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AWM

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Reply with quote  #1 
I had my cat Sancho since he was 8 weeks old. He was from a "barn cat" litter. He chose me. He was the only kitten that wanted anything to do with me. He climbed my pant leg when he was so tiny and laid in my lap and began to purr. He always purred when I held him. He would lean into me and rub his head against my chin. He was the only pet I've had.

Sancho was always the center of attention. If he wasn't in my lap, he was making sure everyone in the room saw him. He was kind, gentle, and the sweetest cat. He was inseparable from me if I was in the room.

Today, 7 days after his 18th birthday, I had to euthanize him. He was a big cat, that used to be 18 lbs. He stopped eating. He stopped drinking. He had kidney disease. It crossed the point of no return today. He was suffering. My once 18 lb. cat, was now down to 6 lbs. He was withering away. The treatment options seemed like they were worse than anything. There was not a good chance of treatment working. In my heart, I know that it was the right decision, but I am devastated.

I feel guilty. My heart is broken. I don't know how I will ever fill the hole he has left in my heart. I know that I will love him forever, and I will never forget him.

Please help me get through this. Thank you.

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pannklaus

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Reply with quote  #2 
I understand how difficult the loss of your beloved Sancho is and how terribly difficult it was to make the decision to let him go.  But you gave him the gift of love by releasing him from his suffering, even though you are now going through the normal grief that follows. Now you feel empty, your heart is broken and you don't know how you will go on without him.  You feel you will never fill the hole in your heart.  These are all the kinds of normal grief which everyone in this group understands and is going through.  I cannot tell you when you will begin to get at least a little relief from your intense grief since everyone grieves differently.  We cannot make the pain go away.  But everyone here understands what you are going through.  We can listen to whatever feelings you wish to write about as often as you want to write about them.  Again, I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious Sancho and for all the pain that you are experiencing.




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AWM

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your kind words pannklaus.

The first night without him has been rough. I keep dreaming about him. I keep waking up thinking I hear him about the house. I have an intense guilty feeling. I know there was nothing that could be done. I know what I did was the right and humane thing to do. But then I turn around in my mind and tell myself that I killed him. I feel like I can't forgive myself. He was so innocent in all of this. For any of you that have had to make that impossible decision, how do I begin to ever forgive myself?

As I lay hear trying to get some sleep. I pray for him. I am worried how I will handle tomorrow morning. We always had a morning routine that we both enjoyed.
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BlairS

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi AWM.  I as well am very sorry for your loss of Pancho.  Everything you are feeling is perfectly normal.  I understand how hard it is, I feel exactly the same way and it's heading towards three months now since I made the agonizing decision to release my best buddy.  I won't lie to you, it's gonna take time.  I still cry every morning when she is not there waking me up for some "breakfast treats".  Nothing I can say is going to make your pain go away, just know that there are many people here who understand exactly how you feel and are wishing you the strength to help you get through.  

Blair
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AWM

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Reply with quote  #5 
I am doing a little better as the day goes on. I have begun to accept that the decision to let Sancho go was the right decision, and it came from my love for him. It still upsets me, but it is more of I'm upset because I lost my best friend, not because of how the end happened.

I have spent the day talking to friends and family that all knew Sancho well. We have shared stories, and while it has brought tears, some of them are happy tears.

I still miss you dearly big guy. Today is the first day in 18 years that I haven't had you in my lap. I can't wait to see you again on the other side.
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AWM

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sancho,

I had several dreams about you last night.  It was so real and vivid.  They were very happy times.  It brought a smile to me.  You can stop in my dreams anytime.  I will always be happy to see you.
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AWM

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Reply with quote  #7 
I put your picture on the refrigerator this morning.  You were showing off for the camera.  You loved to groom yourself so that you had a "mane" like a lion.  You had just got done doing this and puffed your chest out.  You are such a big beautiful boy, and you knew it.  I still get to say hi to you every morning now.  I miss you so much.
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AWM

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Reply with quote  #8 
I am doing a lot better than I was a few days ago. I still miss Sancho so much, but I have accepted that, as difficult as the decision was, letting you go to ease your pain was completely necessary. You hid your pain so well from me until the very end. As sad as it is, my last gift to you was to relieve your pain and suffering. I will never be able to replace you. I wouldn't even try. However, there are many kittens out there that need a home just like you did. I will begin a new friendship eventually. I'm just not quite ready yet. I'll see you again on the other side.
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Jenniferhiggs1221

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Reply with quote  #9 
So sorry for your loss.and he was a handsome kitty..i am also going through the grief of losing my baby reeses..he was a handsome orange tabby who i had to make the hardest decision of my life for and had ti do the same..its been 8 days now and each day hurts just as bad..we had been together forever too and he was the love of my life and he made me so happy and made me feel complete that i dont know what to do with myself anymore..i am so depressed and everyday have in my mind that i killed him..its not fair i had to make the choice for him.i loved him so much my heart cant heart anymore..i dont think i will ever get over the choice made because i always will wonder was it the right choice and was it really his time and would he wouldve been fine after having all the surgeries he needed..he loved me and i was his mom and he looked to me to take care of him and i feel like i took his life which makes his passing so much harder.i know time will help the grief but there will never be anothet reeses and i will not ever get another cat..he was the only one for me..and i used ti tell him that all the time..so reading your story i completly relate and am hurting very badly too.hope that in time you will feel better..you will always love him..but maybe not hurt as much
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Memories_of_Marmalade

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Reply with quote  #10 

Dear AWM, 

I'm sorry for your loss of your beloved "Sancho", what a handsome lad he was, and what a unique face. And yes he had quite an impressive "Lion Mane" ! : ) I lost my tiger-man, a cat named "Marmalade" 4 weeks ago today. I had to put him down as I felt he was suffering and in pain far too much. He had stopped eating and drinking and like your Sancho was becoming a shadow of his former self.

