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I killed a cat

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by gloomy, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    About a week ago, I found a cat on the street. Her legs weren't working, and she was crying out. She sounded just like a baby. When I stopped to pet her, she started purring… so I made a decision then and there that I was going to help her.

    I picked her up as carefully as I could, and carried her home in the raincover from my backpack. All the way home I was using a reassuring voice, trying to get her to calm down and not be so scared. I took her in, gave her a bath (she hated that), some water and some tuna. She fell asleep in my room.

    The next day, i took her to the vet's in my town. They said she had a dislocated leg… and they said they would fix it. But they're not really a real vet, they're mostly for farm animals. But I'm a foreigner here so I don't really know such things… I didn't know then, but I know now.

    After a few more days, I had really warmed up to her and I think that she had warmed up to me. I was giving her better food and I bought a little container for her to sleep in. There was no kitty litter available in my town (yeah, it's small), and I know I should have gotten her some, but it's too hard being just me and I didn't want to leave her alone. Also, this isn't a cat-friendly town and they're mostly just seen as vermin… and I don't have friends so I can't ask the neighbors.

    But she hadn't passed any stool, which was concerning, so I convinced my co-worker to take me into the city vet to have her looked at. The x-ray came back and it turns out she had a broken pelvis and it was making it painful for her to pass stool. He said she had been hit by a car… and he could fix it, but it would cost well over $1,000. Part of me wanted to, but it's a lot of money. He told me that she could still have an alright life, because she was only 7 months old and she would heal, but have a limp…

    I went home with some painkillers and antibiotics for her… and some really good food as well, but I hadn't had the chance to pick up kitty litter because I just wanted to get her home and it's hard being single and friendless. But it was really hard for her to move around anyways so I had just been keeping her in the open container with a towel and some absorbent diaper sort of things, and spending all of my time with her and then waiting for her to start meowing and then changing the towel and diaper-- so yeah, it was just like having a baby and she was waking me up in the middle of the night to be changed, but I honestly didn't mind because she was such a nice cat.

    So a few more days pass and I'm really quite attached to her… we watched Dexter together, and sometimes we'd just be laying on my bed together and I'd talk to her and she would purr and be happy. But I think she had some kind of anxiety because she would always get worried when I left the room… I just went into the living room to do some pushups and she kept meowing and peed herself.

    Anyways, at this point she still hasn't passed any stool and it was really worrying me… she would pee sometimes but I think it was painful because she would cry while she did. So yeah, I'm on the Internet constantly, trying to figure out how to get her to pass stool… and there's something on there about canned pumpkin, which I couldn't get here, and baby food, which I also couldn't get (it's a pretty fucked up town), and laxatives, which are hard to get (they're here but I don't know how to ask for them), and enemas… so I call up the vets in town and they say they can give her an enema no problem.

    So the next day after a half day at work I take her in to see them, and instead of giving her an enema, they just give her two needles that I didn't ask for… but she still seems reasonably fine, so I take her home and leave her there while I finally go out to see if I can get her some proper cat things. I buy her a litter tray, a huge heavy-ass bag of litter that I hauled back to my apt. from the bus station, a new water/food dish, some baby food, some nice cat food, and some beans with lots of fiber.

    When I get home I find her on the floor, stiff as a board, and having a seizure. I don't know how long it had been going on for, but there was a pretty big stream of drool on the floor.

    I rush her into my room, holding her as tight as possible, trying to warm her up, trying to get her to come out of it, but there's absolutely nothing. Her eyes are big and black, she's not responding to anything, her eyes aren't moving, her head isn't moving, her body is limp and then stiff, she's drooling and shaking and having seizure after seizure, and when she does she just screams out and flails her limbs. I call the vet in town, but at this point they say that there's nothing they can do… they can't even put her to sleep, because they only deal with cows. I got really angry and said that I only wanted an enema today and you said you could do it and then you just gave her needles without my permission… there's really nothing I can do-- all the vets are closed and they're also about an hour away by taxi, and for over an hour she just keeps having seizure after seizure after seizure, and her eyes are still big and black and there's nothing in them… so at this point I'm pretty sure that even if she does survive, she's going to have brain damage. And she just keeps drooling and choking and flailing and screaming, and I don't know what else to do but hold her tight and talk to her… and finally I start whispering to her that if she wants to die she can die… and then there are more seizures, and it's starting to become obvious to me that she's not going to make it…

