Brittany

Hi my name is Brittany and I just recently lost my 4 month old kitten Atlas. I had been raising him since he was 1 week old because he was much smaller then his littermates and seemed to not be doing so well. I bottle fed him myself and spent every possible moment I could with him. As he grew we noticed abnormalities. Atlas had 1 eye, he was deaf, and he had a slight defect in his face. But he was perfect, I couldn't imagine a cuter kitten. He was my best friend for four months and I did everything I could to make sure he had an awesome life. FOr the first couple months I was weary of his health and was always on guard. He was small, he had some problems maybe he wouldn't make it. As time passed he caught up to his brothers and sisters and my fear dissipated to the point that I believed I would be blessed to have him as my friend for years and years. He still had slight issues, he always seemed to be sneezing and had watery eye. I brought him to the vet three times in his short life for what I thought was a cold. I worried but Atlas always ate lots, played hard, and seemed beyond happy! He was more then the regular kitten he was so smart, and SO SO loving. He occasionally came to work with me at the office he'd play around, lounge on my lap, or the desk and brighten everyone's day. He loved car rides and used to lay in my lap and watch out the window at everything moving by until he fell asleep. I would bring him everywhere I could because I was a much happier person with him, and he loved going places.

On Monday, September 1st I woke up to found Atlas in a pool of saliva, which I found odd, and worrisome but it didn't really phase me too much. I watched him for an hour then witnessed his first seizure. One hour following that, his second, and much worse. It was then I pieced in a few events that I am now confident were much much smaller seizures. A few nights before this he was sleeping with his face all wet (which I now attribute to the seizure), and a month or so before this a small episode while he was sleeping he jerked awake like someone had hurt him, acted strange and sprinted off. My dad has also witnessed similar strange episodes of confusion or pain that we now see were the beginning of Atlas's seizures.
After his third seizure within three hours that were getting continuously worse and harder to bounce back from I called the vet, he had initially warned me about seizures when I had brought Atlas in when he was 3 weeks old. The vet determined that the only course of action would be to put Atlas to sleep. This hit me like bag of rocks he seemed fine to me yesterday, and now everything was moving so fast. I loved Atlas, I needed him, I couldn't just lose him. I currently live at home with my parents, and my Dad thinking he was doing me a favour the whole 'quick and painless' bit I'm guessing grabbed Atlas and was going to rush him to the vet asap and put him to sleep. I did have some time where I took him back and got to say my goodbyes but now I wish I had longer. It felt so rushed, he was my little baby.

It has only been 3 days since then but it feels like a lifetime, I feel like I haven't seen him in forever but at the same time like the memories were just yesterday. Sounds crazy I know. I'm having the hardest time continuing my day-to-day life. I work fulltime but am crying throughout the day. I picture him everywhere, where he sat when I left in the morning, morning feedings, when he came to work with me, in the car. I can't go anywhere without picturing Atlas and it breaks my heart. I have a million pictures & videos of him on my phone, my desktop at work and seeing them make me cry but I can't seem to put them away ethier because it feels wrong. I can't take them down.

Yesterday I had a breakdown over wether or not I made the right decision due to some seizure information I saw online regarding cats, what if I could have managed Atlas's seizures? He could have lived a long life and I would have just made the singles biggest mistake of my entire life. I was devastated. I already do not like my vet, he had a terrible, "bedside", manner and never talked to me about anything. He never let me know there could've been any other option then putting him to sleep. I wanted to go to a different vet that Monday but none were open and I could see Atlas wasn't doing well so I went with him. After having some panic attacks I spoke with my cousin on facebook who is also a vet and learned enough information that with Atlas's other issues and symptoms that it was probably due to an abnormality and wouldn't have been managed properly with medication especially due to his size, age, and health. This was an intense relief I can't even properly explain, not only did it cease my doubt of myself but it helped me close the book a little knowing more that it was something Atlas was born with and no matter what I would have done it couldn't really be helped. And I did try everything to keep him healthy, I bought and gave him the best food, he took daily vitamins plus a paste to build his immune system due to his frequent cold symptoms.

