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The Long Goodbye

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Aug 25, 2012, 01:01 AM
Idaho Resident
The Long Goodbye
Well, Beets, our miracle dilute calico who singled-handedly caught gophers, mice, snakes, moles and a few other critters at the old farm and proudly hauled them over 20 acres (almost a 1/4 mi) to the back door of our farm house to "feed us" is becoming more frail every day. Frown

It becomes harder and more difficult to watch her go downhill every day - as of today, she is 19 years, 1 month and 14 days old and she still purrs like a new-born kitten as long as she is laying on top or beside me even though she is becoming so fragile...

I've started giving her some of the KRM I saved from Haystack's time and, yes, I already have the vet on board for a house call if that becomes necessary; just feeling very sad and wondering if anyone else has gone through this? I know I have many times before but it never gets easier....

Guess I'm just looking for some sympathy here and, maybe some support, because I know what is to come ....
Aug 25, 2012, 07:38 AM
IR, It is so difficult when our fur babies start to tell us it is time. Frown

My Boris was the same way. At 18 he was getting thinner and more sensitive to food. DH started giving him scraps of turkey because he seemed to tolerate it well. But like Beets, he kept his normal schedule and didn't seem to have pain.

We had to let him go when he had a stroke. The vet said we could try different things, but he was so upset and confused we couldn't let it go on.

You both will know when it is time to say goodbye. It is never easy.

Fun and Info
Aug 25, 2012, 08:16 AM
This is the negative side of living with a pet who has a life span shorter than ours. But the positives far out weigh that negative. They give us such love, amusement, companionship during their relatively short life.

If you are looking for sympathy and understanding you know you will get it here.
Aug 25, 2012, 11:43 AM
We went through this with Lily a rescue cat of ours. We couldn't say for sure how old she was, but that she was at least 16, but it was possible she was even older.

She died of cancer. The vets prognosis was a year and he was right. At her age he recommended just bringing her home and loving her until she told us it was time.

It was not easy watching the cancer grow. It was skin cancer that began on her ear and spread all over her head. We watched carefully for signs she was not well or suffering and she was her old self right up to the end.

And at that time, she gave us the gift of not having to make a choice. One day she stopped eating and lay down and went to sleep the next. We made her a comfortable bed and in the night she peacefully stopped breathing.

It's never easy seeing an old friend come to the end. Hugs to you. Give Beets special treats and treat her like the royalty she has become.
Aug 25, 2012, 09:48 PM
Beau's Rose

Special HUGS to you and Kitty Beets. Give her that extra attention for now.

Last Sunday I had to assist my DD with that very decision. Miss Kitty was about 17. It's never easy.

I wish you both the very best.

~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
Aug 25, 2012, 10:38 PM
Just know that you did right by BEETS and it's known! It's SO hard when a pet owner has to make that final decision.
Aug 26, 2012, 01:20 AM
Idaho Resident
Many thanks to everyone who has responded; your posts mean a great deal to me. Just having support during this time means so much. As of today, Beets is still doing "well" but well is a relative term...

It's day to-day and every day when I wake up, part of me hopes that she will have passed peacefully during the night and another part of me is over-joyed when I see her move and know she is still alive.

It's such a roller coaster w/o the excitement - just the ups and downs. Frown

I'm hoping her time comes soon for my sake and I know that sounds so terrible but, at the same time, I'm ordering another case of KMR tonight in case it's not so easy. So many conflicting emotions ~ so thank you, everyone, for your kindness and compassion.

Group Hug
Aug 27, 2012, 05:59 PM
Florida Farm Girl
Idaho, I'm so sorry to hear that Beets is failing. Hard thing to live with. Been there and done that myself. You've taken wonderful care of her and she's provided much love and companionship. Neither of you could do more. ((((Hugs)))

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Aug 28, 2012, 12:53 PM
Sorry to hear about Beets. It's so hard to let go and accept what's going on. We are all selfish in wanting longer times with our furry ones because they've brought such unconditional love and joy I to our lives. I've been thru this 5 times and it never gets any easier. Hope you have a bit more time with Beets before her time comes.
Aug 28, 2012, 02:01 PM
Sorry to hear about your kitty. They are such wonderful friends. I had one for 26 years and a a couple others into their late teens. The ones I have now are getting older.

