Could use advice about cancer in a cat--when do you know it's the end?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by SarahNOLA, Nov 8, 2017.

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  1. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    I've never posted here because I'm usually over on the Lantus board. But this post is off topic. My diabetic cat Starbuck has oral squamous cell carcinoma with a tumor on her chin. It's untreatable even though we caught it early. She might have days, weeks, or months. From what I understand, it depends on how much pain she's in and if/when she decides to refuse food because of the discomfort. This happened FAST. For about a week she licked her lips & yowled only after eating. I took her to the vet 10/17. He checked her mouth and teeth, found nothing. Four days later I discovered the tumor, already a big lump, on her lower jaw. Both the vet and I KNOW there was nothing there before--he felt all over that spot.

    For two weeks she acted fine. She had a biopsy, which confirmed the diagnosis. She's on palladia to try and slow the tumor and meloxicam for inflammation/pain. I felt a bit more optimistic, since she wasn't acting sick yet, until this weekend she sort of started to fade. She's still eating, still moving around, still will watch birds, but... I guess she just looks less comfortable to me? This morning I was alarmed when she came into bed with me and began pawing at her face and crying for a solid 2-3 minutes. It was the same behavior that made me bring her to the vet in the first place. I can't help thinking she came to me asking for help.

    SO. I would love to hear from anyone who elected to put their pet to sleep early in a terminal cancer diagnosis, before it got really bad. Did you regret it or feel at peace with it? I think she could have a couple more weeks, but I can't stand watching her fade and look like she's hunched up and hurting. I was advised by lots of people to wait until she stops eating. I'm not sure I want to. This is apparently one of the most painful cancers because it's on her face.

    I am taking her to get a buprenex shot today, but leaning toward making an appointment to put her to sleep Friday. Just talked to my vet and he said more people regret waiting too long. I would appreciate anyone who has a perspective or personal experience to share.
     
  2. TempestsMum

    TempestsMum Well-Known Member

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    Jul 30, 2016
    I haven't been in your situation but I did have a kitty with cancer (some rare type on his lip) he survived it and something else made me euthanise him many years later.
    I did opt for no treatment other than having it removed due to his age, I wanted him to have as much dignity as I could give him rather than putting him through chemo and having him go through that just for me.

    Making this kind of decision is so difficult emotionally - we want to hold on as long as we can.
    For me it working out quality of life and not my attachment to them.

    Depending on your decision you may want to look into CBD oil for her. It helps with pain although it does take time to build up into the system. I am in constant pain myself and use CBD. I found I got almost instant relief when I used it and it got into my system (hours after taking my first dose) But I do suggest that you do your research first. It's not for everyone. Always remember that you need to leave a 2-3 hour gap between using it and any other meds.

    Sending love and hugs for you both.
     
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  3. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    Dec 12, 2016
    I don't have experience with that particular type of cancer.

    We lost our ragdoll to lymphoma. He went from normal to not eating and having breathing issues with in a week. As soon as we got the diagnoses we opted for PTS as he already had water in his lungs and it wasn't going to get better. It was hard because it was all of a sudden however, I don't regret releasing him from his pain and discomfort. I held him and he purred until the meds went in.


    My puppy Kayia went from normal acting, to not eating, to be diagnosed with lymphoma in a span of 7 days. It is a really bad cancer that is incurable in the spot it was in. We did the biopsy but we actually let her go before we got the results. Thursday I took her in for not eating for 4 days. On day 4 she didn't come greet me when I came home. Otherwise she looked fine. Alert, no whining or other signs of pain. Vet told me she was a sick little girl. Took the biopsy. Gave me pain meds, prednisone and other meds to maybe get her to eat. Gave me options for cancer treatments which was not a curable solution but one of buying time. Rebooked for Saturday morning to see how she was doing. Saturday morning - she is still not eating and stopped drinking over night. Only slight decrease in the size of her lypmph nodes. The end for me...was when she left the vet, came over and laid down beside me. She let out a really loud moan. She looked into my eyes. That is when I really realized how much pain she was in. I burst out crying as I just knew. Told the vet that I couldn't do that to her, I couldn't prolong her pain. We booked for her vet to come to our house for later that afternoon and gave her some pain meds. By the time the vet came, her body was already shutting down. She was bloated even though she hadn't drank anything and her organs were going. My only regret...is making her wait till Saturday afternoon.