I am very sorry about the book I seem to be writing here, but I don't really know what to do. I am crying almost all day for days on end and having nightmares about Atlas while he was having seizures. I can't imagine living a life without him, and I miss him so much. I can't picture ever having another pet, Atlas was more then a pet to me and this is the worst pain I could ever imagine. I just want him back so badly, I don't understand why this happened to him. He was such an angel he deserved more then anyone to live a long happy life. I feel like I'm never going to get out of this rut. I can't eat, I'm nauseous all the time and my heart hurts. I need help.
atlas 1.JPG 

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Katel
Brittany what a gorgeous little boy, I am so sorry.  A lot of us doubt whether we did the right thing or not with euthanasia but at least you can know you did do the right thing and saved him from
more suffering.  You were a wonderful mum and in his short life he was lucky to have you as you were to have him.  Your grief is so raw right now but in time it will begin to get easier ....  in its
own time  Don't worry about taking down the photos of Atlas,  keep them up as long as you
wish because they will bring back happy memories.
We all understand here and feel your pain
Sending you wishes for healing and peace one day

Kate
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heartsick
You did everything in the world you could for precious little Atlas.
Having seizures that young along with all of his birth defect signifies
that he had many serious issues. I am grateful that you took such good care of him
and all he knew was love during his whole life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet precious Atlas.

 

The beginning raw searing pain of new grief is just awful.

 

They take a piece of us when they go,

 

But they leave a piece of them with us also.

 

Grief is awful and there is nothing else like this pain.

 

I am divorced - when I was married I buried my son- at that time I became a Certified Grief Counselor- I used the same graveside service for my Bear as I did for my son.

 

Please know that when we lose someone we love we don't stop loving them -

 

LOVE NEVER DIES.

 

The soul bound connection that is between our babies and ourselves is forever.

 

Nothing - not death- tears -grief - or sadness will ever break the ties between us for those ties are made of LOVE so strong that NOTHING will ever sever those connections.

 

LOVE NEVER DIES.

 

When we grieve for those we love it is because we do not quite know how to live without them. We breathe because we have no choice but the living part takes a huge amount of learning and time.

 

Grief is not something we get over but something that we learn -slowly- over time- to incorporate into our lives until it becomes a part of us like our bones and our breath.

 

Please know that we all understand here and we are all here for you.

 

Please come back and tell us more about your life with your beautiful baby so we can get to know him better through you.

 

We are all in this together and all walking the same roller coaster path of grief together -

 

some a bit ahead of you, some by your side, and some will come behind for you to help along.

 

If you read the beginning of any one of our threads you will see yourself. I, literally, walked in circles wringing my hands. My chest constantly hurt as I was unknowingly holding my breath.

 

You Are In My Thoughts.                                       

 

Susan(heartsick)

 

 

 

In one of the stars, I shall be living.

 

In one of them, I shall be laughing.

 

And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.

 

~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brittany
Thank You Susan & Kate,
Your responses really do help, and just writing out this forum as well as posting in another helped me significantly. Today marks only one week since Atlas passed. & It will be in a few hours the actual week mark. I feel like I haven't seen him in decades, I'm worried that I won't remember the little things about him. He actually helped me out this weekend with him not even being here. I played a video I had of him on my phone to a baby who I was trying to watch for a short time and she stopped crying. Everyone who ever met Atlas loved him, he was a sweet sweet boy. He was so loving and so trusting of everyone and would cuddle until your face turned blue. He was hilarious and always did something that made me laugh. I really wish everyone who reads this forum could have known him. When I am sitting on the couch in my home I can ALMOST picture him strolling around the corner and attacking the coffee table legs because he loved it. I am at the point where I can pretty much get through a whole day without balling my eyes out, which is helpful at work. But I still feel like I should be, like almost guilty that I can function during the day. I shouldn't be able to do anything, he was my whole world and I loved and took care of him everyday. I feel like I should still be nonfunctionally heartbroken.

