12.10.12 Incredibly Hard Choices

10 Dec

Warning:  This is a sad and difficult post.  I will understand if you don’t read any further today because this deals with life/death choices.

Sometimes, things in life are just outside your control.  It is impossible, no matter what you do, what medications you try, what behavior modifications you do, to get an animal to respond in a way that is peaceful in a family situation.  That is the problem I had here with Miss Constance Kitty.  We rescued her 6 years ago as a kitten.  We knew that she had scoleosis, which is a curvature of the spine, and that she was always going to be a little different.  She was a playful kitten though.  She loved her scratching post, jumped and ran like any other cat, and loved to play with Squash’s big furry tail.  But, as she grew older, she became more and more cranky and afraid.  Though the vet had checked for all obvious disease that could cause pain and crankiness, she did not have any.  She fought with the other cats – sometimes starting it and sometimes just in response to fear.  She hid, a lot.  And when she did not get her way, she peed in inappropriate places.

Two or more years ago, the peeing was only occasional.  She peed on the dog beds (ok, I figured she did not like them); then on the newspaper (or any paper), if left flat on the table.  In the fruit bowl, if there was nothing in it.  Then in any bowl, if there was nothing in it (I was unwrapping some new soup bowls I bought at Pier 1 and before I could put them away, she had already christened them).  Then came shoes.  Last summer, when my sister was visiting, and sleeping on the living room couch, it was on my sister’s pillow.  We started living with a plastic table-cloth on the couch (so that we at least could clean it easier when she went, which she always did).  Recently, she moved to peeing on the bed, right in front of us or while we were sleeping. We tried anxiety medicine rubbed on her ear, and anxiety collar with pheromones; rescue remedy 2X a day; we carried her to a private litter box (1 of 4) and applauded her as she did her business after every meal.  She had every test and exam the vet could think off. We knew she can go in the pan: she pooped in the pan.  We knew she knew where the pans were.  I even made her a special bed behind my monitor on my desk so she could be with me and protected all day (thinking maybe it was a security thing) with the litter box right outside my office door, but no, she would stay with me for the day and then go on the living room couch or the kitchen table and pee.

When Nine, the bully boy, came last year, it did not help.  He liked to pick fights with her.  She started to hide under a side table between the couches, so we created a safe space there for her, so she can be undisturbed, but then she came out and peed on the side table.  We gave her time alone with a litter pan and her food in a bathroom; she peed on the floor next to the pan and on the scratching post (she loved that post) that was in there to play with.  She peed on the ottoman at the end of the bed.  And finally, my last straw was that she peed in my favorite pocketbook on the kitchen table. 

To what extent do you live terrorized by the anxiety and antisocial behavior of one of your pets?  When you have to worry about where you leave a magazine or the mail, just in case a cat will choose that spot to pee in today.  How much do you change your life to accommodate such behavior?  For most of my life I have arranged my days to take care of children or animals.  I nursed many an animal to the end of its life with its associate ailments and incontinence.  I diapered Nikki dog, and gave Squash insulin 2X a day for years; Alice cat was confined to a kennel in my office in her last year due to kidney disease; etc. etc.  But I have never had any situation like this.  No matter what we have done, no matter how much attention we give her, Kitty did not respond appropriately.  We were exhausted by her.  We were saddened by her. All I can figure is that she was in so much emotional pain, and maybe even physical pain that could not be tested, that she was telling us, by her behavior, how miserable she was.  We thought of rehoming her, but how do you change the life situation of a terrified cat?  She would not survive on a farm since she did not like other animals and was physically fragile.  She peed everywhere, so how do you rehome an animal and pass your problem on to another person – that would just not be fair? The vet said that we had done more than she had ever seen people do to try and treat this behavior.

We love you Constance Kitty, but we just could not do this anymore. Our hearts are broken but Miss Constance Kitty had to leave the zoo.  This is definitely the hardest pet decision that I/we have ever had to make in my life.  But Kitty is safe now and once again pain free and playing with Squash’s tail in the big meadow.

Postscript:  Kitty left us a parting gift.  As we crawled into bed that night, after a long trying day, V noticed that the covers were all wet.  This to me was a testament that we did the right thing for us, and for Kitty. 😦

NOT Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤


Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Cats


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37 responses to “12.10.12 Incredibly Hard Choices

  1. monicastangledweb

    December 10, 2012 at 01:51

    Oh that is very sad, but understandable. I don’t think I could have lasted as long as you did.

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 08:09

      Yes I understand, I do not think most people would tolerate what we do here at the zoo, but we always held out hope of recovery from her behavior.

    • Karen

      December 10, 2012 at 10:40

      Lorian: I am so sorry! I can only imagine how painful this must have been for you and your family. You totally did the right thing and I know Constance Kitty is grateful to you for the life you provided for her and also for making the right decision for her and all of your zoo..

      • dogdaz

        December 10, 2012 at 11:27

        Thanks Karen. We humans are so lucky to be able to help our loving animals move past their pain. Hard choices.

