My poor kitty’s nightmare (& mine, until eternity)

[from email to my sister, evening of July 28th:  worst day ever,  the day my DoonDoon died ~ in a manner most undignified…]
 
Forgive me for unloading this most awful pain in my heart, to which only i can answer in the end…
 

For today turned out to be a worse nightmare than even i thought possible – because i wound up caving against what my instinct had been fighting for all along, against everyone’s advice, cuz i knew what was of the utmost importance – i.e. that my Gats would NOT experience any terror or pain, & would be comforted the whole way through, cuz his Sassy was there for him as always – as he deserved…

I had the sweetest lil heart-to-heart with my quiet, shallow-breathing but calm & trusting baby this a.m. on my bed, with him resting his weary little body against mine & his head relaxing heavily into my hand, as I told him what an incredible kitty he was & a brave boy going through this massive struggle with such stoic sweetness, & how proud i was of him — & how it was o.k. to give in & let go now, that he didn’t need to fight for each breath, or get up (as he would, every time) after peeing on the bathroom floor –where he’d taken up camp to stay cool– then come up like a saint & faintly meeow, asking me to make it bearable again as he was sorry but he’d had another accident… I’d make a fuss of him, soothing him with warm wet towels & kisses before going to clean up the tiny yellow puddle, & he’d be right behind me as soon as i was done to say thank you Sassy, that’s exactly what i wanted…

Yes, he was diminishing – but never in my eyes, only physically from illness (a lump was detected in one lung, fluid in the other) – down to the barest of breaths, occasionally struggling to unblock his airways & asking for help; i’d rush to his aid, using inhalers & straws, which he’d lean toward as if to tell me he trusted me to make him better… Of course i was there for him, doing what i could to rise to the challenge:  he looked to me for help cuz i was his friend, his mommy, his protector.  How could he not be my number one priority?

[I felt no doubts about doing what was best for Gatto & fulfilling my promise that i’d never forsake him…]
 
I’d learned to expect no support from those around me, who –inexplicably– accused me of “dragging it out”, “making him suffer”, “cruelty to animals” ETC. for not rushing to the vet’s to have him “euthanized” — tho i tried to point out what my instincts knew, that Gatto wasn’t scared or suffering as long as he was home with me… Why didn’t anyone trust that i KNEW what Gatso needed, that i OWED my lil feline friend the reassurance that was keeping him calm & happy despite his body’s decline?
 

[i could NOT allow him to suffer any fear or sudden  trauma in his last few moments of life.  I’d thought about this long & hard, so that all the fucked-up protests ringing round me claiming ‘what was best’ could not be addressed; i KNEW WHAT WAS BEST:  to be my little darling’s most careful, kindest nurse; helping him thru each waking minute & easing his struggles so there was no suffering.  What did they know, when they didn’t even look at him, didn’t see him, weren’t around him 24/7 like i was?  How could THEY know better?]

When these protests got too aggressive to ignore, cuz they were threatening to invade my baby’s healing process, i was forced to consider the accepted final ‘solution’ (ironic?  no) — which i’d read about enough to know it WASN’T the Great Panacea or even ‘peaceful ending’ people claimed… But I researched, with the aim to compromise, & eventually discovered it COULD be done compassionately without fear or suffering — AT HOME, with an inhalant sedative administered before any injection took place.  I phoned the vet & outlined my specifics; he said it could be done, but only at his office.  And it cost more.  My instincts told me ‘no’.

But when i ran it by my ‘peops’, (surprise surprise) they pressed for me to go ahead.  That they didn’t question the need to take Gats ‘THERE’ shoulda been a big red flag.  But, steeling myself (& praying i wasn’t upsetting the delicate balance Janos & i had created together, despite opposition) i reluctantly booked the appointment…

* * * *

And so this a.m., after Ringo sweetly left us alone for our darling heart-to-heart i told you of before, i slowly got him ready, taking time wiping his dear little face (which he was letting me do now, quite happily), telling him we were going to “Dr. Feelgood”‘s so he could be relieved of his great struggles, & that there was nothing to fear, his mommy would be there with him to help him thru it all.  The sweetsiegot up & willingly tottered into his carrier one last time…

Suppressing the lump in my throat, to stay calm for my bravest black angel, took massive effort.  Recalling that day now, & all of its heartbreaking meaning when i told my Chanos he made life worth living & made me happy –& sharing that with Ringo, who loved Gatto so much too– how can i not see thru this daze of tears the sweetness softening the sting, the possibility that happiness can ever be experienced again?

