My grandma and I had to make a tough decision today.

My mom is out of state, and her cat Lil Man had a broken leg, we thought.

We took him to the vet this morning.

Turns out he had 5 tumors in his back legs. The only alternative was to
amputate both back legs. He had up to a dozen small tumors in his back
and stomach.

We decided to let him go..

He turned 10 this year..

He didn't go alone, but the hardest part was that she couldn't be here.


Views: 52

Comment by Lindsey on November 2, 2010 at 7:49pm
Its always a tough decision, whether or not to let go of a pet who is suffering. I feel your pain, I had to put my dog down when she got pancreatic cancer. I think it was the right decision though: She was going to die, and her last days would have been very painful.
Comment by James on November 2, 2010 at 8:22pm
So sorry to hear about kitty. :(

We've had to put two wonderful cats down so far, so I know what you're going through. Both were suffering, so it was for the best. But even knowing that, it's never easy. Hang in there.
Comment by Jon Heim on November 2, 2010 at 10:31pm
I'm sure you're mother understands that even though she wasn't there to spend time with her furry friend, it was for the cat's own good. It's better to catch these things and end the suffering while you can..It would have been even more heartbreaking if the cat would have died on it's own I think...anyway, that's just my opinion.
Comment by Atheist Exile on November 2, 2010 at 10:43pm
I had a cat, named Tigger, that lived for 15 years. I found him as a kitten, just before my first child (son) was born. Near the end of Tigger's life, he started meowing at night. Nothing extreme but a departure from his usual quiet self. Then I noticed his appetite diminish. I figured he was simply getting old.

Then one day I saw him bleeding from his mouth. I took him to the vet. The vet said that Tigger had a very bad tumor in his mouth and that he must have been in a lot of pain for months. I was shocked. I had no idea cats get cancer like humans. I immediately understood that Tigger's appetite hadn't really diminished . . . it was actually just too painful for him to eat the dry cat food! I felt so horrible.

The vet said we'd have to put him to sleep. I was so upset that Tigger had been in pain for so long, that I asked the vet if we could give him something to ease the pain. It was the vet's turn to be shocked: he said no . . . we can't just keep him alive with painkillers.

I explained that that is not what I meant. I wanted to take his pain away with a shot of painkiller, then stop on the way home to get him some canned (i.e. soft) cat food (instead of dry) that he could eat more easily, then put him on a pillow and have the whole family love him up. Then we could bring him back, before the painkiller wore off, to have him put to sleep. The whole point was that I didn't want his last moments of life filled with pain. The vet approved the plan and injected him with something and said we'd have to bring him back within 6 hours.

So we did exactly what I planned and brought him back in 4 hours . . . just to be safe.

He may not have had a soul . . . but to us, he did.
Comment by Doug Reardon on November 2, 2010 at 11:32pm
No, cats don't have souls, neither do humans. Something they don't tell you when you're growing up:
You either die early, or watch those you love and care about die before you. There are no other options!
Comment by Malcolm on November 3, 2010 at 10:05am
I've had many cats pass away over the years, usually from kidney failure or cancer, but I've never put one to sleep. Last year, though, when Horangi died from kidney failure, he seemed to be in so much pain at the end (during his final heart attack), I thought it would be better to put his son Wolfgang to sleep when he stopped eating due to a large tumor in his liver. (He had had nose cancer for a couple of years - I had him treated with radiation and it kept it under control, until it spread to his liver.)

So when it was obvious that he was going to die within a couple of days, I called my regular vet, to ask if she could give me some kind of tranquilizer for him that I could administer at home, so that his last moments wouldn't be filled with fear at the vets office (I used to regularly give him shots anyway), but she said that she wouldn't put animals to sleep because she is a Buddhist. I was surprised - even though most Japanese people are nominally Buddhist, you virtually hear someone invoke their religious beliefs as a constraint on their actions.

I asked 2 other vets, and both were reluctant to put him to sleep. One said that since he was still responding to our touch, was aware of his surroundings, and appeared to have a will to live, she couldn't euthanize him. So we brought him home and tried to comfort him the best we could for the 2 remaining days of his life. At least his death appeared to be a little less painful than his father's.

After he died we had a typical Japanese funeral for him, which includes picking up his bones with chopsticks after he's been cremated and placing them in an urn. We kept the urn in our house for 7 weeks (until he was buried next to Horangi in the family cemetery). During that time I would talk to his urn, even though I know he can't hear me; indeed, he no longer exists. But it still is comforting.
Comment by Reggie on November 3, 2010 at 1:11pm
For many, pets are important members of the family. It is never easy to say goodbye to them. I remember the last moments of my Siberian Husky's life when the vet put him to sleep. I was too heartbroken at the time to be angry that the vet put him under with an anesthetic without telling me first. I never got to say a final goodbye before he injected him with the lethal drugs.

Now I have two dogs that are still young but I find myself even more attached to. Their inevitable passing will be even harder. But, as hard as it is to lose any loved one, human or otherwise, I cling to the knowledge that the joy and memories they brought me more than compensate for the grief upon losing them.
Comment by Jon Heim on November 3, 2010 at 6:43pm
A soul is a "being". there is no supernatural mumbojumbo about it.
Comment by M on November 3, 2010 at 7:34pm
I just want to say I am sorry for your feline loss. I'm sure he had a fabulous, beloved, comfortable kitty life, and that is what matters most. Condolences.

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