    My other drooler Sadie - I fought to the bitter end. She had 3 surgeries to remove lumps and had chemo. She survived another 2.5 years (which is a lot in dog years and she was already a senior). We finally said good bye due to dementia and again...my only regret is not letting her go earlier.

    They can hide a lot of pain before letting us know.

    I wish you strength and serenity you need so you can make your decision.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  4. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    I’m so sorry you are going through this. Having to make this decision is the most loving thing you can do for Starbuck, but that doesn’t make it easy. I have had several that I waited too long and have definitely regretted it. Only you can make this decision, and since it will be made out of love, it will be the right one. Sending peace to you and sweet Starbuck.
     
  5. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    I am so sorry. My heart truly goes out to you. I have lost many babies over the years in various scenarios, and this is where I personally stand on this - if you know they are hurting, and you cannot relieve the pain, the loving thing to do is let them go. When you have explored the options and tried the pain medications, if nothing offers them relief and maintains a decent quality of life, it is time. It is so hard to let go when you love them so much, but I think the unselfishness of doing so is really true love. Also, I very strongly prefer to be with my babies at the end. I would rather be able to hold them through it than 'find' them too late. That would factor into my decision. I had one baby who I was not able to be with when he went, and THAT I regret more than any of the other things.
     
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Like FurBabiesMama I waited until it was too late. If it was painful for me it had to have been worse for BJ. Cancer is never kind, do what you need to for pain and never regret your decision. It's never an easy decision but everyone here will support you. Remember the good times and all the love you got. :bighug:
     
  7. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Sep 2, 2017
    Thanks, everyone. After I wrote this I brought her to the vet for the 3 day pain shot, and while they had her back there, I made the appointment for Friday. Afterward the vet came out and said he felt her tumor again. I think he came out front to convince me to do it, but I told him I'd already booked it.

    I know people wait until the cat won't eat, but I would rather say goodbye while she still has some joy in things. Hopefully the shot will help her be in comfort for her last two days. Thank you for the replies! I really appreciate it.
     
  8. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm afraid I don't have any advice but I've been reading the replies you've had and it looks like you have already made your decision. You are very brave and my heart goes out to you... you are doing the right thing for your baby. This is what we all dread doing, but knowing you are doing it for their sake makes it slightly easier to bear.
    I wish Starbuck a peaceful transition and I wish you comfort and happy memories.
    Do post as often as you need as the time approaches, and afterwards... you are amongst friends here who truly understand and will hold your hand as long as you need it.
    Hugs to you.
     
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  9. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Sep 2, 2017
    She's rolling again! Glad I went in to get her the shot. Before that she was hunched up staring sadly up at me. Hoping for a really great cuddly two days now. I don't think I'm going to change my mind if she perks up, though. I'd rather she went out feeling okay than feeling miserable.

    DOIrSsvUQAAQGY6.jpg-large.jpeg
     
  10. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Awwww, that is good to see. Lots of hugs for her and you. :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  11. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    My heart goes out to you and Starbuck. Your decision is the greatest love and hardest part of being a petparent. Your decision is a wise one. Starbuck is feeling better with the pain shot but that is only temporary. When my Tuxie was going downhill, the vet had suggested that I consider letting him go and I agreed that was what was best. He rallied for a few days so I hesitated about making the final plans. Finally it became very clear that he was done and just wanted to have no more pain or sickness. I often wish I hadn't waited as long..it is always hard to make that final call. But you had the strength and love to make the decision based on your love for Starbuck.

    Wishing a couple of days of quality time for you and Starbuck. Enjoy every moment with her and store all the precious memories away in that spot in your heart reserved just for her. Sending lots of strength, prayers and love for you both.

    [​IMG]

    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  12. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    I've had 2 cats with oral squamous cell cancer, both inoperable, both in the jaw. One I put to sleep too soon, 3 days after the diagnosis, on the recommendation of the vet. With my other cat, I decided to do hospice at home and I kept him on pain killers for 3+ months, oral buprenex 3 times a day. He did lose weight gradually and got really skinny but NEVER stopped eating although he had difficulty eating.

