Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

Hard Decisions

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This has been such a stressful experience that I am not sure where to begin. I have an appointment to get my cat put to sleep on Monday. I have such mixed feelings about it, and I don’t really know how to go about explaining them in a succinct fashion.

She has always been a difficult cat. My older cat is attentive and responds to positive and negative reinforcement. But this cat has resisted training from day one. She has never managed her claws very well. She has always required a lot of affection, but she regularly draws blood when enjoying affection.

Aside from these things, she is a very sweet and affectionate cat. In the ten years that I have had her, I have alternately felt frustrated with her and guilty for not responding to her in the same way I do to my other cat. I don’t feel that I have been a particularly good owner to the cat. She doesn’t get on well with other animals, but I have repeatedly put her in households with more animals than she can handle. Some of these choices where solely mine. Some of the choices where outside my realm of control.

She has had diabetes for the last 2 years. During that time, I have spend more on my cat’s health care in the two years than I have on my own. The correct dose of insulin for her seemed to take several vet visits over a few months. She lost most of her muscle mass and excess fat in the first six months of the disease. She started to limp and lose her ability to jump.

Now she is resistant to the type of insulin she is taking and requires a more expensive insulin. This would in turn require many blood glucose curves to establish the correct dose. She hates the vets. The little joy that is still left in her life is when she gets affection. After a return from the vets, she hides from me for days stealing what’s left of her joy.

I’m realizing that I have been continuing treatment to assuage my own guilt for not creating the best environment for her and not doting on her as much as my other cat. While I have not been the most responsible pet owner in the past, I cannot make up for that by extending her life now through vet visits that clearly distress her. I know I am making the right decision to put her to sleep. It doesn’t change the fact that this is in the top 10 of difficult things I have done as an adult.

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