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Loss of dear cat Fritz-he is now at peace


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Thankyou for providing this forum. I have known Fritz since he appeared in  my garden 11 years ago, a week after the loss of my previous cat.  He was always such a friendly boy, so funny and full of character. We eventually found out he belonged to our neighbour but spent all his time in  our garden as  he didn't get on  with his sister, Freda.  So we got to know him well and have seen him regularly every day.  Then two and  a  half years ago, on my birthday, his owners texted me to say they were moving away to somewhere they couldn't take cats, so could we take on Fritz, well we didn't hesitate for a moment, since then he has officially been our cat.  He has had such a happy life, the freedom of  lots of  safe back gardens to roam, and he would sleep in a bed like a  human, under the covers with his head on the pillow. purring happily.

To cut a long  story short, we found out last weekend that he has advanced cancer of the spleen, he  had good car in hospital but there is nothing more they can do, he is at home now, we are giving him loving care over his last days.  It is very sad and  will be so very strange not having his little face at  the back door each day.  The day will soon come when we have to say goodbye but we are so glad to have known him and we know he was happy and content.  He loves jumping up on the  arm of  the chair to be brushed and  he  is still enjoying that, hopefully it  comforts him.

My thoughts are with all the other readers of this forum who have lost their dearly loved pets.

Thanks for your time in reading Fritz's story.

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I am so sorry to hear about your Fritz and am in awe of what you are doing for him, looking after him at home. I am not sure what kind of caregiving is required in his case but we have nursed both our late cats mostly at home and into their diseases later stages. It was very hard on them and on us but as I have written here before, I’d beg for more of those days, when they were still with me. I think you are preparing yourself for the worse and find it very brave of you. I was unable to face the possibility of losing them myself and hoped and prayed against all odds. I pray now that Fritz is not in pain and that like me and my son, you will be able to enjoy every minute of his company and find, as we certainly did, that even frail and ailing our cats can still and while it lasts cherish the life they have with us. My heart goes out to you. Please post a photo of Fritz here if you can.

 

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Thankyou so much Beatriz, your kind supportive words mean so much at  this time.  It is clear from your message that your cats were deeply loved and that you gave them great care.  In our case they sent Fritz home with opiate based painkilling syringes to  spray under his  tongue but they said he should only have them for a  couple of days, as well as that he is having steroid tablets each day.  He  is still eating to  an extent and enjoying  lots of  cuddles.  We can't let him wander off out of the garden due to risk of haemorrhage but we have put a  cat harness on him tied to a long string so that  he can still safely lie in  the sun and wander round the garden that he knows and loves.  Thankyou again for taking the trouble to reply. It is  a comfort to me.

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It is no trouble at all, on the contrary. I am glad that my experience can be shared with you and thus rendered meaningful - it is important for us to know that we are not alone. I felt very isolated when going through it myself, I had not found this forum then and came across enough criticism for looking after my cats the way I did and for choosing to spend most of my time with them instead. Looking back now, those were precious days and I know in my heart it was the right thing to do. I am delighted to learn Fritz is eating, our female cat Preta developed a huge appetite and ate furiously when she used to be frugal with food before being so ill. We had an oxygen box customized for her at home ( she had lung cancer and difficulties with breathing) and at times she was on oxygen at the veterinarian practice and there too she would amaze everybody by lifting herself up as soon as she was breathing better and eating like crazy. They nicknamed her Highlander there. She put on such a good fight, she carried us all with her to the very end. How thoughtful of you to have him on the cat harness and long string so that he can walk around the garden and into the sun. Both my cats loved sunbathing in the mornings - As you write I can sense your love and devotion to Fritz. It is the same Love, though our cats are each of them unique. It is the same Pain too, they say it follows the love. 

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Thankyou Beatriz I now feel much stronger and able to face what each of the next few days bring. Sharing your experience with me and empathising with what we are going through with Fritz has helped me a lot.  I can see from your post what a wonderful and  spirited cat Preta was.

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I am so sorry about Fritz' diagnosis, but I'm glad he found a loving home with you and will be well cared for the rest of his life.  All you can do is take a day at a time and enjoy each moment you have left with him.  You're in my thoughts and prayers.  

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Thankyou so much KayC for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated.  I'm so glad I found this forum today.  It has given me strength to get through the next few days.

