So I spent all day today hanging in different emergency rooms and hospital lobbies waiting to find out the prognosis on my kitty. My God you have no idea how attached you are to your animals until their lives are threatened.

It is interesting, as the vets are asking you all the questions needed: Would you like to euthanize if he goes in to cardiac arrest? Would you like to euthanize if he slips unconscious during the blood transfusion? Euthanize, euthanize, euthanize. All I was thinking to myself was, “no!” this little guy deserves as much of a chance to life as anyone.
I refuse to believe he is any less entitled to a shot as you or me.

It was a knee jerk reaction, really. Give him every opportunity to pull through as possible. It feels like my baby is sick. He can’t tell me what is wrong, he just cries because it hurts.
But I have a belief he will be ok. When we left the hospital he was stable and sitting up. A far cry from this morning when he couldn’t even hold his head up.

So to euthanize or not to euthanize? Interesting question. When and under what circumstances? Humane or violent?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Add yours Comments – 166

  • Joy

    on June 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    My dog is my best friends. Sounds corny or what have you, but she knows all my secrets. I strongly agree with your beleifs that our pets should have the same opportunity of life as we do. I know this sounds dumb, but do what your heart tells you. Don’t listen to the doctor, or the screaming cries of your kitty, and you’ll make the right decision. We have those instincts for a reason, and if you have that connection with your animal, you know whats best for him.
    Don’t worry, everything will fall into place the way it should 😉
    I pray for you always 🙂

  • ShinyStarlet

    on June 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Allison,

    I love this question because I am very passionate about this topic. First let me state that I believe a dog, cat, ect., is a dog, cat, ect. I also believe that the life of an animal carries the same value as mine. My 15 years as an acute care nurse have made indelible marks onto my brain.
    For me life is about quality, not quantity. I feel this for my animals as well myself.
    I don’t necessarily agree with euthanization, but I don’t believe in “heroic measures.”
    I have broken a few ribs in my time as an Intensive Care Nurse while doing chest compressions. I have held my tongue when families come in once a day to visit their loved one on a ventilator praying to God. I never understood that. If they believe in God so strongly why not let God make the choices.
    In regard to my animals I say what works for me will work for them. Knowing what I know now, I will never have chemotherapy, I will never have a feeding tube, I will never allow my body to become dependent. If I cannot take care of myself I want to shuffle off the mortal coil. Same for Sebastian, my dog, and Giles, my cat. If either of them come down with a strange life-threatening disease I would like to take them home and die a natural death without heroics. If it’s something emergent but self-limiting I say fix em up doc. All animals deserve a chance to live. Which sounds like what your kitty had if he/she perked up after treatment.

    To sum up. No, I don’t believe in euthanasia as a rule. But I believe in allowing animals(including humans) to live as natural a life as possible. I also look at pets a bit different because society and the way we treat animals has change. I would rather let my beautiful Sebastian live a full natural life. One in which he can run and play until his last day. Grieve for him then rescue another dog who needs a girl, because I am a girl who needs a dog.

    The hardest decision a person will ever make is when another creature’s life is in your hands. Make a choice that you can live with forever.

    I wish for you the best, Allison.

  • David Hayes

    on June 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    It’s amazing how much of this site’s momentum has been lost. For a time, the site could keep going for quite a while without Allison here to keep priming the pump and spinning the wheels. Now the new posts seem to dry up relatively quickly.

  • Ivy

    on June 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Hey Allison, I’ve been reading for a while but never really comment.

    One of my dogs was acting a bit strange a little while ago, but I completely freaked out. And I started thinking about you and your kitty. I’m just wondering how he is doing, since you haven’t posted an updates.

    I do hope he is doing ok. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I lost my dogs right now.

    I’ve considered replying to your post, but I’m not too clear where I stand in regards to Euthanasia.

    You know, I recently lost my grandma and my grandpa – both in the span of 3 months. They were like my parents. I wasn’t home when my grandpa passed away, but I rushed back as soon as my grandma was hospitalized, less than a month after he passed.

    My grandma had several things going on, and she was in and out of the ICU. My parents and my uncle, they all kept saying that she was suffering a lot, and maybe her passing would be for the best, because it wasn’t humane to be bed ridden, being hooked up to all these things. Euthanasia is illegal (well, here, and for humans, of course), and I think everyone kept saying that, but I’m not sure if they’d have gone through with it, had they had the actual choice.

    In everyone’s mind I was selfish, because I kept telling her to pull through. I never gave up hope, even when I knew the inevitable would happen.

    I spent two months in the hospital by her side – I literally dropped everything to be with her. I could have never willingly terminate her life.

    I know during her last days she was suffering but I still didn’t want her to go. And it was really selfish of me, but I wanted to keep her with me.

    I know it must be different for pets. My oldest dog is 11 and frankly I’m starting to get a bit scared. As I said, I freak out about little things. I don’t think I could stand another loss – and the thought of ever putting her down, it just scares me too much.

