Sunday, September 20, 2015

Deciding when it's enough

My step-daughter had to make a difficult decision last week. Her 8 year-old cat was dealing with renal failure. He seemed so young, but it isn't an uncommon thing for middle aged cats to develop kidney disease. We were giving him IV fluids at home and feeding him a renal care diet. His response to these things just wasn't what we had hoped. He was getting so thin and was a little more than 7 lbs. Conner struggled over what to do.

Looking at end of life choices sucks. Oswald would have moments of perking up and seeming like himself. That would make it seem like putting him down was not the right thing. Then, you would be close to him, smell the sickness oozing from him, and see and feel how skeletal he had become.

So, on Thursday, September 17th, in the morning, Conner took Oswald to the vet with Shawn and her Grandma. I was not there, but I got home just before they did. Conner and I sat outside and I let her say what she wanted to say, cry as much as she wanted. She praised the vet for how comforting and supportive she was toward Conner and Oswald during all of it. This made me grateful because I knew it helped Conner feel a little more at peace with her decision.

When it comes to these kinds of situations, it is so hard to know what to do. Are there enough good days for the pet to out weigh the bad? Is the pet suffering? Do we know for sure? Are we not ready to let go of our companion? Are we living in denial and thinking that things aren't bad enough yet?  Sometimes, I think it boils down to whose life are we trying to preserve?

As much as I miss the little bugger and I can see my buddy Jarvis wondering where the kitty went, I know Conner did the right thing. She knew ending his suffering was more important than her trying to hold on a little longer.

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