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  1. #1
    LWP
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    I think our little old man has decided he's had enough.

    My late wife rescued a cat from a pretty bad situation that turned out to be pregnant. She found homes for all the kittens except the one little orange guy she decided to keep. That was over 20 years ago and he's been a good cat despite being well named Crash. A graceful cat he is not.

    I posted here a while back about a yelling habit he'd developed in the past couple years. It actually improved quite a bit not too long after that post and he was generally back to his old self. I'd pretty much decided he was going to outlive all of us but he's taken a sudden down-turn recently.

    A trip to the vet revealed nothing we didn't already know and the vet told us to be prepared for it just being his time to go. He's went from eating several small meals a day to eating once a day and not moving around much. He's still every bit as friendly as ever and seems to enjoy it when I put him beside me on the couch and pet him. I can't leave him on the couch because he has a favorite spot and I don't want him to try jumping down on his own to get to it so he only gets couch time when I'm there.

    But he's refusing food completely as of yesterday and will move elsewhere if you put it in his face to try to encourage him to take something. I called the vet and was told that if he's drinking water and not showing signs of distress I can keep trying to get him to eat but didn't sound too hopeful. So I'm trying to work myself up to the fact that I know what I have to do for this little guy that's been part of our family for almost as long as we've been a family.
    Crusty old farts are people too.
    - 10ae1203

  2. #2
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    Ah, Jeez, this is hard to read, as I stare at my 16 yr. old. The Purina cat/human age calculator thing says 20 is about 96 in human years. Thatís a pretty good life.

    Nothing you can do really, just keep him company, keep him comfortable. Not much point of a vet visit, stressful anyway. In some respects if he chooses his own time be thankful itís a decision you donít have to make.

    Thoughts are with you on this.

  3. #3
    Proud luddite
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    We have lost a few cats in recent years and itís always tough. But when it was time for them to go we had a vet who came to our home for the euthanasia. It was quiet and peaceful, and the cats didnít have to deal with the trauma of a trip to the vet clinic. And the cost was about the same as what the clinic would have charged. Go online and see if someone in your area provides that service...I highly recommend it.

  4. #4
    gazing from the shadows
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    You can try mixing some canned food with water, to make a thin broth. You can offer his favorite foods from the past, which he will appreciate as a gesture even if he won't eat it.

    It sounds like time though. We only had one cat from birth, and I know that is especially hard to face. Delaying too long is worse than making the call a bit early.

    I wish I could do something, or say something that would change things. But the best I have is be kind to him, and remember the good times as much as you can.

    The loss only hurts because of the love we have, so take heart in that as best you can.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  5. #5
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    I've never had a cat make it to 20 years, so your old guy has lived a long life. I would second the home-visit for euthanasia; I've rergetted a couple of times we had to take cats into the vet for this procedure, as well as the emotional scene that invariably happened in a fairly public place. Last time, I was nearly involved in an accident on the way home from the vet. I've had a couple of cats just died naturally at home, but the last few days of their lives pretty much required somebody to be around all the time.

    It's a tough choice. If you have a busy life, choosing to have him put down may be the practical solution.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
    half-fast
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    Aw

    Sad news

    Itís hard to watch old friends slow down like that.

  7. #7
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    If he is refusing food but drinking water, at face value it sounds like his kidneys could be going. This is very typical for a cat that old, and at 20 years he has had a very long life.
    Ghurarmu shirkushí agh azgushu. Zant ya apakurizak. GŻl-ní anakhizak.

  8. #8
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Ugh. He's an old man, and unfortunately we outlive them by decades. I still miss my little buddy - she's buried in the back yard of our old house, and we moved over 8 years ago. You've got some great memories. As soon as you are able, adopt some other unfortunate soul and make some more.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

  9. #9
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by azpeterb View Post
    We have lost a few cats in recent years and itís always tough. But when it was time for them to go we had a vet who came to our home for the euthanasia. It was quiet and peaceful, and the cats didnít have to deal with the trauma of a trip to the vet clinic. And the cost was about the same as what the clinic would have charged. Go online and see if someone in your area provides that service...I highly recommend it.
    Two weeks ago, my wife and I just took our rescue dog Duke to the vet for the last time... euthanasia. Duke was an old man dog who had a been growing a large tumor in his stomach for the past year of his 11 1/2 year life. We were Duke's happy forever home for the last 8 1/2 years of his life.

