Both my cats are in the vet hospital...

and I’m a wreck.

About a week and a half ago, we noticed the cats were coughing. They were still playful, eating, and in generally good spirits. I called the vet, who said to watch 'em through the end of the week and if they were still coughing then, bring them in. Come last Friday, they both seemed fine.

A couple days ago, though, my orange tabby I’ve had for almost 13 years, started not showing up at night. I didn’t worry too much about it - I’ve had times where the cats prowl around outside and don’t show up for a day or two. He’d always appear by the time we went to bed, so things were OK. Last night, before going to bed, Mr. Athena and I remarked that we hadn’t seen Ardy all night. We started calling for him, and he eventually appeared out of a closet in the spare bedroom. He was breathing with great difficulty.

I called the vet immediately, and he told me to bring him in to the local 24 hour clinic since the vet was out of town and not able to get to his clinic. When I got there, the nurse took one look at him and brought him into the back room. She came out several minutes later and said “He’s dying. Do you want us to try to help?” - the unspoken words were that they could put him to sleep.

I’d been through this about 6 years ago, when my other cat Jasmine developed a liver condition. At that time, money was very tight, and we decided to put her to sleep since the prognosis was not very good. I’ve been kicking myself since - it was so hard on me, and in retrospect the money wasn’t so important. So this time, we said “Do everything you can.” We left him there.

This morning I got up and put Teddy in the cat carrier, since although he seemed up and playful, he was coughing a week ago. I picked Ardy up from the emergency clinic and brought him to my normal vet. The prognosis that he probably got into some rat poision, or chewed on a mouse who had eaten some. He’s got a 25% chance of pulling through.

The vet looked at the other cat, and found that he had lost a lot of weight since his last regular vet visit six months ago, plus he was dehydrated. The vet thinks it’s unlikely that both cats got into rat poison, but regardless of that, Teddy was admitted for blood tests and observations.

In one fell swoop, both my pets are in bad condition and at the vet. I’m kicking myself for not bringing them in when they started coughing, but the vet did tell me to just keep an eye on them. They seemed OK…

I’m a wreck. You never realize how attached you are to your pets until something like this happens.

I’m owned by two rescue kittys: I know how tough it can be. Thank goodness you have an emergency vet nearby. If you have time check out the Pet Care forum linked below. If you want to pose a question you need to register but a bunch of people respond within hours. I think it’s based out of UC Davis.

Cats are very resilient: I suspect that though a life or two may have been used they’ll both be home soon.-R

Oh no! Poor babies!

Athena, they are pretty strong critters, but its still hard when they are hurt.

I need to have a talk with my two, they seem inent on killing each other at the moment. Brothers shouldn’t bite through each other’s ears.

I hope yours get better soon. I’ll ask Willyum and Bernard to have a moment of silence for them…if they’ll listen/care.

Best wishes for your precious cats’ recoveries. Please try not to blame yourself for this; you followed the vet’s instructions.

Let us know as soon as you hear anything.

I know how you feel, and I really hope your kitties pull through. Deciding to risk the cost of their care is a tough decision.

A little more than a year ago, my own wicked Siamese beastie decided to eat a tasty piece of string that she found god-knows-where. By the time I realized what her problem was, she’d been vomiting for 2 days and had already lost weight (she’s only 7 lbs to begin with). I took her to the emergency clinic and they said they’d have to do surgery to get it out. I said OK…they said “Well, let us give you the surgery estimate before you decide.” Ack. $647.

I stood there with tears streaming down my face, with my cat’s life in one hand and a bleak Christmas in the other. I live alone, except for this little beast. I went with the surgery. My family got gum and pictures of my cat for Christmas.

She weighed less than 5 lbs when I brought her home. I had to squirt water and soft food in her mouth with a syringe for 2 weeks, as she’d pretty much lost the will to live…she wouldn’t do it on her own. She finally started to pull through and improve…and she managed to get a raging infection as soon as her 2 week bout of antibiotics was over. That cost me another $350 in vet bills, bloodwork & medication.

The danged cat still eats string, rubberbands, etc. at every opportunity. <sigh>

<sorry if this is a double post…dang server keeps telling me it didn’t connect>

Just called the vet - they’re doing more blood work on both kitties, but no results back yet.