Just continue giving Beets lots of love.


*****Catch the Excitement*****
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Real Friends Believe in Your Dreams
Aug 28, 2012, 06:04 PM
So sorry to hear about Beets. It's so hard to say goodbye. We had our German Shepherd Holly with us for 14 years. She had a rough time Thanksgiving that year and she started to bleed on a Sunday night. We made her comfortable and we had to say goodbye the next morning at the vets. I will never do that again, I will try and figure out how to get a vet to come to our home. My husband, grown son and I sat with her and cried. My daughter headed back to college and she said that she cried all the way back on her flight. We know that you have given Beets a good life and been a wonderful friend. We also know that it's so hard to let go. All of us love our pets and want them to be with us. We don't want to let them go but it's our last act of love to let them leave us peacefully. We know that you will know when to make that decision and we all send you our thoughts and prayers.
Aug 28, 2012, 06:25 PM
irish kid
So sorry about Beets. You have my support and prayers. I know how hard it is to let a furbaby go, and my heart goes out to you. Hugs!
Aug 28, 2012, 06:53 PM
irish kid
You said something about you saved something "from Haystack's time". What did you mean? I hope nothing has happened to Haystack. You haven't mentioned her lately, and I got to wondering.
Aug 31, 2012, 09:21 PM
Georgia Peach
Idaho, sorry to hear about your sweet Beets. It's never easy no matter how many times you lose a pet. I miss all of mine.
Aug 31, 2012, 11:00 PM
Wow, 19 years. That's a wonderfully long life and, knowing you, a love filled life too. 19 years seems like such a long time....and yet, when it come to nearing the end of a beloved pet's life it feels like such a short time.

I hope you and Beets have a bit more time left together to enjoy each other. I'm sorry and I know it's hard...

Aug 31, 2012, 11:06 PM
Florida Farm Girl
Irish Kid -- I think she was referring to some special foods that she had for Haystack when she was ill. So far as I know, Haystack still thinks she rules the roost!!!

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Sep 01, 2012, 12:00 AM
Idaho Resident
Thanks, everyone for all of your posts. You know, it's funny, I don't cry during the day but, at night, once everyone is settled in and I come here to read any responses, the tears do come ~ I think because it is such a relief to know that others understand...

My reference to Haystack was simply that, when I weaned her from the bottle-feeding, I had 3 cans of KMR left which I kept knowing this day might come - it's high-powered nutrients and very gentle on the digestive system - "purr-fect" for kittens and great for geriatric cats as well.

Beets has absolutely has gone to town lapping it down and wanting more and more and more. We ran out and the case I ordered is stuck somewhere in Illinois - UPS says won't be delivered until next Thursday. Guess they don't work weekends and I forgot that Monday is a holiday. Frown

One thing I have to say is that DH, without being asked, got up early and has made 2 50-mile RTs this week to the nearest PetCo to buy out all of the KMR they had and Beets is still here...

As for Haystack? I caught her today and almost yelled at her ~ then realized she wasn't attacking Beets ~ instead Haystack was cleaning the top of Beet's head and ears! So all is well on the western front ~ thank you, friends for sharing this journey with me. I hope it is helpful to others as well, active or lurking.

So nice to not feel alone during this time.

Group Hug

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Sep 02, 2012, 10:23 AM
We're here for you Idaho! Glad to hear that your Beets is still with you.
Sep 02, 2012, 07:08 PM
I am sorry to hear about Beets Frown My thoughts go out to Beets. This can take a long time I know. For five of my shelties several times it went on for a very long time sometimes up to a year.

Your heart is in turmoil, but for me thinking about all the great things they brought to my life, and care I gave them helps me realize when they are so sick, that the time I have cannot be spent grieving, but thinking about the great things and how I can help them now. This is why I just occassionally update what is happeing now with them.

