Hi, everyone. 

I am having a really difficult time. I lost my cat, Penny. She was only five years old and never showed any signs of being ill. We spent the morning together on Easter Sunday. I made myself breakfast and gave her her favorite wet food. She finished it all. We watched a movie. Cuddled and took a nap. When I got up to make lunch I heard her cough and instantly went to check on her and she was unresponsive. I am beyond devastated by her loss. She was the greatest companion, comforter, and showed me love that I’ve never experienced so unconditionally. 

I keep beating myself thinking that it was something that I did wrong or that I could have prevented. Or had I acted quickly and tried to do chest compressions she could’ve come back. The vet couldn’t tell me what happened to her. I recently moved and I think that was a source of stress for her. Being that it was a smaller space, when I had friends over she would sometimes get panicked. I beat myself up for that as well. 

I could really use some support and that I don’t have my Penny here to do so. 🙁 

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Sorry about your Penny. I'm new here and just lost my girl, Monroe, Friday night. I'm a mess right now, but didn't want you to feel alone. (((Hugs))) 
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Dear LolaG,

I am very sorry and saddened to read of your recent loss of your cat "Penny." That is such a cute and adorable name. It is so easy to read in your words how much you sincerely loved "Penny." I am glad that she was able to know during her life time that she was loved & appreciated so deeply and was able to return the same back to you. All pets and all humans should be so blessed.

I was surprised to learn that in the wild, or out on the street, a cats average life span is only 2 to 5 years. They are really only biologically engineered to live for that short amount of time. We can automatically increase their lifespan by providing them with regular food and water, shelter (from the weather and elements), possible trips to the Vets when needed (and treatments, medication, surgeries and procedures etc.) and love and affection (which is important to overall well being.) But they only live for 2 to 5 years quite often.

I think domestic house cats are "exotic animals" in many ways. They are not considered so, but they are so sensitive and vulnerable, even though they are also tough and survivors. My own cat "Marmalade" was tough as nails, and a true survivor, but he was also sensitive and had health problems, which were largely either never properly diagnosed or not diagnosed at all. He had mystery ailments the 4 1/2 years that I knew him. I took him to 5 different Vet's ( 3 of those being supposed Animal Hospitals) and none could tell me what was wrong with him.

The sad thing as you may know is - cat veterinary science is not as advanced as dog veterinary science. As there have been more dogs taken in by humans as pets throughout history than cats. So Veterinary medicine relating to cats is still catching up.

I read where 3 different vets (1 in the U.S. and 2 in the U.K.) said in regard to treating cats: "You treat one thing and it triggers another."

Please know that you did your very best with Penny. There was no way that you could know what and when something was going to happen. And it is highly doubtful that you could have saved her, as if you were a paramedic. You're not. Please don't be so hard on yourself.

Prior to my cat "Marmalade" becoming unable to eat or drink, I knew I could loose him at any time, and I used to say: "Thank you for the time that we have been alloted." He taught me how to always feel grateful and appreciative. And how to live in the moment. Knowing that I could loose him at any time. Thus is the case with my current rescue cat "KID." He is approaching only his 1st Birthday, but I always have to be prepared to loose him at any time. Which could happen for a myriad of reasons. 

Penny knew that she was loved by you. She knew that she was a very important part of your life. Although cats are sensitive and do panic, you also had to live your life and be social. That is obviously not what made Penny ill and pass away in the end. She obviously had a heart murmur or some other underlying, undiagnosed issue. Something there was no way for you to be aware of at the time. There are others here on the Rainbow Bridge Forum who have also experienced what you did, the sudden and unexpected passing of their beloved's, without any warning.

You are not alone. We are with you in comradeship and spirit (as is "Penny") during this difficult and challenging time. I hope you continue to just travel through time and heal as best you can. And soon you will begin to cherish that fact and recall predominately your most precious memories of your little girl. I'm glad Penny and your paths in life crossed when they did.

My kindest regards & my sincerest condolences,
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Wow, thank you so much James. I so appreciate your response and how thorough it was. It’s helped me to see things in a different perspective if only for a moment. I’m having a difficult time showing myself grace. I felt like as Penny’s mom, I was her provider and protector. So her sudden death has caused me to feel so overwhelmed and I have been hard on myself. Her love for me was truly so special. 
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 Lola G and Monnie's Momma,

I am so sorry about your losses!  James made some great points about cats and they are masters at hiding illness - a survival trait they developed when they were wild cats that carries through to their current lives as domesticated cats.  Lola G - Don't beat yourself up for anything.  You gave your Penny girl lots of love and could not have known - even Vets miss this kind of stuff in their own pets.  Everyone on this forum hurts so much because we loved our babies so deeply.  It is not fun, but I would not have it any other way.  I had to my my own 19-year old tuxedo cat Patch down last Monday because his poor little body finally started to give out from kidney disease - he was so think and spent his last night in stress from illness.  It has been a rough week but the people on this forum have been so great.  James is right - every day tell them you love them.  

Big hugs to both of you
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I experienced the same thing.  But my LaGata ran down the hall, jumped into my bed, made muffins before lying on my legs staring at me.  It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen.  I sat up to pet her, she laid her head down.  As I went to stroke her coat again, she took a really deep breathe, her head raised up a bit then fell.  I tried cpr, nothing worked, she was gone that fast.  My vet too could tell me nothing.  I feel your pain, I have your pain every day.  I found this place, it has helped me a lot.  I pray you find some comfort here.
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Dear LolaG, I'm so very sorry about your Penny girl. I understand everything you're feeling - I've been feeling all the same things since March 7, when I lost my Buddy. He was my best friend, my fur-child (I have no bio kids of my own), my loving companion. Feeling guilty, second-guessing yourself, etc. are all normal reactions to shock and grief when someone we love dies unexpectedly - especially when that someone depends on us, and loves us unconditionally. I experienced all this with Buddy, as well as my 2 previous cats (who both lived twice as long as Buddy), and with my dad when he died unexpectedly in October 2018.

But *please* know, and believe (as I've been gradually learning), that it was NOT your fault. And please don't beat yourself up. We can't always foresee or prevent things that may stress our companions, and we never know what underlying conditions they may have that could be triggered by any number of things. I was so glad to read that your Easter morning with Penny was calm, loving, and pretty much perfect. She absolutely knew how much she was loved.

I found this Rainbows Bridge forum to be a true lifeline in the first 2 weeks after I lost Buddy. It helped me a lot to know that I wasn't alone in my grief, and to be able to share what I was feeling with others who truly understand when the rest of the world didn't always get it, or seem to care. Although I haven't posted much in the last couple of weeks, I think about this forum daily as I get replies to posts I've commented on previously, and I've been comforted by the kindness and understanding of so many. I hope you find that same comfort too, and that sharing here helps ease your pain, even if only for short bursts of time. Keep coming back. 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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I had to let my dog go 3 days ago, I am not really handling it that well. I can't eat or sleep. Just know that you are not alone in your pain and feel hugged <3
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@JulieF Thank you.
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