- 1 year ago
- Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA
This past weekend I took one of our beloved cats to the vet because she seemed to be breathing a bit strangely, but otherwise acting normal (eating, drinking, playing, jumping up on things as usual). To be honest, I almost put it off for a day or two so I could get an appointment rather than pay emergency vet fees, but we ultimately decided it was better to go sooner rather than later, so we went.
Honestly, Bees, I thought we’d leave there with some steroid meds or antibiotics for a respiratory thing and be on our way. Or the vet would tell us she had a stuck hairball or something like that. Never in a million years was I prepared for what happened after we got there.
They did x-rays and asked us to wait in the lobby and they’d come out and let us know what they found, set us up with any meds, if needed, etc. But then the vet assistant escorted us back into a room and closed the door and I just got this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Our poor kitty had developed some kind of condition that caused a lot of fluid to build up in her chest, compressing her lungs and heart. The vet said this could have several causes, and she checked the fluid hoping it was bacterial, but it wasn’t. She said sometimes they never actually figure out the cause at all.
Our options were to have the fluid drained that day and then get her into a specialist for surgery within a day or two (max) or the fluid would all come back quickly, or to have her put down so she didn’t suffer any longer. The surgery would have cost us thousands, and it didn’t seem like that was even a definite fix. More like a way to figure out what’s going on and hopefully address it. I made the decision to have here put down rather than putting her through a very expensive surgery that possibly wouldn’t work anyway. 🙁
My daughter (18) who struggles with a lot of mental health issues, was with me at the vet. We all loved our cat, but my daughter moreso than anyone. She was essentially her emotional support animal and best friend through years of very difficult times. Needless to say, when the vet delivered the news, my daughter absolutely lost it. She was devastated and sobbing uncontrollably. I had to make the decision to put her down in the midst of my daughter being absolutely heartbroken and it was one of the hardest, most gutwrenching things I have ever had to do, by far. Fiance came to meet us at the vet and offered to hold our kitty while she was put to sleep, so she’d be with someone familiar. I am so grateful for that, because neither I nor my daughter could have handled that, but neither of us wanted her to go alone.
We’ve spent the past few days mourning her loss, and our other cat seems to be mourning, as well. They were litter mates and have never been separated more than an hour or two for a vet visit. He used to wait for her to eat before he would eat, and now he still sits by his food waiting for her when I fill the bowl. It’s just awful to see. Eventually, he does eat, but otherwise he just mopes around and cries for her.
Anyway, it’s been a sad time around here, but here’s where I’m kind of torn.
My daughter really misses her companion and the emotional support she got from our cat, and the other cat is just a totally different personality, so not the same thing at all, though she does love him. She really wants to get a new kitten asap, to the point of practically begging me some days. When our cat first passed, we (FI and I) decided to wait a month before even looking for a new kitty, basically to allow us all some time to grieve and process our feelings and also for the sake of our other cat. We didn’t want to disappear with his sister one day and never bring her back with us, then just show up with this new cat a few days later, because we worry that would add to his stress and could affect how he behaves with a new kitten or cause him to have behavioral issues.
I know my kid is really struggling with us asking her to wait a month before we get a new kitten (which, to her, feels like forever) and it breaks my heart, but we’ve stood firm. But, I can’t help but second-guess myself and worry it’s affecting her mental health negatively, because she’s missing her “comfort animal.”
Am I being unreasonable in insisting we wait? Is there something she can do in the meantime to prepare for a new kitten that may help take her mind off the waiting? I’ve already tasked her with doing some “window” (online) shopping for some things we can get the new kitten when we do get one, but otherwise I’m at a loss.
Any advice on this, Bees?