Kitty is sick

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Cameron Yee, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    My cat, Aimee Catt (named after Aimee Mann), is not quite a year old and has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I would have to get an echocardiogram to be 100% certain, but I'm not willing to part with the money (as much as $1,000) just for the test. Plus all the symptoms are rather typical. She's still not stable from her congestive heart failure, but if she gets past this current crisis I will have to decide what I want to do. She is my first pet ever and in many respects I've learned I'm not a pet person or would prefer a pet who is less needy (Aimee has not been the stereotypical cat in terms of attention needs). Of course my conscience couldn't stand it if I chose to euthanize merely for my own sense of convenience, but with a prognosis of 2-3 year lifespan with a constant and regular battery of medications, I wonder if it would be worth it for either of us. She is really a sweet animal and as frustrating as she has been for my independent nature part of me thinks I should make the effort and then decide. It's still kind of early as she's not quite out of the woods, but I thought I should try to get my thoughts in order. Any suggestions or shared experiences welcome.
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    guo -

    this is a very tough call, but i don't think anyone would blame you if you chose to put her down. it's a very personal choice, but there really is no right or wrong answer here. some random thoughts of mine.

    1. medical costs. 1k is nothing to laugh at. unless you have the means necessary, when does your pet become a financial burden. what will that do to your love of the animal? what about all the future incurred costs?

    as an example ... i have a friend whose dog was always sick, even as a puppy. the doctor even told her to take the dog back to the breeder, but she just couldn't do it. since that time, she's spent *thousands* of dollars (even used her college loan money) to take care of this pet. while i applaud her, i think she's crazy.

    2. expectations. you did not expect this cat to be like this; sick and needy. while you obviously have tried to do your best, do you think you would have obtained this cat knowing the potential outcome.

    3. spca. i do not think the spca will accept this pet. since she is sick, i think their policy is not to accept the animal since they would only be "propagating" the problem when giving it to another family. not sure on this ... may want to check it out.

    pets are amazing animals. my cats and dog bring me a lot of happiness, but they're healthy and my cats are completely independent (except for the occasional brushing which they *love*).

    no matter what your choice guo ... you gotta do what you feel is best for yourself and your pet.
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Thanks Ted. You raise some good points and I realize there is an idealistic, "do it even though you don't feel like it" side to me that is noble and all but not necessarily honest. I try to be aware of when that's kicking in too much, which I haven't determined yet for this situation.
     
  4. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    If you would like justification to euthanize then here is one.

    There are many cats and kittens at the animal shelter right now. If you do not euthanize your sick kitty, one of them will be instead.

    Having said that, I had our 11 yo dog put down a few years ago and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life so far. I still get pains of guilt and I believe in the above statement and the dog was beginning to be a serious danger to our small children.
     
  5. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    Guo I have had cats of my own I have had to have put down. Yes, they were in pain, and to force them to continue to live when there was no end to that pain would have been inhumane. However, even though having them put down was an act of love and mercy, it still tore me apart to do it.

    Ted makes some excellent points above. Sit down and ask yourself if continuing Aimee's life, when all she has to look forward to is suffering, is worth it.

    From the tone of your original post, it sounds like you love her very much, but the problems - the pain, the helplessness of seeing her suffer, the cost, etc - are causing a great deal of stress and frustration. Maybe it would be better to say goodbye before her life just gets to be an unbearable existence, rather than a real, full life.

    IF you opt for euthanasia, thank her for the love she gave you and let her go peacefully. Then, in her memory, either make a monetary donation to your local Humane Society, or adopt another animal from the Society. Another animal will not be the same as Aimee [no two cats are alike, I don't care what anyone says] but maybe you can find another special "someone" to love.
     
  6. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    From an article in Slate Magazine. It's about dogs, rather than cats, but I think it's one of the most relevant bits on the topic I've seen.

    http://slate.msn.com/id/2090327

     
  7. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Great post, Ted.

    HCM is a very serious disease; a doppler echo IS the best way to diagnose; a veterinary cardiologist who was one of my profs and to who I now refer these cases told me once: all of these patients eventually succumb to their disease, it's just a question of how long.
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Well, Aimee was better enough to come home with me. She's just been laying around and peeing up a storm (fortunately in her box, though she doesn't seem to have the energy to cover it up with litter). Giving her a variety of meds currently, which is not a problem since I've been pilling her since I've owned her for a different issue. I haven't decided what to do yet - she's certainly not herself at the moment and looking into the future the current question is whether I would prefer her to die of natural (and likely painful) causes. I'll probably think on it a little longer and then have a talk with my vet. Any input is still welcome.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Well, I took Aimee to the vet today and had her put to sleep. I think the hardest part was that she wasn't in bad shape, but pretty much her normal self in terms of activity level. Her inflammatory bowel problems (which she had since the day she came home with me) came back with a vengeance and that was pretty much it for me. I just couldn't see myself going through all the pilling and diet adjustments and clean-up routine again, knowing that she wasn't going to live for more than a few years. I can't say I ever deeply bonded with her and as a result I could feel myself growing resentful and regarding her as this "thing" I had to take care of rather than love.

    In hindsight it was probably not the best thing to have my friend be my vet and pet caretaker when I was out of town, since she wasn't able to perform the euthanization due to her own attachment to Aimee. If she had been able she would have taken her off my hands, but instead she asked me to take her to another clinic to have her euthanized.

    Anyways, thanks for all the input. It did help alot and more than likely I won't be getting a new pet for awhile. My plan is to regularly visit the local humane society (which is only a couple miles from my house) and hang out with some animals there.
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Here's a photo:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Very sad.
     
  12. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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  13. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    I'm sorry for your loss, Guo. We had to put our beloved 16 year old Balinese down last December and it was incredibly painful for us. It's amazing how attached we can become to our pets and how sad we feel when they leave us. I hope you're ready to become another pet owner soon.
     

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