CrazyCatLady
I lost my little boy today.  I have known him for less than a year, but it hurts more than I ever thought it would.  Here's a little back story on him.

My grandmother rescued Jack over 10 years ago after he was attacked by a raccoon and blinded in one eye.  He lived in the basement and he wouldn't venture upstairs because of her dog.  She took care of him though and spent time with him and made him feel loved.  Well, my grandmother passed away February of '09 and Jack was alone in the house until I moved here in January of this year.  My aunt and uncle who live next door took care of him and made sure that he was fed and loved.  He was still very lonely though.

Ever since I moved here, I've gotten extremely close to Jack.  At first he was afraid to come out of the basement, but within the first week I managed to coax him up here and within two weeks he was sleeping with me in my bed.  He has slept with me almost every night since.  For about a week now, he has been sluggish and he hasn't been eating.  I was going to take him to the vet earlier but I had to leave for a few days to go to my cousin's wedding.  I had my neighbor look after him and she said that he seemed to be doing a little better and she got him to eat a little.  After I came home, he was still kind of sluggish, but he was eating a little and drank a lot of water.

Now I'm leaving for vacation today and I'll be gone for a week, and I was going to have my aunt or neighbor take him to the vet tomorrow while I was gone, just to make sure he was alright.  Well, it was too late.  He was laying on my bed and I noticed that he started breathing heavily, and then he passed while I was holding him in my arms.  He didn't seem to be in any pain because late last night and earlier this morning, he was purring and seemed rather content.  He only stopped purring when he was slipping away.  I buried him in my garden.

I can't deal with this.  I know it's only been a couple of hours so it's still fresh, but I can't believe how much it hurts.  I have two other cats (Pissy and Dinah), and I can't even be near them right now.  They only remind me of what I have lost.  Jack was the only one who slept with me in my bed, and he was the only one who loved to be cuddled.  I can't imagine sleeping in my bed without him.  He was my favorite cat.  He wasn't the first cat I lost, but for some reason I'm taking his passing the worst of any.

I can take solace in the fact that he was happy and loved when I had him, and I knew that he loved me as well.  I also feel good that I saved him from his lonely existence and I cherished him up until his last moments.  I definitely paid more attention to him than I did to my other cats.  I guess because I knew that he needed more love and affection than they did because he's had a hard life.  I can only hope that he loved me half as much as I loved him.

I strongly believe that there are animals in Heaven, because I know that I couldn't go on without that belief.  I know some people don't really understand how people like us can grieve the loss of our pets so much.  They don't understand that they are more than just our pets, they are our best friends and they love you unconditionally.  The loss of that love is a tragic thing indeed.  I only hope that someday I'll be with my little boy again.

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tikibarb
I am so sorry for your loss.  You have come to the right place for solace and friendship.  Everyone here is or has experienced the same feelings you are right now.  It is raw and excruciating pain.  Jack was lucky to have your love the last moments of his life and I am sure he was thankful for that.  Some companions endear themselves into our hearts more than others.  Its funny how that happens.  I have had many pets in my lifetime but my beloved Ted (lost on 7/7/10) was my soul mate.  I have never experienced such pain as I did in the first few weeks after he left.  I can tell you that it does ease up at some point though we all deal differently.  Feel happy though that Jack is with all the other lost babies and has probably found  his way to your Grandmother by now.  I picture him basking in the sun, purring, on your Gran's lap with many other cats surrounding them.  I hope you find some sort of comfort here on the site.  I don't know how I would have made it through without the kindness of others here.  I hope you feel better soon.
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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donnalee
Oh CrazyCatLady (I feel funny calling you that because I don't think you are crazy at all!),
What a warm and touching story.  It brought tears to my eyes as I read it...sad tears because I can feel how hurt you are...and happy tears because I was so very thankful for what you brought to Jack's life.  What a special boy he was.  He had a pretty tough life but, before he left this world, he learned to trust and he felt loved & cherished.   I think it is really true that we just bond more with certain furbabies more than others.  We love them all but sometimes one just steals our heart completely.  It sounds as if he had a rather peaceful passing which is a real blessing for you and him.  I know it hurts and it will for quite a while.  But, please come here to share your feelings and memories of Jack as you grieve and heal.   
Like you, I strongly believe that they are in Heaven and we WILL see them again.    What a happy reunion that will be!  Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. 
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CrazyCatLady
Thank you so much guys!  I knew that when I found this place I wasn't alone.  But no matter how many people you talk to with similar experiences, it always feels like your pain is the worst.

I feel really bad that I'm leaving on vacation for a week, but I'm thankful that Jack didn't pass while I was away.  I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself because I realize that he was lonely for a long time, and to have him die alone would have been unbearable.

Thank you again for your support and empathy.