    Sorry, I went slightly off topic, but it usually happens when I start writing.

    I hope Bosely is ok, really! I hope the next post is about how well you are both doing!

    Keep up your great work, I’m deeply inpired by this site and your creativity!


  • David Hayes

    on June 6, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Here’s the kind of thing that catches Allison’s eye [from Yahoo News]:

    June 6, 2009

    “Teen Wins Team State Title by Herself — Again”

    Stuart Kantor
    Special to Rivals High

    MORE TRACK & FIELD: Goodman is poetry in motion | Lamb takes the triple jump to new levels
    Bonnie Richardson, from tiny Rochelle, Texas (population 600), has accomplished what no other Texas high school track and field athlete has ever achieved: back-to-back team state championships – by herself.

    Richardson lunges for the finish in the 100.
    Richardson captured first in the long jump (17-04.50), second in the discus (126-09) and first in the high jump (5-8) on Friday for a total of 28 points. Returning to Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas on Saturday, Richardson placed third in the 200 (25.78) and fourth in the 100 (12.51) for a two-day total of 38 points – two points better than second-place Cayuga in Class A.

    In her typical laid-back fashion, Richardson didn’t get too excited.

    “My family already did the math,” Richardson said while waiting for her celebratory prime rib sandwich at Red Robin restaurant. “They were jumping up and down; it was kind of embarrassing.”

    Since Rochelle High School has no track, Richardson – this year’s entire girls’ track team – practices at nearby Brady High School, where there are gas stations and a Wal-Mart.

    “Brady’s going to town,” she said.

    For the second consecutive year, Richardson went to town on the competition. She said her performance last year was “a little better, but I high jumped better this year and threw the disc better. I can’t be too disappointed.”

    News of Richardson’s feat spread last year as she dominated the University Interscholastic League State Championships. Now she’s the first to do it twice.

    How does she feel?

    “I’m tired and glad it’s over,” Richardson said. “High school’s officially over.”

    The valedictorian in a class of 14 at Brady High School, Richardson has committed to Texas A&M.

    “I hope not to look stupid because of the age difference with some of the athletes I’ll be competing against,” Richardson said. “I’m playing catch-up.”

    At the start of her junior year, Richardson had decided on academic pursuits in lieu of athletic dreams.

    “Then I started winning and people started calling,” she said. “I changed my mind because the coaches gave me confidence.”

    After two state titles, Richardson does have one regret.

    “I wish I hadn’t stuck with the same five events, that I had branched out more,” she said. “I would’ve [liked to] have vaulted, but we don’t have the money or interest in Rochelle to have a pit. I’ve never done hurdles, and I want to.”

    Richardson has lived in Rochelle her whole life and loves fishing and hunting “anything that moves.” And although she won’t compete in track over the summer, she will work on a local ranch taking care of livestock.

    In a true out-of-nowhere existence over the past 12 months, Richardson speaks with the affable charm representative of small-town America still untouched by the plethora of chains and urban development. And even though she claims, “Track and field is a dying sport in Rochelle,” Richardson’s remarkable achievement has breathed a momentary surge of life into an otherwise quiet Texas town.

  • Silvia

    on June 7, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Hi Arash

    Quote: „I just want to make it clear that it is not about them, it is about us!”

    – When it comes to a matter of the heart we usually think it is about us. This is even true sometimes, but not all the time. When you really love someone, no matter if human or animal, you put the welfare of your loved one above your own. At least we should do that. Some of us even do. Yet, the human race is selfish. Too selfish when it come to matters of the heart and we’re afraid of losing a loved one. Hence, we do everything in order to keep them with us. But on what costs? Life prolonging treatments as senseless as those can be with no regards to the possible agony of our loved ones. That’s not humane, that is selfish. So when a pet is fatally sick, it is definitely not about us anymore, it’s only about the pet. In this case the pet’s welfare is more important than the pet owner’s selfishly wishes. I once had a neighbour who had two rabbits. One of them got cancer and my neighbour was egoistic to this rabbit’s very end. She filled this poor animal up with medicine day by day. What for? Her sick rabbit was lying there all the time and didn’t seem to enjoy life anymore… she was just lying there as if she was in coma. That wasn’t humane anymore. I mean, sleeping until death – what life is this? I’m not saying that pet should be euthanized as soon as they become sick. I think that as long as there is a chance for the animal to get healthy again, we ought to try to do everything possible… as long as the pet does not have to suffer. Cancer for example… a lot of pets get cancer nowadays. Some of them can be treated like cancer in humans. Yet a lot of tumours can’t be treated. There is hope now for those pets – mistletoe therapy. Thanks to this our pets don’t have to suffer for a few weeks or months anymore. Pets gain up to five years more to live, with less and sometimes even without pain. The mistletoe therapy restores the quality of life.

    Quote: “You make sure he has cute haircuts, does he care how he looks?”

