I just lost my 10 year old cat, Harvey, yesterday morning.  I am really struggling with the loss.  Long story short - he got sick in January.  He was howling in pain and vomiting.  He got an ultrasound and it was determined that he had inflammation in his intestine which could be either IBS, pancreatitis or lymphoma.  The only way to know is a biopsy which I did not want to put him through.

He did okay on some meds for awhile and then turn a turn for the worse in May. I brought him to the ER and they put him on Predisone (a steroid).  He did GREAT from Memorial Day up until this past Monday night.  I got home from work and he was fine - playing, eating.  Around 10 pm he started howling in pain WORSE than ever before.  He had drool coming out of his mouth all over the place and he went to the bathroom #2 on the floor which he had never done before.  It really scared me so I gave him an extra half tablet of the Prednisone to see if it helped.  He was no better by 5:15 am so we took him in to the ER again.  They said his heart rate was low and his body temp had dropped and we made the difficult decision to let him go.  

Harv couldn't even stand up.  He was such a happy, boisterous cat and to see him like that was devastating.  I couldn't even hold him because he would howl in pain.  He was laying on his side wrapped in a towel and I just held his foot and kissed his ears while we let him go and kept telling him I love him.

I spent yesterday crying literally all day.  I have another cat who is 17 (and healthy) and he was looking around for Harv all day.  I feel terrible.  I don't know how people get through this.  I have read articles and tips on what is "normal" to feel but I just don't know how I can go on.  I feel guilty even leaving the house now because I am leaving my other cat alone.  We have a couple of vacations scheduled and I know I am going to be consumed with guilt if I go on them.  

I am dreading going home today and not seeing Harv's little face waiting for me for his dinner.  I have been so used to giving him his meds and food in the morning and when he wasn't there this morning I broke down.  

I know this is long and I don't expect anyone to read it.. but if someone does and has some advice or similar story, please share.  I feel like a part of me has died.  I can't get the image of him on that medical table out of my head.  I need help.
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Wow Lauren, this is just so terribly sad! I know your heart is broken, shattered. I have a hard time imagining Harvey in the distress you describe I can only imagine how distraught you are. I’m so, so sorry. Getting through this is rough, excruciating,, grief is physically and emotionally draining. You are a good mommy, you did what you could do. In the end you eased his suffering by allowing him to go. I don’t think their are any guidelines for grieving, for it’s lenght or steps. We’re all different. What’s certain is you are going the beginning and most shocking stage. Nothing fit for me, I mean it all felt surreal for days. Almost numb with disbelief. Than you remember clearly, and you break down all over again, and again, and again. Don’t expect everyone to understand you’ll find even animal lovers don’t always see them like family. Also not every loss is the same. But some become your soulmates and the loss is epic. I’m glad you found this site, it’s a Godsend. We are all grieving, we get it. Please continue to write as often as you like, it helps, be good to you,,,,,
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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My heart breaks for you, I am truly sorry for your loss of Harvey.  The pain is real, intense and is normal.  You just lost an essential part of your life - his name was Harvey.  This amazing creature gave you unconditional love, companionship every single day of his life - his whole life.  When, our pets get sick, we seek help.  We follow the advice of our veterinarians.  If we could, we would heal them ourselves.  Remember, your decision was based on love. 

I wish, I could heal your heart.....this pain is relentless, raw, sometimes is even hard to breath.  You are in mourning, in the beginning part, which is the toughest.  Take one day at a time.  We all understand you, we all have lost "someone very, very special" and we are here to listen and support you, you are not alone.  Prayers and hugs
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Thank you both for your kind words. I want to get past the part where I’m questioning my decision. I am struggling to understand how my cat was playing with a toy and cuddling on my lap at 8 pm and then was dead by 6 am. I am so confused and it happened so fast. My other cat continues to look around for him but is eating and purring and seems on the whole to be doing okay. How do I cope with the intense guilt I already feel about leaving him home alone to go to work or to go out somewhere? I feel terrible that he lost his friend without even getting to say goodbye. I tried so hard to take care of Harvey since he got sick in January. It was exhausting, stressful and expensive and I feel like just when he seemed to be doing better he was taken from me.
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