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Topic: Old Pets and Staying Home, Have you done this?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Woodswoman Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:20 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will be staying close to home this summer. I will get out for overnighters, but no more than that. I have two 18 year-old cats. One of them is very frail and not doing too well. I don't want to be away because of her failing health. She only weighs 5 lbs these days (her normal weight used to be 11 lbs). My other cat seems to be doing okay, just arthritic, senile, and deaf. And huge...18 lbs!

Have any of you stayed close to home because of a senior pet? It's really hard seeing my cat like this. She still eats, poops and pees, and does not seem to be in any pain. If I thought she was suffering, I would have her put down. My hope is that she passes away quietly  :(


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have never had a cat live that long.  If it were me, I would ask a friend to stop in and check on them every couple days.  Cats generally do well with a gravity feed food and water dish for several days.  Of course, that would be assuming she can still do hard cat food.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No, she can't eat dry cat food anymore. I just don't want to be away when her time comes.

I've never had cats to live this long, either. It's really...different. I love my girls, so it's been hard seeing the changes in them. They've been with me for a long time and are my buddies. And, I must admit, they are VERY spoiled  :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does Bill S like cats?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 5:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Woodswoman @ Jun. 21 2013, 2:20 pm)
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I will be staying close to home this summer. I will get out for overnighters, but no more than that.

I have a similar situation, not so far advanced, and I see it very much as you do.  Good for you,-- it's a loyalty and dedication that many people don't understand, but dogs and cats do.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 5:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 21 2013, 2:53 pm)
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Does Bill S like cats?

Yes. He and Mtngrl have a cat. Maybe you don't know this, but I don't live with them anymore. I've been in an apartment for over a year  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 5:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Jim Fuller @ Jun. 21 2013, 3:05 pm)
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(Woodswoman @ Jun. 21 2013, 2:20 pm)
QUOTE
I will be staying close to home this summer. I will get out for overnighters, but no more than that.

I have a similar situation, not so far advanced, and I see it very much as you do.  Good for you,-- it's a loyalty and dedication that many people don't understand, but dogs and cats do.

Mr. Dragon. Such a good boy! He's lucky he gets to spend his senior years with you  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 6:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My dog turned 16 last October and isn't doing all that well. I haven't done any overnights for more than a year because she always went with me and can't any longer. She gave me some 15 years of travel and trails, going with me everywhere. The least I can do is give her a couple of years.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 7:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Woodswoman @ Jun. 21 2013, 4:20 pm)
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Have any of you stayed close to home because of a senior pet?

Yes. That would be now. There is no shame in that.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 10:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I, too have a senior cat (15yo.) who is on the downhill. She has always been there for me. The least I can do is be there for her, now. She's a cranky old Manx and doesn't tolerate changes or other people well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 1:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ol-Zeke and April had two cats, ok really April. They were 16 I think, litter mates and when they moved to Hawaii the cats had to go in quarantine ( kitty jail) for a long time, then came home to an apartment, I think 6th floor. Rod iron railing on the balcony, cat slips, bounces off car roof, has a split lip when Ol-Zeke comes down the next morning and finds the doorman has it all curled up in a cardboard box in the lobby. Both cats lived a long time after that.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 10:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've known some great cats, dogs, horses, and mules over my years. Loyalty from them generally inspires our reciprocation. You're not a crazy cat lady Woodswoman, just crazy, like all of us.

I hope your kitties can breathe well, that smoke in La Valle is getting horriffic.

Keep your stick on the ice young lady.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 12:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep.  I have old dogs and haven't done much in the way of travel for the past two years as a result--try not to be gone for more than a night and stay close enough that I can be home on short notice if need be.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 1:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, that's tough, and I understand.

A few years ago I was scheduled for a 3 month detachment.  My wife was going to be home alone, which was fine, but we had an old beloved dog that had been in a bad way for some time, but not in pain.  Two hours before my departure she suddenly dropped, could not get up, and very quietly whined, while just staring into space.  She was clearly in extreme distress.  There was no time to make a vet appointment to euthanize her and she was too big for my wife to pick up (labrador/shepherd mix) to bring to the vet on her own.

I ended up digging a hole in a far coner of our place, carried her next to it, laid her down, and with my wife at my side I put a .22 bullet through our dog's  head, covered her with dirt, and placed a flat rock upright as a makeshift marker.  It was probably the most difficult thing emotionally that I'd ever done in my life.  I'm getting misty eyed just typing this.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 4:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My 14 year old hiking and camping girl is going blind and deaf. We are sticking with car camping this year so she can still enjoy the outdoors. If I leave her at home it is just an overnight trip to see family. Like others have said, she provided me with so much happiness and joy when she was young and active that the least I can do is make sure her last years allow her to be happy and comfortable right by my side.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Echo @ Jun. 21 2013, 10:11 pm)
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Ol-Zeke and April had two cats, ok really April. They were 16 I think, litter mates and when they moved to Hawaii the cats had to go in quarantine ( kitty jail) for a long time, then came home to an apartment, I think 6th floor. Rod iron railing on the balcony, cat slips, bounces off car roof, has a split lip when Ol-Zeke comes down the next morning and finds the doorman has it all curled up in a cardboard box in the lobby. Both cats lived a long time after that.