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donnalee
Yes, I hope you will be able to enjoy your vacation....at least relax a little.  I bet Jack would want that for you.    I don't want to minimize what you have to feel sad for because you have lost a very special little guy and it is going to hurt for quite a while.  At the same time, I think as you read a lot of posts here, in time, you will feel you have much to be thankful for also.  That is what happened to me.  I thought my pain & experience was the worst ever.  Then, when I read what some others had been through, I started to feel thankful for certain things.  Although Scottie got very sick at the end, he didn't suffer for a long time, and he went peacefully.  Although I wasn't ready to lose him and his life was relatively short (5 yrs), he did have a very happy life and he was loved and not all furbabies have that.  You gave him so much and turned his mediocre life into an extraordinary life.  He came out of the basement and slept with you!  That really means something.   
Also, I love the picture tikibarb painted of him on your Gran's lap.....and that is not just wishful thinking!  Try to think of that thought as you are on vacation.
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CrazyCatLady
Oh, my Granny loved animals.  I think I got that from her.  It always killed her when one of her animals died and I'd like to think that all of her animals, Jack included, are there with her.  She just better be willing to share him when I get there. lol

I know that Jack was really old, and he didn't have the best life, but I babied him a lot and I hope I made up for it.

I knew about a week ago that it was time for him to go, but I couldn't face it.  I kept hoping that he would get better and that my love for him would save him.  I can only hope that my love saved him in other ways.  I just feel so bad that there was a time in his life when he was lonely and I wish that I could have raised him from a kitten.  Then again, maybe he wouldn't have been as sweet and affectionate as he was.  Jack was such a mama's boy.

I guess this vacation will do me good.  I probably need to get away.  I'm just afraid that when I get back home and see my empty bed, then the pain will be raw all over again.

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NancyMontana
I am so sorry about your loss.  I think it is very hard to loose an animal you have only had for a little while.  I am glad he had the joy of spending his last months with someone who adored him.  I am walking beside you in spirit.
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CrazyCatLady
Thank you, Nancy. :)
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judylinn

I am so so sorry about your loss. He passed peacefully. We are all here for you, and know just what it's like. Maddie was my soulmate as well.  Your other animals, may also go through grief, as animals grieve too. I will keep you all in my prayers, and stay in touch when you can. Judy

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bc

So sorry for you as I know how you must feel. I lost my Johnny 2 days ago. I go to the spots he liked and try to smell his smell. I look for him even though I know he isn't here anymore. It is very hard for me and my husband we are devastated  by his passing. I long to touch him. Even though I know he isn't hurting now, I so long to be beside him. Hope you feel better soon. I really don't know how long the pain stays.

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tikibarb
The pain is different for all of us.  And I don't think it ever goes completely away.  We are just able to handle it better by replacing tears with happy memories.  There is no plan to follow, no instructions .  Grief takes hold of us individually and we each have to forge our own path to happiness.  Thankfully, this site is here for those of us in pain to share our thoughts and feelings.  It is so wonderful to be able to talk to those who truly understand. 
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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Polly
I am so sorry for your loss.

This place will help you to heal. Come back often when you need to talk about Jack, we are all here for you.

My thoughts are with you.

Rest in peace Jack.

Polly
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jen2010

l am so sorry for your loss thinking of you and l hope you feel better soon

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CrazyCatLady
Thanks again everyone for you support.

I'm actually really enjoying myself on my vacation, but it's when I'm alone at night and lying on my bed in my hotel is when my mind starts to wander back to Jack.  The night before last I cried myself to sleep.  I've been listening to my iPod while I sleep to distract myself.

One thing that really bites is that I was listening to my Carpenters album while he passed away.  I love that album, but I know that I can't bring myself to listen to it for a while yet.  It seems like every time I put my iPod on shuffle, a track from that album is playing, and my wounds are reopened. 

Even though I am enjoying myself on my vacation, I miss my other two furbabies.  I know they'll help me through my grief as well, and I can't wait to see them and cuddle with them.  I feel bad because they're probably really confused, what with Jack being gone and me being away for a week.  Even though before I felt guilty about being on vacation and enjoying myself right after Jack's passing, it has done wonders for me.  If I were at home, I'd be crying constantly.

I think after such a traumatic thing happens (and losing a pet is very traumatic), it actually is good to get away for awhile and enjoy yourself.  I know that the pain while never quite go away, but I think I'm dealing with it better.

Judy, I am sorry about Maddie.  It's true how our pets turn out to be our soul mates.  We give them a part of us while they're alive, and when they leave us they take that part with them.  I know that Jack is happy now and is probably sitting on my Granny's lap and purring.

bc, I'm sorry for your loss as well.  I know when I get back home, I'm going to try to find some of Jack's fur and keep it in a safe place so I will always have a part of him with me.  Small mementos like collars, fur and even smells do bring back a lot of pain, but they also bring comfort as well.  Seeing my empty bed is very painful though.  I remember I would come home and Jack would be waiting for me on my bed, and he would start purring the moment he saw me.  I didn't even have to pet him, I would just say his name and it would make him happy.  Well, my time with him is up.  I guess God saw how sweet he was and He decided to bring Jack up to Heaven.  I can't wait until I get to cuddle him again.

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niki
Hello crazy cat lady (i am a crazy cat lady too)
i read your post,i am so sorry for your sad loss, truly i am,i know how it hurts to lose  a cat, i know how it feels when a cute cat shares your bed too,
i hope that you find comfort in this web site,i have after losing my little black cat "MINT" to cancer this year

take care
Niki
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