    Sometimes more than one painkiller is needed. I added gabapentin to his pain control meds but that made him really groggy and lethargic. But he got to spend lots of sunny days out on the screened in porch and proudly caught a chipmunk that had snuck in to the porch, only a few days before his euthanasia.

    The vet had him on a fentanyl patch for about a week at the beginning, but my kitty hated the vet and going back every 3 days to get the patch changed. That is why I opted for the oral buprenex which I was able to get from a vet compounding pharmacy with a prescription from my vet.

    So, ECID holds true with any illness our cats may have. Would not recommend waiting until your cat stops eating to make that quality of life/end of life decision, since not all cats will stop eating with oral cancer.

    I walked through the quality of life assessment quite frequently, http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-health-care-euthanasia-decision-quality-of-life-scale until I knew it was time.

    You know your cat better than anyone else and know when it's time to say goodbye better than anyone here will.

    Take plenty of pictures and videos of your remaining time with Starbuck, give her plenty of hugs and snuggles and treasure these days you have with her.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  13. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Thank you for this. I appreciate the perspective. I guess I'm going to fall somewhere in between your two cats. I will have had about 3 weeks with her, and two of those weeks she was perfectly fine, so I feel like I got time to say goodbye. I have taken so many pictures and videos my phone's storage got full. She is seeming okay on the buprenex right now, but just okay. I looked at that scale and I think she'd still score high enough. But... she seemed like today and yesterday she was looking at me saying, "I don't like this. Fix it," and I can't really. Especially at the fast rate her tumor is growing. The last three days she has been crawling under the covers on our bed to sleep.

    When she first got diagnosed, I thought, wouldn't it be great if she just had an amazing day, getting all her favorite things, with no pain, and then went out that way? I think that is what I would like for her. So if nothing changes, I am going with Friday.
     
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  14. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Yes, giving your kitty and you an amazing day, with play time, hugs and snuggles, maybe some special food that they like is a great way to remember them by. All my cats have loved ham and rotisserie chicken from the local market, but they never got much since it's so salty and loaded with preservatives. Well, Monet's last supper was a dish full of tiny bits of ham I had cut up for him. Easy for him to eat and he loved it.
     
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  15. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Sep 2, 2017
    Awww. This one is a tuna fiend. She's still excited about it, just not with the head butting because it hurts her face. I bought 3 cans yesterday and she's getting it every meal, with a bit of regular cat food mixed in.
     
  16. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    If every avenue of treatment is not right or impossible. Then ...In August... I had to put my Lizzie down from mammary cancer. At 17 1/2 & failing kidneys.. I had to do it. Her tumor was becoming ulcerated & did not want her to be in pain. Infection etc...Yes she was older but still manuevering quite well. I needed to let her go before it became too unbearable for her. No regrets -just miss her! She fell asleep each night cradled in my arms with her head on my hand. She also sucked on my hand like a nursing baby all her life! We called it “go sucky” & it calmed her. She knew when I was upset w/o a single word. My little Lizzie Lou- whoops sorry, it’s still so fresh in my mind! Good luck & you’ll know it’s right when it is! :bighug::bighug::bighug::cat: We just want them to be ok & it sounds like you are doing the very best for her!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  17. Sue484

    Sue484 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 25, 2015
    My Teddy had lymphoma. He was bright and ate like a horse - until 15 minutes before he died. He was due to go to the vet 2 days later to be PTS as the treatment was not working, so I had a talk with him and told him it was ok for him to leave me and we would meet again one day and we had a lovely snuggly afternoon together. He took that as permission to go just a couple of hours later. He crashed so quickly, but he died in my arms looking at me, so I can't regret that, but I regret the suffering he appeared to have for those 15 minutes.
     
