Today we had to put my cat to sleep :(

Over the past month, our cat has gotten sicker and sicker. At first I was kind of puzzled about the symptoms, but finally today a series of x-rays and ultrasound at the vet confirmed our concerns-

Our beloved socks had Lymphoma. :frowning: The cancer had spread to his entire body, making him unable to eat, make it to the catbox in time, and other problems. The poor guy would just lie there, and maybe drink a little bit of water (but not eat). It was really hard seeing him waste away.

Once they found out he did in fact have cancer, different options were weighed. Surgery would just cause the cancer to spread faster, and he was so weak that he probably couldn’t handle chemotherapy. Every day was another day he was getting weaker and in more pain, so it was agreed that the best thing to do was to euthanize him.

Realizing he is gone has been rather difficult. Socks was originally an anniversary present to my mom. My parents split up shortly afterward, and Socks helped my mom and I deal with some difficult years. He was a very mellow cat who was never ill-tempered and always friendly to visitors. When I would play the piano he would always come over to the bench and bug me to pet him. When I came home from work in the evening, he would run over so he could sit on my lap when I watched a movie.

I’m really going to miss him :frowning:

May I?


I’ve had to do this more than once, and it never gets easier. Just recently, my ex-wife and I were discussing the need to put her dog (a Rottweiler who is dangerous only in that she can do real damage head-bumping you to be petted) to sleep—and even the concept had us both in tears.

I was taught in Philosophy (Catholic school) that the lower animals are “brutes” who have no reason, and certainly no immortal souls. Horse hockey. If Scotchya (the above-mentioned Rottie) or Ms Álainn (the cat who graciously allows me to share her house) have no right to a soul, then I consider the height of arrogance for me to claim that right. The point (if any) being, if there is an afterlife, then Socks is there—and remembers what you did for him, especially the final gift. And if “what comes after” is reincarnation . . . well, who can say that you won’t meet again?

In the meantime, be at peace.


Oh wow, I’m so sorry!

I’ve been wrestling with this issue lately, myself: my 18-year-old cat stopped eating last week, and the vet was very unhappy with both her bloodwork and urinalysis. They suspect kidney disease, but she also has a UTI that could be causing the abnormal kidney results. So she’s on antibiotics right now, and when this treatment is done they will re-run the urinalysis to see how her kidneys look then. She could be fine, and she has started eating a little again, but she did not respond to the first round of fluids treatment and it scared the living crap out of me. I’ve spent every day since Friday (when I first called the vet) trying to NOT imagine life without her (but I am at peace with the decision to put her down if the diagnosis is kidney disease). I can’t watch those ‘animal ER’ shows right now, and stories like yours just make me lose it.

Not trying to say ‘me, too,’ just empathizing. Again, I am so, so sorry for your loss. :frowning:

Oh, Incubus, I am SO sorry ;-(

I wish there was something I could say to make it better, but I know there isn’t.
You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of your furry friend.

I may soon have to face a similar decision with my own cat, and I hope I can be as brave as you and make the right decision for her, as you did for yours.

It makes me all teary-eyed to think how hard that must have been for you :frowning:


You know, when my mom called me this afternoon and told me what happened, I didn’t take it as badly as I thought I would.

Part of it is the fact that I could tell what was happening to him, and at that point I had to accept the possibility that he was not long for this world. So it did not come as a huge shock.

Though at the same time, seeing him waste away is really hard. Part of the reason I didn’t act on the sympoms earlier was because he didn’t really seem that bothered by it. He just went along doing the same stuff, even when he was really weak he would still go out in the backyard in the cool of the early evening and watch the birds outside, or come into the living room when I played the piano. He would still purr when I petted him.

At least I know he wasn’t in a lot of pain when he died. If he had any way to reflect on his life, I’d like to think he lived a good life, albeit too short for me.

I am sorry for you, dude. Our furry buddies mean a lot to us. :frowning:

Misnomer- 18 is very very old for a cat. Maybe it’s time to let her go? :frowning:

To all- Try Petfinders or a Shelter. There will soon be another fuzzy buddy in your life- and think how happy you can make them, too. :cool:

I’m so very sorry for this loss. I’m a cat person and always have been. I have had to do this a few times.

