Earlier today I made the difficult decision to put my baby tortoiseshell kitty to sleep. My mom got me her for my 3rd birthday and she's been around for the past 16 years right beside me. She was always very attached to me and slept with me every night and sat with me whenever I was on the couch or even in the bathroom when I was getting ready.

We came home from vacation a few days ago to find her extremely weak and not acting the same. We left plenty of food/water and didn't know why she was acting so off. We took her to the emergency pet center and they told us she had chronic kidney failure that had been developing over the course of months or years. It hurts my heart so bad to think that she was alone and sad and in pain in the house during some of her final days. The vet told us we could try to give her another few months or a year by pushing a ton of IVs and medications so of course we did everything the doctor recommended.

She told us she would call in 24 hours to update us. We got a call at about 10:30 at night (about 5 hours after dropping her off) and my heart sank because I knew they wouldn't be calling about anything good. They told us she has made an even more rapid decline even after all of the treatment. We decided to give another 6 hours to see if any sort of improvement was made but another call in the morning killed our hopes once again.

We went to the hospital and visited her one last time, the drive over there just felt numb. She kept trying to lift her head and she would flick her tail when she heard me saying her name and it broke my heart to know that I would never get to call for her or snuggle her or fall asleep with her again. When the vet put her to sleep she was looking right in my eyes and I was kneeled down holding her face in my hands and petting her. I know it was a peaceful passing and I know she was at peace and comfortable with her favorite human but there's such a hole in my heart and I feel like I can't love another animal again or replace her in any form. She was my baby for over 15 years and she grew up with me and was there for me through everything. Her fur is still all over my comforter and couch and it makes it so hard to not break out in tears when just sitting around the house. I keep wondering why my best friend isn't sitting there with me and then realizing that she is gone and I will never see her again.

I've never felt so broken hearted and don't know what to do with myself now that my baby girl is gone
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby.
One thing you need to keep in mind is your baby was sick for longer than just the time you were gone. Animals have a way of hiding things from us. I don't think we see all there pain.. nature for them takes over when they don't feel good.

The beauty of your post was your baby wagged her tail for you. She knew you were there during her final moments.
The way you looked her in the eyes while she was crossing over the bridge brings tears to my eyes. You gave your baby a beautiful goodbye.

I'm coming in 3 months having had to put William down. My beautiful 14 year old daschund. When the time came I held him. I looked in his eyes. I told him what a special boy he was to me. After he passed I held him for half hour and talked about all the things we had done together.

The pain is horrendous. It does " lighten" a bit. But crying is ok... don't hide it. Just let it out. It's how we grieve and it's ok.

You spent your young life with this beautiful kitty. What great memories you have.

Kim and William
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I'm really sorry for your loss, we all know how it feels and it is horrible. Try keeping in mind that you had wonderful years together and you did your best to help her and she needed you. And as Kim just mentioned above, the beautiful goodbye you gave her will bring comfort to you heart with time.
I lost my beloved dog Diego almost a month ago. He was also my best friend, we've been together through everything during his 9 years, always by my side. I never got to say goodbye. He passed peacefully on his sleep, while I was on vacation. I still cry when I think that all I had was a "see you soon, boy! Love you!" and now I won't have him around anymore.
The pain will lessen with time, you just get used to it. Crying is ok and it helps, don't try to keep your feelings to yourself or hide your emotions. You just lost a big part of you, a family member, and it hurts. Grieve and mourn, and keep in mind the good moments you had together. Remember her healthy and happy, that's how she will always be with you, in your heart and your memories.
Take care,

Diego's mom
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Hi Trixie,
My story is very similar to yours. I lost my baby girl 2 days ago that I had for over 17 years (I got her at 5 weeks old as a sister and friend for my boy cat Tigger)  from Kidney disease.  She loved me and followed me everywhere, and slept next to me every night. I feel so empty I don't know what to do.

She got diabetes in Jan this year (I had to put her brother down in December - I was devastated when I had to put him down at almost 19yrs old ) and has been going down hill slowly ever since. I had to leave her with a cat sitter while I went away for 2.5 weeks to have a surgery in April....she had lost weight while I was gone and she missed me soooo much. I felt so bad, and still do. I should have been there for her. She was always there for me.

