My son and i rescued a cat in 2016 when he was only 5 weeks old. He was attached to me from day 1. Anywhere i went, he was right behind me. He was there for me when i was sick or sad. Sometimes he acted like he didn’t want me to love on him but that was just his personality :). Last week we adopted a kitten from a shelter because my cat always accepted other cats. The vet checked the new kitten and told me he is healthy. I still had the two separated as i wanted the introduction to be slow. Monday i went grocery shopping after i got my son from school. We got home and my resident cat greeted me as he always does then he went upstairs. 5 minutes later he was on the steps looking at me thru the railing. I told him to come downstairs so he did and he went in to the kitchen, ate some food then was walking to me. I heard a loud bang and saw he collapsed in the dining room. He made his way a few inches in to the living room, fell to his side, meowed once and just stopped breathing. He was almost 4 years old. I’m heartbroken. Devastated. I hate being a home. He always greeted me at the door and was so happy to see me. He slept in my bed every night. We had a daily routine and now that i no longer do that it kills me. I work from home so during the day he’d Lay on the back of the couch and watch out the window. Walking past the couch daily literally rips my heart out. His fur is still on the cushion and i refuse to remove it. I had him cremated and i get his ashes tomorrow. Looking at pictures of him is so hard right now. I just fear this will never get easier. I wake up crying and have breakdowns randomly throughout my day.
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Dear Chelsey,

I am so, so sorry sweetheart to learn of your recent loss. Thank you for rescuing the cat that you did when he was just a kitten. You significantly changed his life by doing so. You literally saved your cats life when you provided him with a home.

As you may know a cats natural lifespan is only 2 to 5 years on the streets / in the wild for many reasons. They are only biologically designed and engineered to live for that long. We can extend their lifespans by providing them with regular food, fresh water, shelter (from the weather / elements), occasional medical attention, and love and affection (which is important for overall well being.)

I moved to New Mexico, U.S.A. for a few years back in the fall of 2016. And the house I rented came with a local colony of feral and stray cats. They had no names that I knew of, so I named them. There was Tommy, Big Boy, Figaro, Tabby Hunter & Mouse, and eventually a kitten named "Baby. But the feral / stray who ended up being my Spirit Animal became my best friend, my son, my brother, my comrade in arms, my love and the light of my life. He was the leader and king of the colony and I named him Marmalade, as he was an orange and white Tabby.

Marmalade was adored by the 2 females in the colony "Figaro" and "Mouse" and trusted with the kittens, who only 1 stuck around "Baby." The bigger males Tommy, Big Boy and Tabby Hunter all feared Marmalade although he was smaller, scrawny, chronically ill and near completely deaf. We ended up homeless in New Mexico and I lost a truck load of possessions and it took me 3 1/2 months to return to Los Angeles with Marmalade as a traveling companion while I was on the road.

Marmalade taught me to many lessons during the 4 years we were together. He taught me to always be grateful, no matter the circumstances as he would be content and purr and purr even when he was very ill and near death. He would be so, so happy when we were alone in the warehouse we settled in (which a friend allowed us to move into) and it would be just he and I, alone, watching TV with a small heater. That was enough for him, he would give me these looks with slow blinks like "Can you believe that we made it this far? That we are still together and alive?"

Marmalade never judged me or lied or gossiped about me, he never abandoned me, he never plotted or schemed against me, he never used me or betrayed me. There were times when we were near starvation and truly homeless. And he refused to leave my side. Even when I could not afford to feed him. Many humans, family and friends DID abandoned and betray me and left me for dead. But not that little, loyal and devoted cat.

We both ended up in the hospital numerous times. Me with pneumonia, severe anemia and migraines and Marmalade with chronic choking & gagging issues and a wound that never healed from a Tom-Cat fight, when Marmalade chose to defend his girlfriend cat whom he had met in Los Angeles named "Star". Marmalade held vigils over me and I held vigils over Marmalade.

Once in the spring of 2018 Marmalade had a severe toxic reaction to ear drop antibiotic medication which almost killed him. He vomited blood and had bloody diarrhea. He could not eat or drink for 10 days. He could not be pet. He could not sit on my lap. He could barely open his eyes. I almost put him down at that time, but could not afford to do so. So I got a voucher form from a Vet to take him to Animal Control to have him put to sleep. I scouted the local parks to find a place to bury him, but I was so, so saddened to think of him being far from me and not being able to have him cremated. I could also not afford to have him buried at a pet cemetary. He would be all alone in some park. In desperation, I called and spoke to the lab that made the medication Marmalade had been administered. I actually threatened them if they did not put a scientist on the phone who could provide me with real facts. One did get on the phone and told me he would pull through miraculously and not to put him to sleep.

Marmalade lay there motionless next to me one day during the vigil that I was holding over him. He had one paw stuck out and his eyes opened just a bit. I gently reached out and touched the extended paws foot pads and he grabbed my finger as if holding my hand and squeezed it. I knew that that he was still in the fight. I will never forget that moment.

I had to put him down in the end. As sad as it is, I am relieved you did not have to put your boy down, the way that I did my Marmalade, as it was so heartbreaking to make that choice. But I could simply no longer allow him to further deteriorate and be in worse pain & suffering I had to let him go.

Thank you again for giving your boy a home and showing him so much love and affection. And for adopting and saving another kitten. I also adopted another cat in need. He is a kitten I named "KID" as he has a little Charlie Chaplin mustache and was an orphan, so I named him after the silent movie "The Kid." He is a black and white Tuxedo cat and he is a total sweetheart and magic. I did not plan on adopting another cat, I was only going to foster him, but he won my heart over. 

I hope you continue to travel through time and heal. Welcome to the forum despite the sad circumstances involved. There are many good people who will help you through your journey of grief. "This too shall pass."

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,

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I am very sorry for your loss of your sweet, cat. Clearly he was very much loved and well cared for. It must have been a horrible shock to have your sweet, young cat die suddenly in front of you. I hope in time, happy memories and your new kitten bring you comfort.

It can help to share feelings, memories and pictures here, when and if you are ready.

My condolences,
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