Wedding Woes

Your husband's proposal is cruel.

Dear Prudence, 

I have a 15-year-old cat named Loki. Last year he started peeing everywhere that wasn’t his litter box. We found out that he was suffering from diabetes, a manageable but costly disease. Between his medical needs and special home care when we need to travel, it is costing us more than $3,000 a year to keep him relatively healthy and cared for. We have house payments, student loans, and a 2-year-old. We’ve had to significantly rearrange our financial priorities to care for him. My husband wants to take Loki off the medication and just let nature take its course, but that idea just makes me cry. I don’t want to watch him go back to having accidents and slowly waste away over the next couple months or years. I would rather put him down, but my husband says he’s otherwise a healthy cat and we can’t. Do we suck it up financially? Let nature run its course? Or pick a day to say goodbye to our beloved family pet while he’s still feeling relatively good?

—No Good Options

Re: Your husband's proposal is cruel.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Oh FFS. What a terrible thing, to just make the cat suffer until it dies. No, you suck it up financially because that's the commitment you made to the cat when you took it home. IDK what she can do about her heartless husband, though.
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    charlotte989875
  • I like the last option.  Our childhood dog got older and older until age 14, when it was just time to put her down.  Once pets are 14-15 I think it’s okay to euthanize.  IMO the second best option is to keep the significantly altered budget to keep the cat on meds that keeps him feeling healthy, and the worst option is to take cat off meds but also not euthanize and make him suffer.
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    edited September 2018
    eileenrob said:
    I like the last option.  Our childhood dog got older and older until age 14, when it was just time to put her down.  Once pets are 14-15 I think it’s okay to euthanize.  IMO the second best option is to keep the significantly altered budget to keep the cat on meds that keeps him feeling healthy, and the worst option is to take cat off meds but also not euthanize and make him suffer.
    But this cat is otherwise healthy and diabetes is usually quite manageable and it doesn't sound like the cat is currently suffering or anything. It's not like this thing has cancer or something else that will just get worse and worse. To put it down would just be to save some money and that's disgusting, IMO. 

    ETA - I know one anecdote =/= the rule, but my friend's cat has been treated for diabetes for years. I don't know how old the cat is (pretty old though) and he's been diabetic for as long as I've known him - 8 years probably. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    ei34charlotte989875
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    eileenrob said:
    eileenrob said:
    I like the last option.  Our childhood dog got older and older until age 14, when it was just time to put her down.  Once pets are 14-15 I think it’s okay to euthanize.  IMO the second best option is to keep the significantly altered budget to keep the cat on meds that keeps him feeling healthy, and the worst option is to take cat off meds but also not euthanize and make him suffer.
    But this cat is otherwise healthy and diabetes is usually quite manageable and it doesn't sound like the cat is currently suffering or anything. It's not like this thing has cancer or something else that will just get worse and worse. To put it down would just be to save some money and that's disgusting, IMO. 
    I guess I need a better look at their finances.  $3000/year doesn’t seem like a lot to me.  Maybe it is to them?  If they’re falling behind on mortgage payments or something dire, I can see stopping the monthly medication.  If the $250/mo means no more manicures and date night then I would agree with you that they should continue to pay for the diabetes medication.
    Yeah that's a good point. I guess I'm jumping to assumptions and I feel very strongly that pets are a commitment for their life - not until you move, not until you don't have time, not until you can't justify the cost of care, for life. But I do understand that there are exceptions to this rule and I can be quick to put my judgey pants on with this kind of thing.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875ernursej
  • Put the cat down. I would do it. You can’t afford the care. 
    ei34
  • eileenrob said:
    eileenrob said:
    I like the last option.  Our childhood dog got older and older until age 14, when it was just time to put her down.  Once pets are 14-15 I think it’s okay to euthanize.  IMO the second best option is to keep the significantly altered budget to keep the cat on meds that keeps him feeling healthy, and the worst option is to take cat off meds but also not euthanize and make him suffer.
    But this cat is otherwise healthy and diabetes is usually quite manageable and it doesn't sound like the cat is currently suffering or anything. It's not like this thing has cancer or something else that will just get worse and worse. To put it down would just be to save some money and that's disgusting, IMO. 
    I guess I need a better look at their finances.  $3000/year doesn’t seem like a lot to me.  Maybe it is to them?  If they’re falling behind on mortgage payments or something dire, I can see stopping the monthly medication.  If the $250/mo means no more manicures and date night then I would agree with you that they should continue to pay for the diabetes medication.
    Yeah that's a good point. I guess I'm jumping to assumptions and I feel very strongly that pets are a commitment for their life - not until you move, not until you don't have time, not until you can't justify the cost of care, for life. But I do understand that there are exceptions to this rule and I can be quick to put my judgey pants on with this kind of thing.
    This is part of why I don't want a dog (DH grew up with them and has always wanted one).

    I do not want the financial commitment. I do not want to be on the hook for taking care of this animal with health problems, especially the ones that are likely to arise with the breeds he likes. That is not my financial priority, and the benefits of having a dog are not worth that to me.

