Bellacat
It's been nearly 5 days since we had to say goodbye to the sweetest cat who ever lived, and I am heartbroken. We adopted Bella when she was 7 and very sick. Over time we discovered that she had multiple maladies (IBD, food allergies, arthritis and a degenerative cartilage disorder), but through it all she remained resilient. She was the sweetest cat we'd ever had, quick to purr and content to curl up on a lap for hours. The illness (kidney failure) that forced us to say goodbye came on quickly and we just couldn't imagine adding more medicine, treatment and vet visits to her world. In her final hours she seemed to tell us that she couldn't fight anymore. It was devastating to have to make the decision to let her go and I alternate between guilt and being at peace with it.

I will miss her sweet little chirps, her amazingly sweet and expressive golden eyes and her tiny folded ears. I will especially miss the way she would pop her head out her kitty tent every time I sat on the couch as if to say "is it lap time?!?". She was 5 pounds of pure love and joy!

It's not lost on me that we go into our relationships with our beloved pets with a fundamental understanding that heartbreak is inevitable -- and yet we do it because of the immense joy and love it brings. The challenge for me now is to focus on the 9 years we got to spend getting to know, care for and love little Bella instead of the few days/hours that led to having to say goodbye. I know I'll get there but for now, I am heartbroken.
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chicagocats
I'm sorry for the loss of your Bella. I too had a kitty, Gus, with multiple health issues - IBD, diabetes, pancreatitis, eventually arthritis and kidney disease. If anything, the extra care and attention made our relationship even stronger. 

You are right, we sign up for heartbreak when we bring them into our lives, but they add so much joy and they make us better people. You gave your Bella a loving and caring home and treated her health issues so she would have a great quality of life. Saying goodbye is so difficult. Guilt is definitely a part I struggle with. We make decisions for a animals that we don't have to make for our human friends and family. Its a huge amount of pressure accompanied often by guilt when things don't go as we want.

It sounds like Bella lived a full, beautiful life and I'm sure she appreciated every moment. Its so wonderful you were willing and able to treat her medical issues and give her a wonderful existence she might not have otherwise had.

Sending you healing thoughts and peace. 
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Bellacat
Thanks so much for your kind words, chicagocats. I am so thankful that we had the means and determination to help her not only be healthy but, at times, even thrive. I agree that perhaps her need to be taken care of medically made our bond even stronger. She taught us many lessons about resilience and love :)
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BellaD
I am very sorry for your loss. I have lost many cats in my life, sometimes from sudden death and sometimes from the maladies they get over time. My thoughts are with you and I hope that you find peace knowing you loved your cat as much as possible.
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Bellacat
Thanks so much for your kind words, BellaD -- it means a lot
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Bellacat
The mornings have been the worst. I can't seem to find a way to deal with the deep sense of loss as each day begins. I didn't realize how much seeing that little face at the start of each day brought light and joy to my world. :(
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DudesMom
So sorry for your loss Bellacat. I too have recently lost my best friend of 16 years to cancer. I don't dare discuss with my family because a) they are dog lovers and b) I couldn't bear to hear "he's just a cat" or "why don't you get another one" or something similarly insensitive. I'm just devastated like you. He was such a big part of my everyday life, a fact that becomes even more noticeable when he's not here. I'm sure I don't need to go into details - every cat lover is familiar with they ways they touch our lives. The way they talk so clearly and understand what we say/want. The comfort they provide when we are lonely or hurting and the shared joy. Especially if you are alone as I am, it's just crushing to lose your best friend. I can't bear the thought of another cat in my life at this point. I think I'm done with pets; I just am too old for another heartache that would inevitably come.  I hope you are blessed with as many good memories as I have.  Take care.

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DudesMom
Bellacat, sounds like we lost our friends on the same day because it's been 5 days for me also. And ya, mornings are gut wrenching. So far I've awaken to tears every single day. The next worse is coming home and not seeing him sitting in the window waiting for me. I can't even bear the thought of Christmas this year since it was his favorite time with the ornaments and wrapping paper and Christmas ham (his favorite treat). I think I will skip it this year. I think the only thing that will help is altering our routine, for now so that it is a little bit different and I find solace in music and try to keep my thoughts busy. In time the memories will hopefully be more palatable and should actually provide some comfort.
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Bellacat
Thanks for sharing your story, DudesMom and I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet little companion. It really never ceases to amaze me how deeply they wriggle their way into our hearts. Only someone who has loved a cat can appreciate the unique ways they touch our lives.

I am fortunate that I have another wonderful cat who has been a huge comfort to me (though I suspect that she's a little overwhelmed by how much I've been snuggling her ;)). She is also an older girl (she'll be 16 in November), so I am cherishing every minute while trying to remind myself to live in the moment and not spend a single second dreading the inevitable day when my heart will be broken once more.

I am sending comforting thoughts your way and hope that your memories of your wonderful kitty will become more sweet and less sad with each passing day.
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