Very close to exactly the way April would tell the story.  It has been 20 years since that happened, and I do not recall telling that story in the last 15 years.  Good memory, sister-in-law.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 6:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been around here for a while, and usually just read what others post. In the time that I have been here, I have learned a lot about some of the members, and gained some measure of respect for a few.  My respect has gone up after reading the replies in this thread. This is not about animals, it is about the trust and bond that forms between friends. I too have modified my plans when my friend was getting old. I do not regret doing so. He was one of the best friends, two or four legged, that a person could have, and the time we spent together will remain with me forever. There is not one doubt in my mind that we will see each other in the future.  Don't worry about modifying your plans to accommodate your friend. You will not regret it.

:)  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 10:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Woodswoman @ Jun. 21 2013, 3:06 pm)
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(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 21 2013, 2:53 pm)
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Does Bill S like cats?

Yes. He and Mtngrl have a cat. Maybe you don't know this, but I don't live with them anymore. I've been in an apartment for over a year  :)

I do remember you saying you had your own place.

I figure you and Mtngrl could go backpacking and leave Bill to cat sit.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 12:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For the past two years I have not done any bping 'trips because of my old dog, Elwood. His last trip was in 2007 and for the next couple of years I just cut back and just took the younger dog. As Elwood started to fail It was best to be there for him. Each spring I had plans assuming he would pass before Labor Day and each year he surprised me. I always felt bad at depriving my young dog of a couple adventures.

Old Elwood had to be mercifully put down in January. I'm counting down the days to this season's first bping trip. The young dog is now 9 but still fairly spunky. It will be bitter sweet to be doing something more than a day hike.

Elwood got to see many spectacular places. I could never have this type attachment to a cat, but pets are family. Of course we make sacrifices for them.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 12:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 22 2013, 8:43 pm)
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(Woodswoman @ Jun. 21 2013, 3:06 pm)
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(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 21 2013, 2:53 pm)
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Does Bill S like cats?

Yes. He and Mtngrl have a cat. Maybe you don't know this, but I don't live with them anymore. I've been in an apartment for over a year  :)

I do remember you saying you had your own place.

I figure you and Mtngrl could go backpacking and leave Bill to cat sit.

I'm sure he would be more than willing to look after my girls, but I am not willing to leave for more than overnight. I feel like it is my responsibility to be home if either of the cats takes a turn for the worse. These kitties are my buddies and I wouldn't want to be away when their time comes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 12:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We're all a bunch of softies when it comes to our pets, huh? I agree with all of you - our pets have given so much to us, that it is only right that we be there for them in their "golden" years. After all, they are family  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 11:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I guess I was "lucky" that Duke deteriorated over just a few months at the age of 15, so there were no years of waiting around,, or of ill health.  But yes, I did cancel more than a few plans in those last 3 months just to be home with him - I even tried to work from home more often because I hated leaving him home alone.  

Best of luck with your kitties.  I prayed many nights for Duke to go in his sleep, but I ended up having to make that awful appointment and have the vet send him off.  I'll never forget it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 11:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They are members of our families--what else can we do?  My cat was 19 and in very good health and active still.  A dog came into our back yard and killed her.  It was truly heart-breaking... but a small part of me was relieved that we were spared watching her health decline.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 1:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Woodswoman,
I had Pip for 18.5 years and her mother Lucy for over 20, she was probably 21.5 to 22 when she died.
Both became deaf about a year before I had to put them down.
Pip had kidney  failure. Took her about six months to visibly deteriorate but was still moving and jumping about till the last few days.
Lucy was still climbing up to the neighbour's garage roof and going over fences till a week or so before it became obvious that she was in pain.
Cats will hide their pain from the owners. They do that by taking refuge in unusual places and come out when they feel better.
So keep an eye out for strange behavior like avoiding your gaze.
Another sign is that they curl up like a rabbit and have their nose to the ground.
Lucy spent her last night with me first under the bed then on my pillow with her nose against my face.
She had never slept in the bedroom at night before.
"we" had decided the day before that time had come.
It is still very painful for me to think about that but it had to be done.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 26 2013, 2:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had a chocolate lab for 14 years, when she turned 11 her backpacking days were done, she was starting to slow down and have some trouble getting around. After that we either car camped so the dog could still come, or she stayed with neighbors so I could sneak out for an occasional overnighter.

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