Two years and one day

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Hi everyone!  Fredo’s two-year “ampuversary” has come and gone.  He celebrated it by sitting in the sun as long as he could and eating food and drinking water, and that’s about it.

Poor little guy is not doing super well.  He had a steroid injection shot about a month ago, which he seemed to tolerate fairly well.  His breathing attacks seemed to subside, but now in the past week or so they’ve been at least daily, sometimes more.  We’re going to have to start thinking seriously about how to assess his quality of life and when to make the tough decision.

I asked my husband what he thought, and he said Fredo still seems happy.  We take him outside most days and he wanders around.  He’s still eating and drinking normally, and he keeps up on his grooming.  So, I’m not really sure what to do.  Keep him comfortable with his pain meds (which he HATES.. even though it’s just in his ears and not a pill that we force down).  Our vet said that sometimes if people know an illness is terminal, they’ll pick a day and plan for that to be the last day.  But the thought of bringing him to the vet, knowing how much he hates even the car ride ANYWHERE, and it being his last trip… that really breaks my heart.  It has been years since I’ve had to think about this.  In fact, when I was 12 my dog had to be put to sleep (brain tumor), but I was on vacation and my grandma made the decision while I was gone.  Any other pet death that I’ve experienced has been involuntary (we lived on a very busy county highway in Wisconsin and unfortunately lost many pets that way).  I’ve never had THIS much time to wrap my head around losing a pet I love so much.

Any input on that subject is much appreciated!  What would you do?  Wait for a severe decline, or get a date in your head?

Here’s some pics of Fredo in his favorite sunny spots.. and his fat sister, who is currently on a diet but of course as a lady, she loses much slower than the boys.  🙂

Pumpkin left over from Halloween.. don’t ask. 🙂

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  • purrkins says:

    First Happy 2 year Ampuversary Fredo!
    He looks great ! That is the way to celebrate! Soak it up Fredo!
    I am adding some links that might help you access how Fredo is doing .

    Have you spoke to the Vet? He may be able to have another injection of steroids?
    I still wonder if he has asthma with the lung mets? Or is it the lung mets? Or just asthma. I never mentioned this on the forum but when Fredo was having that episode on video he was right by the vacuum. That would be a asthma trigger. Just throwing that our there. Asthma can show up on X-rays too, what the difference is I have no idea but might be worth asking! Surely could not hurt anyway. The treatment would be the same. I would still want to know, that is just me.

    Lastly I will leave you with a link for when indeed it is time maybe you could have someone come to the house for Fredo. That is what I would want for our kitties when it its time , for them to be able to cross over at home and not at the vets office.

    Paws crossed for more good days then bad for Fredo!
    Holly & Purrkins

    • Jaime says:

      Hey! Thanks for the links. Particularly the in-home euthanasia.. ugh I still even hate saying the word when he’s sleeping peacefully next to me. Poor guy. I haven’t spoken to the vet in a few weeks, but she did say to keep an eye on when his symptoms start to come back and then maybe we could discuss another injection. Unfortunately we are all a little freaked about vet visits.. although the shot was the easiest one we’ve had lately haha. In and out! I know our other kitty is dealing with some seasonal allergies now, which I’m blaming on the move to California (different climate, plants, etc), so there might be a bit of asthma going on with Fredo. So many possibilities! According to this quality of life scale, he’s still doing okay. I’m probably more sensitive to any little change and tend to react more than others might. 🙂 Thanks again!

  • charliebear says:

    Totally agree with Holly and Purrkins! Explore the Quality of Life Scale. Know that until there is a severe decline, most pets do well: it is just the up and down roller coaster we as humans must adjust to. It does sound as if breathing is asthma or allergy related. If so, once a month shots should help. If Fredo is still grooming himself, that is a HUGE indicator that he is doing well. Hang in there, know that you will be strong when the time comes, but be present with Fredo until then. You both deserve this time together. Lots of hugs and best wishes always.

