We have two three year old cats now and I adore them, but we had three long lived kitties before . One passed on her own at 18, and one passed on her own at 21, but our boy kitty had to be put down at 20 and I'm still not over that and it was over 5 years ago.
Thank you Jolene for sharing this.
Maybe that is my biggest problem about Oscar. He was so ill at the end, cancer and what not. And the doctor wanted to put him down directly. But, Oscar didn't seem to want to go, he fought and again and again he recovered a little bit and wanted to cuddle up. And each time he started to eat or drink again, we saw that there was still life in him.
He just didn't do as the favour to just lie down and die.
I just couldn't have let him go, although he probably suffered. Fnally we had to take him to the doctor and let him put to sleep. What is still bothering me is the question if I did the right thing, should I have let him put down earlier to end his sufferings or was it right that I waited so long. When I am thinking of him I always ask him to forgive me, if he has suffered too long (silly, but that is how I feel and probably will always feel)
My last dog was the most adorable little darling and she was sick at the end. Our vet, who was not a people person to put it mildly told me two years before Elsa passed, that she was not treatable anymore and should be put down. I rejected that thought vehemently and went to another vet, who told me, that while Elsa was old and sick, she still enjoyed life with us. She still wanted to go for her walks, was happy when we were around and ate and drank normally. We gave her pain medications and spoiled her to no end. Finally when the end came, it came without any doubt or uncertainty and we (I!) were able to accept it.
I think that in hindsight we were selfish and perhaps we waited until there really was no other option, but I feel that any pet or any person who simply can't anymore, communicates this somehow and I strongly believe that when the day comes, when they can't take it anymore, you just know.
You don't have to ask him for forgiveness, you have done nothing but love him till the very end.
Most animals that want to die and can't take it anymore, draw away from contact, they almost hide -behind a sofa, in a quiet corner, they don't follow you around and ask for cuddles.
He wasn't ready and you weren't either. So it was the right decision.
In any case, a plea to all pet parents: please do not leave your pet alone at the vet to be put down. It is the hardest thing ever, but the greatest gift to be there with them, try to make sure, there is no fear and only comfort for them.
So many vets say, that the poor darlings whose owners aren't there are so anxious, because they feel abandoned and look around for their owners. What a heart-breaking way to go, if it can be avoided. Which I know is not always the case, but when you can do this for them, please do.