Videotaping Your Dying Cat

Videotaping Your Dying Cat

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Tramp the night before he died

Tramp the night before he died

Good morning readers. Today I have a good discussion planned on a very touchy subject. The idea for this article, which I've entitled Videotaping Your Dying Cat, came to me as I was playing around on YouTube.

I invite everyone to make comments at the end. We may all get a different understanding of each other at a psychological level by discussing this topic.

Here is the video a friend sent me that triggered the idea. It's not actually of a cat dying, but the miraculous happy ending of a cat story about a cat everyone thought would die. So grab a Kleenex and enjoy this video. WARNING: I'm serious about a tissue-you're going to cry.

After watching the story of this miraculous kitten, I did what most people do and started watching a few of the other YouTube cat video suggestions that appear to the right of the featured video.

The videotaping of a beloved dying cat is something I'd never seen or really thought about. Apparently a lot of other people have because there are dozens of dying cat videos on the internet.

Here's an example, and there are many more along the same subject line available on YouTube for those who want to depress themselves. Or prepare themselves for the imminent passing of a precious cat.

I do have to say this video is very accurate at recording a natural cat death.

The video doesn't show an animal in pain or being abused. It shows a loving owner saying goodbye to her cat and recording the memory on video. Is this a good thing to do or is it a little creepy? Have any of you done this?

In a way I can empathize. Not only is it a way to remember your cat's finally hours (or minutes) on earth, it can be played back to reassure the owner their cat had a peaceful passing over the rainbow bridge.

But to upload it on YouTube? This could probably be considered an educational video as well as a final keepsake of a dying cat. Perhaps the owner put it on YouTube so she wouldn't lose it if she accidentally erased it off of her camera. I can also understand making the video public instead of private. People forget login information on their sites and a public video is much easier to find. After all, YouTube is permanent if the owner of the video so wishes and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.

Personally, I wouldn't want to tell my friends or family to watch the video I made of my dying cat. That would cross some kind of boundary in my code of ethics.

Part of me would worry that some sicko would get his jollies watching a cat die, but I really don't think that is the intention of someone uploading this type of video. Still, what started out as a beautiful tribute has probably entertained a few psychopaths who enjoy watching animals die.

I forced myself to watch several of these videos. They're very sad and I don't know if I could set up a camera or allow someone to film such a private moment between me and one of my cats. I certainly wouldn't want to take time away from my cat to focus on camera settings. I do see how theses videos could help someone deal with grief. On the other hand, I also believe it could trigger a crying spell and increase depression.

I would like to share one photo I took of my dying cat Tramp back in 1993. He was very very special to me and he's the only rescue I couldn't save. Tramp died from FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). He only lived a few days after the diagnosis was made. I took him home to die and took this photo the night before I lost him. I don't have this photo on any of my websites because it's not a good quality photo and it's very hard to look at. Would I have videotaped it back then if I'd had the technology? Probably not.

I never really recovered from losing Tramp. I'd nursed him back to health from a starving flea infested kitten with distemper only to lose him to a disease I couldn't fight. That hurts enough without any reminders of him slipping away. I still have memories of feeding him chicken soup from a syringe that last day.

Another reason I haven't shared this photo is I don't want to be ridiculed for taking a photo of a dying cat. I only wanted something to remember him by.

Just for the record, I also took a photograph of my first dog Rusty the night he was humanely euthanized due to cancer. I was only ten years old at the time. It was my way of dealing with his death.

Which is why I can't criticize those who videotape a peaceful death of a dying cat. I can't judge someone else for something I might do in the future.

Have any of you done this? Would you consider videotaping your dying cat? Just how far is too far in putting a video like this online for public viewing? Comments anyone?

Elisa

Videotaping Your Dying Cat to Home Page

Comments for
Videotaping Your Dying Cat

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 27, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Almost betrayal
by: Lynn

My kitty is 23. Just 2 days ago she was getting around pretty good for her age, then suddenly her hind legs have gone goofy, like she has had a stroke. To parade a kitty's private treasure around feels like a betrayal. It hurts so much when they go. I am really fretting right now.


Feb 23, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thats OK Leah
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

I don't think I could do it either. I've never even seen anything like this. I believe it would take away from the cats final moments to worry about filming it. I just thought it would make an interestin subject and it has.


Feb 22, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Respect
by: Leah (England)

I read your articles Elisa because I respect your views and I know you do an awful lot of good for the welfare of animals but I have to say that I'm not in agreement this time.

I certainly wouldn't want to re-live my cats death; he was having seizures and if I hadn't taken him to be put to sleep when I did he would have suffered even more.

I also feel that with the amount of sickos on the internet who relish animal suffering that this would be right up their street.

So no sorry, not for me.


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Understand
by: Michael

I understand Elisa's point. However, I think you can make YouTube videos private or specify who can see it and there are video hosting sites that are less well publicised, even quite small where you can put personal stuff.

For me it is too personal. Death is normal but it is very personal and pain and distress goes with it, often. Pain and distress should not be gawped at by people who are not connected to the cat.

This though is a very personal choice. I respect other people's views.

Michael Avatar


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Logic
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

The only logical reason I can think of for making this type of video public is if the owner is absent minded and wanted a place to store it for future viewing. I'm bad at remembering passwords myself. If a person can only remember the video title then they've put it in a safe place on YouTube because they can always go back and find it. Some people will just consider it in bad taste.


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Good Question
by: Anonymous

While I have no problem with people videotaping the death of their pet, posting it online seems kinda weird. I would rather not remember the last few moments of my beloved cats life, she died during a seizure after a 2 week illness. I can't imagine viewing it over and over. Posting such videos online, I agree, only serves sickos who enjoy such things. A person might believe they are doing a good, educational thing, but most likely, that is not how it will be viewed.


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Gasping
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

There were a few videos where I could tell the cat was gasping for air. I wouldn't want to remember my cat that way. I don't think I could put a video like this on YouTube. But I would consider doing one if I could arrange it as beautifully as the example I used. That kitten died peacefully.

It's going to be interesting to see how people view the idea of video taping something like this.


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Angels...
by: Brenda Renee Green (FB)

Your Tramp was truly gorgeous and is always around still feeling your love,I'm sure.R.I.P. sweetheart Tramp<3 And to the BEAUTIFUL little girl that survived and thrived into the lovely cat she is - Bless you <3 You have my heart <3 And (is it) Duncan- precious ending to what was obviously a wonderful bond.R.I.P.Sweetheart.Prayers of comfort to all you leave behind.<3 Thank you for sharing this intimate post. I will share it.


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
too private to make public
by: eileen

I don't think i would ever tape my cat dying on video . i remember each one of my babies dying , I never got over any of their deaths and i still miss them terribly.
It seems to personal to make it public.


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Video animal dying
by: Anonymous

I could not do it!!!!! i would rather remember my babies the watthey were!!! i have had several animals that have died , one in my arms it would be hard to watch him looking helplessly in my eyes and listening to his gasp for air!! but i can understand some people wanting to do so!! :(:(


Feb 21, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Interesting subject
by: Michael

Hi Elisa, this is a subject that I have never given a thought to so my mind comes fresh to it.

My personal opinion is that we should not video our cat dying and if we do it should not be made public. Making it public smacks of voyeurism and exploitation.

I think to photograph our cat soon before dying is OK if we want a memento of how he or she looked when we last saw her but once again it is a private matter between cat and person.

I think the actual act of dying is a private event. The celebration of a cat's life can be as public as you want it to be.

Thanks a lot for bringing up a really interesting topic.

Michael Avatar



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.