
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sorry this is happening. I think what will also be hard is when you explain to your child that the cat is gone, she will constantly ask you what happened and that will be hard for you too to explain to her each time.
My children love my two fatty cats too and I dread the day when they pass on.
It's a mourning process that, as with most other pain, takes time to heal.
I think it's really good you're planning everything beforehand. That should diminish some of the stress.
I personally believe that animals go to a paradise when they die as they are all innocent and have souls.
May peace be with you and your family in the coming months.
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:52
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Oh dear, the kidneys - my dad's cat has only got a few more days left, his kidneys are shot, he barely eats and he's stopped cleaning himself. My dad is watching him closely for any signs of him being in pain but so far the cat is ok in himself, still purrs and meows, so my father feels he can't put him to sleep yet. But he will if he senses the cat is uncomfortable. So like meloncollie says, you can only make sure the cat is spoilt rotten for the last few weeks of her life and explain to your little girl that this is a part of life and loving something (I guess for pets you could say someone) very much - sometimes you have to say goodbye, even if it is terribly painful.

I admire how calmly you are going about this - I was in tears just reading about it. Big hug, Nil.
Not sure if you are aware but cats also purr when they are in pain.. Sorry.
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:58
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Re: My cat's last trip

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Not sure if you are aware but cats also purr when they are in pain.. Sorry.
I am aware - it's the "when stroked" purring. But yes, that is a good point to remember. He's ok, just a bit doddery and like to lie in the bathtub with a bit of water in it, can get in and out just fine.
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Old 27.08.2011, 18:04
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Re: My cat's last trip

Sorry about your Cat ,Nil.Reminds my of our Cat.My Daughter and the Cat practical grew up together The cat even picket my daughter up from school. When the time came for the cat , my daughter brought her to the Vet .sat there for 20min said good bye. It was a sad day.That day I learned what a strong girl my daughter is. My daughter was about 14 at the time

Last edited by cannut; 28.08.2011 at 15:37.
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Old 27.08.2011, 18:06
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Re: My cat's last trip

Oh Nil I am so sorry, I have no experience with kidney failure but as you know our Lucas died of infectious peritonitis, he also lived to eat and then he just did not seem to do it, he was hungry but he just could not tolerate the food.
We came back from holidays and he had waited for us, but he had no more energy so we decided to put him to sleep, we cried a lot as he was our baby but we thought it was for the best.
People do not know when a cat is suffering because they wont complain but please if you think it is, send her over the rainbow bridge, it is too sad when they suffer

Last edited by Angela-74; 27.08.2011 at 19:43. Reason: typos
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Old 27.08.2011, 19:01
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Re: My cat's last trip

Thanks guys for the kind messages.

I have those silent tears rolling down my chin now and everytime I am thinking of what is coming. My husband is in a denial. He never had a pet before and he became very attached to Toutoune. He can't see what is going on and refuse to even think about what is coming next. He is usually the strong pragmatic guy but not when it comes to Toutoune's situation.

People are always in shock when I tell them the story of how Toutoune told me I was pregnant weeks before I could get an answer from the stick. And how she told me I was going to have my labor before time. She always been very close to my daughter, sleeping next to her. My daughter can pull her hair, ear and tail, she is always very patient and never gets angry. And she still come back to sit next to her...

Before we got each other, Toutoune survived 3 weeks in the street and came back pregnant. When I met her, she was with my ex. She survived a fall from the 10th floor to the 9th's balcony. (How she did it is beyong my understanding). She came with me to Istanbul and somehow survived the fire of my apartment while my dog didn't.

She is the kind of cat everybody fall in love with. She is probably the coolest cat someone has the chance to meet. She never left someone indifferent.

This is her passport's picture:
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Old 27.08.2011, 19:16
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Re: My cat's last trip

What a beautiful and wise creature. But like owner, like cat, no? I believe it’s true that it is the cats who secretly choose their owners and not the other way round.

I wish all the best to you and Toutoune.
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Old 27.08.2011, 19:22
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Re: My cat's last trip

Arrghh, my first ever cat as a child was called Tounette, sometimes nicknamed Toutoune. She was 12 when I left to live in the UK - but welcomed me within seconds on every visit- until her demise aged 19.

So sorry about your news Nil - please don't let her suffer. xx
Thinking of you.
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Old 27.08.2011, 19:24
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Re: My cat's last trip

Les minettes trois couleurs portent bonne chance - that's how she survived. She is absolutely gorgeous and I love her name. Like you say, you found each other, you have had a great story together and like all wonderful stories, you can't believe it's going to end. You have given a lovely kitty a wonderful life and now, as it draws to a close, you are thinking of her before yourself - that is true love, Nil, I'm thinking of you and wishing you strength.
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Old 27.08.2011, 19:26
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Re: My cat's last trip

bad news. Hugs for you and the family.

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