    So at this point I start thinking about the best way to end her life. I'm not going to get any help, and I just can't stand seeing her flailing and screaming and drooling and panting… and worst of all, with absolutely nothing in her eyes. <Mod Edit, WildCherry: removal of details> it only takes about 30 seconds or maybe a minute. I don't think there was any suffering-- she didn't really resist because she didn't even know it was happening. There weren't even any real responses left, it was all just seizures… and I think the reason it didn't take long was because there wasn't so much blood or oxygen going to her brain at that point anyways.

    And then I just started crying. I cried more than I have ever cried for another living thing, including my 4 grandparents and the dog I grew up with. I think because they were old and had had good lives, and because they had never been my responsibility. I actually felt like my chest was going to cave in. She was so young, and I wanted to help her so badly-- and when I found her some scumbag had just hit her with their car and not cared and left her to die, and because she was so nice and sweet and she really seemed to love me… I honestly haven't ever had anyone who seemed to like me like that… even though I know it was just because she needed help to survive, I still felt like if I could help her then finally someone in this world would actually love me. And I actually felt better about myself while she was around… it was so nice to be taking care of someone… I really wanted to keep her and help her get better and make her a really nice room (I have an extra room in my house that I had planned on making into a cat room and like making little houses and scratching posts and toys and everything). So I feel like I totally failed her. Maybe some of you will think I'm horrible for killing her myself and not taking her to the vet to do it with drugs, I don't know… but I actually really loved that cat (even though I didn't even give her a name) and I only did it because I didn't want to see her suffer or end up as a vegetable… but apparently, when a cat is having seizures they don't even know it so I don't think there was any suffering involved.

    I buried her underneath a tree on the mountain, right beside a giant rock.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2012
  2. Stripe

    Stripe Well-Known Member

    What you did must have been really hard to do. But you made her last few days as good as you could and ended her suffering in a humain and dignified way.

    I'm sure you dont feel too great about it, but you helped that cat more than anyone else did.
  3. Forgotten_Man

    Forgotten_Man Well-Known Member

    Sad story, I could never do what you would did. I would have found a way to the vet.

    I guess all I can say is that a short happy comfortable life is better than a long miserable one. Had you not found the kitty it would have just died in misery where you found it. A few good meals and some love. Sometimes that is all we can give to others. Just keep the kitty in your heart. Maybe adopt another kitty to give it a happy life too.
  4. lightbeam

    lightbeam Antiquities Friend

    That was heart wrenching. I feel so bad for you. I agree with Stripe, that you made her last days as comfortable as possible, and she loved you for it.

    I'm under the impression that when someone or something has a seizure, they are completely helpless. They do not remember anything. Neither humans nor animals have any recollection that it even happened.

    Don't feel bad. You ended her suffering. That's more than anyone could do.
  5. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    Thanks guys… and sorry Wild Cherry if my description was too graphic.

    I was thinking people would get angry at me for the way I did it but most people I've talked to online have been really supportive, which makes me feel a lot better. I actually got the idea from an episode of The Shield and it just seemed like the quickest, most painless way to do it. And in a way, it was kind of nice that I at least got to spend quality alone time with her at the end… even though I don't know if she could hear me.

    I think after it happened I was really angry at myself for letting the in-town vets give her the shots because part of me thought the reason that she was having the seizures was because of too many drugs (she was also on painkillers and antibiotics) or maybe a reaction, and then not getting the enema that they promised to give her made me feel totally helpless and angry as well. I would have done the enema myself but you can really hurt a cat by doing that so I didn't want to take the chance. But now I sort of remember the other night we were watching TV in the dark and she was shaking and twitching a little and I thought she was just having a bad dream but it could have been a seizure too… I think the pain and the constipation and the not being able to eat were what did it… and I guess all the other stresses as well.

