When I adopted my Getty and Mimi, they were just a few months old. I still remember the first time I saw them, brother and sister, in their crate at our local pet store. I also remember the first day we brought them home, trying to see if they would like the wet food we picked out for them, gently nudging them to explore the new litter box (then running around the corner as soon as one of them climbed in because they were so toilet-shy...), and of course the first wonderful moment in the middle of the night when I realized they had chosen to snuggle with me.
I had adopted them both in November 2018. Last night, I came home from my mother’s to find Mimi, dead, on the floor. It was the most horrifying thing I had ever seen. Whenever, in the past 24 hours, someone (the vet, or a friend) has tried to sensitively ask me about finding her “unresponsive” or “passed away”, I almost snap because I cannot describe the state I found her in as anything other than just “dead”: eyes glazed over, jaw open, tongue askew, rigor already settling in—she looked and felt like a nightmarish object that couldn’t have even existed in the same world as my sweet, mild-tempered, and beloved Mimi. Even now, as I think I am just numbed by the loss, I completely lose it just thinking of the moment I found her.
She didn’t even make it to 2 years. I was supposed to protect her and keep her safe, and she barely made it to adulthood. And I don’t know what happened; I had been home for almost ever hour of the week (in quarantine, like everyone else), and had not noticed any symptoms of illness or pain. But I keep thinking and thinking of the signs I may have missed. She was eating, playing, chattering at the birds outside the window just that morning. But was she quieter than usual? I’m not sure. Did I hear her use the litter box? I don’t know.
I carried her body to the ER for a necropsy, and took Getty to the vet to be checked this morning. But I have no answers yet, and no idea what her cause of death was. Between the loss and the uncertainty, whatever part of me that isn’t in grief is absolutely terrified for Getty’s well-being—that if I missed what happened to her, I could miss it again.
I am posting this because I really need help navigating this, and having a lot of trouble just focusing on one “step at a time”. I‘m desperate to process what has happened, and what to do next. If you have any advice (and feel comfortable sharing) about what to do, how to care for a cat who has just lost the litter mate he was bonded to, or how to just stop being terrified of losing him too, please let me know.