In one sense I'm glad because it's an answer to what has been troubling him lately, but in another I feel distressed because I know the treatments are more than we can afford or feasibly handle right now.
We live in a time and country where some people will spend a fortune on pets even when they're not chronically ill. It's a sad fact of life that in some areas of the world, pets get better medical treatment than people in other areas of the world.
So yes, he's not a person, he's a cat, and we know his lifespan is short to begin with. But that doesn't change the fact that he's important to me. Obviously our time and long-term financial health are important too, but still, this cat was my friend before I had a family of my own. Clearly I'm torn.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize that to a cat, the methods used to control this illness (needles, daily injections and monitoring, more vet visits, etc.) are rather contrary to his desired mode of living, and he would never understand them. He wouldn't know why I was constantly having to hurt him and not letting him go outside. He might even come to fear me because of all the needles. I suppose some other things in this house are contrary to his desires, but that's beside the point.
The point is, for an animal, he has had a good life. And I want him to continue having a good life, which in this case, I believe, means comfort care. I want him to fully enjoy whatever time he has left, and when it comes to the point where he can't do that anymore, I don't want him to suffer. I really don't think that months and possibly years full of needles and medication are the right choice for us.
He's at least eight years old... I knew it had to happen eventually, and I guess I'd rather have warning. Still, it's a sad thing. He's been with me for five years. I hope he can stay around a lot longer, but if he doesn't, I want to make his last months as loving as possible.