She died 8 days before her 18th birthday

by Lori
(Bloomsburg, PA)

The two of us at Christmas 2008

The two of us at Christmas 2008

When I was in college, my roomate surprised me with a kitten. She was with me all through school, my graduation, first apartment and 'real' job. She was my good buddy and we had much fun throughout our lives.

I discovered that she was not a good tree climber when she was chased out of the house by the roomate's dog and I didn't see her for 9 days. After many LOST CAT posters, I was starting to lose hope when someone working on the house next door saw a skinny cat in a tree. He called her but she wouldn't come down. I was at work at the time, but when I received a phone call that this may be my Samantha, I came home and looked up at the shaky walnut tree.

Yep, it was her. SO, how does one remove a cat from a tree when they don't own a ladder? They call the fire department. They came and rescued her, she got a clean bill of health and we continued to share each other's company.

She had a typical cat life. She was healthy, showing no signs of disease. One day in 2005, she began to wail and her tongue was sticking out. I thought she was dying and took her to the emergency vet.

He asked if this was an euthanasia. I said, "Not if you can help her!" He said he'd try and put her in an oxygen chamber. I peeked in on her and noticed her sleeping peacefully. The next day, I received the news that she has an enlarged heart and was suffering from CHF. Her regular vet prescribed Atenolol and we went home.

She was fine for the next 4 years. However, she lost the sight in both her eyes. I attributed this to old age...

This past weekend, she began to have difficulty swallowing and was gagging on Pounce treats. She gurgled when she breathed. I treated her with my emergency Lasix and sent her to bed. She woke me twice that night by her thrashing. She was having convulsions.

I was scared and held her. THe next day was a trip to the vet. I said I am not ready to lose her yet and to please help figure out what was going on. Appparently, she had a thyroid tumor. At her age, it was suggested that she not be operated on, as she might not survive. It seems that this thyroid problem and her heart condition were related, but I never felt the tumor!

I am wondering why her vet in 2005 did not follow through with checking blood pressure. The vet gave her some nutritional supplements, some Vitamin B-12 and an IV to help hydrate her. I took her home and she seemed happy. We sat on the couch and watched TV and I took her to bed.

That night, she made an awful sounding distress call which woke me up so I picked her up and held her. She died in my arms.

I am heartbroken and felt so helpless. I am going through these awful stages of guilt and anger. I am experiencing a lot of "What If" questions and am driving myself nuts. I know she was elderly, but her birthday was coming up and I was so hoping she would have made it. I just keep wondering if there was something I could have done differently to give her more time.

Comments for She died 8 days before her 18th birthday

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Sep 02, 2010
I'm sorry for your loss...a bit late....
by: Anonymous

It's a bit late here...but I just found this. I am sorry for your loss. Yes it is so hard. My cat, Ryder, got throat cancer too. But he was only 13...actually died on his 13th birthday. I had to euthanize him since he could no longer eat. I am heart just happened July 28, 2010. I had no idea he was sick until a month before he died. It was a very fast progression. I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing.

Apr 28, 2010
I Understand!!!
by: Mary

Just last week I lost my best friend of 21 years. She was a snowshoe named Taz. I knew that her days were numbered because she was refusing to eat and wanted to be alone. As a nurse, I wanted death with dignity for her. She died peacefully in her sleep on her favorite rug. I'm just glad for all the time I had with her. It will take awhile for me to accept her passing. But I'll keep taking one day at a time. Taz would have been 22 on the 12th of September. Sure do miss her.

Oct 01, 2009
Don't blame yourself
by: Anonymous

My cat died last week. I had to put her down due to throat cancer. She was 17 years old and I had her since I was twelve. She had various illnesses including a cancer that they were able to operate on.

I tried to do everything I could for her up until the end. My vet also told me that the tumor in her throat was too dangerous to operate on for her age and frail condition. I felt so guilty for not trying anyway, but now I feel that it was better for her to spend her last alert moments at home where she loved to be, rather than potentially dying alone on an operating table feeling like I abandoned her.

You did the right thing and gave her all the love and care you could. She lived a long happy life and I'm sure we will reunite with our happy and healthy little cats one day in heaven.

Jul 07, 2009
grieving too
by: Anonymous

This is a bit late, but I found your post concerning your beloved cat who died recently. I lost our sweet cat to sudden respiratory failure (tongue hanging out/short little breathes) a month ago and I am SO not ready to let go of my love for that sweet girl either. Good luck.

Jun 02, 2009
Similar Experience
by: Nathan

I had a similar experience. It happened on 6 Mar 2009. Seeing someone who loves you so much die is very disturbing--So disturbing, I refuse to go to the details. Escaping from the facts will give comfort, but only for a while. But let's face it: YOU WILL NEVER FORGET. The only comfort I have is the fact that my departed cat produced a son who looks just like her.

May 09, 2009
by: Anonymous

Your beloved pet is at peace now and I send my deep sympathy to you. Have you ever thought of writing a children's book explaining the death of a pet?

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