Katie
Here is a letter to my baby girl. I needed to write it. If you would like to share one I would be blessed to read it. I bawled the whole time I wrote this but I do hope and pray that telling her my heart, straight from me to her, will somehow help me heal.


Dear Jo Baby,

I miss you so much. You are in every square inch of our little house. Everything reminds me of you. I love(d) you more than I thought possible. I'm so glad I thanked God every day for you and prayed his blessings on you. You were just this tremendous gift sent straight from God and in many ways you saved me. You gave me so much happiness, comfort, and joy, someone to come home to. I'm having such a hard time without you. I beg God that you are there in Heaven and that you are so happy and so loved, no more anxiety, no more pain. I've asked him to hold you and love you and for you to know more love from Him than I could ever give. And playmates to keep you company and run around with you and cuddle with you. I want to see you again some day. I miss you so much that my whole self aches and little else matters. I want you back and that can't happen so I just cry all the time.

I am so sorry for not taking better care of you. Maybe we could have caught your condition sooner. I should have always fed you premium food, never junk food even if you liked it. I should have recognized the signs. I should have fully treated you the first time instead of denying something worse could be wrong. I should have been taking you to regular appointments and getting you all your shots. I still don't know if I should have put you to sleep. What if I'd tried one more time? And how irresponsible for me to not have insurance for you. I'm sorry I let you go partly out of not wanting to spend the money. There are so many scenarios in which you could still be my baby girl filling up this house with me for so many more years. I cry for you constantly. I am so so sorry baby girl. I should have done better and you could likely still be here with me. I don't even know how to put into words my regret, questioning, and disappointment in my choices. I will always have to wonder if I ended your life too soon. If I did, I am so sorry baby girl, so so sorry.

It's been three weeks now. I'm so depressed beyond anything in recent years that I can recall. If you were here you would comfort me. You just made my world okay. Coming home to you was special. It made me feel grounded and loved. I loved that you would sit in the window when I drove up and meow (yell) at me if I was taking too long to come inside. I loved that you wanted to tell me about your day. I loved that I could never ever completely close the bedroom or bathroom door without you getting totally upset at being shut out. I loved that I would hear your pitter patter of paws when the shower turned off and how you would just soak up the love and water by brushing against my hair. I loved it when you let me hold you like a baby and sing to you a little, even if off key. I loved it when you were unrelenting in your desire to go outside. How many times did you pull me out of a funk by getting me out in the sun or just out of the house? I loved seeing you so happy rolling around in the dirt, soaking up the sun, and frolicking among the trees and plants. I loved watching you keep tabs on the squirrels who teased you. Mostly, I so so so miss our time together at night when I would either hear your pitter patter followed by a jump up into bed, headed straight for your blanket or you would already be there with a look like "are you coming already? It's time for bed. Hurry up!" I loved when you wanted me to brush you. I cherished it when you came right up against me and kneaded your paws on me. I was your mama. You were my baby girl. You made the sweetest sound, like a half scratch of a mew to tell me how content and happy you were. I loved that. I loved every little thing about you. I miss hearing your trills and conversation. I am a mess without you. I am horribly sad and crying all the time. It's hard to accept you won't be back and are gone forever in this world. You were only seven. It wasn't right. You should have been with me for many more years. I don't understand why God allowed this. It feels unfair, especially since you were such a rock for me given by him.

I'm thinking of getting another cat, not to replace you because that is absolutely impossible, but rather to help me out of this horrible grief and sadness. I would also have the opportunity to save a kitty from a lifetime in a shelter. It is hard to live here without you. It's not like we lived in this huge place. We were constantly together, two peas in a pod. I can only hope another cat could mitigate the feelings of loss by bringing me life. He/she could never replace you and I will forever miss you. I won't be able to love an animal as much as I loved you. You were special. You were one of a kind, my sweet-pea, my baby girl. Like I told you so many times, "I love you tons and tons and tons and tons", my beautiful gift from God, my Jo. I love you. I'm so sorry. I won't ever replace you or forget you. I hope to see you again when this world with horrible death is over. I hope you won't forget me and I can hold you in my arms again. I love you so very much.

