View Full Version : We had to put down our cat today :(

Norman Bernstein
05-31-2017, 05:28 PM
This was a new experience for me; my family never had a dog or cat, growing up... and the only reason we had Haley, an American long haired cat, was because my daughter got her from a shelter 13 years go, had second thoughts, and was going to return her to the shelter unless we agreed to take her.

She was 13 years old... and until 5 days ago, in apparent good health.

I confess that I was never all that crazy about her... and all these years, the only time she ever jumped up into my lap while watching TV was when my wife was away. Of course, cats don't deliver positive emotional feed back like dogs, so I guess you have to be a true cat lover to appreciate them. Nonetheless, I confess that I had grown accustomed to her.

Last year, at her annual exam, the vet suggested that she might have some kidney insufficiency, and possibly a heart murmor... but without any apparent symptoms or discomfort. We did switch her food to a prescription kidney-kind cat food.

5 days ago, my wife took her for her annual exam, and she was fine.... no problems detected.

However, the following day, and quite suddenly, she appeared to be in extreme discomfort... lying on the floor, not moving, not eating, not using the litter box. We took her to the vet, who said that she had a severe fluid build-up... he drained some of the fluid, and sent it for testing. The tests revealed nothing.

I just couldn't stand it, though... she was obviously in distress, crying every half hour, not moving, not drinking, not eating. It was clear that she was at the end, and I couldn't stand to see her suffer.

The people at the vet were very compassionate... we agreed that it was 'time', and that her primary problem was simply old age. We agreed to have her put down....

My wife cried... I felt pretty terrible... but I'm glad to know she's no longer suffering.

Peerie Maa
05-31-2017, 05:34 PM
Yes it is hard.
We are caring for our daughters dog. The dog has a heart murmur, which causes the heart to enlarge and creates fluid retention and lung problems, she is going downhill slowly but steadily as the condition reduces the drugs efficacy, so it might not be long.


05-31-2017, 05:36 PM
I've been through that 3 times and the latest little guy is 15 years old. It's hard. There is a terrible responsibility to do the right thing, not increase suffering, and not diminish life. It sounds like you did the right thing. Take some comfort in that.

05-31-2017, 05:42 PM
That's a bummer Norman. I wasn't going to post my own recent pet tragedy, but I guess this gives me an opportunity. We had our dog Flint put down on Sunday. He was an English Springer Spaniel, and he was 14 years old. His kidneys had been failing for some time, and like you we switched to a special kidney diet, but I suppose they finally gave up on him. He's buried in our garden along with three other dogs and two cats we have had over the years we have lived here. It's always a heartbreaking experience, and I keep having this nagging feeling that there is something I should be doing (taking him out for a walk, feeding him or whatever) then I remember I don't have to.

Last year I found a tiny kitten sitting on the concrete outside my workshop. I've no idea how it got there. It wasn't more than five weeks old and not yet weaned, so we fed it goat's milk and now he is a big healthy tomcat. I don't think we will get another dog, we're getting too old and a new pup might possibly outlive us.

I've posted this here a few times on various pet threads. This is Flint when he was much younger..


Jimmy W
05-31-2017, 05:57 PM
My sister lost her cat a few days ago. She had tried to get an appointment with the vet that day as she thought it was suffering, but the vet couldn't see her until the next day. She went ahead and dug his grave and after she came back inside it died with her beside it. Her first time with no cats since 1998. The cat was 16 years old.

Paul Pless
05-31-2017, 06:00 PM
sorry to hear norm
its always tough, both watching the suffering and agonizing over when

Robbie 2
05-31-2017, 06:39 PM
Best wishes Norm.....nice to hear when someone does right by their pet family members.

05-31-2017, 06:42 PM
Very sorry, Mr. Bernstein. We had to help one of ours along on Saturday. When you have as many animals as we have it is not that unusual. I may sound like a tough guy, but it has always been my wife who has had to hold them as they pass and I both pity her and admire her tremendously for being able to do that as she has.

My job has always been to bury them.

Mickey Lake

Norman Bernstein
05-31-2017, 06:55 PM
When we were at the vets, we were offered some options about how the process would work. They wanted to know if we wanted to claim her ashes, after cremation. Thy wanted to know if we wanted to hold her as the drugs were administered.....

We turned them down, on both counts... I was more interested in getting her relief as quickly as possible, and frankly, I don't believe the poor animal was even conscious enough to know it would be us, as she passed.

We also did NOT want to claim her ashes. This will be hard to explain to our 7 yr old and 4 yr old granddaughters, as it is, and I certainly wasn't going to want to explain what those ashes were supposed to represent. As it is, they'll say that Haley went to Kitty Cat Heaven, which is a totally suitable explanation for children their age.

