This is my sweet girl Sunshine.  She was an 11-year-old ocicat with cancer (mammary and lung) and heart failure.  She had been sick for some time and I realized yesterday that it was time.  Her breathing was labored, she had stopped grooming herself and the horrible coughing fits were happening constantly.  I didn't want her to suffer any longer so we had a mobile vet out to our place to put her to sleep.  My husband, three children and I all stayed with her until the end.

I'm so despondent today.  I've had a lot of mental health/depression issues and I have to say that she did more for me than any psych doctor, therapist or pill ever did.  All of the purrs, rubbing against me, snuggling up next to me, sleeping with me at night, she was all in and I loved every minute of it. 

She was my constant companion.  I work from home.  In this picture she is on my computer desk hanging out while I work.  In the morning, before I went down to my office I would say, "Sunshine, it's time to go to work."  She would get up and trudge down the stairs with me to her kitty bed. 

I can't stop crying.  I took the day off from work because obviously, all I can think about is the fact that she's not here with me.  I've been finding her little cat toys around the house and there is not a single room I can go into that doesn't remind me of her.  She was such an amazing and wonderful girl and I don't know how I'm going to get through this.

I am very lucky in the fact that my husband had bonded with her as well and is a pet lover so he is very understanding and has done his best to comfort me.  My kids have taken it hard as well.

I've been reading through the posts on here and it does give me some comfort to know that I'm not alone and not crazy for feeling this kind of grief.  The stories I've read are so sad and yet so beautiful, so much love can exist between a human and an animal.  I feel sad for people who have never had that experience although when the physical bond is broken, it is absolutely heartbreaking.

Best wishes and blessings to all of you.


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I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are at the right place, this forum, for support. It has helped me tremendously when my dog, Scooter died. You are not crazy for feeling such grief. It is four months for me and I still have some very emotional days (today being one). You are not alone! Sunshine looks so soft and fluffy in the picture, what a sweetheart.

Take care,
Jonancy...Scooters mama
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Looking at the picture of your beautiful girl, just the contentment to be with you.  I understand the name Sunshine because that is what they bring into our lives.  
I am sorry for your loss, we all understand the pain as we too have lost our sweet companions.
My Shanti died nearly 8 months ago, he was the best cat ever and the cat love of my life.  He was a Bengal snow leopard.  These past 8 months have been difficult without him but time has helped some.  I just remind myself that the pain I feel is because of the love I had and my Shanti is worth it.
The same is true for you, the pain you feel is because of the love you had with Sunshine and she is worth it.
I will keep you in prayer in the days ahead as I do for all who come here to share their grief and heartache.
Marlene Wagner
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I can only talk from experience when I say how I have too went through some issues, both with mild depression which was believed to have 'come on' via having anxiety attack issues. More to the point when I had my little dog, who sadly passed in April, she too was my rock. I know exactly what you mean when you say how she was your constant companion. Even something as simple as getting some toast, you know she'd either be sitting near you or hogging your warm sofa seat waiting for your to return. My dog too slept in with me, every single night and I long to feel that 'pring' feeling of her paw patting my stomach - walking but lying still-, like she always did when she dreamt.

My dogs things are all over the house and I honestly say this with the kindest heart - don't throw them away. I had my little ones bed in the livingroom for a good 3 or 4 weeks before I put it into the spare room. Her water bowls lay on the floor for a week, until I realised it was just dirty water and wouldn't be doing anyone, not even her, any favours! Her toys stay around and always will, I also have her little coat that sits near my chair in the livingroom - it's behind me so not a constant reminder but a nice feeling when I see it.

I too agree about those who have never experienced the love of an animal, I don't think you've properly lived until you do. The end result is obviously extremely painful, but I know that's a pain for me and not what she is going through. So I know if someone told me I could rewind time I would do it all again, in a heartbeat, as long as it was promised it was me feeling the pain and sadness like just now and not her.

Take great comfort in the fact that you were 'it' for her. You know when people say things like their partners or their kids are 'it' and that's all they'll every need? That's you. She lived the life she did because you got her through each day.
Animals are like humans in the sense of feelings but we all know how if they want to go lie by themselves, then they will! Where as a human might think "hmm, maybe I'll stay and not walk incase they are offended." She chose to always follow, sleep in with and cuddle up with you. You're it :)

Keep your head high Christine, she's happy today and is still around because you gave her all that love! Take your time to go through it and never feel guilty about it.


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jonancy, thank you so much for the support.  Scooter was absolutely precious (:

shantismom, thank you for the prayers and kind words.  I would love to see a picture of Shanti sometime, I'll bet he was a gorgeous kitty.  We're all so blessed to have had these special little guys and gals in our lives, even if it is for too short a time.

gumdrops, thank you for the comforting words and the advice regarding her "stuff."  We definitely have a lot in common (:  I am going to keep her little toys and her things.  While they're painful to see now, I know that I will want them later on when the pain has lessened a bit.  The vet was kind enough to shave off some extra fur for me to keep as a memento and I will treasure that.  I'm having her cremated and have ordered a lovely urn for her ashes.  I totally get what you're saying when it comes to a pet's unconditional love.  They give so freely to their loved ones.  Animals have no "ulterior motives" and that is part of what makes that love so precious.  I'll never know why she "picked" me but she made me feel so special and despite how horribly painful this experience is, I wouldn't have traded my time with her for anything either.

So, funny story.  My MIL is not only allergic to cats but also suffers from pretty major OCD in terms of cleanliness.  Needless to say, due to the "mess" and fur and dander, she has never been a cat lover.  About a year or two after we got Sunshine, she was here for a visit.  Sunshine must have sensed that she needed to keep her distance from Judy but kind of hovered around her, hoping for some attention.  We were all sitting on the couch chatting and Sunshine sat down a couple of spaces away from Judy.  As we talked, I noticed that every five or ten minutes or so, she would get up and scoot over a few inches closer to Judy, then lay down again.  After about a half an hour she was snuggled up against Judy's side.  Apparently, she figured that if she was getting away with sitting so close she could push it a little further and she gently reached out and placed her paw on Judy's leg.  It was the sweetest thing and made us all smile.  After that incident, I occasionally caught my MIL petting her when she thought nobody was looking (:  When my husband called to let her know we had put her down, they had a good cry together.  These animals are just amazing.

Thank you all.  This is a wonderful forum filled with kindness and it has been a great comfort to me.  I appreciate you all taking the time to reply.  My prayers will be with you all as well (:

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I am so, so sorry for the loss of your Sunshine, I hope in time your fond memories of her will help ease your pain, such a great photo of her, she looks like the perfect "co-worker".
I love the story about your MIL and Sunshine, how about that, she won her over, such a heartwarming story, I know you have so many more stories that bring smiles to your face.
It is those stories that will help you, I know by sharing Bella's stories on this forum, it has helped me tremendously.
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers, sending positive healing thoughts your way.

Sincerely, Don & Vera
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There is a picture of Shanti on this forum under My Beautiful Shanti, he was so pretty.
I have another bengal, female, she is cute but actually Shanti had a prettier face.
Her name is Sable, she's a nice girl and I love her but Shanti was in a class by himself.  He was friendly and greeted all who came to our house.
I will love that little boy forever.
Marlene Wagner
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He was gorgeous Shantismom.  Those beautiful eyes.  He looks so cuddly, like you just want to hug him (:  Sometimes there are animal friends that are just one in a million and can never be replaced. 
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