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BlairS

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Hi there. It's been almost two months since I lost my best cat buddy - I mostly just called her buddy - and it still hurts more than I could have imagined anything could possibly hurt. I've been reading here for quite a while but this is the first time I've felt able to post. Reading all of your sad stories just makes me want to cry even more. Now I'm crying not just for me, but for all of you as well.

It will be 4 years ago this month that me and some friends were sitting in my yard talking and this little tortoiseshell cat just walked up to us meowing. She was really skinny and obviously starving. I did not have any cat food so I grabbed a can of tuna and she wolfed it down like she had not eaten in days. And after that she never left. She had no tattoo or anything, and I checked with the humane society and the local lost cats facebook pages, but nobody seemed to be missing her so I decided to take her in. At her first vet appointment before I had her spayed they told me she was FIV positive (as if they thought I might change my mind about adopting her or something). I've read a lot of places that say FIV cats can live perfectly normal lives, but she had more than her share of health problems in our four years together, including successful cancer surgery two years ago. Deep down I knew I would not be able to keep her forever, but she just got so sick so fast and I made the agonizing decision to have her euthanized. I still feel crushing guilt and doubts - what if I had waited? What if I had tried harder? Now I feel like I gave up on her. Everyone says she had a better life because of me, but it is not much consolation. She hated the car, so I could not bear to put her through that at the end. I had the vet come to my home and do it, but now I just can't get that image out of my mind. She is everywhere I look and I miss her so much. Right up till the end she trusted me, and I feel like I let her down when it mattered most. She deserved so much better.

My parents are both in their 90s and in rapidly declining health. I don't have kids, so my buddy was kind of my little ray of sunshine I could always count on to be there to put a smile on my face after a bad day. I think I probably loved her more than any of my human partners, funny as that may seem. Now I cry every morning when she is not there waking me up to fill her bowl. I cry every time I come home and she is not there sitting in the window waiting for treats. Now there is just a vase with her ashes sitting in the sun where she should be. None of the things I used to enjoy are enjoyable anymore. I never realized how good life was before, I only realize that now that it is not. I thought she would be there for me to help me through some rough times I know are coming. I don't know how I will get through without her.

Anyway, I want to say my thoughts and prayers are with all the good people here who are grieving like me. I know what you are going through and I would not wish it on anyone. I hope you all get through your loss in time, even though I can't personally imagine that anytime soon. And I want to say thank you to the people who run this website, giving people like us a place to share our pain, and to see we are not alone in our loss does help in some small way.

I wish you all peace.

Blair

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LadyDrea

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Reply with quote  #2 
Blair,

It sounds like you gave your cat a wonderful life. I assume she was a stray and you took her in and gave her the love she so desperately needed. She will never forget that!

On the other hand, although I don’t know your exact pain, I can completely relate to the feelings of guilt, wondering what else I could have done. It sounds like you did everything you could for your fur baby. She knows this and how much you loved her.

I myself have currently been dealing with a broken heart and I constantly see my fur babies face. I also seen things I wish I never saw that day that continue to flash in my mind and break me to pieces. I had to see a counselor because I was spiraling downhill fast. All I did was sleep, no one could get me out of bed, I couldn’t talk to people about anything without getting choked up, I wasn’t eating, didn’t want to socialize, and didn’t care about anything anymore. I failed a class and all I could say was, “Screw that course!” I began to turn my emotions off towards my other two fur babies because seeing them reminded me of her (they’re siblings, same litter) and because I fear when it’s their time to go home. (I’m really not built to handle death.)

All you can do is remember the life you gave your precious baby and how she was so happy to have you. You saved her life from the streets and I know that meant so much to her. Her health issues were out of your control. Sadly, sometimes pet parents have to live with the fact that they’ve done all they can do and end up feeling vulnerable.

You made her passing as comfortable as you could and she was with her hero when she went to animal heaven. I found what has been helping me is talking to my fur baby every morning and night. I might sound crazy but I go out to where she’s buried and wish her a good morning and good day, playing with all the other four legged angels. When night comes I do the same thing, wishing her a goodnight, letting her know that I miss her and to sleep well. It makes me feel like she’s still here in spirit. Another thing I do is stay away from home as much as I can since she was killed in our backyard.

