Luna_90
It's been almost two years since I had to put my cat of 17 years down. After the first year, I thought maybe I was ready to get a cat again. I couldn't do it. I ended up giving them back. Another year rolled on, and I tried again. Same story. The first one stayed with me for a few months, the second didn't make it past the second week. 
 
Is this normal? I just don't think I can do it. I can't do the things I did for her for these other cats. They're perfectly good, healthy, friendly cats, but it's always off. They're too this, too that, not enough of this... I can't stop comparing how perfect my girl was to other pets and end up getting tired and frustrated and spend my days on the verge of a panic attack until I finally rip the bandaid off and give them back. 
 
I grew up for 17 years believing I was a cat person, that there was no cat that I wouldn't want in my life but, now that she's gone, it's like that part of me went with her. Is it normal to be like this? Are some people's first pets their last?
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Buddy_Mama
Luna, I'm so sorry for the loss of your cat - and that you've experienced other (different) losses since then in trying to open your heart & home to other cats in need. Have you tried attending any in-person pet loss support groups? If not, that might help you work through what happened two years ago, how you're dealing with it, and why the adoptions you've tried since then haven't worked out. Don't give up on yourself. It takes time to heal and be ready to open your heart again, and there's no timetable for that readiness. Sending you hugs...
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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BorderCollieLover
Gabrielle:

  I think what you are experiencing is perfectly normal. You had your beloved cat for (17) years so the idea that another feline would - or could - ever measure up to them is not comprehensible. You may change the way you feel sometime down the road and allow another cat to enter your inner circle - or you might always feel this way and carry a torch for your dearly departed forever. I feel the same way. I had my dog for (18) years and we were separated (6) months ago. I still grieve everyday. I find myself comparing any new dog that I meet with my baby. None ever seem to measure up to the high standards that I had with my little girl. I know that there are some wonderful pets out there in need of a forever home with a compassionate human guardian but I am not ready to go that route at this time in my life. Trust your own judgment. No one knows you like you know you. When the time is right to love another cat - you'll know. Don't let the fact that some of the adoptions you tried didn't work out. That happens to everyone at some point. Let your own heart be the guiding light. I wish you much success and happiness down the road. 

Sending good tidings your way,
Jim
Jim Miller
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Luna_90
Maybe I will try a support group. When I think I'm ready for a new cat or miss the company, at the end of the day it always boils down to the fact that I miss her company. And I just can't switch that off. I don't want to forget her, not ever, and I don't think I will, but I want to turn this grief into something productive.

I say maybe I'll get a senior cat, but I'm just looking for a cat like her and that's not possible, or fair to the other cat. And I hate that I've become a pit stop for pets. I just thought I'd always love and want a cat, and it's a different kind of torment because it was such a part of me growing up. I read every book when I was preparing for Luna. (I could of rivaled Jackson Galaxy as a kid). And now I'm just annoyed and frustrated that they're not her and I feel like I'm disrespecting her memory and the new pets I've tried to be with. 
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Buddy_Mama
Please don't be hard on yourself. Please give yourself time, and space, and kindness, and the benefit of the doubt. You're holding Luna in a wonderful place in your memory. I can understand the irrational desire to want any new cat to not only be like Luna, but to be her. I will probably feel that way too after more time passes (it's only been 8 days since I lost my Buddy). Please do see if there's an in-person support group near you. I went to my first one last week, and it really helped, so I'll be going to the next one next weekend. Take care, and hugs...
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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Gingers_Mommy
We all have a different healing time. Maybe in the future you might be able to find another love. In the meantime you can consider fostering cats. It's not a lifetime commitment. It's helping them get used to human interaction/indoor living until they're ready to be adopted. 

Wishing you peace 
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BoxerMomForever
I’m sorry for your loss.  I agree everyone heals differently.  If you feel your not ready, that’s okay.

i sometimes think maybe I’m ready, but it’s only been 5 months. I think, no other dog will be like my Lily. I had a very special bond with her. I’m tearing up writing this. I have high standards too.  In reality there will not be another Lily.  Maybe as time goes on.... I’ll know if and when the time is right. Maybe the same for you.

i know so many that go out get another cat or dog next day, can’t imagine that, days or weeks after.  I can’t do that, just too soon.... 
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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codysmum102
I knew I could never adopt another dog again for the same reason. I would always be comparing it to Cody. But I was missing having the companionship of a pet. So I ended up fostering 2 kittens from the shelter and decided to adopt them. They are nothing like my dog (obviously) but I don't expect them to be. Maybe if you really want the companionship you can get a dog or just foster. That way it's only temporary. Just a suggestion.
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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Luna_90
Thank you for all the replies. At least I don't feel crazy for how I'm feeling. Thus forum is really good and getting yourself out of your own head when feelings like this pop up. I'll just have to take it slow (well, slower) and keep pushing forward. 
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