Good luck to Beets

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." Ann Landers
"my hairy"kids Smile
Sep 04, 2012, 01:22 AM
Idaho Resident
Well, just posted a response - Admisn grabbed it and said it needed to be reviewed. That hasn't happened to me in a long time - just wanted everyone to know Beets is still alive. I know I didn't use any "prohibited" words - will probably take TPTB over a week so won't be posted back any time soon. Mad
Sep 06, 2012, 10:25 AM
Just came back to the boards and saw this. I'm sorry about Beets, I know how difficult it is. My Sammi is 16 and I'm dreading the day. I can tell she's getting older, skinnier and shedding like crazy.

I know when she sits and looks at a chipmunk and does nothing about it, that she's too old to be bothered Frown

Sep 12, 2012, 04:50 AM
IR, I haven't been able to get on here for quite some time, had to get a new computer. It makes me so sad to read this, I know how much
Beets means to you. I went through the same thing with our Pekingese a few years ago. He was 16, totally blind, totally deaf, but still ate good, loved being loved on and still played. We were SO torn and sad about it all and just couldn't bring ourselves to say goodbye as long as he wasn't suffering. Our decision was made for us when we had to move. We knew he wouldn't know where he was or know his way around when we moved. I know the feeling of going to bed and hoping the pet goes peacefully on it's own. We're all here for you and feeling what you're feeling. Sending BIG hugs your way!
Sep 19, 2012, 09:09 PM
i, too, have gone through this more times than i can remember but we will always have animals (rescues). i feel your pain; prayers to you.
Sep 20, 2012, 03:14 AM
Idaho Resident
Thank you, every single one of you who have posted here on this thread. I know it is a difficult topic and one that is hard to comment on ~ so thank you, everyone who managed to do so.

As of tonight, Beets is still here - every day she seems a bit more frail but, at the same time, she still goes up and down the stairs (2 story house here) and wants only to lay in my lap or right next to me - purring - is one more day she is still here.

I can't thank all of you enough for understanding how difficult this time is...

Group Hug

PS. Gypsy Dancer, so very glad to see you posting again - now if we could just get "luvs-to-flip" and Yve back again....
Sep 21, 2012, 02:36 AM
IR, thanks so much, it's good to be back! Smile I totally agree with needing to get Luv-to-flip and Yve back..really miss them! I'm glad to hear your precious Beets is still there with you. Just enjoy everyday with her and love her as much as you can..and I know you do! You and Beets are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sep 21, 2012, 03:04 PM
I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. I've been there several times lately. Everybody says you know when it's time and I've found that to be so true: all of a sudden you realize that neither one of you can go thru this any longer, and you're both ready for the peace that comes with that decision. But it's still painful.
Sep 22, 2012, 12:09 PM
Thinking of you and Beets--hope all is still ok.
Sep 23, 2012, 01:38 AM
Idaho Resident
Can't begin to tell all of you how much your posts have meant and, yes, Beets is still here with me tonight. But the KMR that I think gave her a reprieve over the last month, has lost its attraction. The case of KMR I ordered arrived just in time last month and she seemed to be doing well on it ~ for a while ~ but she just isn't eating/drinking like before but, at least, it gave us one more month. Smile: Frown:

I'm going to start giving her canned catfood three times a day starting tomarrow - she usually only gets it every night - in addition to the free-fed dry food. The time is coming but she is still happy, purrs up a storm while on my lap, "talks" to me constantly and is able to go up and down the stairs with no problems so I'll keep trying to make the end as easy as possible as long as Beets indicates that that is what she wants.

Have to say I am so appreciative of all of you here on the boards ~ told a couple of people the last few weeks about Beets ~ without exception, they were all very sympathetic AND they said, "well, she's really old" so it's probably best to just put her down and get a new kitten. Mad

Sorry, but neither people nor animals are interchangeble. Can't tell you how upset those comments made me - so, once again, have to say how much I appreciate hearing from individuals who do get it.

