AbbeyRoad52
Please bear with me on the length of this post. I'm writing because I'm emotionally just a wreck right now. I will give you a bit of background. I just turned 33, I'm currently living at home. I have posted many times on here since the death of my cat Dusty October 12th of last year after 16 years, in hopes to cope with my loss and just unload my thoughts. She absolutely meant the world to me, I got her when I was 15 and we grew up together and had a special bond. I miss her so much every day, some days just talking about her my voice cracks and I feel like crying. Needless to say I've struggled with the loss of her very much over the past year, although I suppress it almost always. I keep it to myself, hiding it from my family pretty well. But at night by myself sometimes, I just cry in bed. I should mention I am an emotional person. I actually think after losing my cat I probably should have talked to somebody because my grief has never truly subsided. I lost my first cat Baby when I was 15 years old, 6 months before I got Dusty and I also took that hard. She was 18 and I loved her dearly as well.

Recently my Mom has been wanting a kitten more and more, and I also miss the companionship Dusty gave me for many years. So just yesterday, my parents and I went to a no-kill shelter and we adopted a 10 week old kitten. If I'm being 100% honest I wasn't sure about doing this because I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But I kept quiet about my feelings. Anyway we adopted a very cute, extremely loving and friendly buff colored kitty. My problem is that I can't stop feeling overwhelming guilt, thinking that I'm somehow betraying the memory of Dusty. I don't ever want to forget her, replace her, or erase her memory from my mind. At the same time, I feel guilty because I feel like I'm squandering precious time with my new kitten by feeling bad about her. I feel like I'm not allowing myself to fully open my heart to him, and he's so deserving of love and a wonderful home and I want to give that to him here. I haven't named this little guy yet, I have some ideas, but whenever he does something that Dusty used to do it makes me think of her. I become sad, and like right now I'm crying even typing this. I'm such a wreck because I'm not sure what is wrong with me, am I just missing her? Just missing my youth? Or is it a combination of both and that I shared my childhood with her? Maybe by giving my love to another cat, I feel like I'm closing the book on her for good, like closure? How can I give this wonderful kitten that God has put in my life all the love and companionship he deserves and still keep my cat Dusty and Baby in my memories? I don't want them to fade. Has anone ever felt this way after getting a new companion after a loss?
Quote 0 0
exburt
I can tell you from personal experience that you'll never, ever forget Dusty. Nor should you. I hope you can get past the quilt on that front.  

I'm way older than you, but the death of an animal family member remains as difficult as ever. (calling them a "pet" doesn't really encompass everything they were to us)

There's nothing I can say that'll make you not feel guilty about the new kitty. All I can say is that, IMO, you don't need to. You can continue to mourn Dusty while allowing New Kitty in. 

That's another thing I can attest to from personal experience. 

All the best, 
Burt


B Weinstein
Quote 0 0
William
I’m sorry for your loss. You will never forget your baby. I often say to people when you lose a fur or human baby the pain is intense. However, just as some people move forward to have another human child after a loss, a pet parent can also make that choice. No two “ children” are the same. One “ child” doesn’t replace another. Human or fur you are adding to your family not replacing.

You sound like you are still really struggling. If you have bereavement counselors in your area Mayb seeing one would be helpful.

I’m on month 5 of losing my boy. Due to many situations I will not have another pet. I will never have that unconditional love and joy in my home.
I hope you give this new baby the opportunity to give you love and happiness. You both deserve that.

❤️💕🐾
Kim
Quote 0 0
JayTee
I am new here and have not yet started a thread about the pain of having to euthanize my cat GG two days ago.  But I will start that topic, and trust me, mine will be twice as long as yours!

Meanwhile I have been reading posts from other forum members, and that is providing comfort in knowing I'm not alone in this.

Let me tell you about an image I had while reading your post.  With tears in my eyes I saw you cuddled up with the new kitten telling him all about big sisters Dusty and Baby.  You'll smile and you'll cry and the new little boy won't even mind if a few tears fall on his head.  It might help you bridge the gap between past and present and ease your guilt about accepting a new fur baby into your heart.  I don't know whether this is something you would do.  I just know that the emotion I felt while imagining that scene was something I had to share with you.