    – Yes, he does. E.g. when a dog is shorn, no matter if it was because of a medical test or because somebody just did, he is so ashamed of that. A lot of dogs hide themselves under their owners’ bed or sofa and do not want to come out anymore because they do not want to be seen like this. You see, they do care. They really do!

    Quote: “Then finally we started creating genatically designed dogs incapable of surviving on their own…”

    – Maybe. Still, they can survive if they find enough food. There are many domestic dogs who live on their own on the streets or in wilderness… all around the world.

    best wishes,

  • Silvia

    on June 7, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Hi Allison,

    I understand that you’re possibly not in the mood for making any blog entries. Well, I guess I’m not the only one who’d likes to know how your kitty is by now. Yet, take your time.

    Lots of love,

  • Dave 'TheBog1'

    on June 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    This is a question I’ve thought about constantly. In my mind and in my way of thinking, life is life. The force, the essence, the ‘breath of God’ is in everything that lives. If the subject of debate were people, the answer almost instantly would be no, but because it’s a ‘pet’, an ‘inferior’ species that ‘relies’ or ‘requires’ human support, it suddenly becomes debatable. My personal opinion is that euthanasia is never acceptable. I have no doubt, at all, that every creature wants to live. It may be in pain, it may be in misery but at least it’s alive and I’m sure that if animals and humans could adequately communicate, they’d voice that they’d take another day at life over the permanence and irreversibility of death any day, no matter the consequences.

  • viviane

    on June 7, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    well on your kitten I hope he is right! I understand because I had enough when my dog got sick!
    on euthanize … well I do not agree, at least not to euthanize human! I think no one except God has the right to take the life of a person as he who gave his life! I know it is difficult to see a person suffering but I believe in miracles … work in a hospital and have seen many miracles … I saw many cases where everyone thought they had way more in order and everything is right … this is my opinion… 🙂

  • Raquel Emanuele

    on June 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Well, something is very complicated, because you are dealing with a life, but until that point that life can go?
    We know that we welcome the passage of … born without asking and without wanting to die, the important is what we and what we?
    Facing a life of danger, then you have to think about that person (animal) that this suffering there, but usually does in all but the patient, because most of us human beings is selfish …
    I am in favor when it is not sure that it is worth waiting, because it hangs the life of all, family, friends …
    Before you say anything, yes I believe in miracles, but miracles do not happen always and in all cases, therefore, must always think in what is best for those who love and it would be better for us.
    Leaving from someone hurts, so it hurts even more to that person (animal) happy, very quiet and sad.
    Who loves, protects and open hand if necessary.
    Well, that’s it. Kisses. Bye

  • Ciera

    on June 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I had a similar issue with a kitty of mine. She was old and had kidney failure. It wasn’t a matter of if she was going to die, rather, when. I didn’t know if I should euthanize or not; I prayed. It just didn’t seem right. Even if I am on my last leg, I don’t think I’d want someone to pull the plug. If I die, I don’t want any “what ifs” looming. At any rate, while I was deciding, my kitty died overnight. I do not believe I would euthanize a pet, but I’ll never say never.

  • Brian Griffin

    on June 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I don’t believe in euthanize, as long as a pet will not live a life of pain. But otherwise, I believe a cat or dog has as much a right to life as we do. As long as the pet will not live a life of pain. Because, feeling pain to exist, would be cruel and inhuman. But animals should have a right to proper medical attention. So they can have a chance to get well, like your kitty. Just a little sensitive to the issue of chronic pain, that’s all.

  • Mike

    on June 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Hey Allison,

    It’s a hard question to deal with, and one I was faced with just this week. I ended up having to have my cat euthanized and it was probably the hardest decision I’ve made in my life. You can only do what you feel is best for your pet, which is not always what is best for you.

    I noticed in another post that you kitty is better, I’m glad to hear it. Hope to see some pics soon.

  • luzaleja

    on October 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hey… I’m new, I know this blog is old, but I wanted to post so… hehe
    I think, right now, I would say no… however, I also think that I have no real valid opinion if I’m not going through it… because I can say many many things, but once I’m facing the problem I might change my mind.
    I also think everyone diserves a shot at life… I support the idea that a kitty diserves it as much as the next person…
    PS: I’m from Bogotá, Colombia, so I’m sorry if my english is hard to understand hehe

  • Speeger

    on January 19, 2010 at 7:05 am

    2yrs ago my 15 yr old baby became deathly ill, refusing to eat or drink. I considered euthanizing her, but instead nursed her back to health. The reason I’m writing this is because this week she once again became deathly ill as before. I once again struggled with the thought of euthanizing. It took several days of constant care, but I’m once again happy to say she’s back to her healthy, happy self. She will soon be celebrating her 18th birthday! So much to consider: quality of life, the severity of pain, etc..

  • david

    on February 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    that’s a sweet story and good to see you stand up for your cat,doctors always want to call it quits too early when it comes to animals, like you said animals deserve as much of a chance as we do so good for you ,and as for your question i believe its humane to put a animal down if the animals suffering is too great and there’s no chance of recovering other than that i believe they should be giving a chance