pearjas

Hello everyone.  I am new here.  My name is Jason.  I’m 37 and just lost my cat of 17 years named Rachel on May 26.  I have so much to say about her and the situation, I’m trying not to make this too long. She’s been with me for most of my adulthood and it’s always just been me and her, which I think probably makes the pain a bit worse.  It just doesn’t seem right.  Now I’m here at my house alone. I haven’t had the heart to move her food or water bowl yet.  I have crying spells off and on. 

What started out as a routine vet visit a few weeks ago for drooling turned into a terminal diagnosis of cancer of the mouth, which covered the entire tongue and was said to be inoperable.  From there, it was “kitty hospice”.  This was Saturday the 23rd.  She had already lost 2 pounds, and clearly was having issues eating/drinking. Often she would stare at her food and water almost as if to wonder if it was worth it. I don’t know if she just lost function of her tongue or if it was pain..but whatever it was, the cancer was keeping her from eating and drinking like she wanted.  I knew our time was coming to an end together and I spent the weekend preparing.

I could have extended it out a few more days or even weeks I’m sure.  She was on a “human food” diet of anything she would actually eat.  It had to be good if she were going to engage in eating.  I took plenty of pictures and videos over the weekend, as I always do.  The time and preparation obviously didn’t prepare me that much as I was miserable all weekend and it only got worse after the fact.  The process of putting her down did not go as I imagined in my head either, but I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

The whole covid thing made it so much worse as masks were required and crying in a mask isn’t easy.  They had problems with the IV; apparently she put up a good fight and was pretty angry which makes me feel terribly guilty.  I can only imagine what was going through her head at that moment.  I can only hope she assumed she was going through another test, before she were to go home, and given she was a spoiled brat (lol), she was expressing her unwillingness to participate.  I can only hope she wasn’t imagining it was the end.  I’m sure if they were wearing masks, which they likely were, it didn’t help.

They came back to us and asked if they could use sedation to help the process, to which I obviously agreed.  After waiting for what felt like an eternity, they brought her back, and that’s what traumatized me even more than I could ever imagine.  Her eyes were open for the most part, or at least one of them, her tongue was sticking out, and she just looked so helpless and uncomfortable.  I almost wanted to tell them never mind, I would just take her home.

She actually ‘pawed’ at me once, and began making this growing/moaning noise.  The vet said initially she was snoring a little bit but it didn’t really sound like snoring to me especially given by this time, her eyes were wide open but she wasn’t really moving them around.  I stuck it out until the end though, and that was that.  I pick up her ashes on Tuesday.  The guilt keeps me up at night and the loneliness, emptiness, and anger over the situation occupies my mind during the day.  Honestly, this is the first time in a long time that death would seem like a relief. 

Moving on with life makes me feel guilty.  I loved her and she worshipped the ground I walked on.  In an odd twist, she was fairly popular on Youtube because of her antics.  She meowed a lot and was overly vocal.  Anyone who ever spoke to me on the phone or came over to my house found this out firsthand.  I published a lot of youtube videos of her after the first one become very popular, and it even led to her own Facebook.  I have plenty of photos of her with her mouth open in ‘mid meow’. 

So you can say I share the grief with others in that sense, but here at my house, it’s only me.  I’m devastated. 

If you are curious, just google or search youtube for “Rachel the Bombay cat” and you will get to meet her. 

This situation renews hope the Rainbow Bridge is real; that we will one day meet again.  Right now I just wish I was with her.

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Yaoyao
Hello Jason, I'm so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your and Rachel's story. You have taken such good care of Rachel, you loved her deeply and you did everything you could to give her a good life. I completely understand what you are going through, the pain, the guilt, the anger, fear and emptiness. I lost my baby Albert on the same day, I wish I could go with him too. He had a stroke right before midnight on the 25th, I took him to the ER, on the way there he seemed ok and I was telling myself that it's alright they just need to give him some medication and maybe IV and then we can go home. I couldn't go in with him due to COVID-19, they took him in and called me in less than 10 minutes and said he was very ill, his body could not stand any treatment and he probably had a tumor in his brain. He was 21 years old, I adopted him when he was 15, he had pre-existing kidney and heart problems, along with being blind and had lost most of his teeth. But he was the sweetest cat I could ever ask for! For the past few years we've gone through so much together in life, he's been my  guardian angel and he's been protecting me even though it looked like I was taking care of him. 

