miassister
Hello, I'm Madison and I'm 19. Three days ago I lost my beloved kitty Mia. She was 18. I adopted her when I was only five years old, and she has been at my side constantly all these years. There will never be anyone like her. To me, Mia wasn't just a cat, she was a person. She was like a sister. We grew up together. I miss her so much, and I feel unbearable guilt towards her death.

Mia hadn't been breathing well for two days. I couldn't imagine the issue. She had been a fairly healthy cat, despite her age and arthritis, and a diagnosis of lymphoma four years ago. The doctor, four years ago, said she had six months to live. But miraculously she lived another four whole years, happily and fairly healthily. So this sudden turn had me confused. After two days of this odd breathing, I decided to try what I knew to help. Mom wouldn't agree to take her to the vet because of her advanced age and fear the vet would say to put her down.

I thought she might be choking on something. Maybe the arthritis medicine I gave her the day before, or a kibble or something, so I picked her up and tried holding her in different positions I thought might help her cough up whatever she had. But instead of helping her, she peed on me, spasmed for a few minutes and . . died. And I feel like maybe if I had just not done that, if maybe I had taken her to the vet they could have done something and she would have lived.

I loved her so much. I feel like I killed her. I feel terrible. My family seems to have already gotten over her, but it was only three days ago. My mom is already rushing me to 'move on with my life'. Mia and I were best pals. There was never a day that went by that we weren't side by side. She helped me through so much in my life, and was always there when other people weren't. I could always talk to her, and her stoic face and raspy purr were always comforting. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be the one to bring home her ashes and I feel like I'll break down when I pick them up because they aren't her. They're just what's left. Her death was so hard to watch. I wanted her to go naturally, but not so rough. I hope she doesn't blame me. 
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1967Pinecone
Madison. PLEASE don't be so hard on yourself! You were not negligent, you didn't kill her, and I seriously doubt that holding her in different positions affected her at all. She was a miracle kitty. Her surviving for 4 years after a lymphoma diagnosis wasn't just lucky, it was the result of your love and care. And I know that watching her spasm was incredibly difficult for you - my Polo had awful seizures today, the worst I've seen, before we arrived at the vet. I don't even want to think about it, and I wish there was some way I could forget them, but I won't, not ever.

I worked for a high-kill county shelter for years. We had a beautiful long-haired tortie named Dixie. I was trying to get rescue for her, but was unsuccessful. We euthanized on Tuesdays, first thing in the morning. One Tuesday morning, I noticed I had a voice mail, but didn't recognize the number so I didn't listen to the message until later. Dixie was euthanized that day. Later in the morning, I finally listened to the message, and guess what, it was a rescue calling to let me know they'd be there that afternoon to get Dixie. I felt horrible, like a murderer, if I'd only listened to that message she'd still be alive. There's a Dixie Street in the town I live in, and to this day, ten years later, I have to avert my eyes when driving by it.

I'm 49 years old, and have had many, many pets in my life. I've also worked in reptile conservation and at a major zoo. Many times, too many to count, I've believed - rightly or wrongly - that I was somehow responsible for an animal dying, or getting sick, or not being adopted. All we can do is our best, and that is what you did. Mia loved you just as much as you loved her, and she doesn't blame you. No way. 
"Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow" and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed." Khalil Gibran
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Jody
Madison I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose your best friend. As hard as it is, try not to blame yourself. Mia had 14 wonderful years with you. You were there until the end. She was with you and will always be with you. Our animals our are family members. It is so hard to lose them. My baby golden Tony died on me suddenly at the age of 7. He went to bed and never woke up. So many things could have happened to your sweet Mia. It might habe been the cancer finally winning or another health issue. It was her time like my babies. You didn't do anything wrong by trying to help her. You were there when she needed you the most. When I went to pick up my babies remains I couldn't wait to bring him back home to be with me forever. Yes, it was the hardest day in my life but also gave me a glimpse of peace. Take one day at a time. Unfortunately we all want our animals to live forever with us and they don't. Think of all the years of love you and Mia shared. It is so easy to keep thinking about how she died and that awful day. I know, I've been doing it for seven weeks. But today I started smiling at my pictures instead of crying. This site really saved my sanity and I hope you find some comfort here and know we all know how you feel and what you are going through. You are in my thoughts...
Jody
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miassister
Thank you for your kind words. It really is comforting. It's really hard not to blame yourself, I think, no matter the situation. I'm also very sorry about your Polo. And about Dixie, and others. I think sometimes we make mistakes, and that's ok. I'm sure Dixie doesn't blame you either. You didn't know. It could have been any call. You were just doing what your work required. 

I keep thinking to myself that maybe Mia chose to go because she was in my arms, held close by me, even if I was fenangling with her like a toddler playing with a doll. She hadn't been well in the first place, so maybe it was just her time. But it still hurts, and at times I find myself looking at her favorite sleeping spot and thinking 'if only I hadn't done this' or 'if only I had done something else'. I feel terrible out of guilt and I feel terrible out of love. Because she was everything. I can honestly say I loved her more than most of my family members, excluding maybe only my mother. 

And it's always odd to talk to others about your loss. A lot of people think losing a pet isn't much to sniffle over. Because they aren't humans, you know? My close friends said how sorry they were for me, but that was about it. My sister doesn't want to talk about it, and my mom just wants to move on. I guess that's why I'm here, pouring my heart out to strangers. But at least they are strangers who feel what I feel.