And I am for sure. I still look at his pictures on my phone a minimum of once a day, I still bring him up in conversation to everyone, and I am still crying just more under controlled. I miss him so much, when I have free time at home I feel lost we used to watch movies together, or play, or just hang out but now if I have free time I start getting upset. I know this isn't a well flowing post but my feelings are the same. I feel guilt for being okay, I miss him, I'm mad about how things worked out I didn't spend the day before it happened with him, and how the euthanasia was handled. I'm mad at my dad for rushing the whole day and I just want him back.
As for Susan, you said you want to know about Atlas through my stories. I could never serve him justice. You had to honestly meet him to understand. He was more then a cat for sure, never have I met a kitten with as much personality or love. I'm thinking of getting a tattoo actually so I can carry Atlas on my forever. I was thinking it would say, "For you, a thousand times over" his name and a paw print. I just don't know how to feel I guess. AA.JPG    AA (2).JPG   
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heartsick
You are still grieving you are just having one of the two steps forward moments. The waves of grief wash over us. We are so tired when we grieve because it takes so much energy to "pretend" just to get us through the day in public without wailing and sobbing until we cannot breathe. You will ALWAYS love Atlas as he will Love you. Nothing can ever break those bonds.
The general rule is to not make any huge changes in your life for at least the first year
after a traumatic loss. Getting another furbaby down the line is all right and you will know
who, where, and when - Atlas will lead you. Usually our babies somehow bring our next
ones into our lives. Something like a tattoo is very permanent and one week after a loss
may not be the right time to make that decision. You can always have that done in the future.
I have a white gold necklace with a white gold heart edged in tiny diamonds and I had them
put a small ruby at the bottom of the heart (Ruby is Bear's birthstone). I got that when he was a baby-
though at the time it was on a bracelet. The bracelet just dropped off of my wrist with a break in the middle the day after my Bear left me. So I put the heart on a chain and it has never left my neck since.

A friend of mine had a Yellow Lab named Amber and when her Amber left her I made her a small heart amber pendant set in gold. It means the world o her and she wears it all of the time.

Until some more time passes you can do something like that - get Atlas's birthstone in a ring, earrings,
necklace, or something you will get peace from and can wear all of the time. Eventually you can get the tattoo but during the first year is not a good time to move or do anything BIG. Grief is too deep and it does have an impact on all that we do. Tiny Atlas is so lucky that you are his Mom. He could never have had better care anywhere from anyone.
You and Atlas are in my thoughts.
Much love,
Susan (heartsick)





Grief has NO TIME LIMIT.jpg 
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OscarsMomma
Atlas had you and all you for his short life. Sometimes if length is not in the cards, then quality is the next best thing. It really sounds like you gave Atlas as good a quality of life given his defects. I'm sure he felt safe and happy in his short life, and that's the best gift you could have given.
Oscar was but 9. I had not even 4 full years with him. He loved me so much. And I loved him. He is sorely missed.
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Brittany
Thank you for all you advice, you are definitely right I have no plans to immediately get a tattoo. Just a couple things ago the weirdest thing happened. I googled cat rescue, I'm in no way looking for a replacement for Atlas but just felt like perusing. The first rescue I clicked, then the first kitten, who's name was Crosby was born the same day as Atlas. May 7 2014. I'm not sure what to make of this I'm not usually a superstitious person and I didn't really beleive in an afterlife much before this tragedy. I have been more reliant on it since atlas with the hope he's not forever gone and that I will
Be able to see him again. The fact that this kitten is born the exact same day as atlas can't be more then a coincidence? I'm still not considering adopting any animals but just confused.
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Brittany
Brittany wrote:
Thank you for all you advice, you are definitely right I have no plans to immediately get a tattoo. Just a couple things ago the weirdest thing happened. I googled cat rescue, I'm in no way looking for a replacement for Atlas but just felt like perusing. The first rescue I clicked, then the first kitten, who's name was Crosby was born the same day as Atlas. May 7 2014. I'm not sure what to make of this I'm not usually a superstitious person and I didn't really beleive in an afterlife much before this tragedy. I have been more reliant on it since atlas with the hope he's not forever gone and that I will
Be able to see him again. The fact that this kitten is born the exact same day as atlas can't be more then a coincidence? I'm still not considering adopting any animals but just confused.