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Hi @Jtc I too am sad about Fritz :( The end is not easy no matter how much we try and wrap our minds around it logically. Give lots of affection as I know you will and know that we all understand what you are going through. We are here for you. 

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Thankyou. Fritz isn't too bad today considering.  He has been enjoying some nice salmon.  It is so reassuring to have this forum for when he does go significantly down hill in the near future. Thanks to you all and every strength to all of you.  Your cats would all have known that  they were very much loved.

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10 hours ago, AJWCat said:

Hi @Jtc I too am sad about Fritz :( The end is not easy no matter how much we try and wrap our minds around it logically. Give lots of affection as I know you will and know that we all understand what you are going through. We are here for you. 

She spoke for me too here...

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Happy to hear dear Fritz had his salmon Sunday treat and enjoyed it, bless him!

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Thankyou Beatriz, I so appreciate your interest in and support for Fritz, I've relayed your message to my partner and I'm sure he will take comfort in it too.  Your cats were lucky to have such a kind owner.

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I thought I'd post here the personal message that  I sent yesterday to Beatriz, in response to a kind message that she had posted to my inbox:

As before, your kindness is  greatly appreciated, as it will be by my partner when I let him know.  We will also give your love to Fritz.

I have had to come away from home to fulfil a pre-planned commitment, there was absolutely no way round it without causing huge suffering and disappointment to those I had arranged to help.  I know that my partner will continue to give Fritz wonderful care but it was very hard coming away as I felt I was letting my partner down.  I know it won't affect Fritz badly as my partner loves him dearly and feels it a privilege to be able to care for him.  We have shared the care of cats at the end of  their lives before and I know how much trouble he took to make their time as happy and comfortable as  possible for them.  

In the days before I can away (I left on Saturday) Fritz was enjoying extra tasty cat foods such as Sheba, I found if I put a little on the plate at a time, then kept adding more with a teaspoon as he ate, then he would keep going and eat more. Then I tried putting a greater amount on the plate at the beginning of the meal and he seemed to eat less overall, maybe it was a coincidence. 

He is still interested in  going outside, helped by the hot weather we've been having in the uk.  Sometimes we keep him on his harness and long  string, but an experienced vet (with a good reputation) who I spoke to suggested the option of continuing to let him roam freely, 'to  let him live his life', she said that if he had a haemorrhage it could just  as likely happen when he was at  home, and in any case there would be nothing we could do to alleviate the haemorrhage even if  we were with him.  So we have been letting him go sometimes too, especially if it  is  earlier in the day so we know he'll come back before dark.   He has a very safe environment, a long line of walled back gardens back to back, so no roads. The morning after we first let him off his harness we were worried as he didn't come out of his bed until lunchtime, but he got up quite early on subsequent days, so I think he had just been exhausted after revisiting all his haunts again!

We are still giving him steroid tablets, either putting them into his mouth or  in eg a piece of cooked chicken or  liver.

Thanks again, I'll definitely let you know of any significant changes.

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When I spoke to my partner at the end of  yesterday evening, he said that although he had given Fritz a brush, which he has  always loved, and had managed to encourage Fritz to eat nearly a whole (v small) tin of special cat food, Fritz had seemed more subdued than usual during the evening and went to his comfy bed that we  have made for him on  some soft jumpers, in a secluded recess on a  shelf.  He seems to be able to sleep comfortably and peacefully there.

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Im so glad he has a comfy bed and also enjoys the outdoors.  It's hard but knowing he is comfortable right now is meaningful.

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Thankyou Kay for your kind words.  Fritz seems to be feeling a bit brighter today.

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On ‎7‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 10:15 PM, Beatriz said:

I am so sorry to hear about your Fritz and am in awe of what you are doing for him, looking after him at home. I am not sure what kind of caregiving is required in his case but we have nursed both our late cats mostly at home and into their diseases later stages. It was very hard on them and on us but as I have written here before, I’d beg for more of those days, when they were still with me. I think you are preparing yourself for the worse and find it very brave of you. I was unable to face the possibility of losing them myself and hoped and prayed against all odds. I pray now that Fritz is not in pain and that like me and my son, you will be able to enjoy every minute of his company and find, as we certainly did, that even frail and ailing our cats can still and while it lasts cherish the life they have with us. My heart goes out to you. Please post a photo of Fritz here if you can.