The hardest part about all this is if/when the money situation gets bad. I’ve given myself a limit of $2K right now, and we’re probably at least up to $1500. It’s just so difficult - do you continue to pour money in if it’s only a 25% chance of survival? What if there’s a 100% chance of survival, but it’ll cost me $5000? I hate having to draw those lines.

Thank you all for your kind wishes, and I hope to God that all of you who say “Cats are tough, they’ll pull through” are right. Mr. Athena and I are the classic 30-something (well, 40-something is his case) couple who treat our animals like kids. This is soooo difficult for us.

That’s so awful, I’m sorry. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?

I just had to have my sweetie put to sleep a week and a half ago and it was awful. She had cancer throughout her entire body and although she was still eating and cuddling, she was just sick and miserable and it was obvious she was only going to get worse. We decided to give her some peace before she was really in pain.

I still sometimes feel like we could have tried something else (she had a few operations to remove tumors and her spleen) but then I try to think of how she would feel if she were still here and I realize she would just be sicker. And I also sometimes want to kick myself because when I found her (she was a stray) she had what looked like a bite wound on her shoulder. I took her to three different vets and no one really seemed too concerned. Finally one of them figured it was a mass of infected tissue and removed it without doing a biopsy (I should have insisted). A month later, a tumor grew where the “wound” had been, so it turns out it was a tumor she had scratched at. If I had caught it right away, could we have prevented it from spreading? Who knows? But I know I shouldn’t blame myself and neither should you. Tons of people have pets that they barely bother with, never mind actually take to the vet. And if a vet tells you not to worry too much about something, then what else are you supposed to do?

I know this is the very thing that everyone will tell you, but it’s true. Just do what you think is best for them and what you think would give them the most comfort. I think one of the luxuries of being a well-cared for pet is that you don’t have to suffer through a terminal illness. Give them some time, keep a close eye on them and with luck (and pampering, lots of pampering) they may get better and look at you like you’re nuts for worrying in the first place.

Good luck!!!


I just went through that with my cat Sam in Sept. The vet pretty much told me he wasn’t going to survive. If he weren’t 14 and so far along with his cancer, I probably would have taken him to CSU’s oncology center and spent all the money in the world to get him better. I still could have but when I looked at him with a not so mommy like eye I realized it was best to have him put down as hard as it was. I actually waited longer, in hopes that he would pass on at home.

To this day I still hate that decision, have his picture at my wallpaper, his remains are still in their box and sit at my bedside. (I had him cremated separately.)

I feel for you and your hubby, I am the same, thirty-something and my animals are my kids. Whatever decision you make you need to know that you did it out of love and caring. Having your pet suffer is never an easy thing to watch.

{{{{{{Athena and hubby}}}}}

{{{{{Athena, Husband, and the Kitties}}}}}}

You have my utmost admiration for still maintaining some semblance of sanity. If anything hurt all of my cats in one fell swoop, I am not real sure I would still be speaking in words longer than one syllable.

I wish you luck and strength. Don’t lost hope in the little ones. I know you will do what you must to help them.

About the money thing: make your vet be straight with you about quality of life. Then make them give you a payment plan. Most will. Then whatever you decide will be your decision–opinions on what to do with sick companion animals are all over the map. I usually decide to pay.

I too pamper my pets. Micetro had diabetes for four years before he succombed. It was thousands of dollars and we had to give him insulin and finally hydrate him sub-q daily. But he was purring and digging and even catching birds up until the end. Agnes the wonder lab had melanoma. The vet gave her three months to live, but hooked us up with a homeopathic vet (with the idea that they were voodoo practitioners) to make sure they gave us all options. Aggie lived on for another three years with a growing tumor (being treated homeopathically, and yes I’ve read what Uncle Cecil says and yes he can blow me on this one). Barking, begging, just being a big ol’ lab. Our most recent medical problem, Xena kitty, was a foundling that we bottle raised. She started having seizures at about three months. This was last summer. We are just now weaning her from the phenobarbitol they put her on, and she has been seizure-free for seven months. There were some overnighters at the big vet, our first payments were a couple thousand. Oh well. No new car this year.

You and your kittys are in our prayers. Just remember the life meter: if they click off two on this one there are still seven left!

Oh God… I’m just playing around on the web and realize that just about all my passwords are some form or another of my cat’s names. Shit… even now, I have one password that’s my dog’s name. The dog that my ex let run out in the street and get run over 2.5 years ago.