I was wondering if anyone had any opinion about the other kitten I saw online with Atlas's same birthday? I'm still on the fence about it. Also today I found a beautiful ring by chance that looks like a cat wrapped around your finger and I bought it. I am still considering a tattoo like I mentioned earlier but I am in no rush and I like the idea of wearing the ring and thinking atlas is with me.
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Katel
Brittany -  only an opinion of course but I would definitely be checking out this kitty as it seems something is drawing it to you., just as long as you don't want it to replace Atlas as nothing will replace your gorgeous Atlas , and this little kitty will need to be a person in its own right and need your love for its own sake.   So many people I know adopt a new one shortly after the passing of their loved one and it can work out beautifully.  I have done so myself - twice -  and it was the best thing I could have done particularly rescuing one from a shelter where it is lonely and knowing you are giving it a wonderful home.  With the new ones it took me a little while to really bond closely though I gave them a lot of love but eventually they became part of my heart, and I didn't miss my gone ones less but I had a lot of love to give and they brought new joy into my life.
Everyone is different, but I just feel follow your gut instinct. I think Atlas would approve.
I love the sound of your ring, just perfect.    You might post a photo?

Again I'm so sorry for the loss of your darling Atlas, what a special kitty he was.
Blessings,
Kate 
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Brittany
original.jpg 
I have decided I'm not really in the place to adopt another kitten yet. First of all I'm currently living with my parents and they would prefer not to have another pet. It is weird though because I had another opportunity to help another rescue kitten this morning with a friend who has found some abandoned kittens over the weekend. I have never had chances like this before Atlas so I am definitely feeling like this is a sign that I should be helping rescue cats! I do not currently have the space but I am more devoted to the cause. I have decided to sponsor the first little kitten I saw on the Ottawa Cat Rescue who had the same birthday as Atlas. I actually feel a little excited about this idea and I am hoping I'll be able to do more in the future all because of my little Atlas <3

Also I was talking about the ring earlier. I have 2 like in the picture above. I am wearing the silver one because I found it reminded me more of Atlas due to his colouring. But It came with a black one as well. I wasn't sure what to do with it at first but I think I'm going to leave it at Atlas's grave, so it's sort of like he has the other one and they're connected. I talk to Atlas most nights before I go to bed, but I just want him to know I love him so so much, I think about him everyday, I miss him and I hope wherever he is at he is at his full potential with nothing hindering his happiness.

Love you Atlas.
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Brittany
Yesterday was my birthday and today has been 17 days since I lost Atlas.
I had a lot of great things for my birthday, lots of family and friends and lots of things I should be very happy about. I never thought that before 17 days ago I wouldn't of had Atlas on my birthday and it wasn't the easiest thing to deal with. I miss him still so much, and I love him! I would've given up everything to have had him still. Especially because my life in general is becoming a little more stressful, and I live with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Having to take care of Atlas gave me a purpose I hadn't really felt before plus the unconditional love he gave me and all the happiness. I'm feeling like I'm almost on the brink of not being able to keep myself together.
I have always found work a very stressful situation for me. I have had a hard time finding a workplace that I am comfortable in that doesn't overwhelm me and cause me a lot of stress. I have been working @ a place for 7 months and am actually very happy, it is a small office with people all around the same age of me. There are problems here, like there are everywhere, but in the position I am currently in I do not really receive any negativity that is associated with some other positions. One person has just gave her 2 weeks, who is also my good friend now, and I have now been asked to take over her job as well as to continue doing what I am doing. I for sure realize I have a self-confidence problem when it comes to things I can handle or not, as well as the workplace. So although this would be considered a promotion I'm starting to feel dread about the coming weeks. I am worried I am going to slip into another depressed anxious period which I was in before I started at this job.
The fact that I also do not have Atlas is hurting me as well, because he did have a positive impact on my anxiety as well as my general happiness and now that all this is happening I am feeling very worried.

:(
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