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Author Topic: Need Advice, please read  (Read 1728 times)
Jamiesmith
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« on: Mar 27, 2007, 12:17 AM »

As some of you might know in the prayer request thread I mentioned about my Kitten, Shadow. For awhile he was doing okay, then things went down hill. We had to hospitalize him, and hes been on three different meds for 3 weeks now.

We took him to the vet tonight, hoping that what was wrong was gone but its not, and in fact for some reason its starting to get worse again. We can't figure out how or why hes getting worse, while he seems to be gaining weight and drinking a ton his body isnt absorbing the water and such. Vet says for a rebound she would expect better.

We now have him on fluids here at home, which I have to say i need prayers for because doing it nearly made me pass out. Anyways, I came out and just said something the affect of "so no matter what we do, hes gonna die anyways" with a frank tone she said its possible, since we cant figure out whats wrong with him.

Now its no secret that i dont have the most funds, heck, ive been putting everything before myself lately because of money problems. Im running out of options, only thing left to try that I can afford are these selene fluids at home.

What i need advice on I guess is whats the next step, if this doesnt work I might have to think baout putting him to sleep. Its hard to do being as how I cant have children I think of my cats as my children, this is why ive spent so much time, effort, and money in trying to help him. I personally don't believe in putting animals to sleep, I just dont know how it can be better then natural death.

I belive in the end we all meet our divine powers, even animals, funny huh? I guess what im trying to get to is i need advice on what the next step should be, cause this is my LAST OPTION.

Should i consider putting him to sleep if this doesn't work, or should I try to make him as comfortable as I can and let nature works its darker side. Please think about your responses carefully, this is no offense to anyone but I've asked on a few of my other forums and they just jump on put him to sleep, put him to sleep, its cruel not to etc. I need a little more advice then just that.

And a little prayer for him and for my husband and I would be well appriciated, I need all the love I can get right now, my family thinks I should have put him to slepe after I found out he was sick because its "stupid" to spend money on an animal... (which I don't belive obviously)

with regreat,
Jamie



+++  I was told I should include that hes almost 6 months old and I've only had him for about 2 months.
« Last Edit: Mar 27, 2007, 12:48 AM by Jamiesmith » Logged

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Muroni
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 27, 2007, 01:27 AM »

We had a pair of mice a few years ago.  One, the girl, was quite old.  We'd sorta adopted her from somebody else whose child had mistrated her, so she was with our boy mouse and never had babies.  Always assumed she'd been "damaged".  Apparently, it's quite common that mice in captivity, even those who have never been tested on, die from Cancer.  Apparently in the wild, they tend to die before cancer can get them, or so I've read.

Anyway, she eventually became quite ill.  She was basically unable to move.  She laid on her side in her foodbowl one night, and never left it though she hung on to life.  She pissed in her food, shit in her food, and just sat there on her side.  We put in a different foodbowl for the boy mouse, and he was so sweet, he'd occasionally bring her clean food from his bowl since hers was soiled. 

Anyway, I bring this up for a reason.  For weeks she hung on like this, and I begged my husband to take care of it.  Watching her suffer was not easy for me at all, as she had always been the more personable, affectionate mouse of the pair.  He simply didn't have the heart to take care of the situation, and there were no local vetrinarians who offered those services for small rodents.  Finally, I gave up on my husband and I took matters into my own hands, and ended her life in the quickest, least painful manner I could think of.  I double checked and made sure I had made no accident, which broke my heart even more but it was a clean kill, and we buried her. 

I had at the time, been critisized by neighbors as being a cruel heartless bitch that I was capable of decapitating my mouse, who we loved so much that we spent several hundred dollars to ship them from Hawaii to California with us, and drove cross country to Maryland with them in my own lap.  These "disposable pets" that we acquired so we would NOT have the expense of moving pets from Hawaii, but we grew to care for so deeply we couldn't bare to leave behind.

I'd argue that they are the cruel ones.  To not have the balls and the integrity to do the right thing.  That they could continue watching their animal suffer out of their own selfishness.  I know I'm being very harsh here, but it is something I feel quite strongly about.  Once you bring an animal into your home, you are responsible for that animal.  In the wild, mother nature would long previously have taken care of my poor Geraldine.  A predator would have picked her off the moment she showed her first sign of weakness, long before she was incapacitated as she was at the end.  When you take your pets out of that setting, you have to replace it, not ignore it and allow an animal to continue suffering. 