 

In terms of having  to face what lies ahead, I think it helped a bit that the vets involved in Fritz's care took a lot of time to talk through exactly what we could expect in terms of time frames, and that there was definitely nothing that could be  done to  change that course.  While it was very upsetting and an awful shock, it feels just slightly easier in that I could then to  some extent start to face that  new reality, before he goes.  Obviously it will still be terribly upsetting when the time comes but at the moment I feel  slightly more peaceful about it than I did.

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I'm glad of that.  Anticipatory grief does let us do some reconciling ahead of time, but the finality hits regardless when the time comes.  Hard saying which is easier, facing death in shock or facing it little by little ahead of time, it's just plain hard no matter how it comes.  But I'm hoping you can enjoy each day you have with him.  Give him some love from all of us!

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Thankyou Kay, the help and support of you all has been so invaluable.  Knowing that you all completely understand and have been there yourselves, through the very happy times with your pets, and the very sad times.

Fritz is only eating a few bites of  food now.  My partner has been so kind, down on  the floor next  to Fritz in his bed, feeding him teaspoonfuls of  food. Fritz wasn't really interested in being brushed last night but this morning he was keen to go out, and then sat on my partner's lap in  the garden purring while being brushed.  My partner has tried many times to get him to eat but he now has  started refusing  food.  So there is still some positive news but it  is looking as though things are not as they should be.

It has been such a help to know that I can share these little details about Fritz, to know that you are all thinking of  him and sending him your love.  I am crying as I write this, it is helping me to release some of the pain and sadness.  Thankyou.

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He has just eaten some of a sachet of nice chicken cat food, then did some of his grooming, washing his face.

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I'm glad.  Sometimes it helps to entice them with favorite or new foods.  I know this is very hard to go through, my King George lost so much weight at the end of his life, he'd always been overweight but at the end he was vastly underweight, I was cooking bacon, eggs, anything to get him to eat.  Twelve years ago, I still miss him.  Our tears are in the beginning of our grief, but then we carry it inside of us, kind of like a sadness...we can still smile on the outside, but it's something we learn to live with, like a different dimension or something.

May each day you have with Fritz be special.

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It is so lovely to get Fritz’s news and to be able to picture him and your partner going through the days and adjusting to changes as they come @Jtc and lovingly. It so reminds me of the nursing days with both my cats. At the time Tripps was in treatment a friend of mine also had one of her cats suffering from kidney disease and I realised then that the Love was the same and one Love making us feel so close to each other even if miles apart and nursing but different cats. Kay’s wishes as above are mine for you both to enjoy each day. Looking back from where I am now I can assure you they are all and each special and unique days. Lots of love to the three of you and cheers dear Fritz (I almost wrote Tripps now) -

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My heart is breaking for you. But I know so many people here wish they had had a little more time like you have. You have to wrap your mind around what is happening. To get to have a little more peace as the end comes as opposed to panic and then the loss is a gift. It won't make losing him any less painful, just trying to look at the bright side. 

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Fritz is still here.  Things are much the same in that he is eating only small amounts and resting a lot, but still keen to go out every morning.  My partner is doing his best to tempt him with different foods, brushing him etc. 

Thankyou so much to you all, both for the love and kindness you have sent me, for sharing about your own wonderful pets and also for your very thought provoking insights. 

23 hours ago, KayC said:
19 hours ago, Beatriz said:
18 hours ago, AJWCat said:

You have to wrap your mind around what is happening. To get to have a little more peace as the end comes as opposed to panic and then the loss is a gift. It won't make losing him any less painful, just trying to look at the bright side. 

Kay’s wishes as above are mine for you both to enjoy each day. Looking back from where I am now I can assure you they are all and each special and unique days.

May each day you have with Fritz be special.

Your wise words above have encouraged me to focus on, and list the happy things, which are still there despite what is  happening.  This has helped me to hang onto them and has reminded me that they are real and important.  I can recall many many special and happy memories of times with Fritz and his loving funny ways over the years.  In terms of enjoying and appreciating the days with him now, we are so glad that he is still interested to go out, also have smiled as he shows his cat intelligence as he reaches up to touch the key on the back door, having seen how we open it! So pleased that he has his safe quiet garden to spent time in.  Likewise I have been so pleased that he has been able  to lie in the warm sun these past few weeks. Also after the second vet recommended we could let him off his harness, we took pleasure in thinking of  him re-visiting all his haunts, and then sleeping all the next morning  after all  the excitement!  Also that he has soft places to sleep while he is indoors, and has still found some pleasure from being brushed.  Even last night I smiled as  my partner described wafting the salmon around so Fritz would get the smell of it, and how it did attract his attention! Also the time last week when I brought home the Sheba cat food and fed it to him spoon by spoon and he ate the whole tin as he liked it so much.  By writing them all down in one go this way, I feel a lot better - it helps offset the sad feelings.

