Nov 22, 2010

Putting them down

Just wanted to give y'all a quick update on Sammi. She's still hanging in there. She's a tough old cat. She's still not getting around by herself, other than dragging herself this way and that way for about five feet. So we are taking her to her food, her water and to the litter box.  She sleeps most of the day and she seems comfortable.

So we are going to take it day-to-day with her.  I don't know what kind of quality of life she is enjoying right now.  She pretty much slept all day before whatever it is that happened to her last Monday, and she's pretty much sleeping all day now.  So not much of a difference there.  And on Saturday night she was actually able to jump up on the couch to lay down with me while I watched Notre Dame whupp Army.  Well, she got about halfway up and I helped her the rest of the way.

We've had the discussion, or many discussions, on whether or not we should just put her down. But she doesn't appear to be in pain right now.  She takes her medication like a champ.  Even if it doesn't appear to be correcting any issues that she's having.  The one med that we stopped giving her was a pain medication.  Like I said, she doesn't appear to be in pain and the drugs were making her even dopier.  She's been much more aware since we stopped those.

I think the only reason we WOULD put her down at this point is for our own convenience, and that just doesn't sit well for either of us.  Sure, she's putting a cramp in our lifestyles right now.  We've pretty much been on Sammi watch for the past week, staying home to be with her instead of going out.  That might get old pretty soon, but again...a pretty weak reason to put a beloved pet down.

I've already arranged with my sister to bring Sammi along with us to Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  We'll put her in the extra bedroom with a litter box, a blanket and some food and water.  Visiting with her often, of course.  We always spend the night anyway, so as long as she isn't too freaked out by the change of scenery I think it will work out.  The alternatives are either me leaving Gia home alone to care for Sammi while I enjoy Thanksgiving with my family or both of us staying home.  Neither of those appeals to me.

So we are in a holding pattern.  I don't know if she is going to get better.  She's an old girl.  But I just don't see putting her down so that our lives are made more convenient. 

I think anyone who loves their pets would agree.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Don't blame me if it sucks.


RW said...

Hardest thing we had to do was put down the greyhound we saved. But the breed is prone to bone cancer and she had it.

Our debate was we could have amputated or wait for it to spread, which it probably was going to anyway.

You can't medicate for pain because the dog would be walking around on a leg that would be rotting away, not knowing she can't walk on it but trying to anyway.

If you amputate you have a three legged female greyhound who would be soiling herself because it would be impossible to do her business normally. If she had short legs that might have been different. But greys are all leg.

And even with that there's no guarantee it wouldn't have spread to another leg in maybe a month or three.

It would eventually have led to her death anyway, and her thing was to run.

It was hard but we put her down instead of treat the leg. If someone was home during the day it would have been different. But we didn't want her falling over when no one was there and having to wait for us to come home. That was a worse thought than anything.

Unknown said...

What a very difficult thing to be going through.

I had to put my sweet little kitty of 16years down and like you, it was agony deciding the "right time."

It's not an easy thing to do, and I agree it should not be about convenience. You'll know when the time is right.

Mrs. Hall said...

this is a tough choice, no easy answers. It's good you are there for her. Hugs to you and the furry Sammi. :)

Avitable said...

Never for convenience. Only to prevent them from being in pain. Absolutely.

Verdant Earl said...

The one thing we are worried about is her ability to get to the litter box. We don't want the poor gal soiling herself. So far so good. But we haven't seen her do her business on her own. It's always been with one of us setting her inside the box. Time will tell.

RW - I had no idea that bone cancer was so prevalent in greyhounds. That must have been awful.

Annabelle - We are hoping that she will make the decision easy on us. By recovering and living forever, of course. ;)

Holly - Thanks.

Adam - I totally agree.

sybil law said...

Our cat, Shammy, died here at home. I knew it was going to happen that day (in fact, within minutes), and it was awful, but I am glad he died here and that it was quick and seemed rather painless for him. I worked for a vet, and I agree - only put them down when they're in pain and not because they've become some kind of inconvenience (although some animals are miserable when they can't take care of themselves anymore, too).
You guys know Sammi. You'll know.

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - that happened with our big guy Syd almost two years ago. He died suddenly and quickly in Gia's arms. Frankly...I don't know which I would prefer. The Quick or the Long Goodbye.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this, we had to put down our 19yo cat and our 12 year old dog this year, so I totally understand the weight of these decisions.
In both cases we looked at quality of life and let them be if they were not in pain or stressed. This seems to be the route you're taking and I hope you enjoy every moment with her.

Verdant Earl said...

Neeroc - Heya! Is that reverse for Coreen? Thanks for the kind words.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I'll be praying for Sammi and her family. This is such a difficult time. My heart goes out to you all.

Poppy said...

I remember the day I had to have Little Kitty put down. She told me she was all done, so in hindsight I know in my head it was the right thing to do, even though my heart will never match the sentiment. Let Sammi tell you when she's all done, if you can financially stand to do so. She'll tell you, but you have too look and listen to her.

Thinking good thoughts for Sammi.

Verdant Earl said...

Evil Twin's Wife - Thanks! And thanks for stopping by.

Poppy - Sammi ain't telling us anything right now. Just sleeping all day. Thanks for the good thoughts.

Kevin McKeever said...

I decided to put Kiner down when the lymophomia came back for a third time. The doc said treatment probably wouldn't do much at that point except empty my back account. When Kiner spent day after day on the couch and wouldn't eat anything (a Lab NEVER refuses food ... or most nonfood), it was time. Good luck with Sammi.

Verdant Earl said...

Uncool - so far Sammi is eating. Not as much as we would like or as much as she used to, but she's eating. Fingers crossed.

marty mankins said...

Sad to hear this. Having had to put a couple of older cats down in 2009 (in a period of less than 2 weeks), I understand the quality of life decisions.

One of these cats was a month from her 20th birthday. But she had a blood clot that left her back legs immobile. We seriously considered getting one of those carts for her, but then after looking at all of the options and considering the stairs in our home, there wouldn't be many areas she could go on her own.

After discussing it with the vet, it was decided to put her down. One of the hardest decisions in my life as she was my cat when I got with my wife 8 years before.

Taking it day by day is, IMO, the best option.