  18. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Sep 2, 2017
    Update on Starbuck:

    This morning she seemed perked up on the buprenex so I started to have doubts. She meowed like crazy for tuna, purred on my lap, kissed my fingers with her nose. So I thought of maybe canceling the appointment. But this afternoon she is very restless. I don't think she's in pain, because she's not crying, but she keeps scratching her ears and trying to paw her face. I'm wondering if the tumor is spreading up from her jaw into her sinuses or ears, because I've heard that can happen. She's uncomfortable and once again I feel strongly like she's coming over to me for help.

    So we are going tomorrow.

    Thanks, everyone, for your stories of your cats. And for your thoughts.
     
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  19. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of you and Starbuck :bighug::bighug:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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  21. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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  22. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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  23. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    I love the photo of Starbuck soaking in some rays. Sometimes you can look at that and think things aren't that bad and maybe you can stretch things out a few more days. You asked for stories about people in the same situation, cancer. Jacob had been misdiagnosed with an ulcer and we had to force feed him an enormous amount of drugs. On a Wednesday we learned it was cancer and immediately told him he didn't have to hide under the bed anymore when we came up with his meds. Non-cat people will say that's crazy but he immediately came out from under the bed and acted as normal as he could. We loaded him up with BUPE and made our appointment for Friday. What was the point of dragging things out any further?
    Nigel was also misdiagnosed, it was cancer. We moved him into the bedroom, away from the stairs, doubled and then quadrupled his BUPE. The life had gone out of his eyes and we knew his time had come. In both cases pain meds helped but as much as a cat can understand how unfair this was they trusted us when we packed them up for one last trip to the vet. Neither one was crated, they just sat on my wife's lap and both on a Friday. We've never regretted anything about it, being too early or waiting too long.
    It won't be selfish for you to be good to yourself this weekend. Emotional trauma can take a big hunk out of your physical health. Get some sleep, nap on the sofa, eat food that's bad for you. And know that Starbuck loved and trusted you.
     
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  24. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Thank you for this. She was chasing her tail this morning, and I started to have second thoughts. But I suspect she's going to go from uncomfortable to miserable over the next week. And if I'm completely honest with myself, it's hard for her to eat. I can tell it hurts her and she can't even get through a small dish in 15-20 minutes. So I am going to do it even though she may have good days left. I would hate to make a mistake and have it be Sunday & the vet is closed. I also really do feel I'm physically a wreck and prolonging things won't be good for either of us.
     
  25. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Our vet makes it a deeply personal thing. The entire staff knows us, we have 15 animals on file past and present, and we're given a room for as long as we need. They once sent us flowers. Those hacks at emergency clinics want to discuss alternative treatments (my 23 year old cat that was half dead when we were given a number to wait in line) and feel no guilt about charging you some obscene amount of money. It's emotional blackmail.
     
  26. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    :bighug::bighug::bighug:Thinking of you and Starbuck today. I hope all your time left is good. :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  27. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Sending prayers and peaceful vines to you and sweet Starbuck:bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  28. Susan&Felix

    Susan&Felix Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of you today. Sounds like you gave each other many sweet moments over the past few days. :bighug:
     
  29. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    DOT3gKKVoAUX5SI.jpg-large.jpeg

    She's gone. This picture is of both of us in much younger days. I panicked and almost changed my mind, but ended up going through with it. From the beginning I said I would do it at the first signs of pain by giving her one last great day. I feel lucky I was able to keep that promise.

    Thanks, everyone, for your support.
     
  30. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    May the light of this candle show Starbuck the way across the Bridge where so many of our GA kitties wait to greet her. May all your special memories give you peace and strength as you grieve. Your furbaby is gone from this earthly world, but will live on forever in your heart.

    Many tears and hugs sent for you. :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  31. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Just know that my heart hurts for you but you did the right thing... until brighter more Heavenly days when you shall meet again. Oh what a day that will be! Blessing & hugs
     
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  32. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    I'm SO sorry it was Starbuck's time to cross...big huge Looooooooooong hug. She's not gone, you just have to hug her differently.

    Soar high on your new angel wings beautiful girl...landing softly back in Mama's broken heart....

    More hugs,
     
  33. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    You both look so content in that photo. One day you'll meet again and everything will be as it should be. :bighug:
     
  34. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

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    Oct 2, 2015
    You got a gift of some good pain free days and extra memories. In the coming days and weeks that will mean more than anything.