Jason, it's very hard right now. It's ok to leave her water and food out there for a few days. She was with you for so long and she was a huge part of your life. The routine we have with our babies makes it really difficult after they leave. I remember when I got home from the ER to my apartment, I broke down and was crying sitting on the floor facing my oven because everywhere I look it reminds me of him. I spent the first day on the floor and just laid there for hours. I couldn't eat anything, I don't want to be comfortable because I feel like I need to go through some physical pain myself to make it up to him. Silly, right? I keep relaying every single moment of the last day and questioning everything I did, so many what ifs and I should'ves. I haven't been able to sleep because I'm afraid of closing my eyes. I found myself sitting in front of his bowl this morning sniffing it. 

Anyways, I want to say that you and Rachel are life partners, and this relationship and this love you have with each other will never stop or go away. I do believe they make us better people, they make us realize whats important in life and to cherish and to love the important ones. Rachel is free of pain, I know how hard it is to live with that decision. I went through the same questions in my head over and over again, did I do the right thing? Could I have a few more days with Albert? Did he approve?? I know there is nothing I can say to ease your pain, or to make you feel less guilty or angry or sad, time will heal, take your time to grieve, cry when you need to. As I said, I'm new with this situation too. But I find it helps a little bit to talk to people here and share our experience with each other.  

I wish you the very best! Feel free to message me when you need to talk. 

Yaoyao
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pearjas
Yaoyao,
I sent you a message.  Your story sounds so similar to mine in how I've reacted. I too just laid on the floor facing the oven even.  I've been unable to eat consistently.  This whole month has just been a disaster.  I have times where I seem to focus on the good...like how she did have a long life and was loved, and then I ultimately think back to Tuesday..   The whole situation just was so traumatizing.  Though I don't know if it's normal or not.  

After she was giving them trouble with the IV, they asked if they could sedate her, which I obviously said yes. When they brought her back and she was still alive, her tongue was sticking out, she had one eye open and she was making a meowing/growing noise.  She even pawed at me once.. I just kept thinking... "What does she see? Or can she even comprehend anything right now?"   I sure hope she didn't think I had turned my back on her.  But her sitting there, helpless, by the end with both eyes open and her tongue sticking out was an image to scar me for the first of my life.  
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Buddy_Mama
Jason, I'm so very sorry for your loss, and what you went through when you made the heart-wrenching decision of euthanasia for Rachel. As hard as it was to see her final moments, those moments were *not* her lasting memories. Her memories are of her wonderful life with you - and you loving her and taking care of her. I'm 100% certain she did *not* feel you were abandoning her.

One thing I've learned, after losing my Buddy too young in early March, is that we grieving pet parents need to take care of ourselves. Not just because it's the "right thing to do," but because it's what our babies would have wanted. They would not want to see us sad and suffering. So the best way to honor the beautiful time we had with them is to be good to ourselves... by eating right, getting enough rest, getting some exercise, doing things that make us feel good and useful... and dedicating all of this to them as we slowly, gradually begin to heal.

I know all too well that this is NOT easy. I cried again tonight, more than once. But I've been sorting out my feelings and actions for almost 12 weeks now, and these are the thoughts I've come to as I try to move forward. I hope you can begin to move forward too, even though it's so incredibly hard. Sending you hugs...
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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pearjas
Thank you so much.  I sure hope you are right.  🙂  Rachel looked a bit like your Buddy as well.  