    But that's because I agree with you - if we do take in an animal, we've committed ourselves to that.
    This is where I stand on pets.  And since I WAH, I would be the primary caregiver for the pet that I do not want.  In the last few years we have had friends and family members incur major expenses due to pets and pet health issues.  It has pretty much ensured we're not getting any pets. 

    DefConn has asked for a fish.  Even that's a giant maybe.  

    We do dog sit for FIL a lot, so that helps everyone get their fix and reminds me that I am not a pet person and have no desire to have a pet friendly house. 
    ShesSoCold
  • eileenrob said:
    I like the last option.  Our childhood dog got older and older until age 14, when it was just time to put her down.  Once pets are 14-15 I think it’s okay to euthanize.  IMO the second best option is to keep the significantly altered budget to keep the cat on meds that keeps him feeling healthy, and the worst option is to take cat off meds but also not euthanize and make him suffer.
    But this cat is otherwise healthy and diabetes is usually quite manageable and it doesn't sound like the cat is currently suffering or anything. It's not like this thing has cancer or something else that will just get worse and worse. To put it down would just be to save some money and that's disgusting, IMO. 

    ETA - I know one anecdote =/= the rule, but my friend's cat has been treated for diabetes for years. I don't know how old the cat is (pretty old though) and he's been diabetic for as long as I've known him - 8 years probably. 

    I actually disagree with this.  I love my dog and cat also, and I'm not sure I'd spend $3K/year to maintain a chronic medical condition.  I'm sorry if I sound heartless, but pets are a luxury and that is a lot of money to spend on a luxury.  Especially for a family who appears to have trouble affording it.

    As many of you know, I'm a Type I diabetic myself.  As crazy as it sounds, I've actually heard that insulin for pets is substantially more than it is for people.  Though, you wouldn't think they would use very much.  They aren't very big.  But, I don't know.  At least on the pet side.  I've heard you're not supposed to give animals insulin meant for people, but did some research and this is what I've found:

    There are a variety of types of insulin available. Some are designed for human use but can be useful in pets, while others have been developed specifically for animal use. The natural insulins produced by cat and dog pancreatic cells have slightly different structures than the natural insulin produced by human pancreatic cells. Insulin types made for human use match the natural human insulin, and may not always be as effective in pets.

    So, in a nutshell, I'd recommend the LW talk to the vet about giving their cat insulin meant for humans.  Because "maybe not being as effective", sounds like it will still work fairly well.  For people, it is $26/vial at Walmart and Sam's Club.  $75/vial everywhere else.  The cat may need to take two different types but, either way, I'd think each vial would last a loooonnnggg time for a 10 lb. creature.

    As to the H thinking nature should take its course.  Hhhhhiiiisssssss.  I'm tempering my absolute anger with the thought that he's not so much cruel, as just an ignorant f**k who doesn't know any better.  If my blood sugar is too high even for a couple hours, I.FEEL.VERY.SICK.  A few days without insulin and I'd be so lethargic and ill, I could barely move.  Except to go pee 2-4x/hour.  Not pleasant.  If they choose to no longer treat their cat's diabetes, then they need to euthanize it. 

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  • Without knowing their finances, I would say suck up the costs. The cat may not live very much longer, though my childhood cat lived to 21. To put him down just because he has manageable disease seems cruel but not as cruel as taking him off his meds and letting his deteriorate is the worst. I can’t even believe someone who suggest it.

    Re: pets are for life. I used to agreed so strongly with this. But after bringing my dog with us on this move and seeing his health suffer because of the environment, I wish I had left him with my mom. I would miss him so much but I really do think it would have been better for him.
    STARMOON44
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is the kind of shit that makes me ragey. Having a pet is a privilege. You don’t just get one and throw it away or allow it to be in pain when it gets tough. I have comprehensive pet insurance for the cats. It sounds silly, but it covers a shit ton of stuff for about $1000 (all three cats) per year. Obviously litter and food are ongoing costs. But they are costs I thought long and hard about before getting pets. I don’t think I could look at FI the same way if he proposed an option that would be a slow and excruciating death for another living thing. That’s just so messed up. If you literally can’t afford it, then euthanizing the cat is so much kinder. The cat is also 15 so she made it well into her senior kitty years. But I still think it’s bullshit. 


    image
    charlotte989875ShesSoColdknottie1d466b9ce2a963b3
  • Sort of off topic, but this letter is triggering me today.

    We've had our cat Nip since she was a 4-month old kitten.  She is about 15 years old now.  She's still seems to be in good health, overall.  But we've started seeing the first signs of her aging and a little bit of a decline in her health.  Mostly in how she moves.  We think and hope we'll have a few more good years with her, but we also know it could be much shorter than that.  And it is with a heavy heart, as we watch our kitten girl becoming an old lady.

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  • I agree with short and sassy. We don't have pets currently, but both H and I had them growing up and plan to have a dog in the future when we have our own home. 

    Yes, a pet should receive love and appropriate care and food. But it's still a pet. It's not a human. I wouldn't spend that kind of a money on an animal. No, I don't think they should just let it suffer, but I see no problem with euthanizing it. 

