For my family, our cat Simba was every bit as integral as he could be; He was a true member of our household.  I can assure you that this cat’s role did not just end with being a simple “family cat”. He was every bit as loving and caring as you can possibly be without the exchange of actual words. He had been with my wife since the beginning, before we were together.  He saw the birth of my step-daughter, the birth of our daughter and then our eventual marriage.  He had been there and provided comfort to us at many times, through several major losses that our family has endured. Animals just “know”…they can sense sadness, they can sense joy, they can sense excitement (although sometimes too much excitement will send them scurrying from the room as fast as they can).  

I remember one of my fondest memories of our Simby was the very first time I met him. I remember it well because it was also the very first time I met my beautiful step-daughter, Mia. Tiffany had FINALLY invited me over to her house to meet Mia and as I came through the door, this adorable little 3 year old girl came scurrying around the corner. She had the hugest smile on her face and one of the first things she said to me was “Do you wanna see something funny?” She came back (somehow) carrying this pretty massive orange cat. She said, “This is my kitty, Simba! this!!” She proceeded to pet him right at the very end of his back, causing his tail to fly uncontrollably up into the air and she burst with laughter. She got the biggest kick out of it….It was the cutest thing to watch her do it over and over and her reaction was always like it was the first time. Over the years, I began a major bond with this guy, as had my wife (who got him as a little kitty), Mia and eventually Lily. He had a great ability to attach to each of us in his own way. Every night for as long as I’ve known him, he would jump into bed with us at bedtime and lay just beside me on the edge of the bed. Like clockwork, after I was about to fall asleep, he would get up and relocate to Tiffany’s pillows, just above her head, and that’s where he would sleep. He was our boy…my sweet little buddy.

Last night, I came home from school with food in hand, ready to sit down and eat dinner. It was after 9 so Lily was already in bed and Mia was getting ready. I went into our bedroom to kiss Tiff and instead I found her on the bed with tears in her eyes and Simba lying so gently beside her. I asked her what was going on and she informed me that he wasn’t moving. He had been lying on the bathroom floor for some time and she grew concerned and moved him to the bed where he just continued to lay. I got down next to the bed and looked at my boy, he was exhausted. It was all in his eyes, so tired. He barely moved and only found the strength to wiggle his tail a bit and give our other cat Toby a lick when he jumped up there to investigate for himself. Sim had been sick for some time. His kidneys were slowly failing and he had lost so much weight, it was hard for us to watch. This was a day we knew was coming but, neither of us were ready. You see, this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Simba was an indoor cat and therefore had a knack for siting at the front door and staring out through the screen to get a view outside. He would try to sneak out at any opportunity he could. So, in my head I had always thought that when they day came and we had to make the decision, we would be able to plan it. I always wanted the opportunity to take him outback and let him walk around for a bit and explore. But, this was a huge deviation from that. It had to be done right then. No spectacle. Just push through it and don’t drag it out.

We decided to tell the girls and let them say goodbye, which went about as well as you’d expect. Then Tiffany wrapped him in Mia’s blanket and carried him to the car. She stayed home with the girls and I left to take him. It was the longest yet shortest drive getting to the emergency vet. Getting him out of the car, as I carried him to the entrance, it was incredibly difficult to open that door and step through it. Then as I approached the desk, the kind woman asked me what the reason for our visit was…I honestly couldn’t even answer. I think my eyes began to swell up and she could see…she knew. So, I filled out the paperwork and waited for quite awhile (she had informed me they were pretty busy that night). He laid down on the blanket he was in and then he got up and started walking around. That moment really hurt. My mind said “STOP, STOP!!! He’s fine!! He’s actually up and moving you idiot!!” I wanted to text Tiffany and tell her “maybe this is a mistake!”…..but no. My heart knew the truth. As we sat, there was an older Asian woman with her son and a small dog waiting in the other room. She noticed Simba peeking around the corner and so she started talking to me and asking about him. We talked about our animals for awhile and then, it was like….you know…sometimes people are there just at the right moment and say just the perfect thing….she got down on the ground next to him as he laid on the floor and she started petting his head. Then she looked up and said “His face….He’s so beautiful and has such a kind face. Would you mind if I took his picture?” I was overcome…happy, sad, teary-eyed, “By all means…of course not” I responded.  

