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our cat is dying...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by shockey, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    he's a black cat we've had for all 11 years of his life. adopted him in tandem with his brother, who got out of the house one day (as was their wont) when they were 4 but never returned. we have always just hoped he was found and cared for thereafter, preferring to think that better than the other option...

    anyway, 'kobe' has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. the swelling is getting more severe every day; we're medicating him with prednisone and, while uncomfortable, doesn't seem to be experiencing pain. the vet says it's just a matter of a few weeks, tops.

    my wife and the three stooges love 'kobe.' he's particularly close to mrs. shockey and eldest son shockey. i've always been more of a dog person -- our 'lossashit' and 'kobe' are best buds -- but even i'm broken-hearted over this... which brings me to a topic often discussed here:

    is the love and emotional commitment to our dogs and cats worth the pain and heartache we're inevitably left to endure? i know many people in both camps -- dog/cat owners who immediately replace their dead pet with another to fill the void OR owners left so devastated by the passing of their dog/cat they will never even consider exposing themselves to the inevitable end game that comes with the commitment to love and care for another.

  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that, Shockey. We lost our cat Lemieux last year, a day short of his 20th birthday. As hard as that was, it was made easier by his advanced age and long general decline. It's much harder when they're younger and fall ill, like with Kobe.

    We had a border collie who died of cancer when he was 11, which was heartbreaking. That was about 5 years ago.

    To answer your question... we now have three border collies and take in temporary fosters for a rescue group. Yeah, it's horrible when they go -- years later I still tear up when I think about my old dog's last days -- but the joy they bring is worth it, at least for me. We waited close to a year before getting a new dog, but we knew we'd do it.
  3. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about Kobe, Shockey.

    Situation with me ... after our miniature schnauzer died in 2000 at age 11 (complexities from Cushing's Disease), my mom swore she would never get another dog. Heartbreak was too much for her. She swore after she lost her childhood cat that she would never get another ... and hasn't.

    Last year, my dog (a very well-behaved, lovable, pure-breed cocker spaniel who is 8 ... the tail never stops wagging!) tore her ACL. I lived in a place with a lot of stairs, so my mom offered to look after her until she was back at full strength following the surgery (my parents live in a ranch-style house).

    My dog also has pretty strong seperation anxiety ... doesn't damage anything, but will make sounds as if it she was a moose in labor when no one is around. And my mom is retired ... so she has a lot of time to herself at home. It was a perfect fit.

    13 months later ... I still don't have my dog living back at my place. :D And I'm perfectly OK with that because I know those two make each other happy. My mom has her shadow that follows her around the house all day, and my dog has a companion that doesn't have to run off to work every morning.

    Long story short ... yes, the pain we experience when we lose our beloved pets is enormous, and lasts long after they depart. But the joy they bring us when they are here and the memories that remain forever trump all of that hurt. My mom and my dog are proof of that.
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    That sucks. So sorry to hear that, shockey. I'm typing with my younger cat--who is 11, so your post is particularly jarring--sitting in my lap and absent-mindedly kicking my arm with her sharp back claws. Drives me nuts. She does this all the time. Inevitably, a couple times a day I squeeze her foot, which leads to a pissy "MEOW!!!!" from her. Well, stop kicking me!

    When she's gone, I'll do anything to have her kick me one more time.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear it Shock. My cat is in his mid-teens now, and I'm dreading the day that he goes, both for myself and my kids.
  6. Wendell Gee

    Wendell Gee Member

    Obviously every situation is different, but I had a dog a few years ago with cancer. Like with your cat, the vet gave him a few weeks to live. A few months later, the vet guaranteed the cancer would take him. A year and a half after that, the dog died ... from kidney failure due to old age. So don't give up hope.

    To answer your question: After my dog died, a friend took me out for drinks. I remember telling her "the fact it hurts so damn much is proof that it was all worth it." I'll always believe that.

    And yes, I've got another dog now. Fostered a rescue who had been found abandoned on the streets and taken to a kill shelter. He was in pretty bad health, including having heartworm. But after fostering him for a couple of weeks, I couldn't let him go. Best decision I ever made.
  7. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i much appreciate all of your experiences. keep 'em coming, please...

    i'm so happy we've given the boys their memories and love for cats and dogs as pets. i'm confident they'll be scarred less than we will and are eager to have a dog/cat when they raise their families -- and before then.

    not so sure how mrs. shockey and i respond down the road, though i suspect there will be at least one more kitty in our lives. i'd be more of the driving force to go the dog route again, but given my inability to do any of the walking duties, i won't have much say. but as upsetting as kobe's impending doom is to me, i derive no pleasure from having him around. cats just aren't my thang...

    i mean, they're adorable and easier to care for, but beyond that, i don't know. i appreciate anyone else's cat preference, though.
  8. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    Feel your pain, shockey. We got our old tom, Blackie, when he was a kitten and he adopted our younger son as his boy. When our son went off to boot camp, Blackie almost died from loneliness, lost about four pounds and was a nervous wreck until our son came back. He was an indoor-outdoor cat. That is, he spent a fair amount of time indoors, but he never got box-trained, so he'd go to the back door and demand to be let out when it was time to do his business, and he liked being outside.

    One night when he was about 11 or 12, I came home from work to find him lying next to the driveway thrashing about in what I quickly realized were death throes. We never figured out exactly what happened, but there was blood all over, his head was crushed and we heard the sounds of coyotes back behind the house, so we surmised that he was attacked and died defending himself. One of the saddest moments of our family's life.

    A few months later, the kids brought home a stray kitten that some asshole had stuck under a traffic cone and brought her home. We ended up taking her to the humane shelter, because she absolutely refused to be box-trained and we got tired of cat shit everywhere. She did, however, have a litter and we kept one of the girls. Lucy is pushing 3 now and is an ADD cat. I shit you not, she's hysterical. She likes to play tag with us and she gets whiny if she's not the center of attention. She's been a real joy to have around.

    All I can say to you and your family is love Kobe for as long as you can, make him comfortable, but don't prolong his life needlessly. If it gets to the point where the painkillers aren't helping, let him go. And don't hesitate to start the cycle again after you've had time to grieve (and you will grieve; after all, he's part of your family). I've found I like having a cat around, both for the companionship and for the mouse control, and I think you will too. I'll be thinking about you as you deal with this.
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    This is one of those things I wish I could unread. I can't even imagine how brutal it was to deal with.
  10. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I lost a 14-year-old cat a couple of years ago. The punch in the gut is that it was a fibrosarcoma CAUSED by an annual vaccine (something that happens in about 1 in 10,000 vaccines).

    Tried to save her. Had the tumor removed, but it came back a few months later with a vengeance.
  11. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear it Shockey.
    Not sure what advice I would give you.
  12. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    Believe me, it is one of those images that will haunt me the rest of my life. What really drove it home was a comparatively little thing. Blackie would never wear a collar for the longest time, but we finally found a little cloth collar that had a small jingle bell attached to it, and he loved it. We found it lying next to his body where it had been ripped off his neck. Needless to say, we hardly ever let Lucy out of the house.

    Man, it's getting dusty in here.
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