She lost all ability to stand on Friday was heart breaking.  She kept trying to get up but couldn't. 
I held her little head in my hands as she was put to sleep at home. I feel like I failed her. 
I miss her so much I can't explain.
Like you....I've never felt so broken hearted and don't know what to do with myself now that my baby girl is gone. 

Thank you for your post and for this site.

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Thank you all so much for your replies this website brings so much comfort to me just knowing I'm not alone with this grief and hard time. 

Krisb, it sounds like we are in very similar situations. It's so horrible watching them struggle and not be able to do what they once did. And watching them respond to your voice and touch even though they are so weak. Also, about leaving your baby for a couple weeks, I can completely relate as her decline happened while we were on a 1.5 week vacation. We knew she had some thyroid problems, but was on medication and we had no idea there was anything more serious going on. We had not had bloodwork run in about 1.5 years, we didn't have any reason to believe something was going on. I feel so guilty about leaving her by herself when probably all she wanted was me by her side. I keep thinking about her being in pain and not having me to come snuggle with. 

Bullymom, thank you for the kind words. I can't imagine how it felt not being able to say goodbye to your baby. I'm sure we both feel the guilt of going on vacation and leaving them, although there was no way to know that these situations were going to happen. I told myself I had to be in the room holding my tortie when she passed or I would never forgive myself. Just know that your Diego passed in his sleep and was not in any pain. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and he did not have to suffer and you did not have to watch him suffer. 

Kim, I am beginning to accept that my family and vet and I did everything possible to prolong her life and that it was just unfortunate that her decline happened to be while we were gone on vacation. Every time I think of her eyes looking at me while she passed I break out into tears. I know I will find comfort in that eventually and I don't regret being there at all, in fact I would feel so guilty if her person was not there with her to cross the bridge. I'm so sorry for the loss of your William. I'm glad you also got to experience being there for your baby's passing and making sure he knew he was so loved. You're right, the pain is horrible. Every time I look around the house and realize my tortie isn't there my heart sinks and I feel the overwhelming grief all over again. I just keep wondering how long it will take before it starts to lighten even though it's only been a day. After growing up with her I'm just so used to her being around and don't even remember a time where she wasn't in the house with me. Home doesn't feel the same. It is just so empty.

We had my baby cremated and picked up the ashes and urn today. Every time I look at it i start crying again just knowing my baby is in there but she will never be in the same physical form and I can't ever pet her or kiss her little brown spot on her head again. 

I am so thankful for this site and all who post.

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Dear Heartbroken

We here at the "Rainbow Bridge" all share your pain losing your precious little furbaby is devastating especially in your case growing up with such unconditional love.....Rest assured your sweet little baby is fine now, but will stay with you in spirit until she knows you'll be fine.....The heartbreak we feel leaves a hole a void we feel can never heal.... The loss can be emotionally devastating but please know that we here will help you to get through your pain and please don't feel guilty about not being there during those last days, What is most important is that you were there to hold and comfort your baby in her last hour.. There can be no greater gift.... Know that One day you will meet again
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It's very hard to lose a young cat and it's very hard to lose an old cat. You either barely know them or they have been with you forever. I lost my 18 year old boy Spicy right after and because of the death of my youngest, Cinders. Remember even if you blame yourself your baby will always forgive you. Wishing you will find peace.
- Eleanor💖💖
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These feelings will come and go for a long time. You just have to ride it like a rollercoaster. Most of the beginning is the down slope. Adjusting to new life ways is horrible. Eventually you do get " little" respite of time where you can think straight about something else. But grief is a long process that we must go through. If you don't grieve properly it's not very healthy.
I still cry.. things trigger memories and I lose it. It's a small price to pay knowing I had Williams love for so long.
Looking in his eyes and holding his paws was my final gift of our friendship.

The ashes will give you peace in time. You know your baby is there physically and in spirit now. You are the caretaker of your baby forever.

I'm so sorry for your loss. But, you can do this. We are all here for each other.
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