As for the animal, we will remember her fondly... it's the only tribute needed.

David W Pratt
05-31-2017, 06:57 PM
Sad. It is a large club, and none of us want to e members. From your posts, I'm sure the cat had about the best life possible.

Steve McMahon
05-31-2017, 07:00 PM
A tough thing to go through always. We lost one of our dogs in March and are now down to one. The vet was incredibly compassionate. Not a job I could do.

05-31-2017, 07:05 PM
Our vet is usually in tears during the procedure, which makes it tough on us since, well, she is a vet. But it makes me feel better about things knowing she cares that much.

Mickey Lake

Lew Barrett
05-31-2017, 07:06 PM
I'm sorry. All pets will find a way to connect with us, even those we don't like as much as others. I really enjoy the company of our animals and find they are if nothing else, always consistent.

Rich Jones
05-31-2017, 07:59 PM
It is really tough to put them down. Over a thirty year period, we've had to put four cats down. We buried three in our backyard, but the last one died in the winter, so had to be cremated.
My wife (and I) are extremely attached to our 6 year old cat. When his time comes, my wife will take it very hard. He follows her around like a puppy and (for a cat) is very intelligent.
Hope that time heals your heartache.

05-31-2017, 08:33 PM
Yeah. it's hard. I've put 6 down in the last 50 years. Nearly every one has lived to 20 years or more.

The miracle is how clearly they tell you. Some of the most amazing experiences of my life have been with a cat telling me, in no uncertain terms, that it was time, and then staying with me while I shed tears over the news.

05-31-2017, 08:41 PM
Sorry, Norm. I put down our rescue dog of 7 years, Bart, a few months back. As I type, our rescue cat, Misty, is curled up between my elbow and the armrest of the reclining chair in my den in which I am relaxing. She loves attention and snuggles and purrs with me at night to the point of being a pain in the a$$.

I was never a cat person before the kids got her from the shelter, but it will suck when her time comes.


05-31-2017, 09:07 PM
Oh yes, and kidney failure comes on fast. One day they're fine, the next day they're drinking and peeing all over everything. With a cat, at least, you can watch the progress in the mounds of stuff you sift out of the box, but then there's a sudden change. I watched the most recent cat for at least two years before she came apart one day.

05-31-2017, 09:18 PM
I'm very sorry to hear this. It's about the toughest thing one has to do. I had to put my cat Tansy down about a year ago due to kidney failure. Continued treatment would have meant much suffering. I have to take consolation that she isn't suffering anymore.

Tansy was about 15 years old and seemed to be in good health until one day I could not find her. After an hour of looking I found her hiding in a hole. She could not walk properly and she did not drink or eat. The vet gave me the bad news. Her blood work numbers were all over the place. She also had a heart murmur which meant a good chance of a heart attack if I began treatment. Plus the treatment would have been expensive and painful. It was just an awful week of struggling with this decision.

05-31-2017, 09:35 PM
The decision gets easier as the number of opportunites increases. I promise. Best to give them a peaceful departure. Every time.

I like to think of it as opening the door for a safe and loving home for another creature.

05-31-2017, 09:40 PM
Our 15 year old cat Hawkeye's life was ended by lethal injection a couple weeks ago. Mrs JimD and I both cried. He is buried in a flower bed in the back yard, near his old friend Chester, who we lost two years ago. We have one cat left. We expect her to be our last pet.

05-31-2017, 10:12 PM
The last pet I had to put down was my cat Sultan. He was 20 and I'd had him since I was a child. He was born at my parents house. I was there when he came in to the world and I was there when he left it.

My last collie, Monty, died from very suddenly while I was traveling for work and he was traveling with Paul. The vet said it was most likely an anyursm (sp?) but it tore me apart. He was only 6.

06-01-2017, 05:43 AM
Sorry to hear of your lose Norm and others. Having recently lost a pet myself, it's hard. At best, a reminder of the cycle of life, our own impermanence. At worse, like for us, we lost a family member.

My greatest fear is that we go before our dogs do, I can't imagine their distress having their entire world destroyed. When you look at older shelter dogs who have been dumped for various reasons, they're broken. Any person who can abandon an animal they've promised to care fore is vile. I'll feel like a job well done when my boys pass, old and content for having a good life, being well cared for and loved. That's what they're here for, the return for us is unconditional love in return.

I always repeat this saying' I try everyday to be the person my dog thinks I am.

Osborne Russell
06-01-2017, 10:57 AM
Sympathies, Norm. We did our fifth last month. It's the price of love, the way I see it.

I hold them while they die. Together to the last heartbeat.

Osborne Russell
06-01-2017, 11:05 AM
I've posted this here a few times on various pet threads. This is Flint when he was much younger..

