T Nation

Losing a Pet


This is a picture of my cat Max. This was his most common position recently, sleeping in a papasan chair, which he actually stole from my wife years ago. It became his cat bed.

He used to be owned by my brother in law's wife, and every time my wife visited her brother, she showered this cat with attention. Well his wife skipped town with another guy, abandoning her husband, daughter, and this cat, at which point my wife immediately adopted him. A short time later his wife came back and tried to get her daughter, and cat back. She failed at both.

This was 17 years ago and Max was a year old at the time, and he reached 18 this year. This cat had a whole host of medical problems, including diabetes (was on insulin at one time) a growth in his ear, arthritis, thyroid problems, and a lost voice. We were spending about $60 - $80 a month on special food and medication.

About a week ago he threw up, as seems to be a daily ritual with cats, but this time there was blood in his vomit. We took him to the vet and waited for test results to come back. Unfortunately he went downhill faster then the test results, and was having trouble walking by Friday.

Sunday night he was at the point that I was feeding him with a spoon, and interestingly got his voice back, but with the saddest meow I have ever heard in my life. I was not sure if it was from pain, or because he was upset he couldn't move.

Monday we had him put to sleep, probably only hours before he would have passed naturally, and today he was buried in a pet cemetery.

I post this here to honor his memory. He was truly a member of our family and will be missed. Being with us for almost half my life, I almost felt he would be around forever. We kind of doubted he would be around for too much longer, but it is still a shock when it does occur.

If anyone wants to honor their lost furry loved ones, go ahead and post here.


Sorry, Mage. Sounds like Max had a good life.


I'm sorry for your loss.
But i have to say i think you took too long to finally let him go.
I know it`s easier to say than to do since they become almost as important as people in the family.
I will never let my dog suffer that long.


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The test results came in on Friday, and it was discussed over the phone with the vet how he was deteriorating, and Monday was scheduled as her earliest available time. Max was having trouble, but was still getting around.

We knew he was not well, but didn't expect how much worse he got over the weekend. Sunday night was when he lost most of the ability to move. That is when he started his "crying" meow.

While he was having trouble before Sunday, I would say his true suffering was less then a day.

By the way, "won't never" is a double negative and is not only bad grammar, but negates each other and means the opposite of what you really meant.


yeah...i well know how soul wrenching that can be. thats the trouble with our critter friends, theyre mortal. then when they are gone you always ask yourself do i want to do this all over again. i guess its all a part of life, the way i look at it is we are all better humanbeings for having known what it is to experience an animals unconditional love.
take heart life does go on.


There is a different type of pain involved with that. Pain combined with anger. I believe it is actually worse to know someone caused the pain of loss intentionally.


Thanks, i`m so happy you explained that one for me.


The Mage:

My dog of many years died last year it was heart breaking.

Those who have never become attached to an animal will never understand. Those who have lost a pet they were close to will never forget.


For me it was hardest to see how it affected my wife and daughter. I should mention my daughter is tuning 19 later this year, so she grew up with this cat.

We knew this was coming, and are surprised at how long he lasted with all his medical problems. When he was taken in for tests, we knew then that if there was any serious problem that we were not going to put him through any real procedure. He was too old for that.

We still have a 14 year old cat that has never had any medical problem, and acts like a kitten. We will stick with one cat for now.

Also we purchased a stuffed toy orange cat and put it on the pappasan chair. (Along with a new cushion.)


I also had a two cats that I'd grown up with for about 15 years. The pain of losing them was terrible, but the memories are priceless.

I feel for your loss.



I am sorry for your loss. I have been through situations like this several times. It is hard and it never gets easier.

I would like to post a picture of my beloved Jane dog. I have been around and owned many dogs, but this one holds a special place in my heart. She was gentle, sweet, and extremely loving. She was protective of my house and family. She rarely barked, but would "talk" quite a bit.