It is often hard, but to do otherwise IS selfish.  Do what you can to save your animal, your family member, without sacrificing your own basic necessities.  When it gets to the point there is nothing you can do, and they are suffering, do the right thing. 
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Kassia
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 27, 2007, 04:31 AM »

I agree with Muroni... granting a critically ill creature a quick and painless death is far better than a painful and lingering one.  I've seen both people and animals die slowly, and the only blessing to it is pain medication in sufficient quantities.  In my opinion, the determining factor should always be quality of life.  I wish we were able to accept euthanasia for humans with terminal illnesses as well as for animals, but our society isn't ready for that.  Having had to make the difficult decision to end my cat's life before she became miserable in her teminal condition, I understand it's a terribly hard decision to make.  I spent nearly $1000 in vet bills the week before we gave my cat a gentle, peaceful transition out of life.  She was more than ready to go by then.

Think of it this way.  If your kitten's condition is terminal, the "natural" death will be by dehydration/starvation.  While that may be the natural course of affairs, it's not a pleasant way to die.  He won't quietly pass away in her sleep, but rather will be crying and begging for you to help him.  Death isn't a bad thing... we all die.  The real reason horses were always put down if they broke a leg wasn't because of the expense of treating them, but the inability to treat them.  Barbaro's recent example has helped some people understand that.  Horses have to stand up almost all the time.  Their bodies weren't made to let them lie down.  They're actually oddly fragile creatures once you understand that.

Illness in a young creature is often the result of a defect from birth.  There are a variety of conditions that can result in the body not absorbing nutrition properly.  In humans, there are extremely expensive tests and surgeries to fix some of these.  In animals, it's not something we can generally afford to do.  That doesn't mean we don't value their lives - rather it means that we accept their deaths as part of the natural cycle.  From a scientific perspective, an animal of any sort that has a detrimental genetic or potentially hereditary serious mutation doesn't survive to pass on the trait to its offspring.  Some people even believe that genetic manipulation and/or testing in humans risks running counter to this process of natural selection.

The only possible recourse I can think of is that there are some animal rescue centers that may be willing to take the kitten and attempt to get donations to cover his treatment.  Or a veterinary teaching program might be interested in his case... I'm not sure, but it might be worth a try.  You might see if there's a Vetrinary program at the university, or try the local Humane Society for possible leads on charitable organizations.  I'll go through my online contacts... I've investigated rescue groups before.  If I find anything promising in your area, I'll let you know.

Love
Kassia
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Jamiesmith
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 27, 2007, 09:31 PM »

my whole thought about my animals being my children let me phrase it like this, even though i do know where you guys are coming from.

Do parents put their children to sleep when they get sick, no they make their last moments are enjoyable as they can.

And no im not taking about when they are on life support, which I also don't blieve in doing until there is absolute proof they will never come out of it.

This is where im conflicted because i feel like they he is my child. So just putting him out of his misery to me takes on a whole new meaning when u think of it like i am.
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Muroni
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 27, 2007, 10:34 PM »

If my child was in unbearable pain, you bet your arse I'd risk going to prison in order to assist their suicide if that's what they choose.  For me, watching something/someone I care about suffer is much more painful than living without them.  It's not that one thing is right and one thing is wrong, it's a matter of perspective, that's all.

My perspective is, I can't watch somebody suffer when I know a way to make the hurt stop.
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Matahari
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 28, 2007, 01:29 AM »

Jaime,
I have no children, and right now I'm so incredibly far from having a husband that sometimes I wonder if I will ever have anything but my doggies. However, my two dogs are my first so I will say that I've never had to put an animal to sleep. Lastly, I have to point out that I worked at a vet for three months and have held animals while they were being put to sleep.

First let me explain that from what I understand, the 'put to sleep' medication works in two parts. The first simply puts the dog to sleep and allows them to feel nothing, and the second is the one that stops the bodily functions, now that the dog cannot feel anything. (Or cat, or rat or...) This all happens in a matter of seconds. Literally, like ten seconds. And I never had an experience where the animal didn't simply fall alseep and then peacefully stop breathing.

I also worked with patients who were so incredibly sick, and clearly miserable, and would have probably taken their own life had they been able to. The 'parent's were holding on and trying to make them comfortable, but it was no use. We had a cat who came in at least weekly, and I sat there and took what seemed like a liter of fluid out of his lungs, and even after I was done, his breathing was still so labored... Yet this couple refused to put the cat to sleep.

I also had to sit there and watch a beautiful and perfectly healthy cat put to sleep because the owner didn't want to deal with it. We begged them to let us take it to a shelter but they said no and by law we had to comply with the owner's request. That was more painful than anything else, and this was one of the ones I had to hold...

I really liked the way Muroni put it - we have taken the animals out of their normal environment and nature's way of ending these animal's sufferings (i.e. predators) is no longer at work. By taking the animals out of the environment we have taken the responsibility to end their suffering humanely. I never thought of it that way, but if I ever go to work at the vet, I will certainly use that.

