JuJuBee

Hello everyone,

I am thankful to have found this forum. It is comforting to read the stories of people who are going through the same pain and supporting each other.

I chose to end the suffering of my lovely cat a week ago, after sharing more than 13 years of my life with her. It is the first time in my life that I experience bereavement of a pet. In fact I think it’s the first time I’ve ever had such a special connection with an animal. It has been a lot harder than I thought. I felt like I was “mentally preparing” for it because she had been sick for months (kidney disease), but it really was devastating to say goodbye after so many years.

Our relationship had an interesting start because honestly, I wasn’t even looking for a pet when she came into my life. She was a stray who needed a home and who followed me around whenever I got out of the house; I often feel like she adopted me, and not the other way around. She was a semi-feral cat who was somewhat fearful of me in the beginning, and she never trusted other humans easily in her lifetime (who knows what she had been through before finding me). I think that those things made our relationship particularly special. Over time, she did get quite comfortable with me, sleeping next to me under the covers and curling up on my lap all day long when I worked at my home office.

I was alone and single for most of the time we lived together, and in addition, I work mostly from home. She was always there through all these solitary years of my life.

I find comfort in knowing I could give her a long and happy life and that she went away as peacefully and painlessly as possible. Thankfully I don’t live alone anymore and have the support of my partner in this difficult time.

I’m starting to accept the loss but I still find mornings difficult. Even at the very end, when she was lethargic and barely able to feed herself, she would still come and greet me every morning, as soon as I would wake up. I have not been able to work in my home office either (I’ve been working in cafés and other rooms inside my house). It was the room in the house where she had most of her things (bowls, litter, scratching boards, her favorite chair, etc.) and the place where we spent the most time together. I think I will give this some time and try and do this process gradually (like maybe move one thing out per day). I’ve also decided to order some memorial items online (personalized keychain and locket), which I am awaiting to receive. I figure it will be preferable to have nice things to remember her, instead of a litter box! And it will probably help to make that transition.

Thank you all for listening. I hope we can all find the support we need in this difficult time.

JB

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BorderCollieLover
JuJuBee:

  I enjoyed reading your post. You spent (13) years with your beloved kitty. That's a long time. It is true that it's tough to rearrange things after a pet's passing. I think our mind races and wants to try and make everything right. In my particular case, I didn't know what to do after my beloved dog passed several weeks back. My initial reaction was to hide all of her things away. Then, a few days later I had a change of heart. I wanted to keep her food station in its original spot, I did put her water bowl away but I may move it back out into the kitchen. Also, her leash was hanging on the side door knob. It was too painful to look at, so I did put it away into a closet, but it is hanging with her other backup leashes. Additionally, I have kept her brushes, combs, etc. in their original spots. Her big brush still has some of her hair in it I'm going to save the hair as another memento of her. Even her toothbrush sits in its original holder in our bathroom (Yes, I brushed her teeth for many, many years). I'm not sure what happened but I want to hold onto these things. Maybe, you will feel differently about saving your kitty's things as time goes on. Glad that you joined this Forum.

Jim
Jim Miller
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Becky1990
Dear JuJuBee,
I am so sorry for the loss of your furbaby. Even though we think we can mentally prepare for it, the loss becomes so overwhelming. You had her for a long time and that makes it even harder. I think you are right, she adopted you! She knew you would give her a wonderful life!
I lost my cat 4 weeks ago yesterday. He was 19 years old. Last year his bloodwork showed his kidneys was okay for a 18 year old. This year the bloodwork showed kidney failure. I thought I was mentally prepared because of his age too. I still cried out my eyes yesterday and every Thursday 'day." I loss many cats before, but he was so special. I still have 2 other cats and one of them is 18 years old. The other is 3 years old! Didn't plan on him but it was meant to be. He is helping her greiving process.
I am so glad you are here and please keep writing and let us know how you are doing. You are not alone. Hugs.
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JuJuBee
Thank you for your kind words Becky and Jim. I also appreciate hearing more about your own pets.

Things seem to be getting gradually easier for me. I still have moments everyday where I am sad she is not there anymore. But at least I am not crying all the time and am mostly able to function.

I've gradually started to reintegrate my home office, though I haven't yet found it in me to take out her things. I also put up a small framed picture of her next to the armchair she liked to sleep on. I feel there is some guilt about just resuming my life without her, so it is helpful to do things that honor her memory.

When I have moments of sadness I also find it helps to keep in mind that if she would have stayed with me any longer, she would just have continued to suffer even worse than she was already suffering. I try to shift my perspective to being grateful for the 13 wonderful years I spent with her (sometimes that's easier said than done but I'm getting there).

I find it's also interesting to consider the timeline during which she was in my life. When I found her, homeless outside, I had recently come out of a difficult, abusive relationship. I spent the next 10 years of my life mostly single, and lived alone for 5 of those years. And now she is gone but I have found a loving and supportive partner. I like to think that she was in my life for a reason. It certainly helped to have her loving company during that long and solitary chapter of my life. I realize she needed me just as much as I needed her.
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