My wife and I adopted her when she was six. Around a year and three months later she started acting strange. We took her to the vet and found out she had developed heart and kidney disease. The medicines she needed worked against each other and she went downhill pretty fast. One day, about three weeks later, my wife called me at work and simply said, "Come home, please". Nothing more needed to be said. I cried the entire 35 mile drive knowing what was about the take place. We took her to the vet to have her euthanized, and while it was difficult and sad, it was also a relief to see her look so peaceful.

To the poster who said they "won't never", I am insulted. By trying to take the high road in saying you would do what is right in a timely manner, you did nothing more than take the low road by being insensitive to Mage, me, and others like us.

I feel a little strange posting on this thread, but hope it is OK since Mage offered others to post about their former family pets.



I know it's coming eventually.

I just do my best to make sure my pets have the best life they can, so when they go, at least they've had as good of a life as it gets.

What else can you do?


The Mage, I am sorry for your loss.

Last fall, at the school where I work, the receptionist adopted a week-old kitten whose mother was killed. She fed Emma on an eye-dropper of goat's milk, every day, keeping Emma (who would fall asleep in my palm) in a box in the school's Main Office.

Emma became a fixture at the school last year. Big burly seniors would sit quietly on the floor and play with her; shy and gawky middle schoolers made friends with each other while watching Emma.

Emma died last Thursday; vet thinks an aneurysm, and no way to see it coming. Many people here are very sad, and we're dreading the return of the kids in 2 weeks, many of whom will come straight to the Main Office and ask "Where's Emma?" So we're going to make an announcement and have an "Emma Fund" so people who wish to can contribute to the animal shelter from which Emma originally came to us.


On October 25, 1992 I got a phone call from a cousin of mine telling me my dog is dead. I went into denial right away. I ratinalize that it was some kind of joke, I just froze and sat there. When I finally accept it was truth, it became devastating. I vow never to get another pet because I don't ever want to go through that again.

Nine years later in summer of 2001, with my ex gf's insistence we adopted an unwanted dog. This little guy is one of the joys of my life. However, sometimes I feel sad thinking about the inevitable. I will outlive him and feel that pain when he goes away.

Many of us feel your pain and loss Mage. Thank you for creating this thread and sharing your experience with us.


I feel for you man as well as anyone who has lost a close pet. People who are not animal lovers won't get it, but they actually are family. I have two dogs who are on their 9th and 8th years and I can't even bear to think what will happen when they go.


I lost my old cat Milo a month ago. He was taken by Coyotes. I lost another one 2 years earlier to the same beasts.


The Mage, I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Max had a great life from the time your wife adopted him into your family. Being an animal lover myself, I can only imagine the pain you're feeling after losing a dear friend. Stay strong and cherish the memories.


Mage, I feel your loss.

I had a cat die to lukemia. It's scary how fast it sets in. We all know cats spend a great deal of time sleeping, but one day I noticed he'd not moved all day. I tried to rouse him and succeeded in doing so - a little. He'd stagger around a bit, looking drunk, and he suddenly seemed very thin (was always quite the chubby baby).

Pretty much like with your Max, it was an over-the-weekend rapid degradation while waiting for test results. He seemed to perk up a little after the vet visit and wanted to go outside. Well, he didn't come back for two days.

When I found him Monday morning in the kindling box he was hemorraging from his ears, eyes and nose. I wrapped him in my baby blanket (yep, the one I came home from the hospital in) and bawled like a baby the entire hour to the vet's. I'm still not sure if it was the euthanasia drug or if he knew it was his time to go - but I was holding him and he was looking straight in my eyes when his hazed over and he passed.


I hear you Mage. I couple years back my family had two cats that I pretty much grew up with. The little girl cat's kidneys shut down and the older one was freaking out 'cause he knew something was wrong.
He went outside and we kept calling him to come back. Eventually our other cat came outside and started meowing and that got him to come back.

My mother took her to the vet to be put to sleep. After that we never saw the older one again.