Saying Goodbye to a Family Member; My Cat Yasmine

On Sunday, November 26th, I started my morning just as I do every morning by heading downstairs to cook breakfast. What I didn’t realize is that it would be one of the most heartbreaking days I would experience besides the miscarriage I had earlier this year.

When we were finished with breakfast and ready to start our day, I headed upstairs to get dressed and noticed my cat Yasmine lying by our bedroom door on her side breathing rapidly. I called out her name and kept asking her over and over if she was okay as I petted her head. She responded after about 30 seconds, got up, walked over to me a few steps and plopped back down again on her side. I knew something wasn’t right. She has asthma, but I’ve never seen her respond like this to her attacks.

I immediately got ready and we were off to find a vet. First one wasn’t located there anymore and the second was in surgery with a dog, so we had to drive a few more miles to an actual animal hospital that was open 24/7, which felt like forever. We arrive, and I tell them she is having trouble breathing and they immediately take her back to check vitals. All I’m doing is sitting there hoping its an easy fix and we’ll have her back home, but 15 minutes later a vet tech comes out to discuss things and informs me that my cat has a heart murmur and fluid around her heart. so much so that they could barely hear anything over the heartbeat to even check the lungs. I’m completely dumbfounded and immediately break down in the waiting room. Then she tells us that she’ll let us know when she has a private room ready to discuss a plan of action.

I had an ounce of hope, but after hearing that she was having heart problems and her being 16 years old and a little overweight, that all disappeared.

I couldn’t keep my thoughts together…

We get called back to a room and the actual vet came in and discussed what was going on. That they could hear fluid around her lungs and couldn’t hear her heartbeat over it so they wanted to do an x-ray which I obviously agreed to since I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. I also asked why the vet tech told us she had a heart murmur which caused me more stress. She asked for her name and said she must have misunderstood what was going on. I think in instances like this, you need to have all of the facts before you come out to the waiting room and distraught the patients over their animals’ well-being. She said they had put her in an oxygen tank and gave her some albuterol and hadn’t seen any improvements so they would like to do an x-ray.

Once the x-rays were done, we go back into the room and get more unexpected heartbreaking news. She said the x-rays don’t look good and she thinks it’s cancer nodules near her lungs or possible scarring from asthma and the only way to find out was to run more testing, which may or may not give an answer.

It’s exactly what I didn’t want to hear. I wanted to help her, but now that I’ve heard cancer, I am just completely broken and distraught, couldn’t stop crying to collect my thoughts and figure out what I should do.

The testing which they recommended, plus an overnight mandatory stay was going to cost us a total of $3800. I, of course, wanted to do what I could to help her, but reality sunk in that she’s also 16 years old.

She said if we didn’t want to do the testing, she said the dreaded word, “euthanasia.” I didn’t want to hear any of that. I couldn’t bear to lose my cat who I’ve had ever since she was a kitten, but I also didn’t want her to suffer.

I went back to her oxygen tank and pet her through the tiny door. She still looked and acted the same but she was responsive to our love and affection. I was sad and torn but knew it was best to put her to rest since she wasn’t responding well to the oxygen or the albuterol asthma medication.

We had said our heartwrenching goodbyes at that moment and shortly thereafter, they sedated her and put her to rest.

I felt like the worst fur mom on the planet. After all was said and done, I wished I would have spoken up and asked for a steroid shot to see if it would clear up some of the inflammation. But I blame my cloudy judgment on my emotions in the moment.

I’ve been beating myself up over here with guilt over things I could have done better or should have done differently this past week.

It’s never easy losing a loved one, whether it’s family, friends or a pet. I don’t wish this pain on my worst enemy. I love my cat and I know she loved us; I just wished things turned out differently than they did.


Now I am constantly reminded of the memories and the little quirks she had; like every time I use the can opener, she’d come running to the kitchen to see if it was tuna and meow her head off at me, or waiting outside for us to get home and running up to the car to greet us, only she’s no longer there. Or, every time we get take out at KFC, her little paw would reach over to me to get me to give her some of my chicken.

I miss my cat horribly and know only time will help heal our wounds…

My daughter doesn’t really understand why Yazzy’s no longer here with us, but she knows that she was sick. I told her she was sick and she couldn’t come back home with us. I did mention that she went to kitty heaven once or twice but she doesn’t really know what that means, so I bought her a stuffed ty beanie that resembled Yasmine to give her comfort and know that she always has Yazzy by her side.

We also have a little memorial in the backyard by the tree where we buried her. She loved laying there in the summer months, so it only seemed fitting. (if you’re curious, we found both of these on Amazon)

 

She was a great cat and can never be replaced…

We love you Yazzydoodles.

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23 Comments

  1. December 7, 2017 / 2:51 PM

    Aw hun, I’m sitting here crying because this story is SO familiar. Nearly identical to what happened with our Loki back in August. My heart breaks for you guys, losing a pet is just awful. Your memorial for her is beautiful and I hope when the pain lessens a bit you will be able to smile at all the wonderful times you had with Yasmine. I know the pain of running through the “what ifs” but trust me when I say you did the right thing. You humanely ended her suffering, even though it was the hardest decision in the world, you did the right thing, even though no matter how many times anyone tells you that, it’s impossible to believe.
    Lots of love to you guys. <3

    • Jenn
      Author
      December 8, 2017 / 3:39 PM

      Thanks Rose for your kind, encouraging words. I am sorry that you had to go thru something familiar so recent. It’s heartbreaking. Much love to you guys too! I love seeing the photos of your new little guy.