I’m about ready to give up on this animal thing altogether. Way too difficult.

Techie - great to see you! You’ve been gone! But what a horrible subject to come back on…

Maeglin - I’m still reeling over both cats being in the hospital. Bad enough for one, but both? What did I do to deserve this?!? I’m only maintaining sanity because I want to be at work. At home, alone, with nothing to do would be very very bad for me right now.

OK, just got a call from the Vet.

Teddy (the one who was acting ok) is going through Kidney Failure. Could be that he got into some antifreeze, but Dr. says the reaction is usually a lot worse from that. He’s going to be on IV’s all weekend. Come Sunday, they’ll make a call depending on how well he’s doing. The next step would be a kidney biopsey to give them more info on how bad his kidneys are. I guess cats can just die of kidney failure for no outside (such as antifreeze) reason, so it may just be that Teddy is older than we thought, and this is natural. He was a stray that found his way into our house & hearts a couple years ago.

Ardy is doing the same - no worse, but no better. Turns out they can’t do blood tests on him, because he was given a transfusion of a synthetic blood product last night and the results would be affected by that. They’re just trying to keep him comfortable until they can run the tests.

Thanks again for everyone’s thoughts. I wish I could respond to each of you, but I just can’t keep typing right now…

Oh, Athena.

I am so, SO sorry you are having to go through this. The day before Thanksgiving my baby got so sick, so FAST! I took her to the vet, and he said she had pancreatitis. It did not look like she was going to make it. I was a wreck…I live alone, and AM alone, and she is my child.

Then she got better, came home, wouldn’t eat, went back in hospital and didn’t look like she was going to make it, got better, came home, wouldn’t eat (this is a symptom of pancreatitis, FYI) got sick again, went back in…

Finally we did this…I dropped her off every morning before work, and the vet tube fed her and hydrated her. I picked her up after work. A very VERY expensive kind of “kitty daycare,” if you will.

She made it, hon, and your cats can too. I am sending lots of prayers your family’s way, and positive vibes and everything else I can think of.

My vet is a wonderful, loving and CARING man. My vet bill was “only” about $1000.00 because he knows that I love my cat, am obsessed with her in fact, and through all of the years that I have been owned by my cats, he has decided that I am a GOOD mommy. It matters to him that the animals in his care are owned by good parents, and he rewards that by giving us a break when we choose life for our children instead of just pulling the plug when things look bleak/hopeless.

I realize that this is sort of a hijack, but I want to publicly thank my wonderful veterinarian. He knows that I am not rich in money, but that what is of value to me is my family, not my 401K. He honored me by giving my baby the best care available at MUCH less than he should have charged me. Friends who have gone through similar things have said that THEIR vet bill would have been twice what mine was.

Anyway, I hope that your vet has similar feelings. But if he doesn’t, you will find a way to handle this. Because you LOVE your children. Ask about a payment plan, take out a loan, do whatever you need to do. In fact, I would be HAPPY to contribute to a “save Athena’s cats” fund. Email me at if I can help in any way.

In the meantime, (((((Athena and family)))) and please hang onto hope. Sometimes it is the only thing that can get you through the night.


Oh, and Athena…

It took eight weeks, but Kobii is finally well and back to her own quirky little self. For us, things came out well. I pray that this will be the same for you. She is sitting on my lap as we speak, and I know that she sends her best wishes to your babies.

Cyndar helped me tremendously, you might think about asking her advice. She loves animals, and I know that she will be kind enough to help you, too. I didn’t even KNOW her, and she was kind enough to help me.

And, I too was so happy to hear from Techie in this thread. All my love to you, Liz!


Awwwww Scotticher, I’m always touched by how wonderful perfect strangers on the web can be. I’m in the lucky position of money not really being a problem. The issue for me is more “Do I spend thousands of dollars to poke and prod my kitties in the hopes that something will help, or do I do like DeskMonkey says and spare them the discomfort of living through a terminal illness?” At some point, you have to draw the line, and I’ve always been of the belief that if I were going to die anyway, I’d rather be spared the pain.

Also, almost-Mr. Athena has been great in the emotional and financial support areas. He’s only been around the cats for 3 years (2.5 in the case of Teddy) and was originally a cat hater. Now he really likes them, but has nowhere near the attachment that I have to them. Nevertheless, he has pledged to split the costs 50/50, and has left the determination of what to do/how much to spend up to me. He’s a great guy.

