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Cat crying while being put to sleep...

I've had the shock in the past few days of my seven year old cat Cookie suddenly becoming seriously ill, to the point where the vet said that there was not much chance of recovery.

While that in itself is hard to come to terms with, I don't know if I can get over the fact that he let out a few cries as he was being euthanised. 

Cookie had been breathing heavily during the week and I took him to the vet on Thursday. She checked his heart and lungs and temperature and said everything was okay from her check but that I needed to monitor his breathing.

Last night, he started shrieking. I ran upstairs to see what was going on and he ran into the spare room, jumped on the bed and started breathing extremely heavily and his legs looked unsteady.

I rushed him to the emergency vet five minutes away and he was sedated and medicated. The vet did an xray while I waited and said that Cookie had an enlarged heart and fluid around his lungs. 

He had lost circulation in his front legs, which is apparently rare, and the vet said it was caused by a blood clot. His front feet were freezing, and his nail beds were a blue-grey. 

This afternoon, there had been no change. Cookie was crying out when he tried to move. The vet said there was no guarantee that he would regain any feeling in his front feet, and that he had the underlying heart issue to deal with. So I decided that rather than have him feel pain for any longer, I would let him go.

This is only the second time I have been with a cat who has been put to sleep. The first time was with Kasper a year ago. He was also sick with a heart condition and he went relatively peacefully. I didn't even realise he had gone until the vet checked his heart and said that it had stopped beating.

With Cookie, they knew it would be easier with me there. He can be a very angry boy when he's afraid and had been crying and trying to lash out at them when they were treating him. With me there, he was lying still, his head on one hand while I patted him with my other hand. He had a catheter, so the vet injected into it to put him to sleep. 

Then he cried. Several times. And lifted his head. I'm so worried that he was in pain and struggling in his final moments. I held his head and spoke to him, telling him it was okay and to stay calm.

Has anyone else had this experience? The vet said that this happens sometimes. He went within seconds -- probably within five or 10 seconds -- but the crying. I don't think I'll ever get over it. 

  • Kasperwindow_thumb
    Author Alicia Member since Dec 11, 2011

Post Comments

    • PetGirl
      PetGirl     Posted on Dec 19, 2012

      I can relate to this story quite well. I remember (and will never forget) the sad day that I had to let my pet rabbit go over the bridge. His name was Rocky. He was a mini lop rabbit. He was the reason I became involved in rabbit rescue and adoption and along with my husband Jim, we founded the Rabbit Rescue Sanctuary. We loved Rocky so much.  

      Sometimes animals, like people just get so sick that you just want to stop their suffering. That was the case with Rocky who we had kept going with love and vet treatment for many months until it became obvious that it was selfish of us to allow him to continue suffering. 


    • tellgio
      tellgio     Posted on Dec 17, 2012

      Oh my... Firstly. let me offer my sincere condolonces at your losses. It is hard to lose one beloved friend, let alone two in a year. Perhaps it was Cookie's way of letting you know he would be sad too at your temporary parting. Perhaps it was his way of saying he loved you too. I hope you garner some comfort knowing that one day you will be reunited at the Rainbow Bridge to cross together forever. I remember when Jack passed, he was so weak, he could not move a muscle, until i said to him how much I loved him and how much I would miss him. He was able to lift his head and look at me and lick my nose one last time, before he passed. I would like to think that Cookie's 'cries' were his way of talking and comforting you in his last moments before his spirit journey began. Peace

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