Of course every situation is  different.  In the past I have experienced losing one of my cats very quickly, she suddenly became ill  without  any warning and died within half an hour, the vet thought it must have been some kind of circulatory problem.  For me it  was in some ways better that she went  quickly, but of course it depends on the circumstances, of course much harder if it was caused by something external, such as in your case AJWCat.  I have also had to nurse other cats who have been ill for  some time.  In one of those cases I have suspected that external factors played a part in the cat becoming ill, and it is very hard.  But with that cat I know she had a happy life with so much love in  it, so I suppose there are always some good things there to recall.

Someone once said to me that if you can even find 1% that's positive in a situation that's still helpful..

I also liked a Buddhist quote, I haven't got the exact words to hand but it was something like - do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

I have more I'd like to say, if I may, so I'll post again later.

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Looking forward to hearing more from you - thank you for the live pics on Fritz’s whereabouts: loved the salmon parade trick, wish it had occurred to me at the time! I have emailed you just in case your notifications are still off. 

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Hi Beatriz

Thanks for  your message, I'm glad you liked the salmon idea!

Pleased to say I had a text from my partner to say Fritz jumped  on the bed to get him out this morning and then 'ate with relish' -  my partner said he had  prepared a  plate that he turned round like like a carousel as he ate, it had a  range of different foods on it, including some stir fried meat strips.

Can I just ask, by 'live pics on Fritz's whereabouts', did you mean the updates on how he is, I thought you might mean that? Also you mentioned you had emailed me, did you mean you  had sent me a message on the site, as I don't think you would have my email address, sorry I'm just slightly puzzled, as no message in my inbox on the site...

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Oh sorry I realise now you probably meant the message you sent the other day, I was so pleased to get it, thankyou..  I will reply to it.

Anyway, following on  from my earlier post, you all, Kay, Beatriz and AJWCat, also made me think about finding what's special each day about life in general, and appreciating and enjoying what I can about life in  general,  despite what  might  be going on that's difficult eg not feeling that I can't enjoy anything while Fritz is ill . Eg .I have  to be away from Fritz at the moment because I unavoidably have  to be near my parents -  a few months ago there were v serious worries about my Mum's health, but although things are still serious, she is a tiny bit better, and I value that, so I need to remember now that I have a great opportunity to see my Mum rather than let my concerns about Fritz cloud everything else.  It's obviously easy to think I can only be happy when this or that difficulty is sorted out, but I want to try and still appreciate the good  things around me...

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 3:55 PM, AJWCat said:

You have to wrap your mind around what is happening. To get to have a little more peace as the end comes as opposed to panic and then the loss is a gift. It won't make losing him any less painful, just trying to look at the bright side. 

Hi AJWCat I was interested to read your words, by wrapping my mind around what is happening, I'm guessing you are talking about facing, understanding and accepting the situation?

You mentioned panic, you may well have meant it in general terms but I was interested in that choice of word as I do tend  towards an anxious approach to life I wondered if that had come across in the way I've spoken about Fritz.  Also clearly that must have unavoidably been a big part of the loss of your dear cat, due to the circumstances.  I notice the first anniversary is coming up on 12th. I'll be thinking of you.

 'To get to have a little more peace' - I tried letting my mind feel  more peaceful, I think that allowed me to feel the sadness more clearly so I think that must be a good thing, rather than blocking it with anxiety.

PS I was reading Beatriz's topic and I liked the phrase you used:

'So now you really are forced to create a new life'  - For me this helped me. I liked its straight forward simplicity, as I have for many years sat on the fence in areas of life, in terms of  dealing with difficulties in  life.  There are times when I want to find the courage and focus to take definite concrete steps/actions even if I'm not sure where it will take me, but I put them off thinking "if I do 'this', supposing 'that' will happen etc., and spend time agonizing over which way to turn. But if something happens beyond my control even if I don't want it, the shift it creates could then galvanise me to make a different life for myself, because rather than fearing a bad thing will happen, the bad thing will already have happened so I'd may as well make a better life from the momentum it gives.