    Although the vet office had a special room for euthanasia and they were very sensitive about our privacy, I would definitely opt for the in-home euthanasia in the future.

    It was so hard being out in public after leaving our dear departed friend behind in the vet office. Driving while crying, as Toulouse pointed out, is difficult and dangerous.

  10. #10
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    BTW, elderly cats will sometimes find baby food more palatable, so try that.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  11. #11
    Master debator.
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    My cat is in the same boat. Right now we are blending hard food with water or broth as she likes to lick the moisture from the soft food. Also mixing in soft food for calories. It is what it is, everything has it's time...
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  12. #12
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    I think my farming background may influence my decisions in these matters but when quality of life is very low I go for death with dignity. Animals can't convey pain but they typically know when it's time to go and not eating is a classic symptom. Don't make the mistake of hanging on for your emotional health over your loved pet's QOL. 20 is a very good innings.
    Sorry for your loss. KS.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    I think my farming background may influence my decisions in these matters but when quality of life is very low I go for death with dignity. Animals can't convey pain but they typically know when it's time to go and not eating is a classic symptom. Don't make the mistake of hanging on for your emotional health over your loved pet's QOL. 20 is a very good innings.
    Sorry for your loss. KS.
    I think this is good advice.

    I know that my greatest wish is my old girl just goes in her sleep. This is mostly to spare me having to put her to sleep, which Iím not sure I could do. Iíve done it 5 times and am really, really not looking forward to it again, especially with her, as the bond and life experiences run deep.

  14. #14
    Darling of The Lounge
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    Sometimes pets are a bridge that helps us cross the divide of past memories. I'm sure Crash has witnessed happy and sad times with you, especially when you factor in the connection with your late spouse.

    I wish you strength to make the right decision and offer my prayers for some comfort.

    Peace and love to all the animal companions we have loved and lost over the years.

  15. #15
    LWP
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    Thanks for the kind words and tips. We don't have a local vet, the closest vet is in another small town just over an hour away. They're away until Tuesday, they told me they would be the last time I called, so I haven't been able to ask about the home visit idea. He's taken a fairly fast turn for the worse and is not doing too well today. I feel really bad for not being able to do anything about it. He's restless, just roaming around the house and can't get comfortable when he does lay down. After a few minutes, he gets back up and starts roaming again. Still won't eat or drink. If he holds out until Tuesday, we'll be making the trip but at the risk of sounding mean, I almost hope he doesn't. He seems really miserable today and I think it would be a lot easier on him if it just ended.
    Crusty old farts are people too.
    - 10ae1203

  16. #16
    LWP
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    It's probably going to sound silly but I've been paying attention to what he's doing today and it's almost like he's afraid I'm going to leave him alone. He lays down and stays calm when I sit on the couch. As soon as I get up and start moving around the house doing things that need to be done, he gets up and follows me around meowing almost continuously. When I sit back down, he lays back down and is quiet again.
    Crusty old farts are people too.
    - 10ae1203

  17. #17
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWP View Post
    Thanks for the kind words and tips. We don't have a local vet, the closest vet is in another small town just over an hour away. They're away until Tuesday, they told me they would be the last time I called, so I haven't been able to ask about the home visit idea. He's taken a fairly fast turn for the worse and is not doing too well today. I feel really bad for not being able to do anything about it. He's restless, just roaming around the house and can't get comfortable when he does lay down. After a few minutes, he gets back up and starts roaming again. Still won't eat or drink. If he holds out until Tuesday, we'll be making the trip but at the risk of sounding mean, I almost hope he doesn't. He seems really miserable today and I think it would be a lot easier on him if it just ended.
    When planning for our old dog, we got a pamphlet from a pet hospice organization that does the in-home service. There might be one of those serving your area, so you wouldn't have to depend on the vet making a house call.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Our dog began behaving the same way toward the end... following us to every room, or standing and barking in another room until we came and comforted him.

