|Purred: Sat Feb 7, '09 4:33pm PST |
|Well, I had to make this very hard decision twice with cats. The first time it was with a cat who had showed up at our house and decided to stay. She was a very sweet tabby I named Fudge Ripple, because her coat looked like melted Fudge Ripple Ice Cream. When she first showed up she was very dirty and had lots of fleas. I took her to the vet and they gave her a bath, flea dip, etc.....and the tech told me she was a pleasure to deal with. She sat right down in the bath and purred and purred, she was so glad to be clean. I took her back home and she lived in the workshop my father had built in our back yard. After she had been with us for about three years, I noticed she seemed to be losing weight. I took her to the vet, and there was a growth in the roof of her mouth. It was cancer, and the only treatment would have been chemotherapy. And since this affects cats as it does humans, I did not have the heart to put her through this. Because of the location of the tumor the vet said I was doing the right thing, as it would make it even more difficult for her to eat. The vet gave Fudgie a shot, and she simply slipped away to the Rainbow Bridge. After that, the vet took me to a small room with a sofa and chairs, and asked me to wait. In a few minutes she opened the door and said "Ernie, Whiskers, this lady just lost her kitty, and she needs some Kitty Cuddles." Both of the cats jumped up on the sofa and cuddled with me....they were the "Grief Counselor Cats" and certainly helped me. I hated to put Fudgie down, but could not stand the thought of her being in pain.
In 2002 I had to again make this difficult decision. My beloved Cream Puff had reached the age of 19. However, she had begun to loose control of her back legs, and then could not get into the litter box. The arthritis in her back legs was very painful, and when she got up and tried to walk she would cry. Next she lost control of her bowels and bladder and could not hold food down. This convinced me I should release her from her suffering, as she had given all of my family 19 years of love and companionship. I went back to our family vet, and again, sent a furbaby to the Rainbow Bridge.
I cannot say if this is more common in the U.S. than in other countries. Certainly it is an individual owner's decision. Personally when an animal is in obivous pain, cannot control its bodily functions nor eat, the most kind thing is to let it go. It always hurts, but a caring vet and staff can make it much easier to deal with. I cringe when I read about a pet the owner says "Well, I have to carry him/her everywhere, and clean up after them, and feed them with a syringe, but can't bear to let them go." I think we owe it to our faithful, furry family members to show them our love even when it hurts us to let them go.
Pete Fountain (who sends whisker kisses to the lovely Miss Tambolina), Emma Barrett, Louis Armstrong, Benny Grunch and Charmaine Neville
P.S. Even as I type, Louis and several other cats from our neighborhood are loading up his C-130 with another supply of fresh, frozen mice for Grandad Conrad's Famous Mouse Pies. So......."Watch the Skies"..... Oh, and Lady Emma is delighted that Grandad Conrad now offers "Minature Mouse Pies", so suitable for lady cats delicate paws.
Edited by author Sat Feb 7, '09 4:35pm PST
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