Group Hug
Sep 23, 2012, 04:52 PM
IR, people can be SO insensitive! You're right, they just DON'T get it. As an animal lover, I just don't understand how people can be so cold about pets....just see them as disposable. "Well, that one's old so just toss it out and pick up a new one". If they only knew how much we love our pets and how we give them our whole hearts. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. Beets sounds like a very strong and tough girl, she may hang in there much longer than you think! Give her fur kisses and hugs for me. Smile
Sep 23, 2012, 06:14 PM
Some people can be so insensitive, Beets is your friend not an old pair of shoes. She deserves love and care and you are doing just that for her. Take care.
Sep 24, 2012, 03:14 AM
Idaho Resident
As always, thanks to all of you - Beets is still here but I just had to post back about the ones who sincerely were trying to comfort me with telling me that Beets was so old - just put her down and bring a new kitten into the home. Thank you, all of you, for posting what I would have liked to say to them.

I didn't think about shoes - instead, I thought about an old sweater. Made me think that they were sorta saying that about an old sweater that was worn out and out-of-fashion so it would be so much easier just to get a new one.

Yes, much easier to just buy a new shoes or a sweater or get a new furry family member BUT I love Beets - she has been a constant in my life for over 19 years and I bless everyday I have been so fortunate to have had her.

I have, selfishly, posted this thread seeking support and have received it beyond my expectations but I also hope that others might be benefiting as well; it's hard to talk about the end in every day conversations whether it be people or our beloved animals. Thanks, all.

Group Hug
Sep 24, 2012, 09:45 AM
I have been off here for a few weeks tending to a ill friend. In late May we found that our almost 14 year old Lily had thyroid cancer. Despite removing her thyroid and a few weeks chemo - she lost her fight on her 14th birthday. I have been greiving. I never realized that my other 14 year old cat would grieve as well. It has been harder on me trying to deal with her grief than my own. For weeks she would wander through the house howling for her "sister". They spent their whole lives together. She would get me and try to make me find Lily. She would look at me at times and I would imagine her thinking: you must be the dumbest human there is - we are missing a cat lady!

Lily was never just a cat.
Sep 24, 2012, 11:26 PM
IR, you know we are always here for you...and for beautiful Beets. (((Hugs)))

professorc, I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. It's one of the hardest things in this world, losing a fur baby. And always so sad to see one animal looking for and/or grieving for one they've lost. Sending (((Hugs))) your way also.
Nov 25, 2012, 10:47 AM
hi idaho. looking over this post & others but don't see any updates about beets. hope all is well.
Nov 27, 2012, 12:08 AM
Idaho Resident
Thanks for asking, maggiejoe, and everyone else who has posted here! Smile

Well, good news and bad news. The good news is that Beets is still here, purring up a storm, eating canned catfood three times a day and is never more than a foot away from me...the bad news is that she is continuing to fail. That's the usual prognosis of renal failure and there is nothing any of us can do to change it.

But, in the meantime, she still brings joy to my life and I hope that I bring comfort to hers ~ she deserves it. When I started this thread 3 months ago, I honestly thought that Beets would not live to see the end of the month. Well, she is now 19 years, 4 months and 24 days old ~ and I have been thankful for every one of those days. I guess sometimes, the long goodbye is longer than we expect. And dare to hope for...
Nov 28, 2012, 02:52 AM
Oh, my goodness, IR, I am just now seeing this thread. I am so sorry to be so late to it though I am THRILLED Beets is still with you!

One of our cats, Little White, was diagnosed with renal failure a number of months ago. It's been touch and go but for the most part, she's been getting canned food literally about 5-10 times/day.

Thoughts and prayers are with you. You already know that.
Nov 30, 2012, 05:15 PM
beets is a strong old gal & continues to survive because of your good care.
Jan 08, 2013, 08:00 PM
irish kid
Idaho: I'm glad Beets is still with you. Sometimes people can be so insensitive, as if a furry friend can ever be replaced! NOT!
Professorc: I'm sorry about your cat. I know how hard it is to lose a pet that you love. And Charcoal'sMom, I'm sorry about Little White. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Jan 09, 2013, 01:37 PM
IR, glad to see your update--I had been wondering if Beets was still with you.

Professorc, sorry for your loss, it's so hard when they leave us.

Charcoalsmom--so sorry to hear about Little White.
Jan 26, 2013, 07:03 PM
Arkansas #1
I thank the father above that there are people like you that love thier fur babies and don't discard them like an old worn out item that we no longer want.Thinking of you and praying for you and Beets.

