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Thread: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

  1. #11
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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Thanks for your input everybody. I really appreciate it. I think I will call the Humane Society and see what the best route forward would be.
    Itís in the small things that the rot starts. Do the wrong thing once, itís easier to do it again. Do the individualistic thing once, it is easy to do it again.

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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    It is harsh and cruel sounding, but nature takes its course. All life is suffering, hopefully with a few moments of small pleasures.

    Empathy and compassion for animals, domestic and feral, are reasonable and desirable sentiments. For this particular cat, for whatever reason or reasons, human contact is a terror. I say let him be, it will be over soon enough. You have done your best by him. There is no pleasure to be found watching any suffering, but it is what it is.
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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    It is harsh and cruel sounding, but nature takes its course. All life is suffering, hopefully with a few moments of small pleasures.

    Empathy and compassion for animals, domestic and feral, are reasonable and desirable sentiments. For this particular cat, for whatever reason or reasons, human contact is a terror. I say let him be, it will be over soon enough. You have done your best by him. There is no pleasure to be found watching any suffering, but it is what it is.
    That's monstrous. We're talking unbearable suffering for days or weeks. And they don't make noise about it.

  4. #14
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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Felis Leo View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted your thoughts on this matter. We have a stray feral cat who has been coming to our backyard for years. We have named him Van Gogh on account of his missing an ear and his extreme skittishness. Our backyard appears to be as close to a home for him as anything, since we do not let our dog into the backyard (she really hates being left out there) and we leave food for Van Gogh and the other neighborhood cats.

    Van Gogh has been a fixture of our daily lives for years, coming to our backyard every day to sun himself, eat food, and relax on the grass. We enjoy his presence from afar. He is, after all, a stray feral and does not trust humans and will hiss and run when we go to him. He will eat the food we leave him, and sleep in the kitty bed outside that we have made for him, but will not allow himself to pet or even approached. As I said, he will run and jump the backyard fence whenever we go to him.

    Until recently, that is. We started noticing a few months ago that he had a weird growth on his back, a lump of some sort. At first my wife and I thought he may have been injured in a fight and had developed an abscess, or perhaps that it was scoliosis. But it just kept growing and growing over these past several months. Now it looks he is hiding a small football under his fur just below his shoulders. Not only is it unsightly, far worse, it has compressed his spine so he is no longer able to run or climb the fence. His back legs are largely useless. He still hobbles, and comes to eat the food and water we leave out for him, but it is clear his condition is getting worse. He will never be able to leave our backyard. He is dying.

    I am torn on what to do. Van Gogh is clearly suffering, and if he were one of my house cats in the same shape, I would have taken the poor guy to the Vet be put down without hesitation. But he is terrified of humans, and while I would be able to easily catch him and constrain him to take him to the vet, he would find no comfort with us. I think he would simply be in a state of agonized terror for the duration of his containment, surrounded by creatures he fears and in an environment he does not comprehend until his final moments, as opposed to dying slowly and painfully in the comfort of our backyard which he has always considered his home.

    I want to hear what you guys would do in a similar situation? Let cruel nature take its course but give him the space, food and water that he needs in a place where he feels safe until he can no longer sustain himself? Or should my wife and I intervene, putting him through momentary terror but letting the pain end?
    It's sad to see animals suffering. I live in a rural area of Texas where nature helps solve the problem. In short: coyotes.
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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGoverness View Post
    This is a very hard one. We had to put our dog Bart down, a few years ago, and that was extremely hard to do. Though it had to be done, since he was completely shut down at that point. But Bart wasn't a feral cat, so this makes it a different situation entirely. Is there any way you could get someone to come out and put him down? I know that vets do that for people when they can, and animals can pass away in their backyards peacefully or whatnot.

    I'm not sure, man. It sucks when animals we love are at their wits end. My Chihuahua bandit is very old, and he gives us scares more recently than not, and it always makes me worry. I hate having my pets die, and Bart' s death really tore me up.
    I had to put down (vet) 2 cats in a one year period. One was an old female stray that we took in and kept for years. The other was a beautiful, huge and powerful - but very gentle - Maine coon cat that we had rescued from the shelter, then found what we thought a good home for it. A year later the shelter called with the cat back (it was chipped). Someone has broken the cat's back and it could not used it's back legs nor control it's bowel or bladder. We spent $1600 trying to save him, but he was just suffering.

    Both were hard to put down. I was the only human the old gray cat trusted. We kept her alive as long as we could until it clear the cat was suffering too much. The Maine coon cat was also very hard because he was such a fighter for life - dragging himself around by his front legs always trying to find a place to crawl into and hide. But he could not be consoled and the vet told us he was in terrible pain (back pain can be blindingly painful).

    It wasn't easily to do, but felt better after doing so as it was the right thing to do. The hardest to lose to old age was a 14 year old mini pom I had since she was a puppy - a show dog with an even better cute, sweet personality. She died quietly and peacefully in my arms one night. We knew it was coming. She didn't suffer, her body just shut down across a day. Still, it was hard. I still sometimes expect her to be waiting for me at the door at the end of the work day.
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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Felis Leo View Post
    Thanks for your input everybody. I really appreciate it. I think I will call the Humane Society and see what the best route forward would be.
    Their answers have to be guarded so consider their limitations on what they may say.
    Coronavirus still poses a low risk to the general public in the US.""If you are a healthy young person, there is no reason if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship." "If you have tested negative for covid-19, there is no reason to wear a mask." Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID

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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    I had to put down (vet) 2 cats in a one year period. One was an old female stray that we took in and kept for years. The other was a beautiful, huge and powerful - but very gentle - Maine coon cat that we had rescued from the shelter, then found what we thought a good home for it. A year later the shelter called with the cat back (it was chipped). Someone has broken the cat's back and it could not used it legs nor control it's bowel or bladder.

    Both were hard to put down. I was the only human the old gray cat trusted. We kept her alive as long as we could until it clear the cat was suffering too much. The Maine coon cat was also very hard because he was such a fighter for life - dragging himself around by his front legs always trying to find a place to crawl into and hide. But he could not be consoled and the vet told us he was in terrible pain (back pain can be blindingly painful).

    It wasn't easily to do, but felt better after doing so as it was the right thing to do. The hardest to lose to old age was a 14 year old mini pom I had since she was a puppy - a show dog with an even better cute, sweet personality. She died quietly and peacefully in my arms one night. We knew it was coming. She didn't suffer, her body just shut down across a day. Still, it was hard. I still sometimes expect her to be waiting for me at the door at the end of the work day.
    I hope she will be waiting for you at the other end of the Rainbow Bridge.

    It's never easy. I've had two cats survive to age 19. My beloved gata is now 16 (her name is Tuxedo, but I speak to her only in Spanish, and she is mi gata, mi bebita )and becoming frail, so frail.

    Sigh, you just patiently clean up after them...and you will know when it's time and will do the right thing out of love and gratitude.
    Last edited by nota bene; 02-13-20 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    That's monstrous. We're talking unbearable suffering for days or weeks. And they don't make noise about it.
    Life is monstrous. Life is suffering.
    What kind of a man is a man who has not left this world a better place?

    No one is in control.

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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Life is monstrous. Life is suffering.
    Not if I can help.

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    Re: Caring for a Dying Stray Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Not if I can help.
    You can't help. You can only increase the suffering with your presence and interference.
    What kind of a man is a man who has not left this world a better place?

    No one is in control.

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