How Do You Say Goodbye? by da-AL

The good vet kept my little friend warm, wrapped in a special heating pad…

This week I’ve been looking after a friend’s two elderly cats. While one shows her age only by her lack of teeth, the one in this photo was thin and slow.

A couple of nights ago, this little guy was listless. My husband and I massaged him, got him to drink some broth, turned up the room’s thermostat, and made sure he was comfy on his pillow throughout the night.

The next morning he was back to looking awful.

A couple of months earlier he’d appeared to be on the brink of death, yet pulled through. Now, given how he’d perked up somewhat the night before, I took him to the vet optimistic that some intravenous fluids might perk him up.

Unfortunately, the vet affirmed that there was remote hope that the kitty had any more good days allotted to him, probably not a single day left without constant pain and nausea.

Of the few pets I’ve had, I’ve never had to decide whether to euthanize them.

In the case of this sweet boy, my friend decided. I did, however, decide whether to be with the kitty when the final injection was administered. The vet’s caveat was that the cat wouldn’t care either way. Given that, he suggested that if I stayed, I might always remember the cat at his worst.

After considerable deliberation, I opted not to be there.

Have you had to make such a decision? If so, how and what did you choose?

Do’s and don’ts for if your friend has lost a pet.

Here and here are professional links about pet euthanasia.

78 thoughts on “How Do You Say Goodbye? by da-AL

  1. Yes, I’ve been the lucky friend/parent to two amazing dogs, both goldens. Tory was our family member for 12 years, and she told us when it was time for her to pass on. Literally, she looked at us and said, “NOW.” We would never consider not being with her when the vet gave her the injection that ended her pain and old age. The hardest thing was to not cry; the vet suggested we just let Tory feel our love as she passed on. We waited a year, and then parented Henry, bringing him into our home when he was 8 weeks old. He became an incredible family member and, truth be told, my best friend. Twelve years later, Henry, also, told us with his eyes, “it’s time.” I will never forget the communication that occurred between Henry and my guy and me as he passed on with the help of our vet’s injection, and our soothing loving words. Hardest moments in my life, and yet the most precious. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve been through this excruciating situation 6 times over the last 25 years–three cats and three dogs. We have a wonderful vet who will come to the house and do it while we all hold and/or stroke the beloved pet. Just thinking about it makes me teary. If only animals lived as long as they deserved.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We had a small grey rabbit called Nanetta – a boy that seemed a girl so this is the reason of its strange name
    He has lived for 11 years. Almost a record for such a rabbit.
    My daughter had to be there when the vet euthanized him.
    When she called me to tell me he had died…we were crying…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This post made me tear up. I have three cats and a dog, they are quite young still. But I just imagined having to go through something like that with them and I just can’t. I really like the themes on your blog. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The toughest decisions to make. With my own pets, always been there, right beside them. If possible in my own home at the spot the pet feels most comfortable. Yes, that moment you will never forget, but the thought I wasn’t there at his/her time of passing, would even be worse, I feel.

    Although, it feels a bit weird besides this topic, but really want to wish you and your family (and for me that includes your pets) a loving year, in peace and with strength to make the difficult choices that may have to made this year. Big hugs, XxX

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have had to euthanize one beloved kitty of 13 years. He had cancer and was miserable. I held him while he had his injections and passed. He was part of my family and I sobbed. It didn’t matter what the vet said. This had been my faithful companion and I did not want him alone at his end. While just writing this brings me to tears, I would not change it. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I had to put my 8 month old Tank down, after both his lungs collapsed suddenly.
    Come to find out it was a birth defect that finally kicked in that no one ever noticed.
    I couldn’t stay with him when he went to rest…i just didn’t think I could let go of him if I had been there. I felt guilty about it …a lot. But my husband and I laid hands on him and prayed that his pain would be alleviated and that Jesus would take him home where he would be able to run and climb and play as much as he wanted…and so he would be able to lay his tiny head in God’s lap when it was bed time and always feel His love forever.
    After that…Tank went down easily…and quietly went to sleep.
    It is my heartfelt prayer that one day I’ll be able to play with him again…and that he can teach me how to truly be free.
    Andrea Gains of Dreas Stories blog.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I have had a cocker spaniel named Princess passed away suddenly due to kidney failure. Death is so painful for those left behind. I always wish I had done more for her. Couldn’t bring myself to have another dog but now I have 3 cats. I made paw promises with each of them that they have to live a healthy life of 20 years because I’m not ready to face another pet death so soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very sorry, Kally – prior to the dear arthritic doggies I have now, I’d been spared for good or bad, experiencing the difficulty of tending to & making decisins about aging pets. It definitely takes patience and courage…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It is always such a hard thing to do…but I feel it is probably the most important thing we do. Our pets give us unconditional love and enrich our lives so much. I have always been with my animals as they pass. Most recently my much loved old horse. x

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I had an old orange tom adopt me several years ago. After about two years, Felix seemed to know it was his time. He had developed arthritis and suffered through a lot of pain. At the vet, I decided to stay with Felix through to the end because the cat had trusted me during the last years of his life. A follow-through just seemed to be the right thing to do in this instance.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The decision to euthanize pets is a very sensitive one. I personally did not come across any such scenario, nor did I see anyone else doing it. In my country probably people would not be able to bring themselves to take such a decision. After all pets become like family members. A very touching post!

    Liked by 1 person

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