Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pets - How Do You Know It's Time to Let Go?

Not sure how to start this, but I know people out there can relate. Our cat, Shadow, is over 20 years old. He's had a really good, long life, but I think know he's coming to the end of it. I don't want him to suffer, but it's really difficult to say goodbye. I must admit that I'm struggling with it. 

My middle son was the one who wanted him, back when he was little and having some troubles. I wasn't even really a cat person. My only experience with cats was a kitten that scratched me (a lot) when I was little and my MIL's (sorry!) grouchy cat that didn't like me at all. Shadow decided I was his though and, over the years, I'm the one he always cuddled up to. I'm the one whose lap he sat on - I do have rather a fluffy lap. He misses me when I'm gone, meowing around the house looking for me. 

I keep going back and forth. Best for him. Selfish for me to want him to stay. Post doesn't really make sense, but oh well.

I don't take many selfies, but I was looking on my google photos for a quick pic of him and this popped up. I must have been messing around with the phone and took this.


  1. 20 is a grand age for a cat, he looks a lovely fella

    We inherited 3 cats when we moved to the smallholding so during the 23 years we saw the end of all three and I would always say sooner rather than later because they don't show their suffering.

    Sorry if that sounds a bit brutal

  2. That is a difficult decision to make, isn't it? Have you consulted with the vet? Maybe that might be the first step. If Shadow has any illnesses, etc., then, letting him go now might be the best thing to do. (((HUGS)))

  3. It's the most difficult decision you will have to make, because your dear beloved pet cannot tell you when it's time. I've lost three cats and a dog, and each of the circumstances were different although the outcome is the same. There is a saying, a few days early is better than a day late, or something like that.

    My old Bugsy cat (20) started going downhill six months before. He stopped eating twice, I took him to the vet each time thinking it was the end, but it wasn't. He had an injection to boost him and he started scoffing food again, twice.

    I moved his bed, food tray, and litter box onto the table next to the computer in the living room, so I could keep a close eye on him. He didn't get off the table but seemed happy that I was next to him.

    He stopped eating a third time, and I thought I couldn't go on getting him another injection, it wasn't fair to keep him going. I decided that I would take him to the vet the next day, one last time, to go to sleep.

    In the morning I could see that he had deteriorated badly, drifting in and out of consciousness. Now was the time it had to happen. I rang the vet at 7am, and took him straight in. He is buried in my garden.

    Value each day you have left with him. He has had a long and happy life, hold him while the vet puts him to sleep, he won't know what is happening. How do you know when it's the right time? Ask the vet, then make your decision. Best wishes. Ilona xxx

  4. Sending huge, huge hugs.

    Malevolent cat was known as Shadow in real life, though she was a lady. She was @ 19 when she went as they tried to check for a tumour and asked permission to not let her wake up when they found the tumour was bigger than they thought and was unlikely to survive the treatment. Psycho cat had issues with his lungs and just passed. Evil cat was different and we had to make the call.

    I'm putting this here, not because I think I made a perfect decision (I hope I got it right) but because I hope it helps you think things through. Evil cat got very creaky over the last few years, a shadow of her former self. However she still enjoyed snoozes in the sun, stealing from plates and the regular fights with the vet (who visited us, because she could be in pain from travelling). She had arthritis, something with her spine, probably issues with her kidneys and was going blind, but she was still her old self. In the end she was hardly getting around and obviously fading, but she got the good treats, as many cuddles as she would tolerate and some entertainment from annoying us. In the end she was struggling to find the water bowl, so we made the call. We could have in good conscience made the call earlier, but she still was managing to get some joy in life so we hung on. Even so, the night before she passed she stole meatballs from a plate (we left the plate near her to make it easier) and the morning she passed she left me with a scratch that lingered for weeks.

    Because you are a loving person, you will worry about getting it right, and it will whirr around in your head. At some point, you will look and think that the pleasures they get from life are gone, or overshadowed by the pain. You will do the best for your handsome Shadow, I am sure. Sending massive hugs, because I know how tough it is. Hope the long message helps.

  5. You will make the right decision for you both when the time is right. Take care.

  6. Oh Sharon....I really feel for you. As you know we had to make a decision about Smudge and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life even though I knew and could see in his face that he had had enough and was so tired. It broke my heart to let him go but it was for the best and I'm sure you will do whatever is best for Shadow.
    I'll be thinking of you.

  7. We're having the same problem with DD's old dog. She took him on 6 months ago when his owner died suddenly. We thought he was on borrowed time then. One minute his legs collapse and the next he's running round the field. It's a horrible decision to make.

  8. Hi hun, It's really hard as pets become family. If he is in relatively good health then let him live his life - I can't believe he is over 20! OMG such an amazing age.If he is in poor health then ask a vet for their input then you can make a decision. It's hard and I send you *big hugs* as it is not an easy decision. Goldensunflowerx


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