Marmalade was a total Alpha-Male Tom Cat. He had endured chronic health problems for the 4.2 years that I had taken care of him. I adopted him in New Mexico. I tried my best to nurse him and keep him eating and drinking. He had 2 surgeries prior to his death (ear canal and dental surgery.) Both had complications. He was around 13 years old. I took him to 4 Vets in his final year (3 of them were supposedly "animal hospitals", paid them thousands of dollars, and yet they all failed to successfully diagnose him and did not help him to beat his overcome his myriad of health problems. 

I live in total guilt, remorse, regret and sorrow now. My World is shattered now that he is gone. He was my best and only true friend, my son, my brother, my last remaining family member, my comrade in arms, my spirit animal, my company each day and night and the light of my life. I don't understand how this little enchanting animal could have completely stolen my heart that way that he did. He taught me to always feel grateful and blessed, to live in the moment (for the first time in my life) and that paradise is right in front of us at all times. He brought me back to God and faith after my having been an atheist or agnostic for close to 5 decades.

I miss him so, as I know that you miss your Sancho. I hope all of us here on this message board continue to travel through time and heal-up the best we can, and that hopefully, only the good memories of the friends we have lost will eventually remain. Here's to Sancho & Marmalade! ( < Sounds like a Willie Nelson song! Lol.) 
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AWM

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Reply with quote  #11 
Jenniferhiggs1221 & Memories_of_Marmalde

Thank you so much for your support. I am sorry for both of you. I had never put a pet down until Sancho. I have lost pets due to tragic accidents and natural causes in my lifetime. Losing a pet is terrible no matter how it happens. But I can say that being able to say good bye and comfort our pets is much better than any other alternative.

Jennifer, don't rule out getting another cat. Take as much time as you need to grieve for Reeses. Cry as much as you need to. You will never replace Reeces, but you can start a new friendship with another kitty.
Don't let the last terrible moments with Reeses be the determining factor. Let all of the wonderful moments you had together be the determining factor. I am not saying to go get one right now, but you'll know if you are ready.

Memories, I can totally understand how Marmalade was your "rock." I feel the same way about my Sancho. I have felt lost without him. But, each day, the pain lessens a little. I am starting to remember some of the best moments we shared, and I smile. Just remember that you shared far more happy times than sad with Marmalade.

Who knows, maybe Reeses, Marmalade, and Sancho are all playing together on the other side.
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AWM

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Reply with quote  #12 
I got a call from the vets office today. Sancho's cremated remains were ready to pick up. I didn't want to go. I was afraid that it would bring up too many bad memories. I eventually built up the courage to go. As upsetting as it was, I am glad to have Sancho back home. He can finally rest in peace in his favorite room of the house. Welcome home buddy.
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just_lost

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Reply with quote  #13 
What a beautiful cat, AWM; I'm terribly sorry for your loss.  I have a small idea of how you feel.
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Jenniferhiggs1221

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Reply with quote  #14 
AWM ..i understand how hard it is to have ti go back to the vet where it all happened to pick up the remains.my husband drove me to pick up reeses's and i closed my eyes before we pulled in so i didnt have to look at the place where my baby crossed over and kept my eyes shut the whole time until we left the parking lot..even though it was not how i wanted my baby home..he was finally home with me for good and i at least felt somewhat better he was with me..its been two weeks today and ive thought about him so much as i always do..i miss that cat sooo much and i dont think my heart will ever not hurt for him..i wish he knew how much i miss him..and i am glad you at least have sancho back home with you tonight and hope it may bring you some peace.maybe sancho and reeses are friends now and running and playing together on the other side..
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Memories_of_Marmalade

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Reply with quote  #15 

Dear AWM,

I picked up my Marmalade's ashes from the dreaded Veterinary Hospital (that I loathed to return to like Jennifer did with her Vet), and I held the ashes (which were in a little cedar chest in a white paper bag)(with a plaster cast of my cats paw prints and a condolence card from the Vet's to my chest as I walked home to the warehouse where we had lived together for 2 years.

As I walked like a zombie homewards, I wasn't paying attention to anything at all. I was just completely numb and exhausted, and yet all of the sudden I felt this sense of warmth & love against my chest. Like this strange, gentle energy pressing against me. I swear to you this occurred. And out of nowhere, a smile crossed my face. It was one of the strangest sensations I have ever felt. And I expected absolutely nothing in the slightest. If anything I was staying calm and mellow just prior. I just wanted to pick up Marmalade's ashes and be done with it. Get the ashes home asap. It had taken 3 weeks to get them. 

I placed the ashes on the couch perch that Marmalade was fond of in the back of our warehouse in our living area, and I went back to my local office a block away. When I returned, the same strange sensation. It was so powerful, it felt like I was going to float up off the ground, and I smiled again. I went to the couch, picked-up the ashes, held them close to my chest and wept and wept. Then I watched video's of my lad.

This experience was so, so surreal for me. I did some research, and some believe that ashes can be a conduit to the "other side", almost like a source point (modem) for pets whom have passed. I have no idea if that is true obviously, but it felt / feels good to have my boy back at home with me. I placed him on my night stand, next to the two paw prints, and I tell him goodnight and good morning each day.  : )

I am glad your beloved Sancho is back home with you now, as I was relieved to her that Jennifer's beloved Reese was back home with her.

Kind regards,
James
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