That's a soul dog, man.

Ted Hoppe
06-01-2017, 12:41 PM
Norm, sorry to hear about your families loss. The routines of life and love have changed once again. I hope you find room and time to get another furry friend when by fortune they come into your home to stay.

06-01-2017, 02:00 PM
Sorry to hear, Norman. We lost our dear old dog at the end of January, to old age and heart failure. She was 16 or 17 and died at home in her bed, with both of us there.

The ground was frozen hard, with a couple feet of snow, so I had to shovel it bare and then rent an electric jackhammer to make a grave. There are flowers sprouting on it now.

John of Phoenix
06-01-2017, 03:16 PM
I find losing a pet is one of life's greatest challenges. I'm privileged to live with the world's greatest cat for the past 12 years.

bob winter
06-01-2017, 05:01 PM
Loosing a pet is no fun. My senior cat is 19 with health issues but she does not seem to be suffering so I will let things ride for now. The worst is loosing a pet when they are relatively young. Fergus died from heart failure at age 11 and Camry died from God knows what at maybe 8 or 9. 4K in vet bills and no idea of what he had.

No more pets for me, there is a good chance they will outlive me.

06-01-2017, 06:27 PM
Sorry to hear that Norman. Our son's first dragon died 3 years ago at about 11 - quite elderly. He still misses the critter - we all do, as he had a lot of personality. The younger dragon is good natured but a doofus...

Peerie Maa
06-02-2017, 10:35 AM
Yes it is hard.
We are caring for our daughters dog. The dog has a heart murmur, which causes the heart to enlarge and creates fluid retention and lung problems, she is going downhill slowly but steadily as the condition reduces the drugs efficacy, so it might not be long.

As I suspected would happen, we have just returned from the vet without Tara.

Norman Bernstein
06-02-2017, 10:36 AM
As I suspected would happen, we have just returned from the vet without Tara.

Very sorry to hear of your loss.

06-02-2017, 11:02 AM
Condolences, Nick.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Peerie Maa
06-02-2017, 11:06 AM
Thank you both. It was just a matter of time, and she was not stressed as the anaesthetic took hold.

John Meachen
06-02-2017, 04:18 PM
Its a sad day when we lose a pet but thankfully the memories remain with us.We can only hope the end is peaceful for them.I don't have a pet myself these days,but one or two of the neighbour's have cats that visit from time to time and I am glad to see them.They keep the rodents from the dilapidated stables round the corner from becoming too prevalent.

Osborne Russell
06-02-2017, 06:16 PM
Sorry to hear it.

Tom Montgomery
06-02-2017, 07:09 PM
I have had six pets during my lifetime so far...

George was a parakeet who my mother loved. I was about seven and my brothers were six and four. Mom would let George fly free about the house. One summer day my youngest brother went out the back door unaware that George was on top of his head. George flew up into a tree and three little boys spent the rest of the morning tearfully attempting to coax George to fly down. To no avail.

Muffin was a beagle. I was in grade school. He was unmanageable by us and was given away after about six months.

Chip was a toy mutt (mostly terrier?). SMART! FUN! A lap dog who understood English. Easily trainable. The kind of adorable mutt that entertainment acts employ. He died miserably of parvo virus before the illness was given a name

Pepper was a medium sized terrier mutt who we had for about 18 months who inexplicably turned vicious. We had him euthanized.

Copper was a Golden Retriever who was smart, sensitive, loyal, affectionate and entirely adorable. He was also epileptic and treated with meds his entire 10-year life.

Leporello was a grey and white cat who my ex-wife chose at the local pound. He was her pet until 18 months later when she left me never to return. I had never owned a cat. I thought they were all indifferent creatures. But Leporello proved me wrong. He was entirely an indoor cat, never allowed outside, and since he was a pound cat he was neutered very young. And perhaps that made a difference. In any event he was extremely smart (he understood a firm NO!) and affectionate. My vet said he was an unusually people-oriented cat. He helped me emotionally to recover from my divorce. He was as good a companion, in his way, as any of the dogs I have owned.

Leporello developed cancer and I had to euthanize him. I shed a lot of tears that day, My only regret is that he probably suffered longer than necessary. But animals tend to conceal their pain. Instinct, I suppose, as a protection from predators.

Tom Montgomery
06-02-2017, 07:24 PM
Our character expands through animal husbandry. We learn about life and responsibility in a profound manner by raising animals whether they be livestock or household pets.

Frankly, I would distrust any man or woman in a position of power who had never raised animals.

Has Donald Trump ever had a pet?

06-02-2017, 07:59 PM
My sincere condolences to both of you, Norman and Nick.