When Mother died, I kept caring for her elderly cat, our companion. Ailments resulted in many painful vet procedures, always disturbing because they were actually unnecessary attacks. She resisted. They became harmful, then "untreatable." She stopped eating, declining rapidly.

I carefully planned home euthanasia (death without pain). Planning insufficiently, she died horribly after I failed to redirect a last familiar, yet unexpected attack; a grasp of the nape quickly following this time by painful sedative injection. (Accounts of similar failures are online at "Animal euthanasia gone wrong.")

Neither technician nor vet indicated this was unusual. Investigation confirms. Low-stress handling (lowstresshandling.com) could've transformed her treatments, her life and mine, and vets' practice. It doesn't use force.

For future euthanasia, investigate all options, including hospice. Plan carefully. Go as slowly as possible. Be ready to redirect. It's the last chance. The cost of failure is indescribable.

To clarify current methods of effectiveness, send evaluations of euthanasia you're seen to P.O. Box 104, Medford, WI 54451. If so, describe their levels. Results will be reported.

Finally, consider online "Henry Beston animal quote." Librarians can help.

In appreciation,

Michael J. Riegert

Medford, Wis.