The last time, both kids came with me and we were all petting and talking to Bogart as he was euthanized. Was an awful thing to have to do, but the kids wanted to be with him right to the end. They still talk about how they miss him. I let them chose when they were ready to have another kitten come into the house. They made it clear that it was not a replacement for Bogart, but just a new cat in the family.

You made the wise choice. An animal unable to articulate suffers in silence for so long. Euthanizing him was a humane thing to do, IMHO. Animals - especially cats, who are far wiser than we are and we’d do well to just up and admit that fact- chose to shower their love upon those who can return in kind. Sounds like you were a very loving owner.

You will own another cat. Don’t rush the mourning period, but you just know you’ll own another cat. :slight_smile:


I am sorry to hear your news, that is a deep sadness. Nothing that I can say will make it less painful, but none-the-less I will send warm thoughts your way.

I’m very sorry to hear that Incubus. :frowning:

I had to put my Harley down just before Christmas, and now his sister has lymphoma.

It’s a hard thing to do, but you did the right thing. We love and take care of them while they are alive and healthy, we have to do the same when they are sick, even if it means losing them. As hard as it is - Socks told you he was ready.

I’m going to go hug my Tawney in his honour.

My sympathies to you. :frowning: I am sure that was a gut wrenching decision to have to make but I agree with the others that you did the best thing you could for your friend by easing the end of the journey for him.

I was rooting for you guys.
I’m sorry.

Oh, Incubus, I’m so, so sorry! Please accept my most heartfelt sympathy. It was only a few years ago that I had to have my own dear sweet kitty, Mog, put down due to Lymphoma.

I firmly believe our beloved pets are waiting for us on the other side. They are healthy and whole and anxiously waiting a reunion. I’m sure you’ve read the poem, The Rainbow Bridge before, but it has always been of great comfort to me.


I’m sorry to hear that.

I lost a pet not too long ago myself. I was actually steeling myself to make the decision to euthanize him, but he died before I had the opportunity.

It will get easier with time, but don’t deny yourself the right to mourn until it does.

You have my warmest wishes and I know a lot of dopers have been in your shoes and can relate. Take care of yourself.

I am so sorry to hear this. I had a cat die of Lymphoma in 1996 and I still miss him to this day. I had no clue he was even sick - I had moved three months previously (into a house with 2 strange dogs) and I thought any weirdness he was displaying was due to that. He didn’t come to greet me one Saturday night when I got home, three days later he died at the vet’s. It was awful for me.

I, too, am very sorry for your loss. My own cat, Tribble, died just Monday night. She was in heart failure and her kidneys and liver had already shut down. I had no idea she was sick until Sunday night and in 24 hours, she passed. I share your grief.

I’m finding this site, as well as sharing stories of the lost pet, to be very comforting. Check out the site above and consider participating in the Monday night candlighting ceremony – you can do this in your own home privately. I will be lighting a candle for Tribble and will light one for your precious kitty as well.

You’re in my thoughts.

I must say, I am surprised at how many Dopers have either lost a furry friend very recently (Monday, Dogzilla! That sucks!!) or have a pet that is currently very ill. :frowning: Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, because there are a lot of registered users here, but it amazes me nonetheless. Folks have been talking about this on other threads, too, like this one.

Yes, Smokey The Cat is quite old: as I said, if the final diagnosis is kidney disease I will have her put down (for various reasons that I’ve already discussed with my regular vet). However, she’s eating a little bit again, and there is still a chance that her UTI is what caused the bad kidney results. A (hopefully) definitive urinalysis will be run when the antibiotics are finished, in another week or so. I’ve had her since I was 15, and I don’t plan to ever own another cat again (my next pet will be a dog), so I’m not giving up on her yet. :slight_smile:

Incubus, I’m so sorry. It is strange that cats are seen as so aloof, yet they make such terrific companions.


I’m so sorry to hear your sad news. :frowning:

{{{{{Incubus}}}}} hope you don’t mind all these hugs

I am sorry to hear about losing your kitty to cancer :frowning:

My coworker/friend just had to put her 13 y.o. Rottie down on Wednesday, due to cancer on his heart and elsewhere. Yesterday we were both getting all weepy talking about Bear (her dog) and our other pets.

I haven’t had to put an animal down, but hopefully if I ever need to I will have the strength to let them go peacefully. I get all sad and choked up (like right now) about it thinking about my 4 sweet kitties.

{{{{{Dogzilla}}}}} my condolences to you as well.
:::goes off to find a box of tissue:::