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 Post subject: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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It's been a hard couple of weeks for me. I was 5 years old when I got my first kitty on Christmas morning, and we were best friends ever since. When I was 19, I moved up north for college and couldn't take whitey with me to my dorms of course, so he stayed with my parents. He was about 14 when I went away for college and not having him at the foot of my bed at nights would make me the saddest about being away from home. I think there's something about your childhood pet that makes that bond so special.

As the years went by, I ended up in an apartment and with two cats of my own (Basil and Lapka) and as much as I wanted to take whitey with me I knew the most comfortable and least selfish thing for him at his age of 16 would be for him to stay in the home he always had known -with his family and without out the stress of my young rambunctious cats. On the weekends I went down to visit my parents, whitey was there to greet me first and sit beside me.

I watched Whitey age, in the way most cats age: sleeping often, benign growths, loosing teeth, so much fur growth he couldn't keep up with cleaning it, gaining weight, less interest in play, developing arthritis and not being able to get up on my bed anymore...But all that didn't matter, he was still my Whitey, no matter how old he got.

I can't say I didn't know this would be coming at whiteys age of 19, I just never beared the thought of it... When you grow up with someone your entire life, it's hard having to imagine life goes on without them someday.

A few weeks prior my mom told me whitey some days would sleep all day, or hardly get off his cat bed at all- but when he did it was to eat his dinner or sit by their feet on the couch. Some days he would have trouble getting in his litter box and would cry at his litter box, and wouldn't beable to go. Then eventually he would and all would be fine for a few days... Sometimes he would behave as if he was constipated and when he did poop it would have a small amount of blood in it and this would happen on and off. A few days he would be fine then a week would pass or so and he'd have an episode. It scared us all, as we knew at the age of 19 making it out of anesthesia for any type of procedure isn't always possible and the vet made us well aware of that when we told him.

And within just a few weeks it turned for the worst, it happened quick. My mom came home from work one day and found him completely buried in his litter box. Even his nose, covered in litter. She took him out and wiped him off, and noticed he suddenly weighed much lighter than he had the week before... He couldn't move his legs, or his feet, he just laid where she put him helplessly. She tried feeding him and he refused his food... That never happened. She sat with him for a while helpless and he cried out... Trying so desperately to move his legs, to get up and get to his litter box but the best he could do was wiggle his body towards it. And he peed right where he laid, his pee completely diluted in blood. And she knew.

She called the vet, and the vet said he could give him fluids and exams and tests, but it would take a few days to get any results back... And that was precious time. A stroke was possible, Kidney failure, a lot of really horrible possibilities,... And then the idea of putting him to sleep came up.

My mom called me immediately and I prayed he could make it for me to see him. I left for home that same weekend. My family says they think he was waiting for me. They said he didn't sleep once those two days that passed between... He stayed alert and determined to stay awake. And when I saw Immediately I feel apart.

I slept beside him on the living room floor that night, next to all his towels that were covered in blood and pee, and although I couldn't get him to purr like I always did, I got him to close his eyes and rest. I tried hand feeding him all his favorite things... Cream cheese, kitty treats, milk, grilled chicken... The only thing he was willing to take a lick of was the tuna can juice. And would give up because it would just fall out of his mouth. Although he didn't appear paralyzed I felt his arms, legs, feet and it seemed like the muscles had completely deteriorated. I cried, and although I know alot of people say putting your pet to sleep when they are suffering that bad is the kindest most unselfish thing for you to do for them, it gave me no comfort.

When we took him outside to put him in the car for the vet, he felt the sun heat on his face and he took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He looked so peaceful then.

At the vet, he let out a deep meow because he knew where he was, but it was only one, and it broke my heart that he wasn't even strong enough to meow like he usually would when he was at the vet. The vet told us through my blubbering tears that whitey was in a lot of pain and he suspected bladder cancer, as he did a psychical exam and found a large tumor in front of his bladder, and perhaps even kidney failure. He listed out kindly all the odds that were against Whitey with the options we would have had to made.

And I held him. I held his paw and pet his face and cried with my face buried in his fur, with all my family around. I thanked him for all the wonderful years he gave us and I held onto him until his very last breath.


I know this is really deep and emotional, but I know that if anyone understood this, it would be all the people with hearts like mine on the forums here.

Whitey was the closet person in my life I've ever had to say goodbye to, and I've just started coping. I dream of him at night.

Being there for his last moments was the most peaceful and most heartbreaking and terrifying thing I've ever experienced. But I do find peace in the memories of all the years, and I'm sure if anything, that's what we all have when they leave us for rainbow bridge. ❤️

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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:59 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
That's really heartbreaking, my condolences. I definitely know how that goes. Many years later and I still really miss my pets who have passed on, and your story brings back all those memories. Some people stop having pets after their first because it hurts too much, but you can't have the high highs without the low lows, and you have your current cats to help you through this.