  18. #18
    LWP
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    When planning for our old dog, we got a pamphlet from a pet hospice organization that does the in-home service. There might be one of those serving your area, so you wouldn't have to depend on the vet making a house call.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Our dog began behaving the same way toward the end... following us to every room, or standing and barking in another room until we came and comforted him.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Nothing like that here. I have a hard time conveying what it's like where I live in a way that gives a clear idea to anybody who doesn't live in or hasn't been to a place this small and remote. It's not what the average person thinks of as "small town". It's a tiny little place with nothing around it within over an hour in any direction except trees and lakes. It's over 5 hours to the nearest place anybody would consider an actual city. We don't have a whole lot of things that many places have. He seems to be resting comfortably now which makes me happy but I have to get some things done and I'm afraid as soon as I start moving he's going to get worked up again.
    Crusty old farts are people too.
    - 10ae1203

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    we used to have to ask a friend to put our pets down, farm dogs as well. One well placed gunshot while we were away and the dead animal placed in a grave we had already dug made the compassionate option a little more bearable. I don't envy your position but that little fella has had a wonderful life made fuller by yourself, and vice versa.

  20. #20
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWP View Post
    He seems to be resting comfortably now which makes me happy but I have to get some things done and I'm afraid as soon as I start moving he's going to get worked up again.
    Our neighbor had a cat who lived with us while he worked in other states during the week. She became very attached to us. Gosh when we moved our neighbor would message us saying she was in the next door neighbor's driveway as if she was waiting for you to arrive after work like old times. It's very hard to see on dependent they are and you of them. My heart goes out to you.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    Ben Franklin -Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together
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  21. #21
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    Yup, ours is 18 with slowly-failing kidneys. She gets Fancy Feast along with kibble. Hard to keep up with her tastes- some flavors she loves, others she won't bother with. But she'll always eat whatever Daddy shares from his dinner, so her appetite seems good for now. And still begs for treats.

    Like Crash, she tends to "yell" (more like howl) for attention and dinner. It's annoying, but of course we'll miss it when it's gone.

    Whatever happens with Crash, I hope it's either standard pickiness or a peaceful departure.

  22. #22
    LWP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    Yup, ours is 18 with slowly-failing kidneys. She gets Fancy Feast along with kibble. Hard to keep up with her tastes- some flavors she loves, others she won't bother with. But she'll always eat whatever Daddy shares from his dinner, so her appetite seems good for now. And still begs for treats.

    Like Crash, she tends to "yell" (more like howl) for attention and dinner. It's annoying, but of course we'll miss it when it's gone.

    Whatever happens with Crash, I hope it's either standard pickiness or a peaceful departure.
    I don't think it's standard pickiness. He's never been very picky when it comes to food. Actually, my plan is to get him back to the vet and make a polite suggestion or two. I've started wondering if there's something wrong in his mouth. He's actually shown interest in a couple things I was eating so I gave him a small amount and he lapped it up then spat it right back out and shook his head. Today I tried a raw egg white and he ate it all and just stared at me so I gave him another and he ate it and just looked at me again. So I gave him a third and he ate part of it and went back a short time later and finished it. I know the reasons egg white isn't considered ideal but at this point that's not as much a concern as getting something in him. I'm going to try with the yolk next and see what he does. I didn't expect him to eat it at all so I'm just winging it right now. I'm also wondering if he is drinking and I just haven't seen it. I'm not a cat expert but it seems like he'd be doing worse than he is after this long without water.
    Crusty old farts are people too.
    - 10ae1203

  23. #23
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWP View Post
    I've started wondering if there's something wrong in his mouth.

    ...

    I'm also wondering if he is drinking and I just haven't seen it. I'm not a cat expert but it seems like he'd be doing worse than he is after this long without water.
    Mouth, throat. Could be an infected tooth, or tumor in the jaw or throat. Or other things. Good observation!

    Testing for dehydration involves pinching skin. Just like with humans, pinched skin will stay in place for a bit when dehydrated, but well hydrated means the skin snaps back. But a better way is to look in the litter to see if there is any urine. Any urine from a dehydrated cat NOT in the litter will reek pretty bad, ime.

    Egg whites have protein, and lots of water. It's a pretty good way to go. Maybe offer up a beat up yolk as well, separate. Don't ruin what he wants to eat just in case.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWP View Post
    I've started wondering if there's something wrong in his mouth. He's actually shown interest in a couple things I was eating so I gave him a small amount and he lapped it up then spat it right back out and shook his head. Today I tried a raw egg white and he ate it all and just stared at me so I gave him another and he ate it and just looked at me again..
    that's encouraging. Good luck at the vet. Go Crash Go! So if they change his food requirements will that be a Crash diet?

  25. #25
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    cats are great. love em all. sympathies

    I didn't know about the house calls for euthanasia. wish I had before
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

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