Love,

Your Momma
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Catladykaren
Hugs to you Katie. Jo loves you for saving her and being her Mommy. Heck, I adore you for saving her and being her Mommy.
You poured your heart out to your baby, it can be cathartic writing letters.
That life ends, makes it all the more precious. Love brings us joy and happiness, fueling purpose and determination.
Losing someone so special, causes us to lose purpose and determination.
Because everything has changed. This precious life that is our joy and happiness has gone.
Every new day is one without her in it. A day of grief, sorrow, loneliness, and despair.
Want to say more, but took a sleep aid.
Big hug to you
Love is eternal....
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Katie
Thank you so much. That means a lot.
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Katie
My second letter to you Baby Girl,

Writing you has really helped me and freed me up to remember some other things beyond the guilt and terror of whether I made the wrong decision to end your life. I realized some things yesterday as I was blubbering on the car ride home from work. First, you were really really sick. It had been a month. You'd been miserable. The technician and doctor suggested I never leave you at the vet hospital overnight again if at all possible because it was horribly hard on you. The doctor even said it was best not to bring you in for an additional blood test because of how traumatizing the experience of going to the vet was for you. He was even going to teach me to hydrate you subcutaneously from home to spare you the trauma of vet trips. You were so apprehensive about so many things. It was something I loved about you because it made me feel special that you trusted me and wanted to be near me. But no amount of comfort from me helped with your anxiety and terror at the vet or when treating you.

Second, I remembered some of the reasoning I had for deciding not to continue treatment. Even if you got better for a while you would likely have gotten sick over and over. I was pretty sure about that especially because of your anxiety. Also, you hated taking medicine. I have never met an animal so desperate to escape it and I think you felt I was torturing you every time I had to catch you and hold you and force you to take it. And you were traumatized afterwards, trying desperately to spit it out. It was awful for both of us but I could at least understand the reason for putting you through it. You didn't understand and you were going to have to have medicine for a while and then again every time you got sick. Plus you isolated yourself when you felt miserable. You had always been with me constantly, always near me if not next to me. It killed me to see you sitting on your haunches, uncomfortable, unable to be comforted, far from me. It was totally unlike you so I know you felt miserable. That last night when things were so so bad and you howled in pain and I climbed up on the stove cover with you and lay there and cried and promised to make it better one way or another I think you maybe understood in your own way, at least how much I loved you and hurt for you. You even made your way to bed for a while that night in response to my desperate crying. What a loving girl you were to try to comfort me!

Third, when we went to the vet that next day and they wanted to put you in the hospital and the doctor stated that she didn't understand why you hadn't responded to the medicines I realized this was likely something worse. And I made that awful decision. Yes, partly because I couldn't imagine spending thousands more in hopes you might get better enough to have a good life but also because I didn't want to keep doing things that caused you even more trauma with caging you in a noisy place, pushing more medicine down your throat twice a day, etc. I will still always wonder if only I had taken you home with fluids and given you 48 hours. I won't ever know but I have finally taken some solace in realizing that your treatment was almost impossible for you to endure. I remember now that I didn't want to put you through more of it, that I loved you enough to stop even if it meant I didn't get more good moments with you when you did feel ok. I also remembered that you hadn't eaten for four days and kept losing weight, as well as how ominous the ultrasound results were for your kidneys, gallbladder and other nearby organs. I wish I didn't have to do it, and I will still always wonder if I should have waited just a little longer. But I do know that I did it out of love for you even if I was wrong. I just wish it had been different for both of us.

You were such an amazing little gift. I will love you forever baby girl.

Momma
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henrysmom
That's really beautiful. I agree; writing helps. I did something similar when Henry died. I wrote down all of the things about him that I adored. His "Bubbyisms" as we call them:

How you would play fetch with your mousie
Then how you would put your toys in your food and water dishes
Rolling on the floor for belly rubs, and how soft your belly fur was
How you were my constant shadow and how you gave me comfort through some really tough times in my life
Headbutts with that flat spot on your head. I miss your headbutts
Rubbing your wide lil nose and how you would let me kiss it
Cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles
That thing you did when you kneaded with your back feet and put a blanket in your mouth!
Although it was annoying, how could I hate that you woke me up every night for love? Whether you wanted pets, or just wanted to get closer.
Your polka dots where your whiskers were. Your pink nose and white chin, which you LOVED having rubbed. I always said I was in love with your face
The way you tiptoed when you walked. It was quite the strut
The night you brought me a "present" You were soooo proud of yourself
The way you got so excited for breakfast and dinner. The cute way you would ask for your dinner
How you could spot a box within 10 seconds of being in the house, and be in the box 2 seconds later
You had the softest fur. I could pet you for hours, and often did.
How you wanted to be everywhere we were....you could not stand missing any action
When you would swat at us if we walked away from you too quickly...like you weren't done with the pets!
How I could hide a plastic wrapper deep in my purse and I would catch you chewing on it minutes later. How did you know it was there??
Your mushy face. Everyone loved your cheeks. But no one loved them more than me
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Katie
That is awesome. I feel like I know Henry a little after hearing his "Bubbyisms". Putting his toys in his food and water dishes. That's one I've never heard. How adorable! Being awakened in the middle of the night for some love, that I do know very well. Even if she pulled me from a deep sleep and insisted I roll over (and out of my comfortable position) so she could have some love on her special blanket I didn't mind (ok, except for maybe once or twice). What a blessing to be awakened because you are loved and needed. And it let me be a momma- awakened in the middle of the night because someone precious to me needed something. And the constant shadow, I definitely relate to that and miss that . It was sweet because of the innocent entitlement of not understanding the concept of needing to shut a door for privacy! I mean, how dare I? How wonderful your Henry was. Thank you for sharing.
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Traveler519
Nemo,
Hey sweet baby!  Oh how I have missed you!!  Tomorrow I celebrate my 32nd birthday and I am so sad that you are not here with me.  But I promise you when I have a piece of cake, I will have a 2nd piece just for you.  I think of you every day and in so many ways I know that you are still with me.  My life, just in these past few weeks has finally started to fall back together and I know it is because you are up there now watching over me and bringing good things into my life.  My mom's brain tumor not having grown, meeting a really sweet guy at random last week, doing so well at work, new friends, just having motivation again after a year of simply not caring--I know that is you watching after your mama... Thank you so so much for that.  You are my angel baby. 
Thank you for 10 years of happiness and for being my absolute best friend.  Thank you for showing me unconditional love.  As long as I live, my baby you will be.
I hope you are not missing my crazy singing too much.   Much love sweet kitty!! 
Mama
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Katie
Dear Traveler,

I hope you are able to find enjoyment in your birthday today. How wonderful that you were born so that Nemo could have a home and a special person. The days filled with good stuff can also be the hardest ones during this time because our internal ache and sadness doesn't match all the happiness and activity going on around us. It is ok to enjoy whatever and whenever you can. Again HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
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Traveler519
Thank you so much Katie, you are so sweet! 

Love the up close headshot of Jo.  I think her personality manages to come across in the picture and I have a feeling she was a cat with a little bit of sass!  :) 

I am glad that writing the letters to her have been helping you, writing mine made me feel a little better as well. 

A big hug for you for doing so much for your baby, it is evident how very loved she was. 
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henrysmom
Katie wrote:
That is awesome. I feel like I know Henry a little after hearing his "Bubbyisms". Putting his toys in his food and water dishes. That's one I've never heard. How adorable! Being awakened in the middle of the night for some love, that I do know very well. Even if she pulled me from a deep sleep and insisted I roll over (and out of my comfortable position) so she could have some love on her special blanket I didn't mind (ok, except for maybe once or twice). What a blessing to be awakened because you are loved and needed. And it let me be a momma- awakened in the middle of the night because someone precious to me needed something. And the constant shadow, I definitely relate to that and miss that . It was sweet because of the innocent entitlement of not understanding the concept of needing to shut a door for privacy! I mean, how dare I? How wonderful your Henry was. Thank you for sharing.


Thank you :) He definately was a character, thats for sure!!

I re-read your letters, and just wanted to say...DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF!!! Its not your fault that you didnt catch it earlier, or have health insurance. Animals dont think like that! You gave her all the love in the world and THAT is all they care about!

There are some similiarities between Jo and Henry at the end- hating the vet, illness would just keep returning. That was one of the many factors I thought about when I decided to put him to sleep- he HATED leaving the house and would cry the whole time. How could I keep putting him through that stress?? Also, the fluid in his lungs came back within days, and it would just keep happening. Henry and Jo were sick, and we did the best thing for them. Letting them die peacefully. With dignity. Thats love :)
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