Unexpected deaths are hard. My fur baby was only a year old before she was killed. Pet parents are never prepared for the cross-over of their pets. Pets become family and most of the time they’re more loyal than a human. How do you let go of someone who loved you unconditionally, someone who was there for you when you needed someone, someone who was always forgiving, someone who was so excited to see you all the time. You’re unable to.

Take it one day at a time. Cry when needed (that’s helped me a lot). Reminisce when the time feels right. And allow yourself to heal at your own pace. Don’t let anyone ever tell you to get over it or that they were just an animal. All hearts are different and people grieve differently. It’s easy for someone who has never loved a pet to say get over it. Speak to those who are animal people because most likely they’ve been through the heartache.

Take your time and allow yourself to deal with all your emotions. The sooner you deal with them, the better things will be in the long run.

Best wishes.

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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your kind reply LadyDrea.  

At first I could not sleep.  My doctor gave me something to help and I've been taking full advantage of it.  I probably sleep 12 hours a day now, it's the only time I get relief from the hurt.  When I am awake I go through life just doing what I have to do, but not enjoying, not caring, just existing.  I'm retired so I don't have a work week away from the house to take my mind off it.  In fact I was so happy when I retired at the end of 2017 that I no longer had to leave my buddy alone all day.  I know she appreciated that too, that year of all the extra attention she got I am at least thankful for.

I know it going to take time.  It gives me hope reading here that it will get better, not the same of course - a piece of my heart is gone forever, but at least not like it is now.

I wish you all the best in your healing journey also.
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Sampson

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Reply with quote  #4 
Blair, My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved buddy. Also, you should know that many people would not take in a sick animal or one who had health problems. It may be why Buddy was wandering around starving. The fact that she walked right up to you and your friends would seem to indicate that she was used to being around people. It’s hard to believe this but she may have been dumped when her previous owners found out about the FIV. Maybe that’s why she was so afraid of going in the car. So, right off the bat you gave her tuna to eat and then you have her the best thing she could possibly hope for, a home filled with love. I’m sorry she couldn’t have stayed longer. It sounds like you could really benefit from having her around now with your parents health declining. It’s sad to say but I think she stayed as long as she could Blair.
It’s so hard to experience that close bond with a pet and then to have to say goodbye for now. I hope that in time it will help you to look back and know that you did a very wonderful thing taking in this little cat and giving her your heart. I also think you did the right thing by setting her free when you did. It was an act of love. You made the tough choice that was better for her than for you. You even had the vet come to the house to spare her a car ride. So she died in her loving home with her person, the one who rescued her and loved her. It was a dignified and peaceful way to go. I know dealing with the loss afterward is just the worst. I understand your pain and it will get better but you have to grieve and it’s hard no question. I’m glad you posted here where we can all support you as you go through this sad time. I hope to hear more about your buddy!
Sam
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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you Sam.  Today is exactly two months and it still hurts like it was yesterday.  I don't think I have really even come to grips with the fact she really is gone forever.  I've never felt sadness like this before.

I'll post some pics when I can bring myself to look through them without breaking down completely.  I have her pictures as the lock screens on my phone and my PC and it's a horrible reminder every time I look at them but I can't bring myself to change them either.

Anyway, your words of encouragement are appreciated.  Thanks again.
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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #6 
Going through some photos.  Tears are flowing.  I don't have as many as I wish I did.  Maybe one day when I can look at them without breaking down I'll get one of those digital frames to place beside my girl's ashes.  Definitely not ready for that yet.

This one was taken exactly 4 years ago today.  I've had her for a couple weeks and she is already looking less malnourished.

Squeaky1.jpg 

And here she is last year, hanging out on a server in my home office.  The warmest place in the house that she used to love.

Squeaky2.jpg 

I miss her so much :-(

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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #7 
Today is four months without my best friend and the sadness continues unabated.  Not a day goes by without crying many tears.  Life still feels so completely and utterly empty without her. 

I'm going to try the anti-depressants the doctor suggested.  It's not like it could get any worse.

I miss you so much buddy.....


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jerigraehl

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Reply with quote  #8 
Blair. 