I am definitely working on taking care of myself.  It's been somewhat of a slow process.  The guilt that goes with a decision like this; sometimes feeling like you deserve to suffer for a while.   It sounds like Buddy had a great life while he was here.  I took care of a 'stray' black cat named Buddy as well until a couple years ago when he passed away at the age of 15.  It was pretty good I thought for a stray cat!  
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MLovesRuby
HeIlo Jason.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I watched some videos of you and Rachel and boy did she ever love you!!  What a good little girl!  She looks like my beautiful girl Ruby Tuesday.  I took my beautiful 16 year old baby to the vet on Thursday, May 28th, 2020 to see why she was not eating or drinking for 2 days. She had a UTI in January of 2020 and with 2 days at the vet and medication at home, she got much better, back to her usual plump happy self. So this time I was anticipating the same.....one or two nights at the vet with IV and meds. I was called the next day at 2pm with the bad news that her pancreas and kidneys were full of cancer and had moved into her chest. I couldn't breath. After many questions while choking on tears, the vet said her prognosis was bad. Maybe 3 - 4 days but will suffer because she's not eating. This happened so fast because for maybe a week before she stopped eating completely, she was doing okay. I would mush her up and she would let me, no crying in pain, no inclination that it was uncomfortable for her. She licked at her food and licked at her water, maybe a little less that usual, but not too worrisome (I stupidly thought looking back). Although she wasn't following me around from room to room, her chirping at me was less and she slept more, I thought it was because she was getting older and tired of me because we were quarantined together...just the two of us. She was under sedation and the vet gave me two options. To take her home, but she would suffer because not eating or drinking would make her suffering much worse, or let her go to sleep. I couldn't breathe!!!! She let me call her back in 20 minutes while I gathered myself and called my best friend. She was scared for me but told me to do what would be best for Ruby. So balling my eyes out I called the vet and please let her die with dignity. But because of the COVID I couldn't be there with her. They wouldn't let me in to see her. On Thursday when I took her to the vet, there was another couple in the foyer, arms wrapped around each other crying because their baby was being put to sleep and I felt sooo bad for them not knowing that that would be me the next day. So none of us got to hold our babies and say goodbye. I am GUTTED over that!!! Did she cry for me? Did she hate me for leaving her there all alone? Was she scared? Did I do the right thing? At home I screamed and cried and lost it for it seemed like hours. Then I sat like a zombie...numb....not my Ruby. I felt nothing for hours. Then I screamed I want my baby back! Then nothing again. Zombie. She was just here yesterday. Come on baby...time for treats. This is not real...this is not me...Ruby's not gone. I want to cuddle her one last time, I want to smell her belly fur one last time, I want to eat her toes and sing You Are My Sunshine one last time. It is now 5am Sunday morning. I slept 4 hours since I got the call on Friday at 2pm. I haven't eaten a thing, my throat is almost closed. I feel like I'm outside my body. I want to remember everything about her all at once and I'm overwhelmed. Will this end?

Jason, even though it would be so wonderful to be with them wherever they may be, let's remember the incredible years we had with our girls.  Were they not spoilt beyond measure???  Did they not have everything their little hearts desired??  Did we not sacrifice the things that we wanted for ourselves to make sure they could have all the things they needed??  And you have to keep telling all of us on this forum stories about Rachel.  Lets tell good stories about our perfect little girls so we can remember the good?  Who knows, maybe Rachel and Ruby on the rainbow bridge together.....wouldn't that be somethin'?
Michelle
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pearjas
Hi Michelle.  Wow, what you went through had to be horrifying.  I didn't have much notice, but you had far less time to prepare.  The whole Covid thing definitely made everything so much worse.  Rachel had her share of UTI's as well.  I would not have suspected a thing either.  Rachel had apparently not been eating as much for a little while (enough to lose 2 pounds) but I couldn't really tell for a while...seeing her every day.  

There were several points in the 'process' where I just wanted to say 'nevermind' and take her back home....and just tell her I was sorry and it will never happen again.  

I can say it sounds like your Ruby had a good life as well.  We definitely did all we could do for them, and more.  They were fortunate.  I see cats every day less fortunate.  I am sure you do also.  Today, Sunday, was the first day I felt semi-human.  Maybe it's because it wasn't a work day.  I'm not sure why.  It still feels like she should be here.  I've not moved her food or water.  I am actually collecting her loose hair that's laying around in a huge zip lock bag.  Is that pathetic?   It's just not easy for me to "clean" and reorganize while I'm still grieving.  I feel like I need as much of her here as possible still.  🙁  

I hope they become best friends at the bridge!   You are welcome to private message me anytime also.  Please keep us up to date with how you are doing.  
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MLovesRuby
Hi Jason.  I too go back and forth wondering if I should have brought her home.  If just for a few days to love and mush her.  But she hated car rides and the vet office, both really upset her.  Would that be selfish of me to bring her home, her starving and not drinking?  I don't think I could have put her through that.  Like you I really couldn't tell how much weight she was losing, but looking back...I knew she was.  You wonder, which is worse.   You had an awful experience with her at the vet.....I'm sooooo sorry.  She saw you, you were giving her love.  I wasn't there...what did she see...who did she have...which is worse??  Nobody can ever answer that. 