Note that this is still an expensive procedure (I can't imagine why) and I would recommend calling shelters and humane societies for help if you decide to go that route.

Oh and another thing - when my mom was very sick and bed-ridden due to her breast cancer, I sat there and prayed for her to die. I prayed that God would just take her and make it end. I hated to see her that way and while she struggled for her life and waited for a miracle, I know she hated living like that too. My mother had her breast removed, and the cancer still grew where her breast was - I have literally seen cancer. (And it smells awful) My mother had liquid removed from her lungs regularly, and maybe that's why that other cat situation was so close to home. If I could have legally ended my Mother's life, I don't know that I would have been strong enough to do so, but I would have wanted to be, if that's what she wanted me to do.

With animals, it is harder to know what they want. In some cases, you can see the animal struggling for dear life and wanting to stay alive. Others, like Muroni's mouse, seem to simply give up and wait. You know your kitty better than anybody, and you and your husband will be the only ones able to know when the kitty is still fighting, and when the kitty is ready to move on to a better life.  Maybe while the kitty is still eating and drinking, I could argue that it's obvious that he's still trying hard to hang in there. Once he loses his appetite and stops trying, maybe that's when you know he's lost the will to live. So that's my advice - make your decision based on your kitten's actions. While he's trying, by golly try it yourself. Try to give him those fluids, even if it makes you dizzy.

But I've heard of tales of animals who lovingly watched their owners say good bye and turned on their side to take that needle like they knew what it was. Animals, who would previously freak at the thought of a needle. Listen to your kitty, and do what your heart tells you.

As for the money - money isn't everything, but you have to make sure you leave money to care for yourself and your husband. I would probably put thousands on chemotherapy for my dog, but I could easily adjust my lifestyle to account for that. Know what your limit is. Getting out of debt is very hard now a days and putting yourself and your husband in a position where you may have problems trying to buy a house or pay for food is not the wisest thing. Money isn't everything, but it sure does help and unfortunately, our society is centered around it. A couple of hundred dollars in credit card debt multiplies very quickly if you are only making minimum payments.

I've heard many options - when the time comes, I'll put my animal to sleep. when the time comes, I'll let nature take it's course. when the time comes, it's my pet and it's my responsibility to end their life and I'm not paying a vet to do that.  I've heard many arguments for them all. I've never had to put a pet to sleep, and I can't guarantee what I will do. I am crying just having to think about this from the angle of what I would do if it was Kelly or Cooper's time. (Cooper is sleeping in the couch next to the desk, and it's very hard writing this while looking at him  :puppy:) I can only pray that I have the strength to do what is right - whatever that may be at the time. I think the answer is different for every pet, and it sounds like there are only two people who really know what the right answer is.

I know you want what's best for your cat, and when the time comes to make a decision (whether now, or 15 years from now) in your heart you will know what is right. Listen to your cat, and follow your heart.

And now I will go upstairs because I'm hearing random noises, which means Kelly probably got into something, and the last thing I need is him eating some random bad thing and making me be the one in this possition!!

Love you guys. Thanks for letting me pour my heart out. Again.  ::love   And thank you Jaime, for trusting us enough to help support you in this tough time and tough decision.  :huggles:



EDIT: Holy crap novel!!
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Jamiesmith
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 28, 2007, 04:49 AM »

but how we love your novels Mata :) while I dont agree with what you said entirely muroni, i do understand where u are coming from, your as well Mata.

I dont know if i made this clear but he doesnt look like hes suffering, infact today was the most active and happy I think hes been since we got him. All the tests say hes getting worse again but he looks like hes getting better, I don't understand it at all. According to his medical readings this poor guy should only have 5% of his liver function or something left and yet his latest tests say hes barely over normal.

The more I think about it the more I'm considering another vet, the more the vet talks to me beating around the bush I'm starting to think maybe shes shady. When we took him home from being in the hospital his levels were on the high side of normal. Vet at first said it may have been low from all the fluids they pushed into him and then they said that no its absolutely acturate and thats hes crashing slowly again.  Now they are barely over normal. Vet says theres no way the cat can "heal" itself without all these expensive surguries and experimental treatments and such. But hes so happy looking and so playful and all today, now i've heard cats have their days but this has been a constant thing of more playing around, active, better eating habits (i mean when he came home he went from not eating too a week later pigging out), hes been drinking good (vet says too much but my other cat drinks about the same too), hes been having good potty habits although im not sure if hes pooping enough. I dunno im a paranoid person I guess but gimme your opinions on this.

