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If anyone has a definitive answer for you, please share it. I've been through this same consideration more times than I can count. The onlythe only answer I have is that quality is far more important than quantity. Since every life is an individual event, where the quality fails is anyone's guess. Ivy will know before you know; nevertheless, it's up to you to act. I wish I had a better answer.

That said, these are marvelous photos of Ivy! I'm so glad nothing major was found, although I appreciate the frustration that comes from not knowing why things happen like this. Age is a demon we all deal with eventually. Perhaps Ivy is just now growing too tired to endure, too weak to persist, yet not too deserving of an end quite yet. I hope it's this: perhaps a bit of stumbling from tired bones and aged muscles is nothing more than that.


I think this one statement speaks out to me on trying to make a choice:

"The interesting? confusing? reassuring? thing about all this is that she doesn't seem to have lost any capability to enjoy life."

If she still seems to enjoy some quality of life, then I think that's what's most important. If she is still jumping up on furniture and being stubborn and active, it sounds to me like she might have a little fight left in her.

I kept a close eye on my cat Betsy for months after she was diagnosed with cancer, trying to decide what time would be the best time to say goodbye. She ended up losing the use of one of her legs, and I thought that would be the end, but she didn't let it slow her down. She kept climbing the stairs and jumping on top of the washer and dryer (with a little help) right up until the last few days of her life. When she started trying to hide and not getting up to move around, I knew it was time. We spent that last day together on the couch and said our goodbyes. Even though I know there was a little pain at the end, I believe the little bit of life she enjoyed up to that point far outweighed it and gave us both a chance to say our goodbyes.

I'll be thinking about your family and Ivy no matter what you choose to do.

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout

Well goodness, that's an odd thing. Your heart will know when its time. She sure seems like she's doing ok for a little old lady.
We have guinea pigs in addition to our cats. Many over the course of 10 years. A couple years ago one was suddenly dragging his rear legs. No idea what happened. I held on for about a week because I hoped he'd "come out of it" but he was dragging himself through feces & urine and getting scald on the dragging hip. I'd wash him off in the sink 3x day, but I realized I couldn't do that forever. He was bright & alert and it was so hard to take him in and put him to sleep. I'm choking up now just writing about it. Anyway, the vet could only speculate on a stroke or whatever. He was a great little piggy.

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