  • benny55 says:

    AND YAAAAAAAAAY FOR FREDO!!! We have a TWO YEAR PLUS AMPUVERSARY to celebrate! 🙂 🙂 🙂 That’s a HUGE milestone!! 🙂

    Okay, take some deep breaths! Fredonis not goi g anywhere anytime soon! Certainly not today and not tomorrow either! And that’s as far as your mind needs to go!!

    I’ll address this though. You can DEFINITELY check into at home Vets who help with the transition when Fredo tells you she’s ready to head to the Bridge. You can make some general inquiries now and see if you make a “connection”.

    That way, when you do need that in home visit waaaaaay in the future, you’ll hzve that connection already made and won’t have ro hassle with the process.

    As far as “picking the date”, that’s not something that has to be done now. When you see that Fredo is o ly havi g “less good days”, then you can set up a visit for a few days from then. But no, at least for me anyway, it’s not something I woukd want to do a month or two, or three in advance. I understand the Vet’s concept though. And yes, there is some relief in knowing you have made some plans for when that time comes, but that isn’t necessarily aboht just picking a “date” in the future. I already had some fur of Happy Hannah’s that I’d saved for me and I had a lock of my hair and a picture of the twomof is that I saved ro send with her whenever she transitioned. Things like that gave me comfort knowing I had that handled.

    THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR FREDO AND YOURSELF IS STEP BACK INTO THE PRESENT!! Fredo has NO worries about timeframes or days on a calendar. Fredo does care thst he is continuing to get non-stop spoiling and treats and any yummy food he wants while sunbathing!! DO NOT LET ANYTHING ROB YOU OF YIUR TIME TOGETHER! Do not “grieve ahead of time” for what you still have by your side! STAY IN THE PRESENT, IN THE NOW!

    Now go give Fredo a yummy forbidden treat and know that today he is doing fine…and that is all that matters!! And let his “fluffy” sister have some too!! 🙂

    Lots of love!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  • kazann says:

    Happy two years Fredo! On the surface it seems odd to celebrate a taking of a leg doesn’t it? I see it as celebrating two years of pain-free happiness with Fredo. It’s buying more time with our pet. Fredo looks totally blissed in the sun with his front legs extended. That photo says it all, it is why we amputate.

    I understand why you might not want to take Fredo to the vet because of the stress for him and for you. Unless a vet can make a home visit it might not be worth getting another steroid shot.

    As for choosing the date, the at home euthanasia folks can help with that also. I think it’s well worth planning for the day. I always say that you’ll know when because Fredo will let you know – he stops grooming and seem uncomfortable. I knew with a cat who could not sleep unless I held him. Another sign is that your other cat will not go near Fredo, other cats know first from the smell.

    Although this is difficult, a planned farewell is much easier than a sudden one. The only regret/guilt I’ve had was with a sudden death whereas when I chose the time I was more at peace.

    Hugs and kitty cat cuddles. I wish you and Fredo more time in the sun.

    Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

  • jerry says:

    First, YAY to Fredo for reaching such a big milestone. He does look happy! I know how hard it is to consider quality of life issues when things aren’t as bad as they could get. We had to wrestle with that too when Jerry’s time drew near.

    What we found worked for Jim and I was to both come to an understanding of where to draw the line with Jerry’s quality of life. We both agreed that when he could no longer toilet himself, it was going to be time. His symptoms grew worse and when that morning arrived that he soiled himself (I will never forget it, I still get choked up), we both knew we had to do what needed to be done and called the vet. We have no regrets and we knew he was grateful to be released from his broken body. So, draw that line together ahead of time so you know when Fredo has arrived. Have a plan in place with at-home euthanasia and you won’t regret anything hopefully. Here is a link that may help you:

    What we’ve heard over the years is that it’s always better to release our animals from their pain long before it gets bad. People we’ve talked to who feel they waited too long always have more guilt over waiting, than the actual death itself.

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