Also, not many people know this but when I was about oh 14 or 15 I had such cronic anemia the levels I had said I shouldnt be alive, tons of tests and retests. Doctor told me with my health the way it was (i had more problems then just the anemia but id prefer not to get into it)I would most likely not see my 18th birthday, and my family had to prepare themselves for the worst, kinda like I am now. Well I'll be 20 in october, besides smoking and probably getting lung cancer (yes i know, bad, stop smoking, ive heard it all) I'm as healthy as ever. So why can't Shadow kinda be going through the same thing, am I stupid to think this!? Can cats (or kittens) heal themselves, I'm almost certain they can I mean kitten gave my other cat a cold and she was sick for a week and now shes fine, no vet visit needed. And on the side of almost sounding cruel ive never had to take my animals (except this one) to the vet, I usually let themselves fight it, then again ive never had an animal this sick before.

I'm not sure if Shadow is as sick as me, my hubby or the vet is coming to believe. Oh and on a side note, I've been giving him Sub-Q fluids and while he hates getting it (hes so scared of needles) it seems to help him out, vet says that it should prolong his life by even years if hes willing to accept the help, and let me tell ya this little guy is a fighter.

And mata love ya for the advice, you put it in a way I understand. While I still believe they feel it even though they are asleep (sometimes when im asleep I stop breathing and i wake up in a panic with my heart racing etc) it might not be as bad as the natural way, however im not completely convenced otherwise.
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Muroni
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 28, 2007, 06:38 AM »

Not to be a downer, but if your baby has suddenly "perked up", it may be a sign that mother nature IS about to take the decision out of your hands. 

I've only "put down" two pets in all my life.  (For the record, I don't think my mouse Geraldine "gave up" and lost the will to live, I think she may actually have been partially paralized.  She wasn't capable of moving and she came to me very injured.  We only had her for a year and a half, and she always had this hump in her back-her "mate" had been killed by the former owner, playing, throwing them and stuff, we were told it's back had been broken so I believe she'd been very mistreated too---note, I can't stand parents who allow bratty spoiled kids to have pets and think of them as playtoys instead of living creatures, but that is another rant for another day). 

Every other pet I've had pass on besides the two who were put down, experienced a period where we were contemplating it, but they suddenly took a turn for the better and we delayed, only to find them passed on very shortly after.  I dunno, call me kooky, but I always figured it was them finally accepting it, and the contentment made their last day bareable.  I hope that isn't the case for you and that she's improving.

In other news, just for curiosity, I'd like it greatly if you could share more information about her condition, exactly.  It sounds very similar to FIP, which I did lose a cat from myself (2 novembers ago, my current cats brother-you can find me having a freak out moment in the YPP forums where I nearly quit the game then). 
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Jamiesmith
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 28, 2007, 07:21 AM »

Shadow is a boy for one.. lol now that i've cleared that up :P

First ill tell you how he was a few weeks ago:

Lost 3/10 of a pound in a week, stopped eating,drinking, going potty, vomitted a few times, had a temp that got up to 104.o at one point. Got dehydrated, went to vet was put on IV fluids for two days, cat is or was going into kidney failure, didn't know why. Had bacteria in its urine.

Now:

Has gained 6/10 of a pound in less than 2 weeks, is off the one med, still on the other two (for his liver), liver counts arent as high as before but slightly above normal. Hes starting to groom himself a little more but not as much as he should, however we doubt his mother ever taught him so hes slowly learning from my other cat, so hes getting better. Hes drinking and eating like a pig now. Hasn't vommited again, no runny stools. I take his temp almost everyday and it has been normal. Urine test showed the bacteria and all is gone but there is excess protein in his urine. His urine is also sometimes foamy and vet says its dilluted. (Which is supposidly from kidney failure) Hes now very playful yet, still likes to lazy around like a normal cat. Honestly if you didn't know he was sick you'd never tell.

He doesnt have labored breathing,hes not lathargic, his eyes or gums are not yellowing, his gums and teeth arent sticky. He isnt losing fur. His fur is changing colors but its probably from the fact hes growing, most of my black cats have gotten a little white or brown fur when they start to grow up, in the case of my grey cat she just got darker and lighter in some spots.

Ask my any questions you can think of. But this isnt a sudden perk up, this has been a you can tell hes been fighting the sickness and every day he gets a little better, more rested and wants to play. Sometimes he over does it but hes a kitten and they do that when they arent sick. Or at least my kittens do.
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Muroni
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 28, 2007, 09:32 PM »

When he was loosing weight, were you able to see where the weight was coming off from?  Was it from his abdomen, his neck, his hips, for example?  Did the vet give you any indication if it was simply water weight, actual body fat, or muscle tone he was loosing? 
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Matahari
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 28, 2007, 11:55 PM »

And mata love ya for the advice, you put it in a way I understand. While I still believe they feel it even though they are asleep (sometimes when im asleep I stop breathing and i wake up in a panic with my heart racing etc) it might not be as bad as the natural way, however im not completely convenced otherwise.