Use it up,wear it out,make do or do without.Mama said!!!
Mar 27, 2013, 01:02 AM
Idaho Resident
Well, I started this thread last August 25th, called it "The Long Goodbye" and received so many encouraging posts ~ thanks to everyone who posted or simply lurked and sent good thoughts my way. I realized today that it was time for an update since it has been seven months and Beets is still here!

A bit of a miracle and maybe just a bit more of tenacious love of life on Beet's part. She is still quite frail but hangs on with every claw she has ~ dry food upsets her stomach resulting in vomiting so DH and I have started to feed her a "spoonful" of canned cat food @ 10-12 times a day plus KRM 3xdaily - it's working so far....

The bad news: her fur has become matted and no amount of gentle combing gets it out; her breath is bad because of the toxins her kidneys can't expel and her excessive urination is very tough on the litter boxes ~ I used to scoop twice a day. Now it is every time I walk by her box....

But the good news: Beets is still overjoyed to be part of our family, insists on laying on our laps while she purrs her heart out, goes up and down the stairs with no problems although it takes her much longer than it did last August.

Bottom line, I would never have expected Beets to still be alive today when I started this thread last August ~ hope that gives hope to some of you dealing with "end of life" issues with your furbaby-family members ~ we really don't have all the answers no matter how talented our vets are....

Thanks, everyone, for the support and prayers ~ think they might be working although I do realize that it is only a matter of time. Cool
Mar 27, 2013, 01:35 AM
So happy to hear the good news, IR!
Apr 01, 2013, 10:16 PM
Aw IR, I had no idea Beets was going through this! Beets feels your love and kindness.

Wow,19 yrs is a long time for a cat. That's how old Miss Kitty was when her time came. For a cat reaching over 19 yrs, we must be doing something right.Wink

Regarding the matted there any way to take some scissors and cut those off? Just a thought....

Keep us updated IR. You know we all support you and care much for you furry "vegie".Smile


"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
Apr 06, 2013, 01:17 AM
Idaho Resident
Thanks, CCM and luvtoflip, for your responses ~ we enjoy every day with Beets and are just so thankful to still have her with us.

About the matting? Well, it's a situation that I haven't encountered before; I know that I have posted many times that there is no need to "bathe" cats as they are quite capable of taking care of that duty themselves (unless they are very geriatric and can no longer do it themselves).

Guess words can come back to haunt as Beets is no longer able to groom her back as she has always done and, thus, the mats. Perhaps if I had bathed her on a regular basis when she was a younger cat, a bath wouldn't be so bad now...

As it is, she will be 20 years old on July 12th and putting her in a bath at this late date would probably cause a pretty severe reaction on a physical level that she can't afford; I agree with the scizzors and cutting them off and have been doing that as time has gone on but, unfortunately, if I clipped all of them off, she would look like a ***** little kitty!

She has always had such dignity; I can't do that to her now. She is still the matriarch of the family and the other cats give her great deference. Case in point, when I got out the Laser Light tonight, Beets started chasing it and all of the other cats held back and let her play....

If only people would be so kind when one of own is failing; think we could all learn a lot from "animals." My two-bits for the night. Cool

PS. Anyone else who is dealing with the issue of aging/end of life issues with beloved family members (even if they are furry or hairy and have four legs), please feel free to chime in. This isn't Beets or my thread = it's a thread for all of us.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Apr 11, 2013, 02:31 AM
IR, I agree that at an older kitty might not take very well to an actual bath...especially if they've never had one!

Our Lola kitty cannot reach her backside either, IR. When I asked the vet about this, he actually told me that I could give her a "sanitary shave". He did it that day in the office and I've kept up with it every since.
He actually told me that he recommended this with all cats...especially the older ones or any with lots of fur = fur "back there". We have a razor for cutting hair so it makes it easier. A trimmer on an electric razer might work but depending upon the thickness of hair...could be tricky.

