We had a euthanasia appointment scheduled for two weeks ago, but I cancelled it at the last minute. The steroids seemed to be helping quite a bit and Madison had perked up. Not that he didn't look sick -- he certainly didn't look healthy -- but he didn't look like he was lurking on death's doorstep, waiting to be let in. I just couldn't do it.
But one thing I learned from going through this with with Max was that trying to evaluate day by day whether it was finally time to throw in the towel was a terrible idea. It's too hard to judge decline day by day, and it just never seems like TODAY could be the day. Instead, I made another appointment for two weeks later. The vet said she was happy to cancel again if he still seemed to be doing OK.
Today was two weeks later. I didn't cancel.
This morning I woke up to find two cats pushing me out of my own bed for the last time. (Although, as you can see, Madison is not the one to blame for the pushing.)
It was very peaceful. I'm so happy we were able to find a vet willing to do this at home, with no claws and angst and bloodshed. The vet said he was in liver failure, and possibly also pancreatic failure. There was absolutely nothing that could be done.
I am sad. I can't think or talk about it without crying, but I don't feel crushed by guilt like I did with Max. I still don't feel good about how things ended with him. But Madison was so obviously in pain that it really did feel like the humane thing to do. By yesterday he not only wasn't eating his regular food, he was refusing a smorgasbord containing three types of wet food, two types of dry food, two kinds of treats, and a can of chunk light tuna. For his last meal, last night I helped him drink out of the toilet. That's sure something I never thought I would do: hold a crippled cat over the not very clean toilet for five minutes while he lapped away. But if that's the only comfort I could give him on his last day of life, hell. I don't care.
It's going to take a while to remember that we no longer have to guard our drinks and keep the toilets closed at all times.
Goodbye, pooker. You were a very bad cat and I miss you already.