Gracie4ever Posted August 27, 2020 Report Share Posted August 27, 2020 My precious girl Gracie was 20 years old, or perhaps 21. When my friend gave her to me, she said she was "about 2 years old" so it was always a guess. She had different health issues throughout her life, allergies, arthritis, occasional vomiting. In the last few years, she went deaf, had digestive issues and kidney issues and diabetes for a short time, but that was improved with change of diet and insulin. She had other issues, too. She had what the Vet called, "competing health issues". Medication for one condition would interfere with medication for another, so we did the best we could. After a while she stopped liking the low grain food, so I kept trying different foods. She would only eat a few bites and lay by the bowl, so I thought she didn't like the food. Now in hindsight, I think she was in pain and couldn't stand very long. I feel guilty for not realizing that was a sign she was weak, but they do say hindsight is always 20/20. Still, I feel guilty for not realizing it. Her appetite was waning, but she still acted interested whenever I put something new in the bowl. For months I knew the time would come. I contacted a Vet that does in-home euthanasia, back in February, and even once before that, then told her never mind, Gracie is still ok. She would rally back. In the past few months she started sleeping in the same position or with her head in the corner of the couch. But other times she slept normally and with her head buried under, showing she was happy, and she would purr when I pet her. I still saw indications she was happy. I wasn't worried. Here and there I'd see a possible clue but then it would go away, so I wasn't sure what to think. I wished so much she could assure me that she still felt well. Last Monday, she had weakness in her legs and she would sleep in hunched positions. She would hover over her bowls but not really eat or drink. I ended up serving her food and water while she was in loaf position with her front paws out. Her stool had changed to tiny pieces and she seemed to age within a day. I saw her wobble on her back legs and I realized she was suffering. Two days in a row of suffering, I ended up using a Vet visit that was meant for lab tests, to have her put to rest. I kind of wished the Vet had warned me ahead of time about "euthanasia guilt"...because it came hard and heavy and is still here. The fact that I feel guilt makes me feel there must be a real reason for it. But trying to tell myself that is wrong, is very hard to accept. Did I do it too soon? She seemed to be walking better the next morning and even lay in a more normal position. I called the Vet, who said that we had hit the wall with meds and she had been on a downward decline for some time. I had wanted to have this done at home, but that would've required waiting longer, to make an appointment, and she already had this appointment with the Vet. And in the end I decided I preferred her Vet that I knew and trusted, to do it. She went peacefully, as peacefully as possible. I pet her until her head layed down. One of my friends drove us there and drove me home, and another friend came into the room with me and gave me the physical consoling that I so desperately needed. She looked tired, she needed to rest. Afterwards, the Vet told me she has told people before, not it's not time. My friend also said that since she knew I'd had second thoughts, that if my girl had any fight in her, she would've spoke up for me and said "are you sure"...but Gracie was ready. I think she wanted to rest. The guilt feelings are illogical, but as illogical as they are, I still feel them. I know they are, because how can I think "I let her go too soon" and "I let her go too late" at the same time?? And think that both can be right?? Also, another example, I felt like her passing came as a shock because days before, I hadn't seen it coming. That saddened me. Yet at the same time, I was relieved that her passing came soon after I saw her in pain, because I would not want to prolong her suffering for any reason. And she looked so good at least to outward appearances, until suddenly, she seemed to age and I knew she was unwell. I really hope that soon I can make these guilt feelings not plague me so strongly. I know that they seem to happen to everyone, but I hope soon they won't attack me so viciously. I want to say that last night I joined this group thinking it might be too hard to read other experiences, but I'm SO glad I gave it a try. I find that in reading your stories, I feel your pain and also feel your comfort. I read about other cats that had kidney disease, I think that's what was taking her, renal failure. Reading your stories was the first time I've been able to cry that really deep cry where my nose is all stuffed up and I can barely breathe. I need more of this, if I'm going to grieve my girl, properly. My heart is broken, and I know here, that you can truly understand my pain because you have felt the pain of losing your fur babies, also. Please know my heart aches for you as it does for me. They say in time, it will soften. My Vet just emailed me and said there are times she still misses her Edgar very terribly and it has been two years. In groups like this, we can find consolation from each other, comfort, and celebrate the lives of our precious pets. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your stories. My Gracie will be with me, forever. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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