Edited by Jtc
spelling mistake, I meant to write 'a big part of the loss of your dear cat' but I'd written 'a bit part of the loss of your dear cat' by mistake
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Hi @Jtc yes I used panic very intentionally. Because my situation was exactly that. Cats hide their illness well so although you may see signs of slowing down, it seems for many of us there is a collapse or whatever with a rush to the vet. Total fear and panic. I think I may have detected that in your post, you can't help but be very anxious over Fritz (and sometimes life does that to us in general!) 

I had two cats that got ill and I had some time to come to grips with that and let them live as long as they both could before they just lost all quality of life. It didn't make losing them easier but there was no sudden trauma compared to my last cat. I think that was a big part of my devastation. It was so horrible. I am sorry to be dramatic, it just was. 

I appreciate you mentioning the 12th. I am so much better now but in a way still healing. I am do glad to read about Frtiz jumping and eating well, every day he has a good day is a great day!  

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AJW, so hard to realize it's been a year, how can that be!  Tomorrow.  You'll be in my heart as you go through it.  Why do we have to be so aware of time?  If not for that, we wouldn't be hit with anv. of death!  Ahh, but we ARE aware.  Marking a passageway...

JTC,

I hope your visit with you mom goes well...

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Thank you @KayC I started writing a long post detailing it all and I wore myself out. (kind of silly!) and then just deleted it. I realized I just don't need to tell the whole story and revisit. I appreciate the thoughts, I think I posted here a couple the days after for the first time. Thank you for all your support.  

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It's quite a journey isn't it...like we transform along the way, the franticness of the beginning, to the more newly acquired peace, if that's even the word for it, later on.  Perhaps acceptance is the word...the very word set off fireworks to me in the beginning, as if it somehow implied I was okay with what happened...no, never okay with that, but had to accept the changes it meant for my life as that's all there is now.

Thinking of you today and hoping the day will be better for you than you can anticipate or imagine.  

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Acceptance is a good word I think. I didn't want to accept - I was sooo mad at what happened, it felt so unfair. (Life can be unfair, no way around that. We get to choose how we respond. Like you used to tell me to find the joy even when I didn't feel like it.) Thinking about our sweet kitty a lot. Doing okay thanks!

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Hello to all

Fritz is still eating reasonably well, not by any means lots but more than he was a few days back. My partner tried him on some new sachets, which he loved.  He is spending lots of time sitting up on the wall at the end of my garden, watching the world go by.  So he still seems to have quality of life.  The vet who did the scan didn't think he would still be here  now, but the second vet we spoke to on the  phone said it is very hard to predict these time frames.  I return home for a couple of days tomorrow, so while Fritz is very used to my partner and just as  happy with him, it  will be lovely for me to see him!

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JTC, so good to hear. It is unpredictable sadly, I am glad you know that. And yet, so good for you to get home and see him. Nice to read a little good news. 

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I'm glad you'll return home today and get to spend some time with him.  That he has quality of life is important.  We take it one day at a time, enjoying what is, trying to let go of our worries that we cannot change.  I say "trying to" because they have a way of taking residence in the back of our mind and it's a moment by moment process we seem to work at.  Enjoy Fritz' attention today.

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I'm so glad to hear it!
 

My modem died and I'm waiting for the internet company to come out next week and replace it, right now I'm at our church using their internet, so don't anyone think I don't care if I'm not on for a while.  :(

 

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I've been on every day, went down to my church and used their internet.  Then my APC unit died...went through the "not so fun" of hooking up a new APC unit, still haven't got all the bugs out yet, but discovered my modem running again, so apparently when the battery was dying on the APC unit, there was enough juice for everything else, but not enough for the modem, which uses more electricity.  Canceled technician.  

Jtc, glad Fritz is hanging in there, let us know how he's doing.

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Hello

Thankyou so much to Beatriz, KayC and AJWCat for your concern.  I really value it.  I went home on 26th August and since then I have worked together with my partner to care for  Fritz, I haven't gone on the  computer much, and have only now had a chance to read the messages from after 26th, I've come away from home again for three days to help someone I had promised previously, so I have a little more mental space to come back to the forum.

I have unintentionally left  you worrying what has happened with Fritz. He is still here. I will without fail let  you know when the time comes, so  yes, no news will always  mean he is here still.