    STARMOON44
  • WHen we were spending $100 a month to keep Dawg well-ish, my vet was pretty able to be blunt with us about what was/wasn't necessary.
    (and yes, cost DID play a part in us deciding to have her put down.  Not the whole part, but, part of it.  Because $3k a year IS a LOT of money to me)

    ei34short+sassy
  • GBCK said:
    WHen we were spending $100 a month to keep Dawg well-ish, my vet was pretty able to be blunt with us about what was/wasn't necessary.
    (and yes, cost DID play a part in us deciding to have her put down.  Not the whole part, but, part of it.  Because $3k a year IS a LOT of money to me)

    Same here. That's $250 a month. We do not have a lot of leeway in our budget, and that amount would have a substantial effect on us. We don't have frivolous things we could cut out of our budget to pay that much. Not including our honeymoon, I don't think we've even spent $3,000 total on all of our vacations in our five and a half years of married life! 

  • baconsmom said:
    Um, rehoming?There are people and shelters who will find someone who is willing and can afford the cat. The choices aren't "pay" or "kill".
    Often easier said than done. 
    short+sassyMesmrEweahoywedding
  • 1) Switch vets..  Price shop SNS
    2) This is the last cat they own until finances change and they can afford to own a pet...
    3) If the $3k affects their finances that much (it happens! Not judging), time to find a new home for the cat..  

    And stuff like this is why I've put off getting a new goldfish for our tank...  Having a pet means being a responsible pet owner regardless of the size of the pet...
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  • Sort of off topic, but this letter is triggering me today.

    We've had our cat Nip since she was a 4-month old kitten.  She is about 15 years old now.  She's still seems to be in good health, overall.  But we've started seeing the first signs of her aging and a little bit of a decline in her health.  Mostly in how she moves.  We think and hope we'll have a few more good years with her, but we also know it could be much shorter than that.  And it is with a heavy heart, as we watch our kitten girl becoming an old lady.


    I love your cat's name!
    short+sassy
  • ernursej said:

    Sort of off topic, but this letter is triggering me today.

    We've had our cat Nip since she was a 4-month old kitten.  She is about 15 years old now.  She's still seems to be in good health, overall.  But we've started seeing the first signs of her aging and a little bit of a decline in her health.  Mostly in how she moves.  We think and hope we'll have a few more good years with her, but we also know it could be much shorter than that.  And it is with a heavy heart, as we watch our kitten girl becoming an old lady.


    I love your cat's name!


    Thanks!  It's a double reason.  The obvious allusion to the much loved by cats plant called catnip.

    But she is also a Manx breed and was born without a tail.  As my H says, "It was like God 'nipped' her tail."

    If anyone is curious, cats born without tails are just as balanced and agile as their tailed brethren.  In fact, even cats born with tails but lose them, will quickly learn to compensate and move/jump just like their old selves.

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    ernursejei34charlotte989875
  • baconsmom said:
    Um, rehoming?There are people and shelters who will find someone who is willing and can afford the cat. The choices aren't "pay" or "kill".
    I disagree with rehoming. Yes, in some cases it might work, but it isn't so easy for older pets. It's a huge upheaval to be separated from the family an animal has bonded with, and would cause a lot of suffering. But this is coming from someone who owns rabbits, where if a bunny loses a life bond it might go on a hunger strike and try to die, so maybe take it with a grain of salt (yes, I've seen this happen, once with a rabbit that was bonded with me a little too strongly in his old age. Honestly, I was gone for three days and he FREAKED, poor thing, and it took a week for him to realize that I was back and wasn't going anywhere before he started eating normal again). My usual thought is, if the animal wouldn't be able to survive in its state in the wild (if it had survival skills obviously), I start leaning towards euthanasia. There are exceptions obviously, but I don't think we know 100% the pain we put animals through by keeping them going when they have health issues. For example, my one rabbit got arthritis, which is an obvious fix with pain killers, but he couldn't move properly and enjoy life, and he was just miserable even without the pain factor. He was fourteen.

    ei34STARMOON44ahoywedding
  • @kerbohl, cats aren't like that at all. And an animal with a totally manageable condition, like diabetes, isn't in any pain. A slight bit of inconvenience, perhaps, but we're not talking extensive and painful cancer treatments or anything like that. 

    Rehome. It might not be easy, but at least try, before killing an animal, ffs. 
    image
    MesmrEwe
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If they can't afford the cat, they should give him up to a person or an organization who can give him the care he needs. But both putting him down and letting him for of neglect and starvation would really be cruel.
    MesmrEwe
  • baconsmom said:
    @kerbohl, cats aren't like that at all. And an animal with a totally manageable condition, like diabetes, isn't in any pain. A slight bit of inconvenience, perhaps, but we're not talking extensive and painful cancer treatments or anything like that. 

    Rehome. It might not be easy, but at least try, before killing an animal, ffs. 
    Good point - I don't own cats, I have only fostered them. I was thinking more dogs.  Animals on meds do seem to linger on the shelter sites for a very long time however - even healthy older animals can take a while to adopt. 

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