Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Do cats "rally" just before their final decline?

This question has been on my mind. On Friday morning, Tucker, though weakened, seemed more like his old self than he'd been in days. He was walking around, meowed at me, ate some food, and did most his morning routines. I was delighted and thought we might have the weekend to spend together.

By the time I got home from work, he was in rapid decline. By early evening, we knew it was time to let him go.

I've heard of stories of humans rallying shortly before their death, but I never considered that pets might do the same. Has anyone experienced this with their cat (or even a dog)?

15 comments:

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

interesting point to consider. Kodi seemed to have a few good days before we came to the conclusion it was time for him. Em was on such a long slow decline, I don't think it was possible for her to rally, and Ollie absolutely refused to give in to his cancer until he did, and when he did, he was done - like a stubborn little boy who takes his ball and goes home.

sigh, and now I'm weepy again.. it is so hard when they are not here to return your love..

Marg said...

I think some of them do. It is so hard to tell what is going on with their little bodies. Just know that you did the right thing by letting him go. It was his time and he tried to stay but just couldn't do it. Big hugs to you.

Random Felines said...

well crap - it ate our first comment. we believe it does happen - maybe to give people a happy memory knowing what is coming. with Maestro, his cancer was fast growing and mom and the vet agreed that when he started to go downhill it would be quick and miserable and decided to let him go before it got to that point. Butterscotch just got sick and left very quickly. And Tigger's decline was so rapid there we don't think he had the fight left in him for a rally. it is hard no matter what....

Fuzzy Tales said...

Annie didn't, and she's my only experience (Chum was sudden and definitely unexpected -- blood clot let go).

I would think it's the same for humans and non-humans, that is, some do and some don't, just depends on the health issue, the Being, etc.

Purrs and peace.

KitKat said...

My kitteh Koko rallied before it was time. It raised some douhbts but her health situation being such as it was, it was the right thing to do.
God bless.
Angel Normie, Mika, Sasha & Grady Lewis

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

Abby had sudden onset of CHF on July 28th 2013. That was a Sunday. She had several days of ups and downs a lot of DRS to see. She came home and seemed to be doing well. I now know Aug 3rd she was strong enough to jump up to her favorite spot, sit in the sunshine and give herself a good bath. That was in the morning, she then had a relapse another CHF attack. Back to the ER. It was downhill from there, she died August 12th. I am going to be going back through that same time frame in about a week and am pretty emotional about it. But yes, she did rally, and I thought she had turned a corner too. Sadly, it was her last hurrah, and mine too.

amyjtoo said...

Afraid I can't comment to your specific question, as I don't really recall how Holly, my first cat, was when I was in grade school. But, I've known it to happen in my human family - and it does freak you out.

((hugs))

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

My human hasn't had that experience personally (the cat before me never totally went into decline but her quality of life was so severely impacted it was cruel to let her go on, and the cat before her was in a long, slow decline and my human let him go when it was clear he was dying). But we have heard of other kitties rallying before a steep decline. Purrs to you.

Kitties Blue said...

This has happened to me twice. Our second kitty we adopted had been in failing health for quite sometime as she was a very senior kitty. One morning she came downstairs, which she hadn't done in weeks, jumped on the counter and demanded breakfast, which she ate. I was elated until about an hour later when she walked into the kitchen, lay down in front of me and looked at me with eyes that said good-bye. She passed within 30 minutes. The second case was a little different. Our eight-year-old MacKenzie had been diagnosed with cancer and surgery found it was inoperable as it had wrapped itself around his intestines. When he started to decline, we were scheduled to be away for close to three weeks. Our friend/vet and I discussed what to do and she came to the house for euthanization before we were to leave. When she arrived and the two of us had spent sometime with Mac, we both knew he wasn't ready to go and decided not to do anything. I might have made a different choice, but our friend/vet was also the kitties' caregiver whenever we went away and would be at the house twice a day while we were gone. Mac did fine while we were away. Five hours after we returned home, I found him lying on his side. He had passed while we slept. I've always wished that he could have waited even a day to give us time with him. Hugs, Janet

Roberta said...

It brought tears to my eyes reading other people's comments about their beloved kitties. I know it gives us so much hope when they rally. It's as though they are telling us they are going to be okay when it's time and don't want us to be sad.

Katie and Glogirly said...

It has never happened to me with a pet...though when I lost my dad, I do believe he held on for me. But rather than holding on for me to be there...because I was constantly at his side near the end, I believe he held on so that I didn't have to see him die. I truly believe it was his way of protecting me from the sadness. Protecting me from death.

I had very little notice that he was in rapid decline. Saw him on a Thursday and talked about baseball and the bus strike. Got a phone call on Sunday that I needed to prepare for the worst and he would not likely live more than a few days. I don't know why, but I immediately ran to the garage and pulled out boxes and boxes of old photos and movies. Within just a couple of hours I'd found someone to transfer the old movies onto DVD. I brought my laptop with me and played the movies for him. It was so cool... he couldn't talk, but I could see the recognition and sparkle in his eye.

The company that had helped me so quickly with converting the home movies also did memorial DVD's. This was before iMovie and all the DIY stuff. So as I sat with my dad, I organized photos, played his favorite music and recited back to him the numerous stories he'd told me so many times. I turned over all the pictures to the video techs, gave them a list of songs and, while they went to work, I went back to my dad. I wanted something truly special that would allow me to share my dad's life at his funeral and to honor the man who was my hero.

The very next day, they called to say it was almost done and would I like to come in and sit with them in their sound and video booth to help with the final edits. I told my dad I'd be right back...no more than an hour.

As I sat in this small and darkened room, music playing, and my dad up there on the big screen, smiling at me, I got the call.

Though I do believe he didn't want me to see him when he passed away, he was absolutely with me. And still is.

xo, GG

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

I saw this at the Cats With Blogs Fb group and wanted to send my condolences. Every loss is different and I hope your heart finds peace in in the coming days. Tucker was very special and will remain in your heart forever. I'm writing a book on pet loss and doing a research study (questionnaire) Rallying going on for many reasons and I can't say why Tucker rallied but I know when my cat Coco died, she rallied and I cancelled the appointment for at-home euthanasia. I knew it was a reprieve, a moment to gather strength and say goodbyes. You're welcome to contact me if you like.

Sweet Purrfections said...

Sweet Praline went into a steady decline once she was diagnosed with cancer. 3 days before I helped her to the bridge, she stopped eating. She still tried to follow me around the house, but she just didn't have the energy to jump on the bed or couch with me and mainly slept. I remember talking to her on that Saturday and telling her to just hold on to Monday and I would let her go. I remember telling her that I would be okay and if she was ready, I'd help her, but to try to hold on a couple more days. Monday morning when I woke up, Sweet Praline literally lept onto the bed, me owed to me and had that look in her eyes that I was used to seeing, but I knew her body was giving out on her. I hugged her and kissed her and told her I was radh if she was. She didn't even fight me with the carrier. I did help her to the bridge that day and it was the most loving thing I could do for her but it was gut wrenching for me. I believe to this day that she rallied that morning. To let me see the energetic and happy cat shed been all those years before she left. My thoughts are with you.

Sweet Purrfections said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

My old kitty, Comet, did rally. He seemed close to the end, then suddenly fine, then had a very fast final decline. I wonder why that happens.

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