I remember coming on this forum when I was a teenager. It feels strange to be back, many years later.

I said goodbye to my wonderful, incredible best friend, Zebby, of 22 years a few days ago.

I had her when she was born - we had her Mum too - I was just 10 years old when she was born. She was a beautiful, gentle & wise cat - in the entire 22 years of her life she never tried to hurt anyone, was the most gentle, patient & kind animal I’ve ever known (my family had many cats, and Zebby was always very different from the rest - we had a deep connection). We had a connection I can’t put into words. I always used to say she didn’t feel like a cat - she was almost like a person in a way, the ‘language’ we communicated with each other felt so deep that it’s so difficult to even describe.

She saw me through all the ups and downs in my life. From 10 years old right through to 32, it’s fair to say she saw it all and experienced my life with me. It was never just ‘me’ it was ‘me and zebby’. I don’t know what it was like to live without her. This is all really new to me - a very different version of living life.

It all happened 5 days ago, and since then I’ve felt a real complex mix of emotions. I have never felt grief in this way before. My partner says what I’m describing is shock, but I’ve never experienced that before so I don’t know and so wanted to come on here to see if you recognised this? Basically, I feel like I’ve forgotten her already. Of course I have photos & videos, but I look at them and I don’t feel much. I feel quite removed from it. I feel very ‘whatever’ about it all. I’ve also been going through moments of breaking down. But mostly I feel like the last few days have always been my life and I don’t know what life was like the past 22 years. I don’t think I remember her, how she was, what she felt like, our connection - anything. I don’t feel it.

Is this grief? Am I pushing it down? Or have I moved on? Am I okay with it all and have I moved to an acceptance quicker than I realised I would? The last 4 years included lots of vet visits, daily medication, thousands of pounds spent, sleepless nights, worries, etc. What if I feel relief because now that stress is over? What if those 22 years now mean nothing to me?

I feel so weird and don’t know what to do with these feelings.
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First I want to offer you my deepest condolences for the loss of Zebby. You had her for an incredible 22 years and your bond with her is unbreakable. I am not a grief expert by any means, but I know what you are describing because it happened to me after I lost my Bailey. I think it's your minds way of dealing with the shock of losing such an important member of your family. Maybe you're mind is adjusting not having to deal with the daily stress of caring for her? When I went through that stage I realized it was because I did not allow myself to think of what losing Bailey really meant to me. Once I allowed the emotions to come I grieved intensely. We all grieve in different ways so I cannot say what you will experience later. Writing about what you are feeling on this forum is helpful and maybe others can help you understand what you are going through. 
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Oh my gosh from 10 yrs old, how wonderful and incredible! She surely did go through milestones and some of your most memorable firsts with you❣️
This is such an epic loss for you, I’m so sorry. I’m also sorry to say this lull or numbness will be short lived. It’s very normal and many if not all of us have experienced it. It’s really soo overwhelming our mind protects us for our own sake. I remember the same feelings for periods, also of everything being surreal, as if it couldn’t have happened or I was in another dimension of some sorts. And, the wondering, “was she not important?”
There is never, never time to adjust or accept the loss in advance. The 4 years spent being her caretaker, her Mommy, the daily routine of meds and care became a part of your life, you did it for the same reasons every Mother does, your love for her and the innate need to do all possible to make your baby as comfortable as possible. This intense time is catching up all at once with a void now left in its place and your heart and mind is taking a short break, of sorts
She meant *everything* to you and she still does, it’s doesn’t just end. You’re in a good place and writing seems to be a bit of ‘soup for the soul’ and this is a wonderful place to do so, you’re not alone,,,,,
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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I would agree with everyone, it's a way of coping. I remember being very "business- life, " my Rookie's last day, then what almost seemed like a zombie state that first few weeks after. I am so sorry for the loss of your Zebby❤
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I don't think that the 22 years mean nothing to you but rather they mean so much that your brain is protecting you from the enormity of the loss you are trying to process. It will take time to fully comprehend that Zebby is no longer with you in this world.
There is always a certain amount of relief when a loved one passes on after being very ill and needing intense care. I think a lot of the relief is because you hated so much to see Zebby getting old and needing medication, etc. and maybe even dreading the time when she would leave and the relief of not having that worry hanging over your head anymore. None of these things mean you have moved on. What you are feeling is normal. This beautiful cat was a big part of your life for a very long time. Unfortunately you will need to mourn this loss once your mind starts to really process it. I sympathize so much with what you are going through. My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved Zebby.
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