Her urn is going to go on top of my special memory cabinet, which is on the floor right next to her favorite sleeping spot. I'm going to buy her flowers. I'm the only one right now seeming to treat her death like a real death. Because it was real to me. My grief is real. Mia was someone.
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miassister
Jody wrote:
Madison I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose your best friend. As hard as it is, try not to blame yourself. Mia had 14 wonderful years with you. You were there until the end. She was with you and will always be with you. Our animals our are family members. It is so hard to lose them. My baby golden Tony died on me suddenly at the age of 7. He went to bed and never woke up. So many things could have happened to your sweet Mia. It might habe been the cancer finally winning or another health issue. It was her time like my babies. You didn't do anything wrong by trying to help her. You were there when she needed you the most. When I went to pick up my babies remains I couldn't wait to bring him back home to be with me forever. Yes, it was the hardest day in my life but also gave me a glimpse of peace. Take one day at a time. Unfortunately we all want our animals to live forever with us and they don't. Think of all the years of love you and Mia shared. It is so easy to keep thinking about how she died and that awful day. I know, I've been doing it for seven weeks. But today I started smiling at my pictures instead of crying. This site really saved my sanity and I hope you find some comfort here and know we all know how you feel and what you are going through. You are in my thoughts... Jody


Thank you Jody. Your words really help. I'm sorry about your baby, but I am glad things are looking a little brighter for you. I'm going to make a picture album with all of my pictures of her in it. My sadness seems to come in waves. At times I can talk about her and all the silly things she used to do and smile and even laugh. And other times those same things make me cry because I can't have them anymore. No more silly raspy purr, no more soft milky-scented fur, no more gravely meow, no more Mia. But I think someday it will be easier to laugh and the tears more rare. It's still fresh now but I can hope. I knew she didn't have very long, and a few months ago I even bought a book on dealing with the loss of a pet to help me. But I still feel like I'm floundering. I'm lost and lonely. I have a dog, Tommy, but he's him and Mia was Mia. My family keeps pushing Tommy on me like he might fill the gap that Mia left. He's even sleeping on my bed tonight at the suggestion of my mom (Mia used to spend almost 24-7 in my room so I could care for her, even her food and litter box in here so it would be easy on her arthritis). But as much as I love him, he's totally different. He's not Mia. But at least there's someone in here with me. It's a little less lonely.
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Jody
Each animal is different to each one of us. I have six other pets. 2 dogs, 2cats, 2bunnies. None of them are my baby Tony. But they are all animals. I have found some comfort from being with them. I hope you find some with Tommy :)
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Beastcatsmum
Hi madison,

Please do not blame yourself, my story is incredibly similar. I adopted my cat Tom when I was 4 years old and like you say they grow up with you and become like a sibling. About a year ago my cat started losing weight and my family were hesitant to take him to the vets because of his age (18) so I put it off but eventually I decided to take him and he was diagnosed with lymphoma and put on medication. He seemed to be doing better, he was eatin and getting about just fine then one day when I was out celabrating a friends birthday I got a call from my sister saying he wasnt breathing right, we took him to the out of hours vet and got the worst news possible hus lungs were almost filled with fluid from a burst tumour, there was nothing to do. So please do not feel guilty it sounds like a very similar thing to what happened to mine- you did not kill her, sadly I promise you it was her time. It has been 4 months since I lost Tom and it still hurts every day but it does get better, be kind to yourself- you wouldnt be here if you didn't love her so much.
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Bellacat
I'm so very sorry for the loss of your sweet friend Mia. I too lost my kitty Bellatrix nearly 3 weeks ago--the loss and sadness are real. Be kind to yourself as you come to terms with losing her. You were so lucky to have one another and she was so blessed to be with you in the end. She will be with you forever and, in time, the tears that come when you think of sweet Mia will be replaced by joy in remembering all of the wonderful things she brought to your life and all of the gifts and wonderful lessons she left behind. I promise.
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Juls
Hello Madison

I'm so sorry for your loss. I am 23 years old and I feel so lost but trying to feel again.. I have the same experience.. My 4 yrs old Pomeranian died 12 days ago. She is healthy and hyper like her old self.. But the day before she died she has trouble breathing.. Just like your Mia.. I am so worried about her cause she can't sleep and she looks so restless and in pain. So the next day I rushed her to the vet and later that night she died.. I also regret it and felt like it was my mistake.. I always blame myself thinking that I shouldn't just brought her to the vet.. Maybe if I didn't do that she is still here with me..

But now.. I understand that sometimes we don't have control over things that is happening around us. It will happen whether we like it or not.. And we don't have a place when it comes to guilt and the what ifs.. Like in my situation i wished i didn't bring her to the vet.. And you wished that you did brought her to the vet..

But I think we should not blame ourselves. What's important is that you tried your best and you know in yourself that all you wanted is to save her and you did the thing that you thought was best for Mia.. Don't let sadness eat you.. After my beloved furbaby died I cried straight for 4 days.. I can't function well and I feel so empty and trapped in a deep sadness.. I feel like it's a never ending pain.. I miss her everyday.. It feels so different without her.. And I still can't believe it. My family is pushing me to move on also .. And it made me feel much lonely cause they are not helping.. But they are just worried about us.. They are also sad and broken about Your Mia and my dog.. But our health is their priority.. And they are also sad whenever they see us hurting..

But you have to fight this loneliness no matter how hard and painful it is.. You loved Mia and you are so blessed you had 14 wonderful years with her.. I would do anything to be with my dog that long.. If you need someone to talk to we can keep in touch :). Godbless. Xx
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