    My hope is that you are both at peace now.

    Sandi & Whisper.
     
  35. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Jul 7, 2016
    This is never an easy decision for anyone. Starbuck was loved and part of your family. How many cats get to say that when they are at the Rainbow Bridge? Probably too few.

    May your sweet kitteh Starbuck rest in peace. I hope you have 1,000 pictures to remember him with.:rb_icon:
     
  36. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    I have nothing but admiration for you in how you have handled this. All us us here share your pain; our hearts are broken and our eyes are full of tears. If we could send a "real" big group hug to you, we would - but we are all doing so in our minds.
    Thinking of you... this is so hard to get through but take comfort from knowing you did the right thing for your precious girl.
     
  37. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Rest In Peace Sweet Starbuck :rb_icon:
    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  38. SarahNOLA

    SarahNOLA Member

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    Thank you, everyone. I have so much guilt because I feel like I killed her when she was still alert and mostly happy. But my vet thought the tumor felt even bigger than Wednesday. It was all the way to the back of her jaw bone, and it might have been only days until it got to her throat and she couldn't swallow or breathe. So as awful as this was, if I'd waited, I might have made a huge mistake that I would never forgive myself for. I will eventually forgive myself for this.
     
  39. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Yes you will! Hopefully sooner than later. My cat I lost in Aug had mammary cancer. She was older but if not for that; she was fine! And partially because of age the vet said no surgery & didn’t think it was cancer at first! (His bad judgement & do not go there anymore) I felt as if I had failed her terribly but who’s to say that even early surgery would have been ok.
    Please be kind to yourself in the days ahead & know you did all that was possible!
     
  40. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of you in this difficult time of your life, as you said goodbye to your beloved Starbuck. Lighting a ring of never ending candles in memory of your kitty Starbuck. May your memories of her bring you joy amidst your sadness.
    candle.jpg
    You let Starbuck achieve relief from her pain, you did not fail Starbuck.
     
  41. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 2, 2014
    There is nothing to forgive about your loving decision to release Starbuck. You allowed her to go when she was still "whole", with dignity and not falling into unbearable suffering. I mentioned in another post that I let my Tuxie go longer than maybe I should. When he finally told me how bad he was feeling and how tired of fighting he was I became desperate to let him go as quickly as I could. I wanted him to pass at home, but a miscommunication happened between the reception and the vet and she was away that day. I was so upset thinking I would have to take him in instead, but my vet contacted a different vet...who was so wonderful with my boy...and she came instead with the best of all the techs to help. Just like Starbuck, Tuxie rallied a bit, but when he crashed he was crashing hard. You let Starbuck go while she was not going downhill rapidly.

    The pain of losing a beloved furbaby is hard enough to bear. Never question your final and greatest act of love.


    [​IMG]
     
  42. Susan&Felix

    Susan&Felix Well-Known Member

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    So sorry to hear that you're struggling with your decision in addition to the sadness of your loss. In most cases, there just isn't the one right moment, so we naturally have self-doubt but have to do the best we can. You knew that something very bad for her was around the corner for Starbuck and you lovingly prevented her from knowing it too. You were good to her.
     
  43. Michelle and Mannie (GA)

    Michelle and Mannie (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know you made the right decision, as hard as it was. Starbuck thanks you for setting he free. Fly free Starbuck, land softly at the Bridge :rb_icon:
     
  44. TempestsMum

    TempestsMum Well-Known Member

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    Much love and many hugs sent your way. cat_wings>o
     
  45. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I'm so sorry you had to let your lovely kitty go. It's such a painful thing to do. :rb_icon:cat_wings>o
     
  46. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

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    (((Sarah))) I am so sorry it was Starbuck's time to earn her angel wings. :bighug::bighug: You totally did the right thing. Our kitties can go from fine to crisis in such a short period of time. It's better to be able to mutually say goodbye while you can love on her and she on you. I hope she'll send you a sign soon.
     
  47. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

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    Oct 27, 2015
    ((((Sarah))))) I'm so sorry it was Starbucks time to go to the bridge, there she will be whole again, free from pain and i imagine her happy, playing in the sun chasing butterflies with our other GA's waiting till you will both meet again.

