My beloved kitty Niobe is very ill, indeed. As a result of her kidney disease, she has poor muscular control, and is having great difficulty walking. Her gum infection has gotten much worse. She often seems confused. She's peeing all over the place. (To be honest, Niobe has always been a bit clumsy, short on brains and a naughty little pisser. However, things have gotten much worse.)
Niobe is also spending the bulk of her time hanging out with Robb and me. Robb spends quite a large amount of every day laying down, and Niobe is constantly cuddled up with him.
I have been struggling with what to do. On one hand, I don't want her to suffer, and I believe in euthanasia. But I cannot come to terms with scheduling the appointment to end her life. People always say "you'll know when the time comes." But I'm finding that I disagree with that.
I don't know what the tipping point is. She is very old and frail, but she's also a little love machine, purring all the time. And she's the feline love of my life.
Robb and I have lost several cats over the years, but we never actively put one to sleep. We had an appointment to do that for Biesche, when her cancer metastasized, but she passed away the morning that we were going to take her to the vet. When we took Paetra in for exploratory surgery for her cancer, we told the vet that if things were found to be too far gone, that they should let her go. And that's what happened. There were no decisions made with Mister Firdusi. He just fell over dead last month.
This long, lingering illness is so difficult for me, because I can't decide if I'm letting her continue on for the wrong reasons. Am I doing this for my cat because she's still happy, or for myself, because I can't bear to lose her? This morning I thought, perhaps the answer is not to use euthanasia at all. Perhaps I need to think in terms of home hospice. But now I'm not sure.
How does one know what to do? How does one know when to do it?
The time has come. Niobe twitched involuntarily all night, and the smell of the infections in her mouth made the entire bedroom stink. (If this kept me and Robb from sleeping, imagine what it must be like for poor Niobe.) She's too weak to make it to the litter box, much of the time.
I think it is time to let her go. But of course I'm crying as I type these words.
Robb just scheduled the appointment for 5:30 tonight, and was crying when he called to tell me that.