Blog friends, I seek your help. I think my cat is dying. Anthropapa and I are unsure about how we feel about this process. We don’t want to let the cat suffer, but we also don’t want to put him to sleep for sheer convenience of not having to care for or pay for a sick animal.
A few years back we had another cat who did not travel well into a new home and ended up with liver failure. He couldn’t keep any food down, and we tried force-feeding and giving him subcutaneous fluids to no avail. We had to put him to sleep, which felt like the right thing given the severity of his illness and the lack of response to our interventions. My first pet as a child had to be put to sleep in his old age because he was suffering too much from a heart condition.
I’m just wondering how we will know when the time is right. I’m doing small things for Harry — giving him lots of Petromalt in case he just has a giant hairball, trying to tempt him with different foods and different textures (in case it’s something with his teeth), brushing him more than usual, and so on. At this point he’s still mobile and able to climb on and off the bed, but he doesn’t appear to be grooming himself or eating.
I feel of two minds about pets: on the one hand, they are beloved companions who receive lots of love and attention from us. On the other hand, they are “just” animals and I can’t see spending a lot of money that we don’t have on them. It sounds so callous, but I just feel that the humans in our family have a higher priority, so to speak. I’m just waiting for the bloggy judgment to rain down on me for that one, as I know several of my 10 loyal readers have pets and are animal lovers.
I guess I’m just wondering what are your ethical/moral feelings on this. If you’ve had ill and/or dying pets, how did you handle it? What was your decision-making process? And if anyone has a better phrase than “put to sleep”, especially when talking to children, I would love to hear it.