I can't bring myself to go into the bedroom because that was the favorite room for me and Ruby. Every night at the same time I would say "time for cuddles" and off she went and I would follow her to the bed. We would both flop down and first thing was her massage. She would purr and purr and turn her little body to the next place she wanted my hands to rub her. Then pat on the bum, then count her toes. Then we'd lie face to face and our discussion would begin. How was your day? What was your favorite part of the day? Do you love your mummy? Mummy loves Ruby very much. She would answer every question with a chirp, every one with a different sound, just like a little furry person having a talk with her best friend. We had such a routine, and I found myself saying today "breakfast is ready". I started sobbing into the sink. Last evening I had the front door open a little to let in the fresh air and the birds were chirping. She has a bed in the window and I would always ask her "hear the birdies Ruby" and she would chirp back at them. I asked her last night "my baby do you hear the birdies" just waiting for the her chirping back and there was nothing. The routines are what's killing me right now.

I feel guilty for eating, or sleeping or watching tv......like I'm not acknowledging her or remembering her every second.  If I watch tv, then I don't think about her, and I don't want to not think about her....like she would be mad at me for not thinking about her for an hour or two.  Isn't that weird?  My head gets it, but my heart doesn't.  I am a logical person...so I will have to power through that.  I've slept maybe 6 hours since she's been gone and I haven't eaten a thing since Friday at 2pm when I got the call from the vet. Like you said, I feel like I deserve to suffer for a while.  I sit in my living room, not looking at anything at all except my computer and this forum because I can't bear to look at any of her many little beds. I am tortured to think that I will never eat her belly again, or count her toes, or smell her fur. I know I was a good mum. She was so spoilt. Every day with her was heaven....such a good little monkey. We have to remember all the incredible years we had together and not think about the last day. I keep telling myself that over and over …..remember the thousands of good days, not the one bad day. We can do this for our babies. Jason, it is not pathetic to collect her hair.  I am sitting here with a baseball size of hair right now.  You do you.  Please take care, Jason.  You are a great Cat Daddy!
Michelle
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Cocobear
Michelle, I just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful posts. I'm also guilt ridden about putting my baby boy Coco, a Yorkie, to sleep on Friday. I too feel like I need to punish myself. I'm hardly eating or sleeping. I can't put any of his things away because it will make it too real. And I keep thinking of Coco's last day. It was awful. You're right. I should focus on the thousands of days that he filled my life with utter joy and complete happiness. He deserves that. I will try. It sounds like you were the best mom to Ruby and that she loved you as much as you loved her
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pearjas
Michelle,
You definitely know how I feel.  It would appear we are on the same wavelength.  It's the routines now... aside from the reminders that are still everywhere.  We had our routines as well...she would follow me everywhere.  Bedtime... getting up for work... while working (I work from home so I would see her all day).. the heater she used to lay next to..  All of her favorite places.  It just kills me walking around here and seeing it.  Sometimes, on occasion I feel like I know what I did was best for her long term, but it's not very often...but like you said, your head gets it, but your heart doesn't.  

You are right in everything you say though.  Our cats did have a good life.  That's what I am trying to focus on right now, even though I'm angry because she would still be here happy and healthy if not for the cancer..... oh there I go again!   
Jason
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MLovesRuby
Hi Jason,

I HATE the word cancer!  I've read so many posts here about people's babies getting cancer.  Why?!??!  Why do they get cancer??  It is so ugly!  Their little bodies are too small for that!  I am at the angry stage of grief I think.

