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 SugahPunkin
Joined: 3/9/2010
Msg: 1
Cat ProblemPage 1 of 1    
Hey Fellas

Wanted your views please about a male friend who has two extremely sick cats that he's had for almost 20 years. They have renal failure and he has to feed them every few hours. He's not working and in school and arranges his schedule for classes to revolve around these two cats.
The cats are beautiful and he loves them so much that he just cant bring himself to putting them down. This past weekend His best friend got married. He couldnt go because of the cats and lost out on his best friend's most important moment as best man...... for two cats.
He called me in a weak moment. His cats were sick vommitting and he was crying and said he just cant take it anymore. But still refuses to put the two down.

I gave my thoughts which basically were that sometimes we have to give mercy instead of love and maybe it was time for that.
He got quiet and said he would call me later.

Was I right to say that? If you were in his shoes how would you take what I said?
Thank you for your responses. He views these cats almost like they were children.

Help me please.
 Arpeggia
Joined: 1/15/2008
Msg: 2
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 4:55:36 PM
Hi Sugahpunkin..Not a guy but perhaps this will help.. Last week I had to tell my ex that it was time to call the emergency clinic to take his cat of 15 yrs in to be put to sleep. I went with him and held the cat while it was put to sleep (my ex was crying to hard to do it). I told him in no uncertain terms that the cat was suffering and if it was me... I would want to be "put down". There is a line between discomfort and distress.. and his cat had crossed that line. To me it is kinder then letting the cycle of pain go on. In my opinion you did the right thing if not the most unpopular thing in telling him this. Offer to go with him. Offer to hold him the cat or what ever it is that needs to be done to put this cat out of his misery.. show mercy. Thank you for caring for the cats.. sometimes it is a nudge we need from an "unemotional" party.

BTW.. the ex said he was relieved the cat was gone and not suffering now.

Arpeggia
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 3
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Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 5:00:09 PM
What you told him was the very most realistic thing! If he can not handle it, guess who's problem that is. I am not saying this out of spite but more from a very realistic perspective. For him, he obviously is very attached to his cats and currently, they are suffering. The more he keeps them in the condition they are in, the more they will suffer... because of his love for them and because he can't let them go.

You can tell it to him that way!
 NowSucksLess
Joined: 2/4/2010
Msg: 4
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 5:06:49 PM
You did the right thing.

I'm sure he wasn't offended. He has to know it was just a matter of time.
 Lemmons09
Joined: 3/13/2010
Msg: 5
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 5:26:36 PM
I had to make the decision to remove my husband from life support. He had end stage renal disease and suffered from a massive stroke. There's no way I could have continued to allow him to suffer and even though his bible thumping father hated me for doing it, I pulled the plug. Now, if I and many others can make this kind of decision about a spouse, then certainly your friend can give the same gift to his cats. They are in pain and it is just selfish to keep them alive. It's pointless and harmful. I have cats and I love them like they're my kids and you bet I'd give them dignity in death.

I hope my story helps. Poor kitties. :-(
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 6
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 5:56:16 PM
I think he isn't ready yet. Some people have a hard time letting go, especially if he's had them for most of their life. To some pet owners, pets aren't like children - they are an extension of self identity. Try supporting him and being there for him, instead of passing judgement on him.
 That Handy Man
Joined: 11/23/2008
Msg: 7
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 6:25:26 PM
I had a couple of twenty year old cats, and except for the consideration of the quality of their lives, I would have done anything for them. By contrast, I wouldn't give a nickle to say so many human lives! But that's just me!

With an animal, usually what you see is what you get. With people, you never know!
 deborah815
Joined: 5/4/2009
Msg: 8
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Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 6:59:55 PM
I have had three cats and each one of them had to be put down because they were suffering too much. As much as I would have liked to have them around longer because I loved them, I had to love them enough to put my feelings aside and do the right thing. Unfortunately, animals can't make these decisions for themselves, we have to take responsibility and so does your friend. I hope he does the right thing.
 NarcissusTemple
Joined: 4/23/2009
Msg: 9
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 7:02:55 PM
I thought your advice was kind and ethical.
If he's upset about your advice, consider the context and don't take it personally.
Maybe he's not well equipped to handle loss and grief and can't imagine how he's going to get through it.
Maybe you could suggest a support group for people who have lost their pets.