So, the time eventually came and the nurse asked to take him back; I sat and waited while he was prepped. Then she came back and got me, led me to a room and handed him back to me. She told me she would return with the doctor shortly. I was torn….half of me wanted all the time I could have, the other half wanted them to rush in and just do it! I sat next to him on the floor and we waited….my poor buddy and I. As I was petting him, I moved my hand gently down towards his back and sure enough, just like Mia had shown me so many years ago, up went that tail again. I laughed. That was my boy.  

The Doc came in and explained the process and then, it soon began. Now, I’ve seen ‘Marley and Me’ several times. That movie has a terribly sad ending. But, it was nothing like real life. God, it was so much harder. At least in the movie, the director can yell “CUT!”, all the cameras reset and the dog jumps up and is ready to go again. This was no movie. There were no actors. My friend was not going to get back up. This was me saying goodbye to, as I’ve said for years, one of my best friends.  

Within a few seconds it was done and over with. Once again I wrapped him in the blanket and carried him to the car. It was almost 1am and I was headed to the in-laws house. They have a sort of makeshift pet cemetery and we wanted lay our buddy next to the others in their back yard. It was an excruciating drive with my hand on my furry pal lying in the passenger seat next to me. All I could say over and over was “I’m so sorry buddy, I’m so sorry…..”.  

After that was done, I came home and our other cat, Toby (whom we adopted a while ago from the SPCA with his sister, Tink) greeted me at the door. He could see my face and I think somehow he knew that his old man friend was gone. He followed me around the house for a bit as I showered and then got in bed. Tiff and I talked for a few and then tried to go to sleep. Not long after I had laid down, I heard Toby in the living room. Usually he’ll meow once or twice when he and Tink are playing but, this was VERY unusual….I swear, you may not be able to get words out of an animal, but you can get sounds and you can hear the tone. For about ten minutes, I promise you, he sat in the living room and I could hear him, almost like a moan. It was a very saddish-meow, if that makes sense. He never does that throughout the night but last night, he most certainly did. I laid in the dark of our bedroom listening to him out there and with extremely watery eyes, all I could think was…”I know Tobes….we miss him too.”

It’s insane how big a part of your life a pet can become. Like I said before, for many people, and for my family, it transcends being labeled just a pet. They become an irreplaceable extension of you and your family, a source of comfort, entertainment and joy. The bonds and love are as strong as with anything else. Not every pet owner can claim this but, some can. Simba was definitely one of those for us and he was much more than loved. In our own way, we are all heartbroken that we have lost our beloved furry little friend but, we are ever so thankful that we were able to have him for the time we did.

As for now however, I'm a miserable wreck.  The trauma of taking him to the vet, going through the procedure, wrapping him up and carrying him out of there.....Just, the entire night....i can't get past it.  I won't move his food bowl and every time I walk by it, I cry.  Last night was especially hard because we have two other young cats and a small dog.  They all got along amazingly well.  Anyway, I sat up very late just sitting by myself in the dark petting Toby and I realized, it was 1:30am and I hadn't fed them yet.  So I got up and like normal, Toby, Tink and our dog Flappy followed me into the kitchen, eager for their late supper.  As I picked up the bowls, I went ahead and picked up Simba's, just because.  I put food in Toby and Tink's bowl and put that down for them.  Then I put Flappy's wet food in his bowl and I just kept mashing and mashing it.  I 
didn't want to stop and turn around because I knew Sim wasn't going to be standing there, looking at me and waiting.  