    Fly free and land softly sweet Starbuck
    :rb_icon::rb_icon::rb_icon:
     
  48. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

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    May 30, 2010
    (((Sarah))) I am very sorry for your loss of your beautiful Starbuck. I hope you will not be so hard on yourself because I’ve learned the hard way that it is better, in the case of a terminal illness, to let go one day too soon than a day too late. It’s always better to do it on your and her terms and not in a crisis. It is still incredibly hard to let go.

    I wish you peace for your heart and that your girl will visit you often and let you know she is fine.

    Fly free, Starbuck.
     
  49. monty_dweezil (GA)

    monty_dweezil (GA) Member

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    Dec 15, 2014
    Oh, beautiful little Starbuck. I am in tears with lump in throat for this. I know how it feels. I was 3 years old when I got my precious Sooty and was 19 when we had to let him go. He had bowel cancer and there was 3 months of time with him from diagnosis, most of which was good.

    There is never the ideal time to say goodbye. You never WANT to say goodbye and you can't really know how they feel a lot of the time.

    The indecision and doubt is SO wrenching. I remember my mum and I had booked Sooty in for his last appointment as after those 3 months of being fairly normal, he had become unresponsive and lethargic. Nothing like his usual feisty self.

    One of those final days he was in the bath tub (not quite sure why. Maybe to pee if he was losing touch with his normal toilet routine, or maybe he was just confused) and I went to kind of gently coax him out, and he literally was so light he weighed nothing and kind of rolled into the bath. He didn't seem to be in pain and was still eating but I always remember how delicate and weak he felt and how guilty I felt for letting him roll in the bath.

    He was my cat soul mate and slept with me most nights for most of his 15 years, but for the past week he had not wanted to. On the morning we had booked him in though, I awoke to find him in my arms, under the covers, head on my shoulder. I felt strangely peaceful and that he had returned to me for one last snuggle-sleep. I said a silent goodbye to him then.

    At the vet, he seemed to perk up and they decided to give him some sort of steroid. They said it could keep him going for a little longer. I felt torn. I had said my goodbye. How could I have to keep enduring this torment for my cat love, crying every night, and maybe not getting a second chance at goodbye?

    I can't remember how many days later it was, maybe a week, but he quickly waned again and when he lost control of his bottom one afternoon on the carpet and looked at us with shame, sorrow and tired eyes, we knew. The accident was not normal and was very messy.

    My mum and I returned to the vet that day. He did not cry in the car. He ALWAYS yelled, but not this time. We both held him, held his paw, as he fell asleep. I was stoic. I did not cry, but did every single night for the next year.

    For a while I feared he might have thought we had taken him away because he was "naughty" on the carpet, but no. They know. He knew how much he was loved and that he could not go on.

    Did we delay too long when we didn't do it that week earlier? Probably yes. But then afterwards, I would have given almost anything just for one more snuggle with him, just 5 more minutes. Anything.

    There is never a right time. You did the best thing for Starbuck I think. She was happy. She was in discomfort and it would have gotten worse quickly, but she was able to appreciate her good life right to the end. She knew she was so loved. That's what matters most in the end. She was in your arms where she belonged and will always be.

    Please don't feel guilty. It is a terribly difficult and useless emotion in times like this. Believe me, I know. You did the only thing you could given the circumstances and you made the best decision for your baby.

    When I think specifically back to those hard times, I still 20 years later, feel sick with grief. But mostly, all I remember is the 15 years of love, fun, laughter, companionship and happiness. And again, that is what matters.
     
  50. shelaghc

    shelaghc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    I'm just reading your story today. I'm so very sorry for your loss. But you made the best decision for your sweet Starbuck.

    Each and every furbaby who comes to live with me, I promise that no one will hurt them - not even me.

    One of my civvies is going through something similar. We've been fortunate that it seems to be slow acting so far. (Even the vet is surprised. )

    But the decision will have to be made and when that day happens, I hope I have the grace and strength of will that you have.

    Rest peacefully, Starbuck.
     
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