    I forgot to add-- she had actually gotten to the point where if she ate something, she would just sit around unable to do anything… and then she would vomit, and then she would have a little more energy until she ate something again. I mean, everything downstairs was just so broken up that the only way she could actually get rid of food was to vomit. I started feeding her less food hoping it would help, but it didn't.

    But on the other hand, I learned that caring for an animal has to be one of the best experiences anyone could ever have. It takes a lot of work and patience but as soon as I got her home it was like I just changed into a different person who was calmer and warmer and more willing to sacrifice my time and effort to help… the fact that she was a great cat with a really super sweet and friendly personality probably helped… and yeah, I actually felt better about myself when she was around-- not so depressed or self-destructive. I think when you have someone else to care about you stop thinking about yourself so much, which is always a good thing.

    Thanks again for the comments, guys… I think she's happy now.
  6. AsphyxiateOnWords

    AsphyxiateOnWords Eρεβος/Νύξ

    I think the best thing would have been to take her to the vet to get put down...I don't really agree with how you did it. But you did your best to help her at least.
  7. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    This actually made me cry - I can't imagine how horrible you must have felt. I am not gonna hijack your thread with an "empathy story" but I feel your pain.
    You are clearly a very giving loving person and to let the cat continue to suffer would have been dreadful. Of course you feel bad - but you could easily have left the cat to die on the street and you didnt.
    I genuinely believe that lots of people should never have pets but clearly you are not one of them. I think it would be wonderful for you to adopt a cat from a shelter or similar (I don't know if the US have shelters for cats?).
    I am sorry for your saddness :hug:
  8. xXWhateverItTakesXx

    xXWhateverItTakesXx Forum Buddy

    Wow, that's was so emotional :( I don't think you "killed" her hun. You did your very best, considering your situations. I can tell she was so happy with you in the time you had her. You are an amazing person and I am sorry she didn't make it

    I am thinking of you and of her. Hope she is somewhere happy now :hug: xx
  9. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    I called the people in town-- they said they couldn't do it… they didn't have the right drugs for it and they were kinda stupid and actually said that it was illegal. The vet in the city at least had a few lights on in his brain and when I took her to see him before he had told me that could do it, but he was a) closed and b) at least an hour away and c) we don't speak the same language. And she was having seizures… it's not like she was just crying or moaning or whimpering or being sad or depressed and giving me big adorable eyes like 'this is it', or even looking up at me in pain-- her eyes were black and not moving, and she was having violent convulsions-- screaming, foaming, drooling, spasming, struggling and not having oxygen going into her brain… and it was absolutely horrifying to watch.

    I really don't think she would have been unhappy about it… in fact, I think she might have been even more unhappy if instead of ending it there I had just let her go on like that for another hour just to end her life in an animal hospital that she hated going to. If the point is to not cause more suffering, which yeah, it is, then letting it go on just to go to the vet is actively causing more suffering.

    And what does it matter if it takes 5 seconds or 30, or if there's a minute of suffering involved? Animals are tougher than people anyways. My dad shot our dog when she was too weak and sick and old and in too much pain to go on… but only after a life full of being treated extremely well and being happier for it. If you do everything you can to make sure your pet is as strong and happy as they can be for as long as you can, them I don't think that after that they're going to begrudge you a couple of seconds of pain or violence.

    And the vet would have charged me $250 as well. Personally, I think this whole 'end their life without suffering' thing is like emotional blackmail and a marketing scam to sell more vet visits and animal death drugs… especially when you can get the exact same result if you do it right and make sure you follow through and don't just back out at the last second.

    Dying hurts… it hurts for everyone. Death row inmates and animals who get a lethal injection usually get a more peaceful, humane death than most people. If I had chopped her head off or bludgeoned her or whatever then yeah, maybe I'd be a douchebag but this was quick and I held her and comforted her the whole time, even though she probably didn't hear me. What matters is that you don't mistreat your animal while they're alive and you're not making it any more painful than it has to be.

    Sorry for the rant but I just can't understand the reason anyone would just mindlessly believe that taking an animal to the vet to be put down is always the only option.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2012