Clarification, they are 'asleep' like they are under anesthesia, not like they are in normal sleep. You wouldn't notice if you stopped breathing or your heart stopped beating under anesthesia. Hence why they can do things like mayor surgery or whatever to you while you are under.

--

As for the possibility of the cat getting better - I believe nothing is impossible. I know we are of different faiths, but they way I see it, nothing is impossible to God. (Or Allah, or Nature, or energy... ) Miracles happen every day, and from what you describe it seems your kitty might not even be so far along that a miracle would be the only thing that cures it. Animals are very hard to understand because they can't tell exactly what they are feeling. His body may be heeling itself in ways that we don't yet understand, or a miracle very well may be happening. (And who's to say a miracle is simply something that works in ways we don't yet understand?!  ::confused) There are many people out there that, like you, are walking miracles. There are many animals who are as well. Perhaps we'll soon welcome Kitty to the club!
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Jamiesmith
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 29, 2007, 09:15 PM »

Oh I thought u ment kinda like sleeping pills, sorry was tired when I replyed. But I've also had a friend tell me she remembered her entire surgury even though she was put out under anesthesia.

Oh and my kitty was really small all over, when we got him we figure that he didnt eat much or that he wasnt as old as they thought he was. If i had to pick a spot where i thought he was the smallest it would be his back side area, by his butt and along his spine. (you can't anymore) but before his butt bone? (shh im stupid okay) and his spine and ribs were very exposed, you couldn't see him cause shes soo fluffy but he was literally just skin and bones.

And I do think kitty is a miracle, even if he does pass away, when i got him i thought he was my guardian angel :) reason everything in life happens, although i belive we still have freewill. Its a long story but maybe there was a reason I was suppose to get a sick kitty. I dunno. I luff him to death  :huggles:
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 29, 2007, 11:22 PM »

Then we're talking muscle mass here, then.  Please ask your vet about the possibility of FIP the next time kitty goes in.
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Matahari
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« Reply #13 on: Mar 30, 2007, 01:13 AM »


I forgot to ask - you said kitty hadn't gone to the vet before. Does that mean he doesn't have vaccinations?

The other thing I can think of is Lyme's disease. It's one of those funky diseases with random sympthoms and had ups and downs. I know dogs can get it, I honestly can't remember if cats could. I should go check my class notes. lol!
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Malore
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 30, 2007, 12:44 PM »

I had a tortoise shell cat. She actually "adopted" us as a kitten. She ran into my house one night out of fright and never left. Though we put up posters, noone ever claimed her. She became ours.
I paid for her to be neutued (when it was ovious that she hadn't been..), Paid for her to have a vet "medical". This was where we found out that she had the cat form of "aids" (the name eludes me right now) and that she was very aneamic and was in general bad health. We was told that she "probably" wouldn't survive for very long.  We were offered a "humane" end to her life. Although being very sad, and the fact that I had a young child to care for, we thought that we would take her home..give her some sort of comfort before her demise.
She ended up moving to three different houses with us. She lived a good amount of years. (My eldest son was only 2 when she moved in.. HE was 15 when she died)  And was witness to one of my children being born (long..very long story.. maybe some other time!) She became very much part of my family..my friend and I loved her to pieces.
I had noticed that through the years, she started to have problems when she ate. She was swallowing very hard. At first I thought that she might have a bone stuck in her throat. So off we went to the vets.
Turned out that she had something more sinister, a tumour the size of a small orange. :( The tests were done and it was cancer. I again was offered a "humane" end to her suffering, though she was still bounding around and full of life. I again refused. We took her home agian.
One morning, about 3 months later, I awoke to find her sitting on my bed, just looking at me. It appeared as though she was smiling. One of her pupils had "blown" and was not reacting to light. She sat there the whole day. Peaceful. That night, curled up on my feet, she died.
Obviously I was heart broken. She had been with us for a long time. But I took peace in knowing that she had died with her "family" and that she was in the place she loved the best... the end of my bed.
It has been 2 years that she has been dead.. and I still cry as I write this.
<3 Rosey.. R.I.P
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(I'm thanking Millie for that quote!)
Bring the Pain!
Maripanda says, "trouble with a bar at the top of the house is all the stairs you have to fall down to get to the garden!"
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