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How do we decide if it's time to put our dearest furry friend down?

He is 19. He is blind, unable to walk easily, can no longer use the cat box, still enjoys his food heartily, has very labored breathing and has lost scads of weight. Tonight, we came home to a completely craptastic bathroom, covered in cat scat and pee, all of which he had been stumbling through repeatedly. The ensuing bath was not at all dignified, nor did he appreciate being blown dry.

We have ceded the bathroom to him for the last 2 months or so since that is the space he chose when he could no longer see. When he began to decide that he no longer appreciated his personal, CLEAN cat box and would come out to pee and poop in the living room or hallway, we started to close him in. He does get cuddles and chats and scritches and responds as warmly as he ever has to them - many purrs, through which he can barely breathe.

Am I keeping him alive selfishly because he is truly one of those special cats? Am I even thinking of putting him to sleep because I don't want to deal with incontinent old friend? I can't figure this one out and could use any advice you've got.

Thanks.
Mood:: 'sad' sad
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