Izzyhg

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.

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JulieF
Oh Sweetie - I am so sorry for not only your loss but they way it happened.  You have been through a lot of trauma in the last couple of days.  I can't even imagine how that must have felt.  I have to have my 19-year old cat put down yesterday for kidney disease.  I knew he had it but seemed completely healthy up until the night before.  Then he went downhill fast.  Do you have someone you can talk to about this?  Is there a local pet-loss support group you can reach out to?  I know with everything going on it might be hard to find someone.  This forum is good.  I just found it and just reading other stories of loss and reaching out to them has been very cathartic.  Whatever you do, DO NOT beat yourself up (or try not to).  Vets will tell you cats hide their ailments and you had no way of knowing.  It could have been something that could not be detected.  Try hard to focus on Getty and give her lots of love.  Get out in the fresh air to walk or run.  Be kind to yourself.  You gave her a great life.  I know all of this might sound trite but take it from someone who has been through cancer personally 3 times - you must take things day to day and focus on the little joys.  Find something that provides comfort.  Try to get your mind occupied on something other than obsessing (believe me - I am queen obsession).  I find reading and exercise good (although I am an avid runner and find I have no strength to lace up my shoes right now so I am walking).  Be kind to yourself.  This morning will be the first morning without my boy.  He sat on my lap every morning before going to work while I had some devotional time and watch a bit of news.  This is going to be tough.  I hope and pray each day gets a little better - and I will pray that for you as well.  I hope this has helped.  Just know you are not in this alone and we all understand and want to help. 
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