Posted by: Mama Bear | December 20, 2008

How long is too long?

This is Kasey. He’s 16 years old and nearing the end of his nine lives.

For the most part, he gets around alright. Still purrs and craves our attention.

But he’s got some medical problems that can’t be fixed. The writing’s on the wall that his days are extremely numbered. He declines visibly each week.

I’ve drawn a mental line in the sand about how far I’ll allow him to deteriorate before taking him in for that final vet visit.

If he shows signs of obvious pain and distress, it’s a given. If he starts using the upstairs as his personal toilet, something will have to be done.

At first, it was easy to be ojective about the notion that we’d have to intervene. But as the inevitable inches closer, that’s becoming more difficult. My fear is that I’ll let things get too far gone before I can muster up the courage to do it.

That’s because Kasey and I go way back. I knew him long before my husband, son, and many of my friends.

I got him from some drug dealers while I was still in college. It wasn’t part of a transaction; I wasn’t affiliated with them.

A friend in one of my classes knew they were trying to get rid of a cat and since I’ve always been partial to Siameses, she gave them my number.

When I drove over to check him out, I first took in the large supply of their merchandise on full display in their kitchen. They took me to a back bedroom and opened a dark closet door to let Kasey out.

That’s where they’d been keeping him; they didn’t want their landlord to know they had a cat (I thought later that it was ironic they were more concerned about hiding the cat than their drug supply).

Inside the closet, Kasey had a bowl full of large-breed dog food and no water or litter box.

I picked him up and his feet never again touched the floor of that nasty apartment. He’s been with me ever since, a loyal friend.



  1. Oh, this makes me cry. I had to put down my beloved Eli last year after 13 years together.
    I had Eli for my entire adult life, having found him outside in winter during my sophomore year of college. He was a straggly, worm infested kitten, and I was in love. He moved across the country with me, not once but twice. He slept wrapped around my head every night.
    He developed diabetes and we were managing it with twice daily insulin shots, blood tests, special food, etc. He started having seizures, lost 10 pounds, and was obviously miserable. I had to let him go. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
    You have my sympathy for having to make this horrible decision.

  2. When the time is right you will know. You will not be able to wait one more minute and will drive the kitty to the vet yourself. With Cleo I had an appointment the next day and plans for my dad to go with me. But all of a sudden I had to do it. And I had to do it alone. I didn’t want anybody with me. It seemed real important to do on my own. After, I took her little body home and positioned her in a sleeping ball and pet her all afternoon and cried. My dad took her for bariel later that night. I burried her with the special pillow case I had wrapped her in to take to the vet and I still have her favorite toy in my jewerly box. I miss her terribly.

  3. Oh I so understand what you are feeling right now. We lost our cat Mickey in October. He was 18 years old. He had Leukemia 😦 He belonged to my H when we got together 15 years ago. That cat and I had a LONG history with our relationship- he was plum evil when we met! Meanest cat in the world. It took me six months to win him over with tuna, and in the beginning, he would not even eat it when I was in the room with him! He turned into the sweetest most docile cat we could ask for, such a sweet personality.

    Last year we lost our dog Temone of 13 years, we got him in our second year of being together. He had cancer 😦 In January, ds lost his cat of 3 years, he got hit by a car. That was SO hard because it was the first true to him pet he had. That cat was truly his companion, and he was an awesome cat. This has been a hard pet year for sure.

    I’m so sorry you are facing this with your kitty. He’s very pretty. I truly understand the pain and hurt you are feeling right now (((Hugs))))
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