It's time to say goodbye to my 20yr old cat..
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Yesterday I had to make a heartbreaking decision, and one I was hoping I wouldn't have to make. Sadly my darling 20yr old cat Smudge is telling me that it is time for her to pass over to Rainbow Bridge. She hasn't been ill or anything, which is what is making it really hard.
I noticed yesterday that she wasn't eating as quickly as she normally does, and was looking a bit thinner but nothing unusual. Anyway she was creating for me to let her out the front door in the morning, so I let her out and she trotted off to lay in her favourite spot - under my small willow bush. This was at 10am, and by 2pm I hadn't heard anything from her - normally she creates for me to let her in. I went out to investigate and found her lying on the grass looking rather the worse for wear. She was drooling, her eye was weeping big time and she had literally lost what weight she did have. You could see her pelvis bone and shoulder bones. I carried her in and bathed her as best as I could, bless her she never even grumbled at me. That was when I knew something was wrong big time.
I managed to get her to eat a wee bit of food, but not a lot as she couldn't open her mouth on one side too well. She then asked me to let her outside in the back garden, so off she went into her favourite spot out there - the herb garden - to lay down. She loves it there and she is also close to her sister Barney, who died 3 years past and is buried there. I am so thankful it was a nice day yesterday otherwise she wouldn't have been able to go outside. Anyway I went to get her in after an hour as she was just laying there. Got her to eat something, once more and then layed her down in the living room.
After a heart wrenching phone call with DH, who was at work, I had to make the decision to let my darling cat go. So a phone call was made to the vet and an appointment was made for today at midday.
We've had a peaceful night with her, but on closer inspection this morning it appears that she has had a stroke and is paralysed down one side of her face. She cannot close one eye, it is wide open and fully dilated, and can not take food down as she is having difficulty opening her mouth to take food in. The stroke hasn't affected her walking though as she still bunny hops up the stairs, but unfortunately she hasn't been to the toilet for two days now - well she did have a little wee yesterday.
The weird thing is that my normally grumpy, cantankorous cat is happy for me to lay her in my arms and rock her.
It's also weird that the other cats in the house have left her alone the past 24 hours, even the dogs have been keeping away from her. It's funny too that none of the other animals are playing - normally the younger dog likes to play with his toy all the time he is awake but he hasn't even been doing that.
While I am typing this my younger cat is curled up with me, as though she is trying to offer me some comfort. And the old girl is wandering around aimlessly..
I know I am doing the right thing, especially when I saw my DH this morning before he headed off to work. I have only seen him cry once over an animal, and that was when his beloved dog died 5 years ago. But he was sobbing his heart out while getting ready for work..
Trouble is it doesn't make it any easier as I have had Smudge since she was 8 weeks old and she is now 20 years old. But I know I am doing the right thing and now she can be with her sister Barney, my other cat Fred, my dog Patch and my mum. So today I am making the hardest choice and having her put to sleep rather than see if there is anything we can do regarding the stroke. I want her to go with some dignity rather than prolong her life. Doesn't make it any easier as I am a physical wreck at the moment and have been for over 24 hours now.. :(
Flying towards my dreams @7:04 am