I went for a short drive today, just to get off the couch and get a different perspective.  This is the first day I left the house since Ruby left me, and as I was driving.....I thought "how do I walk in the door without calling her name....giving her kisses and eating her ears".  So I drove around my neighborhood taking some side streets - driving slowly, and on the front stoop of a house, sat perfectly, a young pure black cat with a red collar on.  My Ruby is pure black (with shiny silver dots of hair as she aged) and she had a red collar.  She hasn't worn it in several years as she was an indoor kitty.  But there sat this little black cat.  My heart started beating....MY RUBY!  I drove around the block again and kitty was gone.  I smiled.  I drove home opened the door and announced myself to Ruby like I always did just because of that little black cat on the stoop.

Sooo hard, Jason.....but I read a quote that will stay with me forever "I wanted to live my whole life with you, but you chose to live your whole life with me".

Hugs and hugs and hugs
Michelle
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MLovesRuby
Hello Cocobear.  My baby left me on Friday too.  I'm so sorry that you lost Coco on the same day.  So raw and so fresh.  I walk by one of Ruby's beds and put my nose in it and take a big breath.  I want her in her bed....I want to hear her snoring....I want to kiss her face.  Her things are everywhere.  I moved the tv stand to sweep (just to keep busy for a few minutes, trying to stop crying) and my broom was full of her hair.  That was it, another crying jag.  We loved our babies so much....that's why the pain of losing them is staggering.  Coco has a good mummy who will always LOVE LOVE LOVE him.  Our hearts and their hearts are melded together.  Please take care, Cocobear.  I had some toast today, it tasted like dirt, but I was starting to get weak and shaky.  Please put something in your belly.  Love to you...……..
Michelle
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pearjas
I picked Rachel up today  🙁  Relieving and devastating all at the same time...
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Kirsty2020
I'm sorry for your loss Jason and to all of you commenting.

I lost my boy, Mr Thomas Whiskerson, yesterday. I wasn't expecting it. He had his teeth out last Tuesday, was fine but then stopped eating and drinking over the weekend, he deteriorated rapidly and after blood tests and referrals found out yesterday he had 2 forms of cancer. He was at the vets on an IV at 8am and by 2pm had deteriorated to the point that they said I needed to make a decision. I was stunned. I'm still in shock. I didn't think for one minute that he wouldn't be coming home. I wasn't even allowed in to comfort him as human visitors aren't allowed on site at the moment. 

Everyone keeps telling me that I did the right thing but it doesn't feel like it. They keep telling me to eat but I can't stomach anything. I just feel utterly bereft and I've spent most of the time curled up on the floor bawling. Everywhere I turn there are reminders that he isn't here. Empty shelves in the bookcase where he liked to sit, food bowls, his favourite toys and blankets. He always liked to be close to me and would snuggle up next to me in bed, sometimes we would spoon, he would shuffle his furry little outstretched body right up close, his head under my chin. I would put my arm around him and he'd purr away, we'd stay like that until morning and then the other two cats would join us, one draping himself over my head and the other sitting on my body. When I woke up this morning and remembered he isn't here I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. 

Thomas was only about 6 years old and full of fun and very inquisitive. He came to me almost 2 years to the day in dire need of help. He was a right mess, with broken teeth, torn ears and lesions on his body. He stayed with me and quickly recovered. He was very affectionate. I have never known a cat with such a sweet nature. My older boy cat (Mr Cat) keeps looking for him. They had become very close in the past year. My girl cat (Lulu), not so much, she was getting used to him being around but was still a bit wary of him. 

I'm due back at work on Friday, I'm dreading it. Most of the people I work with are unempathetic and emotionally repressed. I'm about to complete a college course and have my final batch of assignments to finish but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm going to have to get my head straight enough this afternoon to at least finish some of it. 


Kirsty
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Cocobear
Kristy, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to not be able to see your boy and say goodbye before having to make the hardest decision. I put my baby boy to sleep on Friday and have barely ate or slept since then. I haven't been able to move a single thing of his because it will make it too real. Cry as much as you need to. Mourn anyway that feels right to you. Ignore people who are unsympathetic to your loss and pain. They obviously have never been fortunate enough to experience the kind of love and companionship that we have. Your boy was so lucky to have you as his mom. Spend as much time as you can with your two furry babies. It won't make your loss easier but it will help. Sending you love and prayers. 
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