My Kitty for 16 Years (Sad to say goodbye)

25 Mar

I knew we would have to face this, but was hoping it would be later rather than sooner.  Our 16-year old cat was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma last year (kitty cancer) and had an estimated 1-2 years left to live.  This week he started show signs of really poor health:

  • not eating or drinking
  • sitting in our closet for hours on end sulking
  • having trouble balancing/walking
  • not using the litter box, etc..

He’s lost weight and he basically looks like hell.  He probably feels like hell too, but he can’t quite tell us.  We brought him in when things were looking bad on Wednesday.  They did tests and hydrated him on an IV with electrolytes and fed him with a syringe for 3 days.  We started feeding him this way as well (what a mess!) because he has no interest in food.    Each day we rack up another huge bill and I am just wondering if this is the end of the line.  He’s 16 years old.

As usual the tests came back inconclusive- maybe his cancer is back, or maybe it is something else that we could actually solve more easily.  The only way to know is to do even more tests and spend even more money.  Even if we do, he is only expected to live about another year.  We are looking at spending another $1K just on tests.  We’ve already sunk $1k this week on medical care.  I know I’ll end up spending it, as I can’t quite give up on him without some sort of definitive answer that he can’t get better, but I feel like a crazy fool.

In human years he would be about 90 years old.  He’s led a good life.  I am not ready to euthanize him, but I don’t want him to continue living such a low quality of life.  Feeling sad and confused.   He really is a great cat.  I’ve known him longer than my husband and he’s been a wonderful child substitute.


8 Responses to “My Kitty for 16 Years (Sad to say goodbye)”

  1. Foxypopcorn March 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Oh dear, I am so so sad for you right now. Your kitty sounds like he has been a wonderful comfort to you for so long. 16 years is like you whole adult life! Please know that I am thinking about you this weekend. big hugs – foxy

  2. Rach March 26, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    oh i am so so sorry. don’t feel bad about spending money – when our pitty ate lots of nurofen tablets, we spent $5000 saving her life – money earmarked for a spa. do i regret it? absolutely not! would i do it again? in a heartbeat!

    sending big hugs


    • starfishkittydreams March 28, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      Thank you for sharing. That does relieve the guilt a bit. In the past year, we’ve definitely spent 5K in vet visits and then more when we count in his chemo meds. But what can you do. He is responding well to the treatment so I am really glad we did it. Thank you for the hugs!

  3. starfishkittydreams March 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Thank you both! He’s escaped the jaws of death for now. We did the tests and started him on new chemo. I know we are just avoiding the inevitable, but am SO happy to still have him.

  4. mrs. brightside March 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I still remember when we put down my childhood pet when I was about 18. The first time we tried we couldn’t do it – my mom and dad returned a few hours later with our dear old dog still in their arms. We just hugged her and cried and cried. But she was just too sick, and eventually it became clear that it was best for her, even if hard for us. You’ll know when it’s time, and sounds like not just yet to me. So sorry for you to be going through this, especially now, really is losing a family member.

    • starfishkittydreams March 28, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      It’s been hard and your story meant a lot. It’s amazing how important pets become in our lives. They really are like members of the family.

  5. Kristin (kekis) March 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    I’m here from Foxy’s blog & wanted to send you and your kitty some love. It is SO difficult to see our furbabies hurting. I had to make the decision to let go of my 18 year old kitty this week, and I never imagined how difficult the process would be. I’d had her since I was 24 years old (I’m now 43), so I feel like the link to my adult life just disappeared in an instant.

    I hope that your sweet baby is feeling better and you have much more time together. You are both lucky to have one another!

    • starfishkittydreams March 28, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I am SO sorry to hear about your kitty. She must have been a really special cat.
      For now our cat has stabilized and for the moment seems to be responding well to the treatment. It’s a relief to see him going back to normal, but I know his days are numbered and we will need to face the music soon.

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