Some short term good news, he seemed to be suffering as a lot of  congestion and green mucous from his nose, we thought it meant that the steroids had stopped reducing inflammation, and we were preparing ourselves to face the fact that he may now not  have enough quality of life so, Wednesday last week, we took him to the vet not knowing whether she would say that no more could be done and that we should say goodbye, but the vet said that his lungs sounded clear and gave him antibiotics as she thought it  likely to be a secondary infection, she wasn't sure if  they would help but thought worth a try.  A couple of days later they didn't seem to have helped and he seemed quite down so again we made an appointment to take him in to say goodbye.  However the morning we were going to go he ate some breakfast and from there he seemed to pick up a bit, the mucous cleared up, just  coughing a bit, and he is eating a little better. Still the little round tins of Gourmet pate cat food, up to about half a tin a day, so up to about 40g, it's not much but it's quite a rich food, and the amount he eats he seems  to enjoy. We are keeping the small tins in the fridge and heating a small amount at at a time for 5 seconds in  the microwave. He needs to have the plate lifted up to his nose for  him to start eating but once he gets started he does seem to enjoy the modest amounts he takes. If he stops, stroking him often helps him to start again. A couple of times we left food  in front of  him and came back to find he had taken the initiative by himself  to eat it, so that's really good.  He still wants to go outside and we have him on  his harness (as we think he is not strong enough now to risk climbing up on garden walls etc.) so he can walk from a  soft bench cushion on our arbour, to the sun lounger, and to his water and his litter tray. He seems happy  with that arrangement. . We had a bit more warm weather last weekend. He alternated between lying in the sun and taking shade under the sun lounger.   We go out regularly to sit with him and brush/stroke him.  He has fallen asleep in the bed with us each night, and by morning he is on a soft cushion on a box beside the bed.  Sometimes he sleeps for long periods in the day right down under the covers, but at least he can sleep for that amount of time without having to wake up and change position due to discomfort. He has gone very thin, and sometimes looks  a little unsteady on his back legs, but his demeanor still seems to show that he has quality of life as far as we can tell.

I'll be back with him on Saturday.  It's been quite a journey but we are glad we still have him, and for longer than was predicted.

Thankyou and thinking of you all.

 

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Very happy to hear Fritz’s news. And yes, what a journey you are both doing an amazing job and achieving the difficult balance of taking notice of Fritz’s quality of life while providing him care and treatment as needed. Thank you for writing - thinking of you, sending every good wish. 

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Thank you for letting us know how Fritz is doing.  My Kitty is also getting very thin and she used to be plump but at 23 I can't expect more.  It sounds like you guys are doing everything humanly possible for Fritz and he is indeed one very lucky cat to have you doting on him and giving him such quality care, oh that all cats and dogs could have such love and devotion from their humans!  I'm glad he's still with you and doing as well as he is.  Hang in there!  I know you've learned, as we all have, to take one day at a time, live in the present and embrace each good moment you have.

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Thanks very much to you both. I forgot to add that my partner found that putting his tablets into a very small amount of water, in a tiny glass, helped to get him to swallow them. My partner gently tips his head up and opens his mouth, then puts the water and tablet in, and then I think closes his mouth. Fritz does a really quick gargle, swallows, and then it's done.  It doesn't sound very nice but we found in practise that it went down more easily than just putting in the tablet alone. 

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I'm glad!  I have to give my cat 1/2 Zyrtec every morning and I push it way back in her throat, then she gets to eat her food.  I think she's programmed to think this is what you have to do to get fed.  ;)

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Hello to Beatriz, KayC, AJWCat and all.

I'm sorry to have to tell you all that seven weeks after his diagnosis, and having still had quality of life for nearly all that time, Fritz has now finally passed on.  Also sorry I didn't tell you sooner, although I was so grateful that it was such a gentle passing, I somehow found  it  hard  to come onto the forum and write down what had happened. As the forum had been and still is a great source of comfort and support for me, I anticipated that I would tell you all straight away and imagined that I would do that, but when it came to it, the idea of writing it down was harder than I had expected.  However, now  that I am here it is ok.

