When is it...too much?

My cat, Gizmo, is 19. And still kicking. If you ignore the fact that he is skin & bones & matted hair, you'd never know he was 19. He's "active." He jumps. He is fairly happy.

As happy as he can be confined to our laundry room. (2nd floor of our house, a rather large space, actually). The reason he's in there, if you didn't know already, is because he cannot fully control his bowels, and he throws up on a daily basis. After months of finding presents in our hallway every morning, and after Austin got here, I decided that we can no longer handle him destroying our house. 1) I can't be stopping to clean these up every day, and 2) Austin will be mobile soon enough, and I cannot have Gizmo walking through the piles of disgustingness and tracking it all over the house. Jumping on our kitchen table with feces-covered paws.

Gizmo has been on thyroid medication, at $40 a month, for the past 5+ years. Ever since August of 2006. How do I recall this date so clearly? It was 1 week before I did the Breast Cancer 3 day walk. I accidentally shut the bathroom door on Gizmo's tail, and it had to be partially amputated. The emergency clinic nearly arrested me because Gizmo was "too thin" and "clearly had a thyroid problem." It turned out that yes, he did have hyperthyroid, but I had seen my vet a few weeks earlier and they were not concerned. Anyway, after this incident (and after he ripped the stitches out and they had to be re-done, at another $400 charge), he went on medication.

So, come to now. I need a refill. My vet is unwilling to refill his medication without seeing him for a visit. So tomorrow, I'm going to have to pack up my bony 19 year old kitty, and shell out what will probably be $200 for a visit, a guaranteed thyroid draw, a distemper shot, and front line (because we have to board him in a few weeks).

At this point, even though I love, love, love my kitty so dearly, it would be almost a relief if he would just stop hanging on. I don't want him to suffer, and I don't want to be the one to discover he has passed, but if he did, I feel like I could just breathe a sigh of relief. He's had a very long, very happy, very good life. He's been well-loved. Right now I just feel so much guilt that he can't be out of that room, hanging with us, sleeping on my bed like he used to, but my son comes first. It is absolutely not possible for Gizmo to have free run of the house anymore. He is dirty, and disgusting.

I caught myself saying today, "maybe I should just put him to sleep." But I so don't want to do that, especially since he is not suffering, since he is doing "ok" on the medication. He loves us. But I just want the guilt and the nasty gifts and vet bills to just stop. I'm a horrible, horrible person. I don't deserve to be a pet owner.


  1. My mum recently put our Boo Boo kitty to sleep. It was a hard decision for her - she was around 19/20 years old.
    She wasn't exactly active (she was having trouble getting around) and definitely wasn't living a quality kitty life. She had many wonderful years but I think the vet said she was suffering from "cat dementia" How does one discover a cat has dementia? I'm not sure. But various other health things going on.

    My mum felt the same things you did ... the guilt but then also a feeling of relief. We will all miss boo boo but she lived a long happy kitty life.

    You'll make the best decision for Gizmo.
    Hang in there.

  2. Aw, did you tell me about Boo Boo before? I don't remember hearing about her. :( That's sad.

    I have no idea how to find out if a cat has dementia.

    Gizmo saw the vet this morning. They're doing the blood draw for thyroid but the vet was in agreement with me about not bothering with any further lab work beyond this one draw. He seems comfortable (he's only 5 pounds though!), and happy, so we're just going to...roll with it.

    She actually told me I didn't have to have the distemper but then I told her I was boarding him in a few weeks so he needed it for that.