We drove our dear sweet calm Gats to the vet’s, all the way reassuring that everything would be allright & soon no pain…
 
That’s when we got the first of the day’s nasty surprises, when told that all was not as described before & an initial injection for sedation would be required.  I couldn’t hide my disappointment, verging on despair, repeating my concerns as my instinct’s many doubts remained & i debated whether we should even proceed…
 
As i hesitated, trying to soothe my poor scared Janos, I was hammered with arguments that it would be for the best, that his “quality of life” was the issue, & that it would be done as I wished, & with me present.  I barely had the strength to silence claims it must be done, & “quickly”.
 
i could claim i was totally swayed, but the truth was if i’d stayed true to my instincts, as i had all along up til then, i would have spared him (& me, & Ringo) the stricken terror of what was supposed to be the inital “pre”, “calming” sedative shot.  Up until that point, my Janos had been so obliging, calm & quiet…
 

As soon as the sedative was unceremoniously administered (into his hip), all hell broke loose.  We couldn’t hide our horror at his terrified struggle & ensuing heinous choking & gurgling in panicked death-decline — his frantic failure to fight its heavy, severe onslaught… Helpless & hysterical, i couldn’t bear the scene transpiring before our very eyes:   the embodiment of all my stated (& up-til-then dismissed) fears of this most torturous WORST-CASE SCENARIO –i.e. what i’d tried to take pains to avoid– that made a mockery of our efforts to soothe…

Suppressing tears to tell his fading, fightng form it was OK felt so hopeless, meaningless — & then, in 2 final sickening seizures, beyond registration.  My darling DoonDoon’s last few moments turned into excruciating suffering:  all his serene & so-sweet acceptance of his state, eased by his mommy’s tiptoed efforts at every turn, had suddenly transformed into a betrayal of twisted facts before our destroyed mentalities… & all my hiccoughing, pitiful sobs could never reverse the damage done, or stop my heart from shattering to smithereens..
CRIES!!
 
When the vet confirmed his state of sedation (eyes staring in frozen fright, jaw slowly opening & closing helplessly like a fish after his last flop, froth hissing forth in total unrecognizability) we could only stand there, speechless & immobilized, & stare ahead in disbelief —  utterly defeated.
 
At which point his forearm was shaven, with piles of his fur forming tiny little intact ‘rugs’ all over, then into my disrespected little darling’s arm went the final needle, drawn-out as in slow-mo…  As my dying DoonDoon let out his last breaths, his sweet face contorted & froze into a hardened rigid stare, already almost devoid of all his Torr’dor traits but immortalizing his moments of terror…
 
Then thru my tears i took in the final insult as the stethoscope was held against Gatto’s now-still body for what seemed hours, until the vet confirmed to us the moment he could verify with satisfaction:  that all life was indeed snuffed –“his heart has stopped”– as if it were anything but the direst pronouncement of doom driving a stake into my darkened heart.  Too late to take back this traitorous twist of trust, all traces of Main Mama’s tenaciousness in staying true to her Janos –to his most precious dignity & feelings, in his last dying decline–  now trampled to dust… 
 
* * * *
 
When i broke the sombre silence of the ride home –our lifeless pussycat in tow– with an old familiar “HOW undignified!”, its defiled innocence broke down all defenses & i burst into the most uncontrollable, unconsolable sobs of grief…
 
OH MY SWEETEST CHANOS!!
HOW CAN I HAVE ALLOWED IT SO??
 
{DID HE NOT deserve the utmost dignity, in death as in life, that depended on MY every decision right up til the end?  & did i not SEE the extent of my distress if those demands weren’t met, that foresight told me would be mine alone??}  All is terrible as it is true…
 
 
So as we prepare to lay my Gatto’s little lifeless body in the ground, such thoughts keep plunging me into the terror of ‘if only’s & ‘too late’s – & more torrents of tormented tears for my brave & trusting Toreador…
 
IF ONLY i had stuck to my guns & obeyed my instincts, which told me DoonDoon was most comfortable @ home where he was loved:  as long as his Sassy was there with him he was content.  How could i have been convinced the ‘right thing 2 do’ was jolt my sick baby out of his comfort zone, surrounded by bright lights & scary strangers, & jabbed with needles which –as i’d predicted– put my poor angel into a terrified panic instead of ‘ending the suffering’ as everyone had said?  All is done to simply speed up death… Isn’t that just – wrong? 
 
 
[Down the line, my boyfriend admitted he’d been wrong to interfere & ought to have entrusted DoonDoon to his bestest friend & most devoted ally:  his mama.  Natch.  (Should there have been any doubt?)  Course, i forgave him & thanked him for being there for me in the aftermath of doom.  Cuz he’d endured it with me, & comforted me thru my ensuing daily tragic outbursts of sobbing grief.  And cuz i luvs him too.]
 
… I doubt i’ll ever forgive myself for betraying my kitty’s trust & subjecting his last living moments to that hell.  But i will cherish all the love & sweetness he brought into my life — forever.  I hope whoever reads this will feel what i went thru, & think twice before they forgo their conscience/instinct in favour of following what others say is ‘right’.  MY conscience tells me all animals deserve to live their lives in full —not to be used by humans for any purpose– & without us deciding for them when to die.
 
MY feelings, condemned as being ‘ridiculous’ from the start, stood out as beacons of truth in DoonDoon’s darkest hour.  My fragile, darling baby boy had sweetly trusted me to take good care of him until the end, & i’d vowed to live up to that precious calling COME WHAT MAY.  Trying to pacify me that i ‘did what was best’ etc. had the opposite effect; only those who understood my rage against the ‘euthanasia ‘machine’ (& against myself, for rejecting what i knew was right & caving in to popular demand) were worthy of regard.
 
Good night, dearest blackest angel of my heart…
 
 
 
 
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