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Sad Duties

We had to put one of the cats to sleep today.

Her name was Cassie, and she hasn’t featured in the blog much. She was a lurker under beds and behind chairs, and a bolter-in-terror from human feet. The vast majority of our interactions involved extracting her from those hiding places (once actually inside the couch) to administer medications and remove mats. In the last six months, I managed to coax her into accepting the occasional ear rub, provided I made myself very small and allowed thorough sniffing first, and Kevin recently discovered that certain cat treats could get her out from under the bed and trying to take his fingers off to get at them, but she generally wanted little to do with us. Even her response to ear rubs was a sort of “Fine, this is pleasant enough, but I have no interest in seeking anyone out to get one.”

Unfortunately she developed pancreatitis, and survivability on that is fifty-fifty if you’re lucky. The best thing was that it was fast—a week ago she stopped being interested in treats, and by yesterday she was completely unresponsive and they were talking about feeding tubes. That’s a line I wouldn’t want crossed in my own care, we’d already tried aggressive medical intervention without results, so we had her put to sleep. She was so heavily sedated that I doubt she knew we were even there, but then, I doubt she would have cared much anyway.

I realize that it’s traditional at this point for well-meaning people to post links to Rainbow Bridge stuff, and I do appreciate the sentiment, but it really wasn’t that kind of relationship. There’s an afterlife for cats if there’s an afterlife for anybody, but I suspect Cassie would be more likely to have a quick wash and get on with whatever happens next, rather than waiting around to see any of us again. We provided someplace warm and safe and stocked with cat treats, and that’s all she wanted. I’ve cried plenty, because these things are always rough and sooner or later someone has to make the miserable decisions, but this was more like helping a grumpy turtle across the road than like having a close friend. The road in this case was just five years long and mostly under beds.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

My girlfriend and I lost our older cat a while ago, you have my condolences. It's never an easy thing. You may consider yourself officially hugged, should that be to your comfort.

Cassie was the behind-the-chair denizen whose startlement led to Ben getting hit by a beagle, was she not?

May Bast escort her to the great hunting grounds, and She will remember that you gave Cassie a home and help in her journey.

Edited at 2012-02-08 04:33 am (UTC)

I'm very sorry, hon -- it's never easy, no matter the circumstances.


-- A <3

Grumpy turtle.

You did what was needed. Some pets require that much and no more.

You still get my sympathy, Ursula.


We had a former feral who was a little bit more sociable than Cassie seems to have been, but it was a similar thing - we were support units for the other cats, which he enjoyed being around, but we were creatures to be avoided. Sadly, he went the same way, partly because I didn't notice the weight loss at first since he stayed hidden most of the time. I figure he got a good handful of years with us - probably better than if he had remained feral - and hope it was enough.

It's always enough - they do recognize being safe and warm and not having to scrounge for food, and take more comfort in that than many more sociable creatures do in their pampering. To each their own, and for some that seems very little. You've both done your best for them and that's more than many do. It's enough. *hugs you both*

Much sympathy to you.

My sympathies and condolences.

Relationships with some pets can only be fruitfully managed from the Sings-to-Trees school of thought. It's life, and though Cassie likely never realized it, she had a much better life thanks to you than she'd have had on her own. So there's that.

I had a cat who was pretty much born feral. He kind of liked being petted, eventually, but he had a phobia of hands so he would come -- when the humans were sitting down and calm -- and stand facing away and allow pettings.

He got cancer, poor thing, like his sire before him. But the chemo that kept his sire going for a couple years after diagnosis didn't do well for him, and we lost him. O:(

*sends hugs, since even if kitty isn't likely to be waiting around, it's still sad*

If there are afterlives for any of us, good cats will go where the bad mice end up... I bet she's having a blast there.

I am so sorry. Hugs to you.

This feels like An Omen; I seem to find LJ full of pets being sent on right around the time ours need to be. In our case, a dog that's been prone to seizures for a year now and is no longer responding to her medications.

It's difficult, but sometimes necessary. I'm sorry.

If you need someone to chat with, give me a ring, dearheart. <3

*hugs* It sucks, no matter what.

I find in general with cats they seem to be fine until all of a sudden they crash hard. And in reality it's been building for a while but they don't act any different. Especially with a not-very-social cat like that.

Yes. That's the way both of mine went.