Sorry again for your loss :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:17 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Yes, I can definitely relate. During my young adult life, my black and white cat Willow was always by my side. I was heartbroken when I lost her - she was 18. I love all my cats, but she was just extra special probably due a lot to the time of my life in which we were together. We basically traveled the country together. The only consolation is to remember and cherish that bind you had together, and just know you gave her everything you had and she loved you for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:18 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
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Writing this with tears streaming down my face after reading your post :sad: we have all been where you are now. My beloved black rescue cat, Harry, died last year of bladder cancer. It sounds the same as Whitey. Harry was not so advanced as Whitey so we tried an op but it did not work. How I wish we all had crystal balls to see if the operations will work or if they are a pointless, painful and stressful waste of time for our beloved pets. I am so sad for you but I am glad you saw Whitey and could tell him how much you loved him. I think pets are just the most wonderful, calming and peaceful parts of our lives, they give unconditional love and we owe them so much and when we eventually part ways we owe it to them to call the vet and help them pass peacefully and without pain. It is the final act of love we can give them. Take time to heal, remember Whitey with a smile and not sadness. Sending you my love. I'm now off to find Oscar and have a compulsory cuddle so he can mop my tears up........cat fur is very absorbent x

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Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8017
Oh, I am so very sorry over the lost of Whitey. I know how difficult it was for you to write all of that out, and I hope in some way it has helped calm your grief. Many of us have been in your shoes. So difficult to watch as age and illness takes your baby. I am so happy you were able to be there with him at the end of his journey here in hearth. These kitties reach deep into our souls and become a part of our lives that we are never willing to give up at any cost. Know that Whitey had a wonderful life with you and your family and it was his time to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

{{{HUGS}}}


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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:44 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I am so sorry for your loss. Anyone who has ever loved a furry child can totally relate to what you're going through. Unfortunately I've been through it several times and they each have taken a piece of my heart with them.

*HUGS*

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Diesel - snow Bengal born 09/01/2013 adopted Feb 2014
Tuck, Chloe, Buddy, Lewis & Tia - rescue kitties
Clyde, Bleu & Coal - Great Danes


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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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I am so very sorry for your loss. When we lost our Tigerlily she must have been roughly the same age. My parents had moved to Dorset, I couldn't keep Tiger as I was in a flat (apartment) and wasn't allowed pets there so she moved with them. She deteriorated very rapidly and I couldn't get there in time to say goodbye unfortunately. Absolutely broke my heart and its taken me 20 years to have another pet after losing her and shortly afterwards, our Doberman, Amba. Whitey knew you loved him and I know your family are correct, he did wait for you.

I like to think they have both met up with my dad and are keeping him company.

Remember all the good times, our furry friends are as much family as anyone else and I hope that by sharing with us, it has helped you a little.

Sending you loads of hugs ((()))

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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:42 pm 
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Senior Bengal
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Should not have read this at work. Should not have read this at work.

I'm so so very sorry for your loss. I've been through this all too many times. Only time can help heal your heart. *hugs* <3

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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:43 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:31 pm
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Thank you so much for all your kind words. I don't know anyone close with me who has had to help their friend cross rainbow bridge so it's been hard to find someone to talk to it about. I'm so glad I was able to share it with many who understand where I am right now.

Growing up, he truely was my very best friend, always there by my side... Whether he was laying in my lap after I use to fall off my bike and had to ice myself, or right by my feet at night to protect me from the scary "'monsters under the bed". Like my little guardian angel. I miss him so very deeply.. There will always be a spot inside my heart that is reserved just for him. ❤️

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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:24 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I still mourn the loss of Kitty who we had to put down in 2000! She was 17 years old. I concentrate on all the great memories of her. I'm sure at some point, you will find another kitty to love. There are so many looking for a great home.


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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:20 am
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I am so sorry for your loss! I know how it feels to lose a furry pet friend. And this might sound silly but our last loss was a hamster. My husband who is nearly 2meters tall and built very big was crying! He is like a gentle giant and he loves animals. I felt so bad for him because i wasnt really attached to the hamster and I never thought it would upset him that much.
Sending you a big hug!!

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 Post subject: Re: Saying goodbye...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:35 pm
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I'm truly sorry for your loss and what you're going through. Reading this made me cry.

Nearly three years ago (Jan 2013), I lost my childhood cat Tessa when she was 13. Like you, I eventually left for college and she stayed home with my parents. My dad used to tell me she'd sit in my room and cry the first few months I was gone, looking for me - which broke my heart. Seeing her when I came home for holidays was wonderful. NYE 2012, when I was home for the holidays again, she seemed to suddenly just not... be well. The vets weren't 100% sure of the prognosis, so I hesitated when they initially mentioned putting her to sleep. I had to fly out the next morning to return to work, and leaving was horrible because I knew it would be the last time I ever saw her. I'm not exaggerating when I say that, at times when I was growing up, it seemed like she was my only friend in the world. I still kick myself for not being with her til the end (she did have to be put down a few days later as her kidneys began to fail, and I hate myself for not being with her).

You did the very best thing you could have done for him. *hugs* I really am sorry. I'll be thinking of you both.

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