As you know I was due to go home on the 8th, in the late afternoon (UK time). Fritz it turned  out had been a bit wobbly and a  less  interested in food later in the day on 7th, he then stayed in bed all that night, and then on 8th he stayed in bed for the whole day, he uncharacteristically didn't want to drink, eat or go out.  When my partner gently tried to coax him out of bed, he moved away from him and went further into the bed.  When I got home my partner relayed all this to me, I then went up to him and called him gently, he has always responded to my call, but he gave no reaction, and when I put my hand near his head he lifted his head up as though he had previously been unaware that I was there, even though he was awake.  So he clearly wasn't at all himself.  He had a look in his eyes that he wasn't happy.  So we told the veterinary practice the situation, and arranged to take him down there. We felt it was time, we made a cosy bed  for him within his cat basket, with a large soft towel and a soft cashmere jumper for him to  lie in/on. We travelled to the  vet by public transport.  He didn't look well and indeed a stranger on the train saw him and looked at us with concern and empathy.  We appreciated  this.

When we got there we saw a lovely vet, we hadn't met her before but she was  clearly very kind and caring.  They have one of their consulting rooms that they use when euthanasia is likely, and it has comfortable sofas in it as well as the usual examining table etc. so that people can sit and say goodbye to their pets, and also so they can spend private time in there afterwards, sitting with their pets.  We let him out of the basket onto one of the sofas, he walked  for  a few steps, he then jumped down onto the floor, and his back legs just very slowly went down, and he gently flopped down onto the floor.  He was clearly very lethargic and weak.  We took him onto the vet's table and she examined him carefully and explained that she thought it was  time, she did the test for dehydration where they gently pinch the skin between their fingers and we could  see that it  didn't spring back into its normal position as  it was meant to.  She took time to talk it through with us.  Fritz was still flopped right down and  made no reaction, although his eyes were open.  We also felt sure it was time and so sadly made the decision to give consent for her to put him to sleep.  My partner had Fritz's brush with him so the last thing Fritz knew was the feel of my partner gently brushing him and me stroking his head and both of us talking gently to him. She then gave him the injection and it was very quick, Fritz wasn't at all scared, and gave no reaction to the vet preparing him for the injection. It was also very quiet and peaceful in the practice as it was out of hours so there were no other animals  there.

A few minutes later the vet then left the room and said that we could sit there for as long as we wanted too.  So we sat with him for  a few minutes and then wrapped him in his soft  towel and carried him home.  We had the burial ceremony in my garden and again it felt very quiet and peaceful.  I walk a small dog for a charity and so had him with us in  the garden at the time of the burial.  He sat quietly next to us and it felt a comfort to have a living creature near us.  All the while my partner and I felt close and were able to gently support each other.  We felt thankful that Fritz had only had just over a  day of suffering and that he was now at peace.  So I feel lucky that the whole process was so very peaceful and calm.  I know full well it is not always like this.

By coincidence, shortly afterwards the veterinary practice had an open day where owners whose animals were patients there could come and see behind the scenes, the kennels where the animals stay when they are admitted, the rooms where ultrasounds were carried out, the operating theatres etc.  We went to this and it  was a great comfort to see that Fritz had been given every care and comfort there, the soft bedding they have in the kennels for example.

A couple of days after he died, on two occasions when I hadn't immediately been thinking about him, I suddenly 'heard' his meows, it would be nice to think that he was communicating with us..  When I  went out to look at the grave the following day, suddenly the  word 'vibrancy' came into my head, and I had a really strong sense of vibrancy coming from the grave, it would be nice to think that this meant that Fritz's spirit was still there and had  regained strength. It was a very strong and unexpected sensation.

So now he's at peace. When Fritz was well we sometimes used to see a neighbour's cat (white with black tail) sun bathing in my garden at the same time as  Fritz was there so although I don't think they were friends, Fritz seemed happy to accept him being there.  In recent days this cat has sometimes spent a bit of time in my garden.  I feel pleased that the garden is still being enjoyed by a cat.

As you know, you all helped me a lot in the period of shock and sadness when Fritz was first diagnosed, and by taking such interest in and concern for Fritz over the weeks.  I treasure the care that you gave me while I was caring for Fritz.

 

 

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I am so sorry, there seems to never be a good time for it, we wish we could keep them forever and in good health.  He is in peace, and that is of some consolation.  I know it's neither better nor worse to have anticipatory grief vs shock, just different, but loss is loss, no matter how it presents...we all hate goodbyes and the changes it brings.

My heartfelt condolences to you.  May Fritz be happily playing at the Rainbow Bridge, with renewed vigor and health, until you can join him again.

 

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