In the same vein, I know a lot of people are probably reading this thread and thinking, at least in Ardy’s case, that he would be spared this if he had been kept inside. I treat my pets the way I’d wish to be treated, and I always felt like the risk that something could happen was more than made up for by being able to go outside and do the things that come natural to cats. Some people disagree with me on this, but that’s OK, we all can have our own opinions.

Thanks again for all the support - it’s really helping just to have people to talk to.

Oh, Athena, that is so sad. As a fellow cat lover, and my cat IS my baby, my heart really goes out to you. Of course I hope that your little guys get better, but no matter what happens, it sounds like you are keeping their best interests and comfort as your priorities. No matter how much time you have with a pet, it is never enough.
{{{{Ardy and Teddy}}}}

This was the hardest part for me with Lela. Cost wasn’t my main issue (I just got a shiny new credit card), but it certainly was a factor. I ended up spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 for surgeries and tests. I could have taken her for chemo, but I think she was too far gone for that, so even though I would have paid anything to make her well, all the money in the world just wasn’t going to cut it. (Even Bill Gates loses pets, I suppose.)

It’s such a hard decision, but just know that whatever you choose to do is the right thing because you obviously care about them and they know that. I really and truly hope they get better, I didn’t mean for my post to sound like I thought you should put them to sleep. I just know that it’s a decision you’re mulling over and I thought since I just went through it that I’d share. You’re the mommy, you know what your babies need.


DeskMonkey, I didn’t mean to imply that you were hard hearted and wanted me to put them to sleep. I didn’t get that from your post at all. But financial matters are an issue with pets, and it sucks but we all have to decide what we can afford and what we can’t. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m spending this money on ME, not the cats. Like I mentioned before, I had my cat Jasmine put to sleep in around '94, my ex had my dog and let her play in traffic in '98, and now this. I know first hand how hard it is on me, and at least part of this money is being spent because I just don’t know if I can handle another two pets being put to sleep.

At least with the dog I had no control over it, and only heard about it a full day after it happened. I do, of course, blame my ex for being idiotic and unsafe with her. But that’s what exes are for, right? You get to blame 'em for everything!

No new news on the kitties. I suspect I won’t hear anything about them until tomorrow. I’m now trying to decide if I want to go and see 'em before the vet clinic closes tonight. I think I do…

In the past year I’ve dealt with four cat illnesses.

My friend Bob had two of his cats get sick, one with kidney shutdown, the other with diabetes. I gave the diabetic cat her shots when he was gone(she was on insulin), and ran an IV and force fed the one with kidney problems. Princess, the diabetic cat, was put to sleep three months ago. Guinan, the kidney failure cat, was put to sleep last week.

Jennifer also had a diabetic cat which I cared for when she went on vacation. She was put to sleep last year as well.

Rowan, the himalayan I saved from being destroyed, had a series of infections to be dealt with, and once out of those woods, I had to get her spayed. She’s still healing from that spay.

It was a hard year, but I wouldn’t do any of it differently.

Athena: Do what you can, as long as you feel it is right and in the best interests of your cat. My heart goes out to you.

Give 'em a squeeze from their Auntie DeskMonkey!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


We went over to the vet hospital after work, and when we walked in they told us the doctor was working on Ardy. We waited about 20 minutes, then the doctor came out to talk to us. Seems that Ardy went into respiritory distress about five minutes before we showed up. The vet pulled him through, but his heart actually stopped beating at one point.

The vet was very very nice about things. He explained (again) what had happened to Ardy, and he’s pretty sure he’s been ingesting rat poison on a regular basis for a while. He said he was very, very bad, and had definitely taken a turn for the worse. He reiterated that he’d be happy to do anything we wanted, but if it were his kitty (and he has six of them) he’d let him go. So I bawled, Mr. Athena gave me a big hug, and we decided to just let Ardy out of his misery.

So Ardy’s gone… Teddy’s still in the hospital on an IV, and the vet told me he had at least a 50 percent chance of a complete recovery. Funny - at this point 50 percent sounds absolutely wonderful. I’m planning on drinking enough tonight to put me to sleep and let Mr. Athena take care of me.