Just got back from taking our elderly cat to the vet. I was not entirely sure if I would be bringing her home again, which I did. In fact, it was a much better experience than I anticipated.
This is our 16-yr old, grossly overweight (22 lbs), arthritic and probably diabetic cat that I "rescued" from friends when she was a very young kitten. I had stopped taking her to the vet because
a) I was tired of getting yelled at that she was so fat, and that I should get her more exercise
b) she's an indoor-only cat who fought tooth and nail when being put in the carrier, so if she didn't get her rabies shot it made little difference and saved me some blood.
However, she's now clearly uncomfortable and seemed to be failing, so I realized I could no longer put it off. So, at a new vet's office, I learned that she
a) may be healthier than I think and need a higher protein diet to loose some of the weight
b) may perk up considerably with arthritis medicine
c) still has quite the attitude (bit the vet, hissed at the office cat, and yet still purred when I put her back in the carrier)
So we're waiting on blood work, and trying some new food. If the blood work shows her liver, kidneys, etc. are ok, we'll put her on the meds and new diet and see what happens. If not, well, we'll cross that bridge and I'll feel like I've tried at least a little. And the new vet did not give me any guilt about level of care, for which I am profoundly grateful.