It's been almost two months since I lost my sweet little kitty Bella and my heart is still breaking.   Bella was only 3.  The guilt of not being home with her on her last day will never end.

As I read all your posts, my heart goes out to all of you who have lost your little ones.   And then I think how lucky you are that you had your babies for so many years.  The pain and heartbreak is the same no matter the cause of death or how long we have them, but I wish I would have had her a while longer.  I wish the time spent with her during her last month would have been better spent and more time focusing on her.  I was hoping for more time, but more time did not come.

One post I read commented on how horrible it is when people say "just go adopt another one."  I agree that it is a very incentive and mean thing to say.  It is just as incentive to say that when I took in Bella three years ago that I knew she would not have a long life.  

Adopting another one isn't always an easy decision to make.  I started fostering after my other kitty died because I didn't want her to feel as though she was being replaced.   There are so many furry babies who are in need of new homes and families.  So many that will fill our hearts whenever we are ready.  I don't think our furry babies would want us to be sad, or our homes empty, or their toys not played with.  They would want a homeless baby to have the same love and home that they had.   But each of us needs to decide when the time is right.   Sometimes the pain and grief is too much that we are not ready for that just yet.  Sometimes finding another one soon after can help heal our hearts even though we will never forget the ones who are no longer with us.

For me, I foster kittens for our local humane society.  Fostering will not be the same since losing Bella.  She came to me as a long term foster and I ended up adopting her.  She was a big sister to so many kittens, loved and helped care for each and every one.  She was always sad when they were returned for adoption and happy when new little ones arrived.  I know it was sometimes difficult for her to share me, but she was so unselfish about everything.  I always tried to make one-on-one time for her and made sure to have quality time with her in between, but I sometimes think it wasn't enough.  I know that fostering is too important to stop and I am trying to convince myself that she would want me to continue in her memory. It's going to be so difficult.

My special little girl deserved so much better in the end.  I was not here when she needed me most, but she did wait to pass until I got home.  I should have been home with her on her last day.  How can she ever forgive me.  I am not hearing her in the house like I did with my other kitty that passed.  She's too disappointed with me.

My sweet little Bella.  I wish your heart could have lasted a while longer.  I love and miss you every second of every moment of every day.

Bella's mom

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You're in my thoughts and I'll say some prayers for you that you may gain some peace with what you are going through. I always pray for the animals who are God's beloved creation. I truly empathise with the hurt that you are feeling. It seems to get more difficult by the day. We have to rely on faith though and stay strong, for it's the only way for us to endure. There are so many regrets that we have and that make us feel so guilty and depressed. Insofar as their age is concerned, that plays tricks on our minds too, especially for some of us who aren't as experienced with large pets. We get so confused with the age issues, young or old or in between the two. Try to endure though and if you need support indeed write to either myself or other members whenever you need to.
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First: Bless you so much for being a foster! The two girls with me now, I would never have met if a foster family hadn't rescued their pregnant mom. There is more than one family out there, with one of yours, who feels like I do at this very moment, grateful that a foster Mom gave them such a wonderful family. You did that for them. It means a lot, I send the girls' pictures to her at x-mass and birthdays. The girls turn 5 years old tomorrow, and I've already posed them for the pictures.

Second: Please try to be kind to yourself. I know how understanding you are, you wrote very well about how some can adopt and some can't after a loss. Hopefully you can see that feeling guilt in some way is just a manifestation of grief. You were a good Mom to Bella, and I'm positive she felt no disappointment in you. Love isn't like that, so fickle that a few hours erases years of devotion. She will always love you.

Third:  I hope you find another "foster success". (I don't feel the words "foster failure" are accurate.) I'm a closeted dreamer; I can picture a kitty, looking like Bella, touching noses with one of your future fosters, while you sleep. In that nose touch, Bella passes all her memories of love to the foster. You'll know it when one in particular never leaves your side. A head bunt when you least expect it, a gaze that holds longer than others. That will be my girls birthday wish to you tomorrow night.

Hugs to you.

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EM, Thank you for your kind words and prayers.  I do pray that Bella is in heaven and has been united with Abby.  They were my babies at different times but were connected by my heart and love for each of them.  I wish I would be given signs that Bella is ok and that they are together.  Abby used to "visit" in my dreams.  Sometimes I would hear her meow in the house.  There was one time she poked me to wake me up (as she used to do often when she was with me).  She told me that it was time for her to go and that everything would be ok.  It was about a year and a half after she died, about 6 months before Bella came to me.  She was with a black and white kitty.  I woke up and it seemed so real.  I couldn't figure out why she was with another kitty.  I found out a few days later that my sister's cat had died the prior week.  Then I realized it Sneakers was with Abby.  I wish Bella would visit and I would hear her meow and feel her presence.  

I know that so many people are dealing with the same as I am.  I hope and pray that everyone who comes to this site can find peace in their hearts.  Some days are more difficult than others.  We are in some way connected by those we have lost.

Jim, Thank you for your kind words and for giving a loving home to two little fosters.  A huge thank you for adopting two.  I always pray that my fosters are adopted together or at least with one sibling or with another kitten so that they are never alone and they always have a friend when their families can't be home with them.  Happy birthday to your babies! They are very lucky to have you. Please give them an extra kiss for me.  Thank you for keeping in touch with their foster mom.  Adoptions at our shelter are confidential, so I never get to meet their new family but the girls at the shelter usually tell me about the new family if they handle the adoption.  I have placed a few of the kittens and will get updates from time-to-time, but nothing to the extent that you give.  So thank you for that.  I'm sure it means a lot to their first mom.  Fostering is a lot of work and I'll be starting my 6th year.  I almost stopped a couple times but if I would have, I never would have been given Bella.  I will always remember your words about Bella touching the kittens noses and passing on her memories of love.  Those words really touched my heart.  

I also pray for all the homeless and abused babies that they all find homes and love that they deserve.  When I prepare to return the kittens, they each receive a blessing that have a mommy, daddy, family that will love them forever,  that they receive love and kisses every day, that they are kept indoors to keep them safe, they have more toys than they can imagine, they are allowed to sleep in the big bed, and they will always be their baby and never "just the cat" and that they more love for their entire life than they can even imagine.  I thank them for being such good friends for Bella and for filling the Abby/Bella house with such joy and fun.  Then I give them a kiss, put them in the carrier and cry as I hand them over at the shelter.  But I know I can't keep them all and that there are families who are waiting to give them wonderful homes.

Hugs to both of you,
Bella's mom

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