  2. bumpyroadtobubba

    December 10, 2012 at 03:48

    Life is so tough sometimes isn’t it? You gave Miss Constance Kitty everything she could have hoped for. And now she has Squash to keep her company. Sending you lots of big cuddles from the four of us. xox

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 08:07

      Thanks for the cuddles – we need them right now.

  3. angelswhisper2011

    December 10, 2012 at 03:50

    Poor kitty! I’m so sorry for your lost, but I think this was the best decision for the both of you.

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 08:07

      Thanks – it was hard

  4. themisadventuresofmisaki

    December 10, 2012 at 05:37

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to make this decision, but it sounds like you did everything you could and more for Constance.
    Sending love and hugs xxx

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 08:05

      Thanks for your hug

  5. Genevieve Petrillo

    December 10, 2012 at 06:20

    So sad. But sometimes you have to make difficult decisions to help your pets. You made the most difficult one of all. We empathize, and I’m sure Constance thanks you for doing the last thing she needed you to do for her. Play in Peace, C. xoxo

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 08:05

      Thanks – I do hope so. Yes, she is playing in peace.

  6. Doggy's Style

    December 10, 2012 at 07:53

    This is sad, but as every body else said, you did all what you could possible have done. She clearly had issues and those issues were compromising your sanity too, hard decision indeed.

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 08:04

      Thanks for your kind words

  7. nutsfortreasure

    December 10, 2012 at 08:36

    you were good to her and I am sorry for your loss

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 09:30

      Thanks 😦

  8. Vicki Flaherty

    December 10, 2012 at 09:33

    I see how awake you were to the situation, how open you were to new possibilities for creating comfort for Kitty and balance in your life, how incredibly giving and patient you were, always choosing to consider Kitty. I celebrate that you and Kitty can both be at peace now. May you gain strength in your sadness – your resolution to do what was best and right shines like a light.

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 10:40

      Thanks Vicki – We did try everything we could.

  9. catfromhell

    December 10, 2012 at 11:05

    My heart is sad for you. It is so tough dealing with this kind of behaviour. A member of our exteneded family had to do this as well this year. Strange, Helios had scoleosis too. The vet thought it might have had something to do with pain.
    You have made the best choice available (at this time). We love you.
    Nellie and Mommy

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 11:25

      Thanks Nellie and Mommy. Never fun choices but the best for all involved.

  10. Clowie

    December 10, 2012 at 12:09

    That was a very tough decision to make. You did your best to help her.

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 13:00

      Yes Thanks

  11. Margarita

    December 10, 2012 at 14:47

    I am so very sorry for all the pain and grief you and Kitty endured. How brave to stop Kitty’s misery. Love never stops. Bask in that. xoM

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 15:03

      Thanks – so true that even when they are gone – love never stops

  12. hutchagoodlife

    December 10, 2012 at 17:46

    Whee are sorry to hear this. Some choices are hard but you have to make them anyway. There will always be a place in your hearts for her.

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 18:21

      Thanks Piggies. There surely will.

  13. Andrea

    December 10, 2012 at 17:51

    I am so sorry! Even when we know it is the right decision, it doesn’t make it any easier.

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 18:20

      So true

  14. katiebblogs

    December 10, 2012 at 19:32

    What a hard decision. I am so sorry for your loss and hopefully you will all be in better places now.

    A big hug and piggy kiss,
    Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

    • dogdaz

      December 10, 2012 at 20:45

      Thanks for your kind words.

  15. MaryNell

    December 11, 2012 at 09:23

    Never easy to make tough decisions for our pets, but the parting sign was her gift to you to le tyou know you did the right thing. Plus you know you did the most kind thing you could – taking her to a shelter or another home would only have added to her anxiety. She’s free and happy now. Hopefully you can find peace in knowing that she did experience love while with you.

    • dogdaz

      December 11, 2012 at 09:36

      Thank you for your kind words. That is exactly what we thought. She would not have liked to be anywhere else, she did not even enjoy being here.

  16. Bassas Blog

    December 12, 2012 at 10:50

    😦 😦

  17. Savannah's Paw Tracks

    December 12, 2012 at 19:11

    I hope she finds her peace at the Bridge. paw pats, Savannah

    • dogdaz

      December 12, 2012 at 19:24

      Thanks Savannah

  18. Jodi

    December 14, 2012 at 12:34

    What a horrible situation you’ve had. It is hard, because so many times they just can’t tell us what they need.

    Here is the hardest thing about animals, we want to save them, we want to save them all, but sometimes for whatever reason we can’t. And those are the times when kindest, most humane thing we can do for them is to peacefully let them go.

    It sounds to me like you did just that. So smile through your tears and know a happy and whole Miss Constance Kitty will greet you at the bridge.

    • dogdaz

      December 14, 2012 at 13:48

      Thank you so much. This was the hardest situation I have ever had in over 30 animals. I know it was right for all of us, but it is terribly hard. 😦

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