I recently learned about a service where a vet comes to the home so the animals can pass in their home environment.
That may alleviate a very small bit of the discomfort for him.

Good luck. I'm sad for him. So difficult to lose furry children.
 Butterfly~Effect
Joined: 12/12/2008
Msg: 10
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 7:07:16 PM
I hate it when people compare pets to children...Pet are not your children, they are animals...people calling them their children actually disgusts me. (and yes, I'm fully aware of the fallout for saying that...but suck it up...they are still animals!)

and yes, I have pets...I think their great, wonderful and I enjoy them....but the bottom line is...they are animals.

Your friend is keeping them alive for his selfish needs only....he is not doing the cats a favor by keeping them alive. I don't know what to tell you...maybe offer to take them yourself if he can't handle it.

I had to stand beside my poor daughter when we had to put her kitten down...and yes, it was one of the hardest things to do was seeing her so sad....but if a 5 year can do it...so can your friend. He's allowing his cats to suffer terribly because of his selfishness....and at the same time....having his own little pity party and missing incedible events (bf wedding) in his and others lives. I hope he doesn't expect the friend to feel sorry for him after missing his wedding.....they are cats...not his mother, wife, kids or friends...those would be legitimate excuses to miss such an important day.

Perhaps your friend needs a bit of therapy??? I really can't see normal people acting like this..
 angelmiss88
Joined: 4/17/2010
Msg: 11
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 7:40:32 PM
I have been in your friend's position and have had to put a pet down due to illness. You should have kept your opinions to yourself as the cats are his not yours, thus his decision on their care and well being. I remember when my pet was sick and people telling me how what care I should provide, which make me resent them and feel offended as I was justified after all the pet was mine not theirs thus the pet's care was my business not theirs.

Making the decision to put an animal down is very, very, very difficult. Your friend is going through a VERY painful time and you need to be supportive rather than tell him what he nees to do. He more than likely is awash in guilt like I was. It's difficult to let someone you love go.

Good for him for treating his pets like family. How pets should be treated.

Now I have a puppy and she, like my past pets, is like my child. Those who claim they are animals only cannot comprehend the rewards of having a pet and should zip it.

A pet is loyal and loves unconditionally, humans do not!

You need to MYOB.
 BLUEMISS
Joined: 7/15/2007
Msg: 12
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Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 7:44:48 PM
My cat of 16 years died on Thursday.She had been sick for awhile and I kept saying I should put her down, so she wouldn't suffer anymore.But I didn't, and for that I will always feel guilty.I kept her alive for my own selfishness, it was too hard to let her go.

I am very pissed at myself for being so selfish.I let her suffer too long.When our pets are suffering ,is it humane to keep them alive...I think not... now.Very sad when a beloved pet goes.
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 13
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 8:31:52 PM
I think any of us who have loved an animal have been in that place. I had a beautiful red doberman 15 years ago and I'm still mourning his loss. There have been other animals in my life but Rusty was truly my best friend, protector and companion.

I cant imagine missing my best friend's wedding. I think your friend needs to be more realistic.

What you said to him was fine, imo.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 14
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Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 8:50:58 PM
I'm another who really feels strongly about my fuzzy friends. I don't think you'll find that your friend has taken what you said badly, since you appear to have said it with care and grace. I suspect the fact that you said it to him might help him to make the right decision.
I WAS in his shoes earlier this year (though even I would not have gone as far as he has already), and for the first time in my life, had to choose to have one of my pets put down. The whole time the procedure was moving forward, I had to prevent myself from stopping the doctor. I questioned myself over and over the whole time.
Since he's had them for THAT long, there may be more involved with him in letting them go than the cats themselves. If he is in his forties as well, this could also be tied up with his coming to terms with his own age transitions.
 christ on a crutch
Joined: 2/1/2009
Msg: 15
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Posted: 5/9/2010 9:31:45 PM

I gave my thoughts which basically were that sometimes we have to give mercy instead of love and maybe it was time for that.

you expressed a reasonable thought in a reasonable way, op. i don't think you could have done better.

I had a couple of twenty year old cats, and except for the consideration of the quality of their lives, I would have done anything for them. By contrast, I wouldn't give a nickle to say so many human lives! But that's just me!

it's me too. i had to put down a fatally ill cat and it was so sad. but it was also clear she had lost everything but the last few heartbeats, so i didn't agonize over the decision.

much.