I told the vet that I had (occassionally) been using baby wipes on Lola...on the areas where she can't reach anyway. While he didn't say this was a bad thing, he did mention that taking a simple warm wash cloth would get the same result. If You think the wipes might be an idea, you can usually find actual pet wipes in the pet section of the larger chains like W-Mart. I guess I just figured the baby wipes would work just as well for her since I usually have them anyway to help clean "mommy's" makeup off~LOL

I can admit that Lo doesn't really like it when I deal with her backside(she fusses a little bit), but seems to appreciate it when she stops pouting and realizes she has a cleaner backend.Wink

Back to the shaver is a little difficult doing this sanitary shave alone but I usually place her between my legs with her head facing!lol Then I try to go as fast as I can. I really don't think it hurts her. I think it's the sound of the buzzing razer more than anything that she's reacting to.

And yes, after we're all done, her backside does resemble a furry little "target" of sorts.LOL

Just a thought. You know Beets better than any of us so you do what you feel is best.Wink

Oh yeah, forgot to mention something else. I always run the baby wipes through some warm water before going to "that area" so it's not so cold and shocking! I guess I felt that I wouldn't like it if someone came at my backside with a cold cloth of some sort!LOL

Hope little Beets is with you for a long time dear friend~

"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
Apr 11, 2013, 01:31 PM
Glad to hear that Beets is still with you. I have often thought about her since you first posted last summer. You are doing a fine job!
Apr 11, 2013, 01:49 PM
Lady's mom
I watched Ishan take a very long time to hobble across the pasture last night, and I realized that I must think about her quality of life. She is 13 years old and a very large dog (Akbash breed). She suffers from arthritis and now has a growth just beside her armpit. Surgery was not an option at her age and size.

She has been content to lie in the sun and sleep most of the day while the younger guard dog protects the flock, but I'm afraid we're slowly losing her.

I will try to keep her comfortable as long as possible, but we are not close to her like we would be with a pet. That may be hard for some of you to understand, but she has known from the time she could see that her place was with the flock, and she has never asked for anything else.
Apr 12, 2013, 02:34 AM
Idaho Resident
Lady's Mom, I do understand the difference between a "working" dog and a family pet and know you will struggle with doing what it right as you realize that age has caught up with Ishan...

Without going into detail, we had a cattle ranch and a few "working" dogs who lived, breathed, driving and herding and never would be distracted from their "job" but, as always, time moved on and the day came when they could no longer keep up. Tough call to make and everyone needs to make the call on their own but we always opted to keep them.

We kept them on the front porch ~ tough for them to see everyone leaving without them the first time ~ but, then, surprise, surprise ~ they settled in quickly to become beloved family pets. I guess a second life of sorts and a beloved one for all of us lucky enough to have been given their love once they transferred it from the herd to the family.

Bo Beep ~ I know that is not your new name but, seriously, I hope you will think again about Ishan before you make any decisions. No, Ishan has never asked for anything else but that doesn't mean that she isn't capable of doing so.

Thanks for chiming in here on this thread; think it is time for all of us to have a safe place to talk about a very difficult situation that all lovers of animals have to face at one time or another...

Group Hug
Apr 13, 2013, 02:15 AM
Idaho Resident
luvtoflip, Thanks for your post ~ I read it out loud to Beets and the others! Smile

Beets is still capable of grooming her "undersides" ~ she has always been a very fastidious cat in that regard so no need for assistance there. But she isn't able to completely reach the top of her back so that is where the matts are accumulating. Cutting them off as I can while trying to leave her with enough fur - not fun at all; sad even but she still is pretty active, purring and loving - I've began to think we should have named her "Timex" ~ she just keeps on keeping on.

I do thank everyone who has been sharing this journey with me ~ it's a tough one but one we will are make some day....
Apr 13, 2013, 11:26 AM
Lady's mom
We would do what is necessary only if she is suffering. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. But the layout of our farm doesn't make the house the right place for her to be. I don't think she would be happy away from the sheep.

I would like to make a small house/bed for her under the cedar trees, where she can watch everybody, but don't know if she would stay there. She does go into the barn at night.

She is also going blind and deaf, but still walks with the flock occasionally to the far pasture. I don't know how she does it.

She has been a good loyal dog, and has taught me so much about guard dogs.