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January 22nd, 2010


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10:19 am - More on the dilemmas of life
I've posted a couple of f-locked posts bemoaning my boring job. But this morning I think the problem was that I was exhausted. Sometimes I need to recognise when I am worn out, and to let myself have a quiet day. And sometimes I need to give myself a kick up the arse and get on with things. Never sure which is which.

I have had the tests back from the vet and my mother's cat is diabetic. I knew he was. I am taking him in today to start him on insulin. But I have got to say, and I know that people on my f-list will think I am very wrong to say this, I would rather send the money to Haiti than spend hundreds of pounds on keeping a very old cat alive. My dilemma is that I also can't just ignore a dying animal in my house. And my third option - have him put down while my mum is on holiday - no I think that is a step further than I am prepared to go.

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Comments:


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From:katlinel
Date:January 22nd, 2010 10:59 am (UTC)
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It is hard to know whether it's kick up the arse or just exhausted time. It takes me ages to know and usually I only ever really know after the event when I am functioning again.

It's a hard decision that pet owners often have to make about whether they can prolong the life of their pet. So I don't think you are wrong. You are in a difficult position and have been all along with respect to your parents' cat.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
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I left him literally parked over a bowl of water this morning, drinking and then peeing, only to drink again. It's heartbreaking. But is it worse to'strive/ officiously to keep alive'. Don't know.
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From:vilakins
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
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Can you improve the quality of the cat's life till your mother gets home and decides what to do, without spending too much money? Perhaps there's an oral medication that might be cheaper and easier in the meantime.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
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I spoke to the vet on the phone - it's switch to injected insulin or put him down, basically. The insulin isn't too expensive, but we will need a lot of tests and consultations to stabilise the dose. I hope my mum appreciates it when she gets home from her hols.
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From:vilakins
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
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The trouble is, she won't inject him as you said earlier. It's a really hard one, but maybe it's kindest to the cat not to make him linger if he's unwell and not enjoying things. What's his quality of life like? Claudia had kidney disease for three years, treated by a special diet and injections every four weeks or so, but was quite happy and fairly active right up to the last few days, and I couldn't bear at that stage to let her suffer.

Sorry, I'm off to bed now; it's after midnight. But anyway, I'd consider the cat as well. I'm sorry you're in that position.
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From:watervole
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:05 am (UTC)
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I agree with you, right across the board.

I would consider the money better spent elsewhere, but if the animal was in my household, it would be a different matter.

I also think he should be put to sleep, but you are totally right not to do this while your mother is away. (I remember my parents did this to my cat when I was a little girl, and I never forgave them for not consulting me first.)
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
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Thanks watervole. I could phone my mum at her hotel, perhaps, to consult. I might do that this lunchtime.
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From:watervole
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:30 am (UTC)
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I think that's the best idea. Emphasise the distress he's clearly in.
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From:happytune
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:16 am (UTC)
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I think the decision to put the cat to sleep has to be one you take with your mum. Can you not contact her at the moment? Agree with thoughts above that you your in a really tough position - surely there's no right or wrong here - just taking one decision at a time as best as you can...
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
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Hate to phone her with such a downer, but I think the time has come.
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From:happytune
Date:January 22nd, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC)
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Ring this afternoon if you need to talk. I'm sure this has been a thought in the back of your mum's mind for some time. I reckon that's partly why she may have been reluctant to take the cat to vet before they went away. Possible some part of their sub-conscious hoped you'd take difficult action so that they don't have to...?

And of course, in the post above I meant 'you're' - not 'you/your'. Crackin' up!
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From:spacefall
Date:January 22nd, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
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Sorry you're in this situation. I know I'd be thinking the same in your place. I hope you can contact your Mum and work something out -- I would guess she knew this was coming too, but it was just too much to face dealing with.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
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I just phoned the hotel but she's out. Hopefully she'll call soon. Vets in two hours.
From:jthijsen
Date:January 22nd, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
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I've had an insulin dependent cat once and it's really not that difficult once you're used to it. The insulin itself can increase the quality of life to such a point that the cat won't even mind the injections. Mine would cheerfully continue eating while I injected him.

However, this cat would seem to be quite far along the road where nothing will help anymore. You might want to consult with the vet about that first, it'll give you a better argument to use in your talk with your mother. Basically it's give him treatments that won't do him a whole lot of good and then have him put down, or have him put down right away.

Of course, the vet might very well tell you that the insulin will in fact increase the quality of life of the cat to a point where he actually feels good again. Then it's a whole different situation, I guess.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
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The funny thing is I have had an insulin dependent cat too. And yes, as you say, it really wasn't a problem for me or the cat. Foggy was a sweet boy and just let me get on with it.
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From:executrix
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)

Hear The End of This You Will Never, Young Jedi

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I think you really have to maintain the status quo until your mother can return home, if the cat is put down or dies naturally On Your Watch you're never going to hear the end of it. You have already handled insulin injections for a cat. As for whether your mother can do this in the long run...it's surprising what people can do when they HAVE to. I also agree with you that it seems frivolous to spend a lot of money on an animal's last day when there is so much human suffering, but your mother can decide what to do when she gets home.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Hear The End of This You Will Never, Young Jedi

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It's so nice to get this from everyone, makes me feel less like a decadent westerner and/or animal torturer (seem to swap about between the two in my own mind). But I managed to get through to her at her hotel just now, and she has given me permission. I agree that just greeting her on return with 'Hi Mom, I killed your cat!' would be - well, it doesn't bear thinking about. I am going to ask the vet what she thinks is best. I suspect a gentle end of life.
From:egretplume
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
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Just want to wish you well as this sounds like a very difficult day.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. Everyone is being very nice and I think my initial post was a wee bit, er, grumpy. Ahem.
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From:emeraldsedai
Date:January 22nd, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
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Both difficult dilemmas.

Personally, I err on the side of resting whenever I reasonably can. This has made me neither successful nor slim, but I'm a surprisingly relaxed and healthy person.

On the problem of the cat: the prolonged anxiety of maintaining a sick animal, versus the brief but (I have found) extremely difficult moment of euthanasia, is a choice I've faced a couple of times, opting once for each side, and I honestly can't say which is less bad.

My heart goes out to you.
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From:communicator
Date:January 22nd, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
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Thanks emerald. I think it's sensible to call it a day, but I couldn't do it. I'll see how he gets on with insulin.
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From:sallymn
Date:January 23rd, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
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Bit late here... with no real help but lots of sympathy for both you and kitty. We had to make that choice with our little Lacey, and I have to admit we put it off, and kept paying whatever it took, until we knew her distress was too much.

On the other hand, I see what you mean about using the money...

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