He's allowing his cats to suffer terribly because of his selfishness....and at the same time....having his own little pity party and missing incedible events (bf wedding) in his and others lives. I hope he doesn't expect the friend to feel sorry for him after missing his wedding

yes to the part about letting the cats suffer. can't say whether the wedding might have been incredible. it's too much of a leap to assume so; it might have been the guy's fourth or fifth, for all we know. as a cat lover, if i were the groom i would cut a guy some slack over his cats, knowing they might be the last few moments they would share. but then, i'm a man and harbor no princess-for-a-day fantasies.

I really can't see normal people acting like this..

i really can't see wanting any part of this 'normality.'
 whatsit
Joined: 4/26/2010
Msg: 16
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 9:36:10 PM
I don't think you were wrong, but I wouldn't have handled the situation that way. I am with previous poster, thinking there is something more going on than just the cats themselves.

I had a BF who had a 17 yr old cat, and after that cat died, he finally had to WHOLLY let go of his (deceased) wife. The cat had been hers, and was the last "living" piece of her that he could hold onto.

So, now I'd be more inclined to question the guy about his motivations rather than tell him what he should do. Try to get HIM to come to a humane conclusion.

But I bet you made him think, and I doubt you ruined your relationship with the guy. Maybe hurt his feelings a little, but he will probably realize it was out of humane interests for his beloved kitties.
 rainman12
Joined: 10/18/2007
Msg: 17
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Posted: 5/9/2010 9:42:25 PM
OP - You did the right thing and from what you said, I don't think you were in anyway insensitive about it. I'm sure if he's rational he'll see that what you say makes perfect sense, it's more a matter of him being unable to let go.

Off topic - I've always found it curious that as a society it's perfectly legal and moral for us to have our animals put down "humanely", yet we're often unable to do so for family members.
 rejectingall
Joined: 1/24/2007
Msg: 18
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Posted: 5/9/2010 9:52:24 PM
If a cat is in renal failure... it won't be long before nature takes care of it. Cats often don't show the symptoms until they are near dieing and there's not a lot that can be done to help them recover.

He can either continue trying to keep them alive... and probably just prolonging thier suffering... or put them down.

I have an alternate cat problem... 2 spoiled cats. I can understand caring for an animal ALMOST as if it were a child.

Tell someone they should pull the plug on a dieing child. Some will do it quickly to end the suffering. Some will hang on till the last heartbeat hoping for the miraculous recovery.
 isnuttinfree
Joined: 7/9/2009
Msg: 19
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 10:03:15 PM

sometimes we have to give mercy instead of love

You worded it wrong. It is both merciful AND loving to end their suffering. He has a problem with not being able to let go.
 Butterfly~Effect
Joined: 12/12/2008
Msg: 20
Cat Problem
Posted: 5/9/2010 10:15:38 PM

Tell someone they should pull the plug on a dieing child. Some will do it quickly to end the suffering. Some will hang on till the last heartbeat hoping for the miraculous recovery.


......Because children are supposed to grow up...have their own children and continue the flow of life. They are our children....tiny little human beings of ourselves. We expect that they are to live till they are in their old age. We allow them (as adults) to make their own decisions...to choose their lives, their spouses, their careers. This is a normal part of life. It's what we expect when we give them life. Our children are expected to out live us!

.....Cats are animals with an expectant life span of no more than 20 years. We know this from the moment we bring them into our home. We realize that at some point in time ...they will become sick ...we expect that we will outlive them. We spay and neuter them and they do not have their choice about it.

As much as animals have the ability to think and be part of family...they are not our children. Any rational human being knows this. We consciously make a decision the moment we bring them home that at some point....we may lose them.

To compare an animal to a child in any way....is insane and non rational thinking. No matter how cute, fuzzy, smart, protective and loving that animal may be
 Uomo_Universale
Joined: 8/13/2008
Msg: 21
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Posted: 5/10/2010 12:38:13 AM

To compare an animal to a child in any way....is insane and non rational thinking. No matter how cute, fuzzy, smart, protective and loving that animal may be


Alright then, Ayn Rand, Jr.

Last time I checked, love wasn't always rational.

Just because our pets were adopted from a Humane Society and not conceived
(and possibly born, as well) in the back seat of a Camaro doesn't mean that
they are any less special to us.
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