Wishing you comfort, acceptance and peace.
JayTee
Quote 0 0
AbbeyRoad52
JayTee wrote:
I am new here and have not yet started a thread about the pain of having to euthanize my cat GG two days ago.  But I will start that topic, and trust me, mine will be twice as long as yours!

Meanwhile I have been reading posts from other forum members, and that is providing comfort in knowing I'm not alone in this.

Let me tell you about an image I had while reading your post.  With tears in my eyes I saw you cuddled up with the new kitten telling him all about big sisters Dusty and Baby.  You'll smile and you'll cry and the new little boy won't even mind if a few tears fall on his head.  It might help you bridge the gap between past and present and ease your guilt about accepting a new fur baby into your heart.  I don't know whether this is something you would do.  I just know that the emotion I felt while imagining that scene was something I had to share with you.

Wishing you comfort, acceptance and peace.

Reading this made me cry, thank you for your heartfelt words. I have my new baby boy right here in bed with me. I'm trying to balance my grieving and giving my love to him because he deserves all the love and care I can give to him. I'm sure part of my small reluctance to fully open my heart is I'm afraid of being hurt again. The pain I felt losing Dusty is something that has scarred me forever, because i gave her so much of myself and she was always there for me even during some bad times. I think maybe besides feeling like im betraying her I feel like if I put all my feelings into my new friend that I'll get hurt.

This was my Dusty.
Quote 0 0
sanjay
I am still struggling with the loss and pain of euthanizing my cat about a month ago.  No new kitten will take place of Dusty, just like no new cat will take the place of my cat.

But one reason I want to get a new kitten soon is that I love cats and believe that to rescue a kitten/cat from a shelter or rescue is in itself a wonderful thing to do.  You clearly loved your cat as I did mine and it would be a shame that another kitten/cat that needs that love does not get it from a person who cares.  While there are many of us, there are not enough who truly love our pets and it is a gift to be able to have that ability to care for a kitten/cat.

You are relatively young, so you many not have experienced the death of friends yet.  But one does not after the death of a friend, stop having friends right? Or  for that matter forget about the friends you lose?  Dusty was an individual not a generic animal, Dusty will always be close to you, even with a new kitten in your life.
Sanjay W
Quote 0 0
JayTee
To Dusty's Mom and Sanjay

Both your posts brought tears to my eyes.  I am so happy that you are spending time with your new kitten.  Your friendship with this baby will grow over time as it is meant to.  I think it would dishonor both cats to think of the kitten as a replacement for Dusty because each is a special and unique creature. 

Sanjay's analogy about losing a human friend was perfect.  I hope Sanjay's wise and empathetic words encourage many here to consider adopting another animal.    

It is understandable but sad that guilt and fear of future pain keep many of us from welcoming a new pet.  Just remember there is no timetable.  Some are ready to adopt a new pet very soon after losing one while others vow never again.  Between those two extremes is a whole area of time and options that will occur naturally as your healing progresses.  One often overlooked possibility is to foster an animal for a charitable organization. 

But however long it takes and whatever is involved in making this very personal decision, trust that it will be the right one.
JayTee
Quote 0 0
AbbeyRoad52
I thank you all so much for your replies. I'm so sorry you're all going through the loss of your best friends like I am. The thing is I think I have this feeling that once I've "healed" or sort of moved on from losing her I'll have forgotten her. Perhaps that is why I put myself through feeling so bad about it night after night, and even though I'll never forget her I can't allow myself to move past it. I cannot help thinking of the day I found out she was very sick, and in the 2 months afterward trying to enjoy each day i had with her to the fullest. I keep replaying that day I took her in to have her put down, that awful feeling. I never want to feel that again. I feel it in the put of my stomach now. I don't know if you all have this problem, but when I look at pictures of her I feel sad, when I should feel glad that I had her for so many years. I should be thinking of her in only good memories. I do think of her in good memories but also the bad ones. 
Quote 0 0
LindaDwyer
one pet doesn't replace another, but they make a new place of their own.  Love your new little one, Dusty won't mind.  There is room in your heart for more than one.

We don't really ever get over losing one, we just learn to live without them.

Peace to you, enjoy your new baby, Dusty is sleeping in your heart where he'll always stay

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion"
Quote 0 0