But I don’t know for sure….

Opinion

Yesterday morning I had the privilege of traipsing around a couple’s private garden.

It was a lot of un, and I got a lot of great pictures.

In addition to a beautiful garden, they had a dog and two cats.

Here is one of the two cats:

IMG_1753 abyssinian cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That’s Cleo.

Cleo is an Abyssinian cat, 15½ years old and suffering from renal failure.

To me, Cleo doesn’t look happy. In fact, he looks in pain.

Zoey the Cool CatZoey the Cool Cat (picture ►) is a mere 7½ years old but it’s obvious to me that she has slowed down, and she’s continuing to slow down. She’s not a kitty anymore….

I know we all love our pets, but at what point do we decide that it is time for our pets to leave us, to cross over that rainbow bridge?

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend spent several thousand dollars on treatments for his cats when they got old.

I want to think that I would easily spend thousands of dollars to keep Zoey the Cool Cat with me as long as possible, but I don’t think I could.

Instead, I think I would say my goodbyes to her and, from the vet’s office, go right down to the animal shelter and get another loving feline friend.

There are so many which need loving homes, and at that point I would have a loving home to give.

But I don’t know for sure….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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32 thoughts on “But I don’t know for sure….

  1. Gallivanta

    I don’t know either. I have a cat who has trouble walking and is blind in one eye. But she seems content and still loves her food. She doesn’t look good but then I don’t suppose I will look good when I am her age.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. The Emu

    You have quite a dilemma there my friend, at what stage do we play God with our pets.
    I have had that experience and it still hurts, the only answer is in the rapport you have with your pet. You will know when the time is right.

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. paulaacton

    My dog is 16 and age has taken it’s toll on him and I wont lie I know his days are numbered, at the minute the sun is shining spring is here and he is still eating, and tottering about and other than being a little stiff when he first gets up on a morning he is relatively pain free but I know that this will be our last summer together as it would be selfish of me to put him through another winter if he gets that far. In my heart I do hope when they time comes he slips away in his sleep rather than the trip to the vets but if that becomes what is right for him I shall take him though it will break my heart

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    1. Photos With Finesse

      We’re in exactly the same place with one of our dogs this year. It’s tough, but it’s all about her, not us. And as heartbreaking as it will be, it will be the right thing to you. We’ll get by with the happy memories of what a sweetheart she has been in the 8.5 years we’ve had her. (And the other dog and 4 cats will help us carry on!)

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I supposed it is although I have never had to do that. Instead, my pets just disappeared or got hit by vehicles. There are so many pets in the animal shelters that need loving homes that I know when it’s time for Zoey the Cool Cat to go, her successor will be no more than a day later.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. wordsfromanneli

    It’s a very hard decision to make when our pets get really seriously ill. You have to weigh a lot of factors besides the money. Are they going to suffer more with the cure than if we let them go? Who are we doing this for – them or us? Very tough decisions.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I think money is going to play the most important role for me. In fact, even with my own life, money will play the most important role. I’m just not willing to spend extraordinary sums of money on a pet or on myself.

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  5. stregajewellry

    Russel, once again, you have touched on an issue that is up for some heavy and often heated discussion. I think many people do keep their pets alive for “themselves” and not just for the pet. Sometimes I think that their own issues with death color their decisions. I have a wonderful pet, Nosey who I love a lot. what makes Nosey unique is the fact that he is nosey, always poking his curious nose into whatever I am doing. I had to take him to the vet a while back when an feral cat attacked him. I did not begrudge the money spent to restore him to health. But I would not spend thousands or even hundreds if Nosey would cease to be who he truly IS. If he were in pain all the time and could no longer climb to the top of the roof and survey his kingdom, if he could only lie around, well, he would not be his own person and it would be selfish of me to keep him around just because I was afraid to lose him.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I have never understood why it’s so difficult to accept death but it seems that it is. Maybe I’m just a heartless creature but when someone or something dies, well, they die………..

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  6. Karen B

    I was anxious about reading this post and very worried about looking at the photo. I have had cats with kidney disease, but I never ever let my cats get to the stage where they were suffering. I would never know when the right time to say goodbye was, but my vet always tells me. It is hard. It is also hard when now so much more can be done to help our pets. I took in a stray cat who I called Otto, three years ago. He was dying of a heart condition caused by an overactive thyroid. I think his owners dumped him because the medication to help him was so expensive. The vet and I took a huge risk, to operate to remove his thyroid which might have seen his heart fail during surgery. But he did not die and now he has a healthy life and his heart murmur has improved too. It cost quite a bit to do, but it gave him a life which he would not have had and he does not suffer. I could not let him die, he needed a buddy to stand up for him when he had been thrown away. Its hard not to try to do for our pets what was not done for us, isn’t it? But I do not feel that we should selfishly preserve life for our own benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I think once a pet has lived a life that is at least equal to its average life expectancy, it will be pretty easy for me to let it go. Then I’ll go get another pet and give it lots of love until I have to let it go. Repeat……………

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  7. Photos With Finesse

    We always go by eating, sleeping and purring for our cats. (We’ve had 4 live to 18+). One of our cats did go through renal failure at the end, but didn’t ‘suffer’. I do know that I could never put a pet through chemotherapy if they were diagnosed with cancer. Humans suffer enough with that. We know our Corgi/Golden/Chow-X dog is in her last year this year. She’s only ten, but with a long back, short legs and severe arthritis, she’s now managed on pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and some physio/massage thrown in. She can still get up and down stairs although it’s slower than it used to be, and she still wants to go for walks even though around the block is a challenge. She’s eating, sleeping and loving, but as soon as her home comfort level goes, we’ll know it’s time. We give her wagon rides if we want to go any further, but mostly she stays at home, basks in the sun on the back deck, gets love and cuddles when she comes in and generally enjoys life. – Suzan –

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  8. philosophermouseofthehedge

    When you take in a pet, you promise to shelter, feed, keep them healthy, make wise decisions about their care. That means being objective about their age and condition. No animal should live in pain. As long as they are eating, using the facilities/litter box, and are comfortable, they are fine. Our cats usually manage a long life, but they tell you very clearly when it’s time for them to go on if you are observant. It’s not easy, but you made that promise they would never fear or be in pain when you let them choose you. Long expensive painful treatments cannot be explained to a cat. They trust you to be wise and compassionate.
    When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you save 2 lives: the animal you take home and the one that now can be moved into that empty space and a chance to find a forever home.
    Paw salute from RC Cat and a friendly wave from Molly!

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  9. Pingback: I felt honored | Russel Ray Photos

  10. insearchofitall

    I had to go help my daughter move so I couldn’t comment yesterday. My dog didn’t appear to be having any problems but she kept wanting to walk over to the emergency vet clinic. She did not want to walk by her own clinic. I thought it was because she liked the grass over there but she would go sit at the door. Within the month, she became so ill one night that my daughter and I took her over. They ran scans, did tests and they said she had no hope of recovery. That visit took my whole social security check but we said good-bye so she could go to sleep. I don’t have another animal because the expenses are more than I can handle now. We always want to do right by them but it’s like having children if you can’t afford to feed them. Selfish. I miss that dog every day I rescue cats and pay for vet visits but long term, I know it’s out of the question. I’m with you, If I get that sick, no heroics. Don’t waste the money on me. Had a good life, changing addresses. Spend the money on a party. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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