I've never gone through anything like this before with an animal.  My wife and I both have always dreaded this day.  It just all happened so fast and I was not at all ready for it.  I just can't let go of my friend.  I miss him so much........... Simba2.jpg  Simba8.jpg  Simba1.jpg  Simba3.jpg  Simba5.jpg  Simba10.jpg  Simba7.jpg
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Oh my goodness.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I cried all the way through your story.  But I have been crying all day anyway.  Today is 5 weeks since we lost our Little - black and white tuxedo cat.   It is heartbreaking to lose your babies.  I know my heart is broken as is yours.  The pain comes in waves and sometimes when you aren't expecting it.  My husband lit Little's candle, as he usually does, before he left for work.  When I got up and saw it, I felt sick, like a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach.  It's been a long, miserable 5 weeks.  I guess it will get easier in time.  So far it hasn't.  Easter was hard.  Wednesdays are hateful.  We lost Little's brother, Batman, on a Wednesday.  I just need to get through today, as do you.  Tomorrow will be better.  And Simba is at the Rainbow Bridge with my babies and the other babies from this forum running free with the Angels.  Simba sure was a big, handsome cat.  Just beautiful.  I'll say a prayer for you and your family.  Take care of yourself.

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God bless you all.  I feel your pain. It's only been 48 hours since I said goodbye to my Delenn.  But I know that her spirit went to God before the vet stopped her body.  I miss her so much...
Stephen "Riceman" Myers
"The greatest tribute one can give a loved one is to share their life and stories with others."

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I am so sorry for your loss of Simba. He was beautiful. All our babies will live on in our hearts forever. I cried while reading your words. So wonderfully put for a friend for life. Wishing you peace.
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I am so sorry, Simba was a beautiful cat, and was such a huge part of your life. Its so hard when we lose them, at first you just can`t imagine how to go on, but you have such fabulous memories to have in your heart forever.    I`m sure Simba knew how very much he was loved. 
                        Take care, Jackie.
J Taylor
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Simba looks just beautiful.

Everyone here knows how hard it is to say goodbye to our fur babies. I think you're right and when that time comes it's never how you imagined it would be. I was ok when we made the decision to have our vet came to the house to send Spike over the rainbow bridge. We held him, kissed and cuddled him while the vet worked. It wasn't quick as his veins kept collapsing. But in the end he slipped away and really did look peace and no longer in any pain. Afterwards I really think it didn't quite sink in what had happened but the next day was absolute hell. Such raw pain I have never experienced before.
My thoughts are with you.

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Thank you guys ALL so much for the sweet, kind words.  I was really looking for a place to come and express my sorrow with others and I'm glad I stumbled upon this message board.

It's been almost 48 hours and my wife and I were just sitting out front discussing it.  Every where I go in the house I see him....sitting here, laying there, sitting on the toilet waiting for me to get out of the shower lol (which is where that picture I posted came from.  I had to grab my phone and snap a photo of him because it was just so funny the way he sat and waited.)  Even with our other cats, like I said, they were adopted as kittens and are probably 6 or 7 months old now...but I feel bad because they aren't as loving or affectionate as he was.  They aren't him and in a way, it frustrates me because part of me feels like....I don't want you guys, I want Sim back!  But, I know thats only an unfair manifestation of my own anger or guilt or isn't their fault.  I know eventually they'll settle down and come around.  We've really started second guessing ourselves about the decision but, in the end, we know it was the best choice.

I am truly sorry for all of you as well who have gone through this same situation.  Its terrible and painful and my heart goes out to each of you.  Thank you once again :0)
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I can't express to you how sorry I am for your loss of Simba, what a handsome boy he was.  Just reading your story sat at my desk at work and the tears are flowing, your story is so similar to my Miz Cat's.  I had to make the painful decision to let my boy go as he had also been suffering from kidney disease for months, his weight dropped so much and he was at the stage where he too had no strength left in him to fight any more. It was heartbreaking to see him like that, he couldn't even meow anymore and he was a very chatty cat. I try not to think of the day I took Miz to the vet as I end up replaying it over and over like a video in my head.  Even now after 4 months I am finding it hard.  I don't cry all the time like I used to but have good and bad days. I walk round the house and talk to Boo (one of his nick names!) all the time and keep his cask of ashes on the bed where he always slept.  I've kept his blankets, bowls and special cushion (he used to sit on my knee on this every night).  I don't think I'll ever have a cat as special as Miz, he was my best friend and I loved him so much. 

