04 August, 2008

When is enough... enough?

I am looking for a little confirmation, support, or new views on this one! You see, I have this cat. She is a seal point Siamese. I have had this cat since 1985! Yup, you heard correctly! That would make her... 23 this December! I have had her for all of those years! I got her for Christmas as a kitten small enough to fit in the toe of my stocking! Every time I take her to the Vet., they say "oh my... she looks like she is 9 years younger than she actually is." (I think secretly, they think I am lying about her age! I have the diary entry and my parents to attest!) I actually told my kids several years ago that they would have to wait to get a dog until she died. (I really don't want multiple animals!) We have had two dogs and still the cat lives! I think she might be immortal! :o)

This is NOT how she looks now!

My dilemma is that she is old. She is showing signs that she may not be here much longer. She is using the litter box about 20% of the time. She can't groom herself. She is very vocal. The throws up all the time. She wobbles when she walks. She is going blind. She has lost a lot of weight and is basically skin and bones. On the flip side... which is where the vet. says she has the right to live ...is she still can see a little, she is eating and drinking, she is still using the litter box even if it is hit or miss, she can jump a small gate, and she still purrrrrsssssss!!!!

My case is that it isn't healthy in my house anymore. She is basically confined to the laundry room. She pees all over the floor, throws up, poops in her bed. So we have to clean it up daily! It smells terrible if it isn't cleaned up daily. She doesn't move around very much-- just to use the litter box, eat, and cry at the gate to get out or get fed. I feel terrible confining her, but I can't have her doing her dirty work on my carpets like she has. She has ruined my closet carpet. Is this quality of life good for her? I know for us it is just tiring to deal with daily. She isn't in pain. She isn't loosing her organ function. My fear is --- YET! I frankly don't want to get to the point of seeing her suffering. I don't want to go in and find her "gone". I don't want to have my kids find her. Is this purely selfish to think of ending it for her before it gets bad?

My hubby thinks it is "killing an animal". Is is "killing an animal" at this point or is it doing her a favor before she gets too bad? I know he doesn't want to be held responsible for doing it. Frankly, the decision has to be mine because she is my cat. The Vet. wants her to have "tests" to figure out the condition of her organs. The test will give us a better "time line", I guess is their point. I really don't have the $$ to do that .

I want to do what is best for her, my family, and myself in regards to being able to live with my decision! As you can tell, I don't take this lightly! I am really struggling with this! Each time it stinks, or I am cleaning up after her... I say I am scheduling the appointment. Then I look at her face as she purrs and say "oh, maybe one more day!" I wish she could tell me when it is getting to be that time! I guess for now, I am letting nature take its course. I will clean up after her, get annoyed by it, maybe even say some not so nice words--- but remember the past 23 and thank her for every one of them!

I ask you, when is enough... enough?


  1. Under the Florida Sun said...
    I've grew up with dogs and have had to go through this decision either with my mom or even as a mom myself. It's so hard, but we need to remember that even though they are parts of our families, they are pets.

    Something that always helped me was a poem called the "The Dog's Prayer". Looking for it to send to you, I came across this Cat's Prayer.. hope it helps.

    Although I am too proud to beg,

    and may appear to be a very independent creature,

    I ask for your loving care and attention.

    I rely on you for my well being much more than you may realize.

    This I promise you, my benefactor, that I will not be a burden on you

    nor will I demand more of you than you care to give.

    I will be a quiet peaceful island of serenity for you to gaze upon;

    a soft soothing body to caress,

    and I shall purr with pleasure to rest your weary ears.

    Since I am a gourmet who appreciates different taste sensations,

    I pray you will give me a variety of nutritious foods and fresh water daily.

    You know dear friend, how I love to go.

    Allow me, I pray, a warm sheltered place

    where I can rest peacefully and feel secure.

    If I am wounded in battle or suffering from disease,

    please tend me gently, and see that I am treated

    by loving and competent hands.

    Please protect me from the inhuman humans

    who would hurt and torture me for their own amusement.

    I am accustomed to your gentle touch and am not always suspicious

    nor swift enough to avoid such malicious acts.

    In my later years when my senses fail me

    and my infirmities become too great to bear,

    allow me the comfort and dignity that I desire for my closing days

    and help me gently in my pain or passing.

    Hear this prayer, my dear friend, my fate depends on you.
    Kelly said...
    Kel - don't have a good answer for you, but just wanted you to know I'm praying for you. I'm sure this is hard!
    Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...
    That's a hard one. I have always been a big believer of animals are animals (not people). I know it is a hard decision for the whole family.
    DanielleW said...
    That is such a hard decision. But I have been there. Our two cats are not quite as old as your gal. (And my, just to think of all the places she has travelled! Our cats never left the house)

    My cat was the first to go. He lasted for almost a year with the hit or miss. It got the point that he would purposely find me and pee on me, or so it seemed. Even the last day of his life was HEART BREAKING. He had no teeth left. he couldn't stand on his own. I was hand feeding him tuna. He was moaning and having ceisure fits in the box I had made up for him.

    It was AWFUL!!!! He finally passed and then I had a dead cat body to deal with.

    When less than a year later "Chelle's" cat started in on the hit or miss pee, I literally broke down into tears saying that I couldn't go through months of this again. We chose to have him humainly euthenised. If I could go back and do that with the first cat I would have.

    That is just my experience. You are the one that altimately needs to make the decision.

    Hugs and prayers for that.
    Julie said...
    OK Kelly... I am one that believes animals are part of the family! I know better, but they just become part of us here. I love animals!

    We had a diabetic cat a few years ago. She was about 10 years old, we had her since she was a kitten. It was costing approx $100-150 a month to give her insulin, bring her to the vet for blood sugar testing, etc.

    I didn't want to make the decision, and the vet certainly didn't support my decision, but we had her humanely put to sleep after a year of shots, etc. I felt a peace about it.

    Your cat has had a wonderful life for 23 years! It seems to be the time now to humanely put her to sleep. It's not "killing an animal". If you make this decision, then you can remember her as she was in her better days, not when you were cleaning up after her constantly.

    I will pray for your peace and contentment with either decision you make.

    Love you!
    Julie :)

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