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My cat died and it's my fault


Ashley123

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Ashley123

I never post in forums like this but I'm so devastated and heart broken I don't know what else to do. My 6 year old boy passed away 12 hours ago. 

My little kitty cat merlin was beyond the love of my life. He was born with an enlarged heart which I discovered about a year ago. When we found out the vet gave me a prescription to keep him on blood thinners once a day because she said  he could develop a clot in his heart. Giving him the pill was nearly impossible, switched to a liquid form to mix in wet food. He would eat it depending on the day. However it was a pain to give him because some days I couldn't get him to eat any of it, and a lot of the time wouldn't finish. Over time I gave it to him less and less and I don't think I truly understood how terrible a clot formation would be. 

He then did develop a clot that traveled to his legs and paralyzed him from the waist down. Long story short the vet told me the only realistic option was to put him down. 

I'm am so sick with guilt. I'm literally struggling with self loathing. Why didn't I give him his medicine every single day? Why didn't I figure out a way to make it work? Towards the end it was pure stupidity and I hate to say it laziness on my part. I'm work 50 hour weeks and didn't feel like dealing with it when I got home. My brain thought as long as he got it occasionally his blood with remain overall thinned. I hate myself for not taking it more seriously. My heart is shattered I loved that little boy so much. I'm hoping there are others who have had similar experiences and advice to help push me through. 

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I'm so sorry for your loss.  I'm of the belief that we will be with them again, although it's very hard to get used to being without them in the here and now in our everyday lives.  You did what you could to get him to take his Rx, sometimes it's very hard to get things down them when they don't want it.  Vets should offer suggestions but often they're unrealistic about what it's like trying to accomplish that!  I have to grind my puppy's flea treatment and then mix it into something wet and tasty, even then he doesn't always cooperate, esp. if it's vile tasting.  Just because they shape a pill like a bone does NOT help any!  What planet are they on?!

I am so sorry.  I hope this video brings you some comfort and peace.

 

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Really sorry to read about your lovely Merlin. Grief is so hard, we blame ourselves for everything even if in reality we are doing what we can. My Goldie was on kidney medicine for 3 years including a special diet. Also antibiotics for the occasional tooth flare up. He took the special food sometimes, but I had to give him other stuff to keep him eating. He was running about right up till 2 days before. If I'd insisted on the special food all the time, would he have lasted longer, and how much. Or would he have given up eating as it was bland. Also he just wouldn't take antibiotics for his teeth. A week before he had a flare up, but he just wouldn't take them. I'm wondering if the poison from that contributed to his last days. His levels were going the wrong direction all that time anyway so the kidneys were bad,  the result would have been the same at some point but when. And maybe that was not a factor at all. You did what you could, we are so full of guilt we can barely think straight. He would have known he was loved, and would not be blaming you. 

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Ashley123
On 2/3/2021 at 8:58 AM, KayC said:

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I'm of the belief that we will be with them again, although it's very hard to get used to being without them in the here and now in our everyday lives.  You did what you could to get him to take his Rx, sometimes it's very hard to get things down them when they don't want it.  Vets should offer suggestions but often they're unrealistic about what it's like trying to accomplish that!  I have to grind my puppy's flea treatment and then mix it into something wet and tasty, even then he doesn't always cooperate, esp. if it's vile tasting.  Just because they shape a pill like a bone does NOT help any!  What planet are they on?!

I am so sorry.  I hope this video brings you some comfort and peace.

 

Thank you very much for your support! I agree, I wish there was an easier way to give then their meds. You bone comment made me smile ❤️

On 2/3/2021 at 9:48 AM, Gary55 said:

Really sorry to read about your lovely Merlin. Grief is so hard, we blame ourselves for everything even if in reality we are doing what we can. My Goldie was on kidney medicine for 3 years including a special diet. Also antibiotics for the occasional tooth flare up. He took the special food sometimes, but I had to give him other stuff to keep him eating. He was running about right up till 2 days before. If I'd insisted on the special food all the time, would he have lasted longer, and how much. Or would he have given up eating as it was bland. Also he just wouldn't take antibiotics for his teeth. A week before he had a flare up, but he just wouldn't take them. I'm wondering if the poison from that contributed to his last days. His levels were going the wrong direction all that time anyway so the kidneys were bad,  the result would have been the same at some point but when. And maybe that was not a factor at all. You did what you could, we are so full of guilt we can barely think straight. He would have known he was loved, and would not be blaming you. 

