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feeling a lot of guilt and grief


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Last November my cat Dixie broke her right hind leg, I took her to the vet and they took xrays and put a splint on. Shes 20 yrs old and they explained it may or may not heal. On next visit 2 weeks later her leg was showing signs of healing so they put a new splint on and I returned 5 weeks later and they removed the splint and took xrays and the vet said she was healing fine. The vet said she was going to see how she would do without a splint but I was worried her leg may still be fragile so she put a soft splint on. This was on Monday Jan. 13th. the following day she lost her appetite and she regained it somewhat the following day which was Wednesday. Thursday she had lost it again and going into Friday. I had noticed when I would pick her up and sit her back down she would sometimes fall over but get back up after a few seconds. I bought her some cat food Friday that seemed more flavorful hoping she would eat it but she wouldn't touch it. I then decided to remove the soft splint late last Friday afternoon. It was just a matter of carefully removing the tape then unwrapping, I thought maybe it was bothering her and what harm can it do removing it since the vet was going to have her not wear one anyways. When I was about halfway through removing it, Dixie started panting. I hurried and unwrapped that layer so she wouldn't trip and tangle on it when I put her down. She walked a lil ways and appeared to be convulsing then fell over and was struggling to breathe it appeared. I was crying telling her I loved her and I was sorry and only trying to help you. She passed about a minute later. I was heartbroken, felt lost and full of guilt that I caused her to pass. The vet had told me she had a heart murmer and her kidneys were hard. She had been drinking a lot of water and urinating a lot. I just hope I didnt stress her taking her splint off and cause her to possibly have cardiac arrest. And  I felt awful thinking she may have thought I was being mean to her taking her splint off cause I had to take the tape off carefully cause it was of course pulling her fur. She reached her paw out to me moments before she passed and I held it. Im hoping in her last moments she understood I was only trying to help her. I miss her dearly and wish I had never ask the vet to put that last splint on. I realize her health was likely failing, she hadn't been grooming and her sudden loss of appetite and telltale signs of heart disease. Im trying to find some closure. She was also my late gf's cat. Joanie my late gf passed in December of 2010 and when Dixie was the last of her cats, I became so protective of her as I felt she was my last connection to her.   

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Dixiesdad, I'm so sorry you have lost precious Dixie. Often when we lose someone we love, our minds dwell on the "what if's" or "What more could I have done?"  It sounds to me like you did everything possible for her,  but her poor little body just said " Enough". Animals are very perceptive and I'm sure she knew you weren't trying to hurt her. Offering her paw may have been her way of saying goodbye. Perhaps she is with Joanie now. Who knows?

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@Dixiesdad
It sounds like she her kidneys were shutting down, which is completely unrelated to the splint/leg injury.  I think her reaching her paw out to you was letting you know she loved and appreciated you.  My 25 year old cat had to be euthanized 1/6 because she'd lost half her body weight since Christmas and her liver and kidneys failed.  She lost her appetite, was vomiting mucous with maybe a tiny bit of catfood in it, couldn't get her to eat Easy Cheese which she usually demanded, she just wasn't feeling well.  Like your Dixie, Kitty drank and peed more, I was going through a lot more cat litter.

I am so sorry for your loss, I understand how she's your connection to your late GF.  I lost my husband in 2005 and all of the pets we had together are long gone.  I got Kitty in 2005/2006, she was old then and lived out her last years with me, I personally thought she'd live forever, she seemed to, but wouldn't you know I lost her and my precious dog within months of each other.  It's been a tough year.

I hope you can find consolation in knowing you gave her a good home and lots of love and it was reciprocated by her.  I personally believe we'll be with them again and that gives me hope to look forward to.

 

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