  2. December 12, 2017 / 1:58 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it’s so hard to loose a furry family member. We’ve lost many over the years, and it’s always a heartbreaking experience.

  3. December 12, 2017 / 3:16 PM

    My condolences on the loss of your cat. Pets love us unconditionally, so it’s only fitting we honor their life.

  4. December 12, 2017 / 3:35 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I still miss my fur baby and it has been a few years. Our animals have a special place in our hearts for sure.

  5. December 12, 2017 / 4:39 PM

    This broke my heart to read. I just had a friend who runs a rescue lose two kittens that she was up day and night with. Hearing her heart-wrenching sobs at losing them is the same feeling I feel now reading your post.

  6. December 12, 2017 / 4:51 PM

    My bestie lost her cat a little earlier this year and she is still heart broken. Losing a family member is tough, regardless if said family member is a pet or a human! My heart goes out to you!

  7. December 12, 2017 / 6:23 PM

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I hope your memories can someday soon make you smile. I’ve lost several pets and it does take time to process the loss that’s for sure. Hang in there!

  8. December 13, 2017 / 1:42 AM

    It’s never easy to lose a member of the family especially one that you’ve raised and taken care of. I’m sure she knows she was loved, very much so. My heart goes out to you and the rest of the family.

  9. Victoria Heckstall
    December 13, 2017 / 5:43 AM

    That was a heartbreaking story. I really can’t imagine how it feels like to lose someone you treat as one of your family. I’m so sorry for your lost. She can never be replaced but I know for sure something will come as cute and adorable as she is.

  10. Lily Ashley
    December 13, 2017 / 6:39 AM

    This made me cry because i have remember my dog who passed away last 4 years ago. She is still in my heart.

  11. Kathy
    December 13, 2017 / 7:11 AM

    I’m sorry to hear about your cat. I have two cats myself, and I know this has got to be tough. They’re certainly family. It’s hard to lose any family member.

  12. December 13, 2017 / 8:22 AM

    Pets are our family, it is so hard to lose them. I have been through this a couple of times now with my dogs and it is hard. Sorry for your loss!

  13. December 13, 2017 / 11:52 AM

    I am so sorry that you lost your beloved furbaby. It is never easy to say goodbye. I’ve had to make a decision similar to this with a cat that I had when I met my husband. He kept getting sick and it was going to take too much money to figure out what was going on. Plus, the outcome might have still been the same.

  14. December 13, 2017 / 12:50 PM

    I’m so sorry 🙁 Wish I could give you a big hug. Our first cat passed away last February. She woke us up in the middle of the night because she was sick and yowling too. It was clear she was in bad shape. We rushed her to the vet and thought she would be stabilized and have surgery, but her vitals took a turn for the worse and she was gone. It is awful to lose a pet. Even now that we adopted two rescue cats, I am reminded of Gracie all the time. I was just wrapping Christmas gifts and was reminded of how she used to pounce on the paper while I was wrapping. Don’t beat yourself up, you obviously loved her incredibly much and you were able to be there for her!

  15. December 13, 2017 / 12:59 PM

    So very sorry for your loss. Animals are not just pets, they are family. May you stray strong and know that you were an amazing owner!

  16. December 13, 2017 / 3:49 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your fur baby. It’s never easy to loose our fur family. My cat got sick a couple years back, and we had to put him down. I was heart broken, and still miss him now

  17. December 14, 2017 / 1:36 PM

    Losing a pet is so difficult and I’m sorry for your loss. I have never lost a pet before myself but I can imagine how difficult it would be.

  18. December 15, 2017 / 7:56 AM

    Losing a pet is such a difficult thing. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have lost a cat before and it was just heartbreaking.

  19. December 15, 2017 / 4:20 PM

    I am so so sorry that you have lost your sweet Yasmine. She was such a beautiful cat and I know you loved her so. Pets are such an important part of the family and she will be surely missed.

  20. December 31, 2017 / 12:17 PM

    Oh, goodness. My heart goes out to you and your family… I’m in tears just like anyone would be reading this. I lost 2 cats and it’s an ache that doesn’t calm down. But Yazzy is still with you walking around and pawing at your back wanting some chicken!

    Keep smiling 🙂

  21. March 10, 2018 / 3:35 AM

    I teared up reading this. I am so sorry for your loss. You did everything you could! I know it’s impossible not to feel guilt or doubt but you gave her a wonderful life and she felt your love all the way until the end!
    I’ve also had it where the vet tech assistant didn’t really know what she was talking about and gave me wrong information – they really should be completely sure before they say anything at all.
    No matter what decision you made, it seems like it may have been her time. I’ve been in that position where you have to make the choice you think is best and it’s an impossible situation – neither outcome is wanted and you have to just decide.
    Your memorial to her is absolutely stunning. It’s so special to have that because she was a big part of your life.
    You’re a great fur-mom and you did well by her!
    Thank you for sharing your story!

  22. June 17, 2018 / 5:47 AM

    I feel sorry for your loss after reading this. Cats are pets are an important part of our family. She was so cute, I know you loved so much. I also lost 1 of my cat 3 years ago. I know you feeling. She is still alive in your memories. She will be missed. Lossing a cat is a very difficult thing.

    Sorry for your loss. Keep Smiling

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