Thank you so much!! I'm trying to change my mentality as to what you said. Even if I had been better his condition war still there and a chance that this would have happened anyways. I appreciate your response very much ❤️

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It may help to read other's threads as well.  Someone on my other site it's been three years since she lost her dog and she was really struggling, ready to give up on her marriage, depressed, no progression at all, then these last few months she found a dog like hers, same birthday but four years younger, and she began to live again.  Her outlook is more positive, her relationship with her husband improved, it's amazing!  I'm so glad she updated us.  We somehow get through this although everyone's timetable is different.  I lost my beloved husband way too soon 15 1/2 years ago, he was barely 51.  I am getting through the loss of Arlie the same way I learned to do with my George.  One day at a time.  Looking for and embracing any goodness whatsoever.
 

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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catawampus

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know all too well how difficult it can be to give meds to kitties. I've struggled with the same issues you experienced and after losing them I blamed myself for skipping days. I would always justify the skipped days thinking like you that if they get the meds even half the time it will be enough. I would always convince myself that the daily stress of giving them the meds was worse than the medical condition itself. Not only would it stress them out but I would be in a constant state of anxiety because the "time to give the meds" was always looming and it would break my heart to force them to take it. I'd get angry and they'd struggle and we'd all get completely stressed out. If I added it to their food they wouldn't eat it. I have a kitty now who takes 3 heart meds twice daily. I'm fortunate that he he takes them easily otherwise I'd be going down the same path I've been previously. 

Try not to blame yourself. After enough time passes you may realize that we often traverse a thin line between what is best for their health and longevity and what is best for their daily happiness. If we (and they) are always stressed and anxious about "med time" then it can so easily impact our relationship with them in a negative way. I'm sure that Merlin lived a wonderful, happy life and he was clearly loved. Although his passing is traumatic and awful and the guilt that you're experiencing may feel insurmountable, it will get easier. Please know that when our fur babies refuse to take their meds without extreme struggle and stress that it's sometimes better to just let them live their lives as peacefully and happy as possible for the time they have left. When they finally pass, we of course blame ourselves for not doing what we think we should have done (as I've done so often). But you gave Merlin so much love and happiness while he was in your life. Try to focus on that. Next to impossible right now I know, but it will get easier. 

Take care and be well.

Biscuit's Dad.

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Ashley123
5 hours ago, catawampus said:

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know all too well how difficult it can be to give meds to kitties. I've struggled with the same issues you experienced and after losing them I blamed myself for skipping days. I would always justify the skipped days thinking like you that if they get the meds even half the time it will be enough. I would always convince myself that the daily stress of giving them the meds was worse than the medical condition itself. Not only would it stress them out but I would be in a constant state of anxiety because the "time to give the meds" was always looming and it would break my heart to force them to take it. I'd get angry and they'd struggle and we'd all get completely stressed out. If I added it to their food they wouldn't eat it. I have a kitty now who takes 3 heart meds twice daily. I'm fortunate that he he takes them easily otherwise I'd be going down the same path I've been previously. 

Try not to blame yourself. After enough time passes you may realize that we often traverse a thin line between what is best for their health and longevity and what is best for their daily happiness. If we (and they) are always stressed and anxious about "med time" then it can so easily impact our relationship with them in a negative way. I'm sure that Merlin lived a wonderful, happy life and he was clearly loved. Although his passing is traumatic and awful and the guilt that you're experiencing may feel insurmountable, it will get easier. Please know that when our fur babies refuse to take their meds without extreme struggle and stress that it's sometimes better to just let them live their lives as peacefully and happy as possible for the time they have left. When they finally pass, we of course blame ourselves for not doing what we think we should have done (as I've done so often). But you gave Merlin so much love and happiness while he was in your life. Try to focus on that. Next to impossible right now I know, but it will get easier. 

Take care and be well.

Biscuit's Dad.

@catawampus thank you so much for your story. It makes me feel better that you also had a similar mentality. ❤️

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@catawampus

What an amazing post about giving medicine. That the stress could be  worse than the disease and to let them live their lives peacefully. Truly from the heart. Thank you for this Biscuit's Dad, this really puts this aspect of pet care into perspective. I had my dog Goldie, but equally true. Thanks for these words. 

 

 

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