My thoughts are with you at this sad time.  

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Beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss I feel devastated also. We had to put 2 dogs down in 3 weeks. I miss them so much. It is so hard and yet so loving to do what we did. Treasure the memories. It will get easier but you have to grieve. My job is my solace but being home is very hard. I make myself keep going to honor their memory and I believe one day I will be with them again
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An and Jo, thank you guys very much.  It really helps to come here and read words from total strangers who have been through the exact same thing.  Misery truly loves company.  It's not so we can wallow in it together but more so that we can have others to look to who know and understand.  It makes it so much more easier than a best friend or family member who just tells you to "keep your chin up, it will get better".  For me thats the worst.  I don't want it to get better...I want it to go back to how it was!

Jo, everything you said is where I'm at.  The images and moments from the night barely two days ago just keep repeating in my head.  So much so that I think, I had every opportunity to back out, why didn't I?  And then I think, of how he just wanted to lay on the floor and Im mad because I should have held him longer.  Why did I just hand him over to the vet so quickly and let them do that?  I had to go alone because it was midnight and my wife stayed home wth our children.  I wouldn't have wanted her to go anyway because it would have been insanely hard but, I wish she had.  I know we did the right thing but I wish my wife had been there to convince me otherwise.

All you guys on this site are incredible.  Reading everyones story is hard but in a way, it does help.  I appreciate all of the kind words and stories you guys makes my day so much easier to move through.  I don't want to but I think I might force myself to get up and actually go to class today.  But still, I just feel like if I keep moving forward, its almost some kind of injustice towards my buddy.  All I want to do is sit here and think about him all day:0(

Thank you guys.  Seriously.  The pain and trauma is still fresh and this site is the best medicine I've found so far.
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Yes, it is good to know that there are other people who are going through the same experience/feelings as yourself isn't it?  I come to this site every day and get real comfort from reading other people's stories.  My family don't understand how much I am struggling with my grief cos it's come to the stage now where they think I should be ok? It has taken me 4 months to be able to post anything on here though, I was a complete mess for the first 2/3 months.  I have days where I feel really down and all I want to do is sit on the sofa and stare at the tv, I feel lost without Boo Cat in my life.

I know exactly how you are feeling about the vet's, when I was there with Miz I just felt completely helpless but at the same time something inside me was telling me this had to be done.  As soon as the needle touched Miz I saw the light go out in his eyes and his spirit had left his body, it was so quick that it totally took me my surprise and I wanted to shout out to bring him back.  Poor boy must have been so ready to leave this world.

I think I am coming to terms with the fact that Boo was very ill, he was dying right from the moment he was diagnosed with early stage kidney disease but I think I was in denial really and thought he would live until he was at least 20.  I know that I did the very best I could for him to try and make his life good and we (me and Miz Cat) fought the disease as heard as we could until the time came.  I wish I could've had one more Christmas with him though.

Sorry to drone on and on but I have all these thoughts going round in my head.....One things for sure our fur babies loved us just as much as we loved them.

Keep talking and just go with the flow of your grief.  You are in my thoughts.
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im so sorry :(

I know what the pain feels like. I wanna tell you it gets easier but it doesn't. its almost going to be 2 weeks for me and im still a mess. these creatures that come into our lives touch us in so many ways. you just have to keep telling yourself that they aren't suffering anymore. i know its hard. i know you want to be selfish and keep them around forever but you cant. i miss Mimi soo much. your Simba looks like a handsome fella. there's no denying that he loved you and your family members. you just have to take it day by day. my boyfriend was not a cat person before he met me and finally met mimi. he fell in love with her and she fell in love with him too.

for me it was putting away all of her toys and "babies". Funny story is i used to collect beanie babies when i was younger and she would always seem to find them and walk around with them in her mouth and announce her prize by making noises.

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