Your story really resonated with me. I just posted my story as I wanted some feedback. I too felt like maybe I gave up too soon with treatment. I did some of course but as all stories go there are multiple facets. I wanted to have someone come to my house instead of a vet clinic and had not even thought I would be in such a position just a few days ago. This happend early Sun. I made the choice even tho they gave him a 50/50 chance. I also know they opt for huge sums of money with factors into those odds. My cat was 15 - just turned so I factored that and his terrible suffering I had seen for 3 days in. We had the last night together and he and I just laid on the bed and I had my hand on him all night except when I would dose up only to wake and find him crouched and miserable and in pain next to my bed. He clearly wanted to be with me. In the face of the labs and his suffering I chose to let him go. I had an hour with him there. They brought him in wrapped in a blanket in a little bed. He still looked so beautiful with his soft fur and beautiful Aqua eyes - Tonkinese Platinum Mink. I could not reconcile his looks with his decline. I am wishing right now I had waited another day to see if he could improve with treatment. He was just so sick with unregulated diabetes and pancreatitis and a possible other indicator - high calcium levels which could be cancer - but maybe not... He always kissed me and he kept lifting his head to kiss my - yes on the lips what can I say. I just kissed him on the top of his head and telling him how much I loved him. I kept asking myself if I should wait and see if he could pull out of it. Now I am in so much pain I am wanting a redo. The pain when he was having those drugs put in the cathiter in my arms in his blanket and little bed and then feeling the life come out of him litterally shattered me. I felt my heart break in a million peices and I am crying as I type this. I feel so empty and lost. I am single and he was whith me every day for 15 years. He got me thru divorce and other heartache. He was the smartest cat I ever had and so affectionat and talked all the time. Always came when called and always answered and I literally spoke with him we understood each other so well. Even with looks. He picked up all my moods. I feel like I lost a part of my soul and I want him back so bad I can hardly function. I am literally heartbroken. So I feel your story and I am truely sorry for your loss. Jeri

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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #9 
I read your story in the thread you started Jeri.  I'm very sorry for your loss as well.  It sounds to me like you went well above and beyond what most owners are able to do for their pets, and the fact you had 15 years together is testament to that.  You should not be too hard on yourself second guessing what if, but I know it's going to happen regardless - people tell me the same thing and it does not matter.

It sounds like you were lucky in being able to administer meds effectively to your friend.  When my cat got sick for the last time she stopped eating altogether, she would not even take any of the treats she used to mooch for all the time.  That meant I had to force the medications on her in a last ditch attempt to try and help her get better.  She hated it and fought me, and that just made me feel so much worse.  She was sick and I was doing something to her she did not like - it made me feel like I was betraying her trust at the end when it mattered most.  I was trying to help her, not hurt her, but I don't think she understood that. Her last days were not as peaceful as I would have liked.  I hope she knew how much I loved her, more than anything else in the world.

I can't type anymore now, I can't see through the tears.  I relive that day over and over like a perpetual nightmare except there is no waking up from it.  It's just so unfair.


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Sampson

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Blair,
I’m sorry for all your pain. Grieving is not easy. I looked back at the pictures you posted of Buddy. In the first one she looked like a curious young cat and in the second she was happy and content, she was home!
I felt so sad when you said you had retired and you were so happy to not have to leave her home alone. The year you had with her after retiring was a gift to you both. You will draw strength from that as time goes on. I would try the antidepressants Blair. They may help you cope and Buddy would want you to feel better even if they just take the edge of your awful pain. I’m glad you posted about her 4 months at the Rainbow Bridge. It’s still early in this awful thing we call grieving. It will get better but like you’ve said she’s always going to be part of you. You wouldn’t want it any other way. Take Care and I hope you write again,
Sam
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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #11 

It's been over six months now without my best friend. There is some snow on the ground this morning. The whole summer is almost past, and my sweet girl did not get to enjoy it. She loved lying outside in the sun. Have tried a couple different antidepressants so far but they don't seem to be doing much, I still cry many times every day. I've cried an ocean of tears. There is no getting past the realization that life is just not ever again going to be good like it was. The days tick by, I wake up and do what needs doing, but not enjoying any of it.

I adopted another cat from the shelter. I thought it would help, but it just makes me sad. I know I am her world now so she gets lots of pats and treats, but it will never be the same.

This is the most soul crushing pain I have ever experienced in my life. It just goes on and on.

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