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The Official HTF Cat Thread

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Greg_S_H, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Caesar.


    My first cat smiling for the camera. This photo is old, late 70's? Very friendly cat, I would stretch out my hand and he would stand on his hind legs so he could rub his head on my hand. None of my other cats would do that. * sniff *
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Via reddit, cat's first exposure to watermelon, and this is his reaction:


    [​IMG]


    Gotta give that little furball credit, he isn't afraid of a challenge! It's like that old joke "How do you eat an elephant?"
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think he is just about to figure out how to roll it off the table. :)


    Jay
     
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  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I dunno. I have a hard time taking this guy's opinions seriously...seeing as how he thinks it's fine that his cat had dropped from 20 pounds to six pounds over its illness.


    And the entire premise of his title that he learned so much about a "good death" from his cat seems flawed to me. The piece says very little about the bond between the writer and the animal and any ability they had to communicate. He, instead, goes on at length about the conversations he had with the cat's veterinarian about end-of-life issues.


    And, am I wrong here? The writer makes the case for palliative care...and how all doctors need to be more in tune with this notion...yet his goal with regard to his cat seemed to be to extend its life to the last possible moment without regard to whatever pain the cat might be in--because, after all, he could afford it.


    While he writes:

    He then immediately adds:

    Does he NOT understand that the cat had no input into its care?


    Besides the obvious fact that the cat cannot speak, the writer makes no effort to let the readers know if the cat had given him any clues (as animals will do) as to whether prolonged life was what it really wanted. This makes me wonder if the writer was clueless to the cat's indicators...or if he didn't think they were relevant?


    Based on the comments at the site by those who read the piece, I must be wrong. And any regular reader of other animal threads on this site will no how much I care about pets and their place in our lives. I feel for him in his loss, but I sure have a lot of questions about the point the writer was trying to make.


    Maybe I just missed it.
     
  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I got from it that he wasn't sensing overt pain, that the cat continued to be affectionate to him if not the vets, and the weight loss was expected and over time. I've had cats do the same in their waning years. There's a paragraph about the cat being in a grey area for euthanasia during this time but you are right he did gloss over a lot of it, and much of the text doesn't match up with the lede, since the end doesn't sound as peaceful as predicted.


    Maybe I'm just too tuned in to the death with dignity for humans thing which I care about but which we shouldnt spend too much time discussing here and that over rode for me some of those things which you rightly point out.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I just don't know enough about cats--having never had one for a pet. (I learn a lot from you fellas in this thread.)


    I know dogs are quite stoic about pain. They just don't show/express it in the same way as humans.


    But a near 75% weight loss? That's equivalent to a 200 pound man dropping down to just 60 pounds. I don't know, Sam...but I'm not sure that situation supports the notion of human death with dignity. Or, as the writer put it, a "good death."


    While I support the idea that a pet's owner knows best for his/her pet, I didn't think the writer did a very good job making the case that 1.) he knew what he was doing in his cat's case and 2.) his cat's death really advanced any solid understanding about what's best for those human's facing the end of their lives.
     
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  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    We have a neighbor cat that cycles that much weight -yearly- for winter protection. You would not believe the difference in this cat from June to August
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Wow. I would find such a dramatic weight swing nearly impossible to believe.


    Yikes!
     
  12. questrider

    questrider Supporting Actor
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    I thought I would give this thread an update on Smudge. I took him to the vet nearly a month ago and had all the blood work done. Everything was good except the suspected hyperthyroidism. Since then he's been on a twice-a-day oral administration of the antithyroid medication Methimazole. And, oh boy, does he not enjoy getting that done! Afterwards it appears that he both is afraid of and hates me for about five minutes. After about two weeks of him being on this medication, his behavior became very bizarre in that he would stay to himself in the dining room or the back porch and sit crouched on his feet while just staring out the window and yowling incessantly. I caught him falling asleep like this many times and it just seemed like he was distressed and couldn't get comfortable anywhere. I couldn't pick him up and hold him or get him to hang out and sleep next to me on his favorite blanket on the couch—which he's done lock, stock and barrel for most of his 18 years—at all as he would straighten out his front legs and just resist any kind of connecting with him. There was just no calming him. He even stopped sleeping on the bed at night which was very odd. I was tempted to stop the medication because I was afraid it was doing something to him to change his behavior but I stayed the course knowing it was good for him and simply hoped he would "even out" on the meds. Last weekend he finally came around and now I cannot get him to stop hanging around and on me. It's almost as if he's too clingy or more so than his usual behavior. As a matter fact, the last five nights he's back to sleeping on the bed at night but under the covers next to me. The good news is that the urinating away from the litter box has stopped (cross my fingers) and his appetite seems to have decreased. He still follows me into the kitchen but just gives me a look like "feed me" instead of meowing at the top of his lungs for me to feed him. The yowls are brief when he's by himself somewhere in the house but overall the old Smudge seems to be back. The twice-a-day oral medication really is a pain to give him because now, of course, he knows when it's coming so he's even more obstinate about it. So we'll just keep on keepin' on and see if we can get him to his 19th birthday. Thanks for reading and figuratively "listening".
     
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  13. questrider

    questrider Supporting Actor
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    I spoke too soon. I came home tonight after work and as I was changing my clothes he jumped into the dirty laundry basket and proceeded to urinate in front of me looking straight into my eyes. How many other places is he doing this when I'm not home that I will discover later when it's too late to clean up? This cannot be tolerated. I don't know what to do.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Sorry to hear this Brian, it sounds like you are going to have to make that painful decision very soon. We have all been there and it hurts like hell. If he is yowling and peeing around the house he's obviously feeling it and it sounds like the most kind thing you can do is to help him go out gently with a vet's help. /comfort
     
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  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    My meager understanding is cats are the same: they don't show pain until it's severe. (Instinctual safety, showing weakness in the wild can get one killed.) I've seen evidence of this with my cat over minor injuries and illness.

    The article didn't seem to convince that the author was in tune with the cat's comfort. But I skimmed quickly and might have missed it. I don't have strong opinions on this essay; its a hard decision, and I ignored the needless politicking in an otherwise person story.

    And so, Brian's cat: it sounds like your beloved, elderly cat is in distress and / or mental deterioration from age or illness. I don't envy you and decisions you're contemplating. Hopefull you know your cat, and have medical advice to informed, even wise, decisions, either way.
     
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  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Playing Destiny with my "Ghost", Mango
    image.

    Man down! Need a revive!
    image.
     
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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    New cat furniture installed last week. They're still figuring it out. It's a high jump; should have installed it an inch lower to be a skosh more convenient.

    The chair in the foreground turned out to be a great scratching post...so it's been patched up with pinned fabric. Here's hoping.
    image.
     
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  18. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    I have refrained from commenting on this since it is so hard to say what is the right thing to do. Only Brian knows his cat and what is best. It is such a tough thing to go through.


    I also haven't commented because I am dreading the day I have to make this decision. I have a 17 year old cat with some renal issues. I know it won't be long until his health starts to fail. I had to do this several times now and it just doesn't get easier.
     
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  19. questrider

    questrider Supporting Actor
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    Thanks, everybody, for letting me just vent here. There are no right or wrong answers. I've been here before too with several feline friends in the past. This one is a tough one because of his age and simply because he's been my buddy more than any other cat I've ever had. There are good days and bad days. The last few days have been good. I'll take them!
     
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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    The pets that we love the most are always the hardest to say goodbye to.


    I always like to remind people of that. The hurt is proportionate to the amount of love shared during our lifetimes together.
     
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