Putting our dear Manny cat to sleep (like, forever)

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we own a 13 y/o orange tabby who is in bad condition, and i fear his time is drawing very near. any advice on how we should handle this wrt our 4 y/o and 6 y/o? i remember my own cat being put down when i was 10. i dont think my parents knew in advance of the trip to the vet that our cat would not come back. i did not even know the cat was going to the vet, and i was devastated not to have said goodbye (i can remember the date, december 18 1978, the day before we left for xmas at grandparents).

a cooler full of courage and panache (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 2 June 2010 16:19 (eleven years ago) link

God, I'm sorry Hunt3r. That sucks. I have no idea how to approach that.

One of my cats died over Christmas break when I was ten too, though. Damn dude, I still hurt thinking about that.

kkvgz, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:05 (eleven years ago) link

YMMV with this but my parents always introduced a young pet to our household when our older pets would reach uh... convalescence.

The cycle of life...

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:09 (eleven years ago) link

also, very sorry to hear about the condition of your Manny, Hunt3r... sorry if that seemed cold... :-(

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:10 (eleven years ago) link

thanks guys. no worries shasta, totally understood.

will rly miss this dood if/when it comes, he has more real personality than any cat i've had, which is a few.

a cooler full of courage and panache (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:18 (eleven years ago) link

My parents brought Milly home from the vet after she had been put to sleep and put her back in her bed, then just told us she had died. I seem to remember they'd been gently telling us that she wasn't well/off her food/growing frail for a while before. Because they brought her home, we were able to go and give her a stroke and say goodbye, and then we talked about how great a cat she had been when we buried her in the garden. I remember Mum and Dad both crying when we buried her, but it didn't worry me - it just seemed a little strange.

Sorry to hear about Manny. I hope it all goes OK.

Madchen, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:49 (eleven years ago) link

(I was about six or seven, I think)

Madchen, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:49 (eleven years ago) link

thanks v much.

My parents brought Milly home from the vet after she had been put to sleep and put her back in her bed, then just told us she had died.

thats a nice way to handle it. im pretty sure we cant bury in our backyard, which makes that treatment a little more involved.

a cooler full of courage and panache (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 2 June 2010 18:16 (eleven years ago) link

There are a few books that can help deal with it, one that many people recommend is the Mog one http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Mog-Judith-Kerr/dp/0007149697/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275550997&sr=8-1

Sorry you're having to go through this

Vicky, Thursday, 3 June 2010 07:44 (eleven years ago) link

I just want to add my voice to the "sorry you are having to go through this" chorus - we love our two cats so much and when their time comes it will be extremely hard, I can only imagine how hard it would be with children in the house. There is a book called "the tenth good thing about barney" I think that really helped me grieve a cat when I was a kid.

henceforth we eat truffle fries (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Thursday, 3 June 2010 08:03 (eleven years ago) link

When i was seven or eight our cat Squeaker developed leukaemia and had to be put to sleep: my older brother and I went with my dad to the vet to say goodbye and see it happen (by this point, I think, I'd been to the funerals of at least two relatives, so death wasn't a new concept). We were both stroking her as she died with her tongue sticking out, slightly absurdly. I am really glad we got to go to the vet's and had the whole business of deciding to put a pet down explained to us.

I remember being fascinated with working out the difference between "put to sleep" and "put down" - was one of them more painful than the other? And I used to drastically inflate the cat's age in my head - she was twenty when she died, I insisted, making her ancient in cat years, already the longest lived of all cats, far far too old to treat the leukaemia without causing her pain (i no longer remember how old she was but probably more like 16). Talking it over and over was really useful for me, though looking back it might well have been quite painful for my parents.

But seven (and ten) and used to funerals is rather different from four and six, so I don't know how useful this is.

(When the cat who we got about six years after Squeaker died - my parents did the opposite of Steve Shasta's and said we couldn't have another cat yet, when we asked - died last year at the vet's, the vet rang us up in the middle of the night to get us to come over. Apparently there's only a short period after death where they look like themselves, their bodies start to break down quite quickly, so it's best if people see the cat to say goodbye as soon after death as possible)

naglpuss (c sharp major), Thursday, 3 June 2010 10:49 (eleven years ago) link

he's gone. i was with him, but he was pretty upset to be there, so i don't know how much comfort that was for him.

i dont think the kids really understand this yet.

really miss him.

a cooler full of courage and panache (Hunt3r), Thursday, 3 June 2010 15:50 (eleven years ago) link

fwiw it was kidney failure, felt so bad to see him so sick.

a cooler full of courage and panache (Hunt3r), Thursday, 3 June 2010 15:51 (eleven years ago) link

I know my parents had to put a couple of pets to sleep throughout my childhood but honestly I barely noticed. Maybe I was just a really self-centered/self-contained kid and didn't bond to the pets all that much, but still...one of the dogs had been gone for about a week and my mom was waiting for one of us to ask what had happened to him...and no one did! So it's probably wholly up to your approach.

the soul of the avocado escapes as soon as you open it (Laurel), Thursday, 3 June 2010 15:55 (eleven years ago) link

Hunt3r I am so, so sorry. sending you comfort & support!!

get your bucket of free wings (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Thursday, 3 June 2010 15:55 (eleven years ago) link

Aw hell, I'm sorry Hunt3r.

Otherwise you're kinda being comp-lit in his racism. (kkvgz), Thursday, 3 June 2010 16:03 (eleven years ago) link


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