In the early hours of this morning my cat Oliver - the brightest little star - died a painful and frightening death. I am overcome with guilt and grief about our delay of a few hours to take him to be put to sleep while we searched for a vet open at 2am and then agonised over whether it would be more frightening for him to be taken out of the house when he was in severe distress.
My husband is bereft as am I after we buried him a couple of hours ago with some wrapping paper ribbon, his favourite toy in his suntrap spot in the garden where he would sit for hours.
He leaves us with his son who is naturally confused and upset about his dad, they have never been separated .William is not a confident cat, he relied on Oliver for all decisions.
I keep seeing the awful images of his last hours and I know he suffered a lot.
His lung had ruptured and was filling with blood, he was gasping desperately for air and in the end coughing up blood. We never left his side.
How do you get past these images. It's killing me.
I've attached a photo taken 3 weeks after we got them as rescue cats when William finally decided he wasn't going to live behind the fridge forever. Oliver is the cream coloured red-point on the left. I miss him more than I've ever missed anyone.
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Williver: Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know how hard it must be to try to put those images out of your mind. Please be gentle with yourself. Oliver would not want you to think about the  last moments but would want you to reflect on the wonderful times you had together and the love you shared.

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Williver, I am so sorry for your loss.  I had to put mysweetheart Duffy to sleep on Jan 1, and it is so difficult.  Your kitty looks a lot like Duffy. 

Duffy was a very old cat, but very healthy until recently.  He slowed down
the last few months which I thought was just about age. I had him for 20 of his 23 years on earth.  Last week he was slower yet, not walking well, seemed very sad and drank way too much water and ate very little.  We hoped that he may be a diabetic and had a tooth to be fixed.  The Dr. said
that his blood sugar was good, but he is in kidney failure, 1 kidney was gone
and 1/3 of the other one wasn't working, and he couldn't last more than a few days or weeks because the body would shut down slowly and painfully.

It's been a very difficult week going through so much crying, and an empty house without him.  It has gotten a little better, but there will always be
a hole in my heart from him.

I believe we will all see them again forever, all of us and our animals happy
and healthy forever. 
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Thanks for your words, they mean a lot. I know I am not alone and I feel for your loss too.
We don't know how old Oliver was as he was a rescue cat but we reckon only about 10, we had 7 years with him. We have his son as a reminder but poor little William is the Yin to Olivers Yang. Oliver was an ugly and unrefined cat who had rubbish balance and was known to pull his fur out and he also with a horrible meow that made all-comers say, oh dear, is that sound like someone grating metal his meow? However he had a dazzling personality. If he wanted food he tapped you on the mouth, if he wanted a cuddle he tapped you on the hand, if he wanted to play you would just get a paw waving in your face. We never taught him this, he just started doing it about a year after we brought him home. He also talked almost non-stop. William on the other hand is shy and lacking confidence (from an unknown traumatic past) but possibly the most beautiful, muscular and gentle cat you could meet. His coat is like silk and his meow is a deep and wonderful Siamese howl. He is like a gorgeous teddy bear.
Neither of these gorgeous boys has ever so much as spat or extended a claw in anger. They are the most loving  and gentle cats but very, very different.
Oliver lives on in William but regardless of that I'm not sure how I'll cope without my little man.
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It was very sudden, that very morning he was playing with some christmas decorations that my husband was trying in vain to put away.
Little Ol had Asthma which was well controlled and his wheezing was very limited . The vet said it was probably a complication of his asthma that has resulted in his lung rupturing. A combination of that and possibly an issue with blood pressure or an undetected tumour somewhere in the area that caused the lung to fail. We are very fortunate in the respect that he didn't have a slow decline but his death was the most awful thing I've ever seen and I've had animals in my life since I first formed memories.
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Dear Williver,
I am so sorry about your losing Oliver this morning in such an awful way. You and your husband must be in shock over the way it happened. I think only time will dull the images of it in your mind. I think your burying him with his ribbon and toys is so nice.
I do not know how William will do, but when some time passes maybe you can find a friend for him that he'll feel comfortable with. Meanwhile he needs a lot of love and kindness, the same as you and your husband do. God bless you, your husband, Oliver and William.

I love you my dearest and sweetest little boy "Archie"
I'll be there my little soft baby!
10/27/00 - 12/13/10
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Dear Williver,
I am so sorry.   I just hate it that so many of these precious, innocent beings have to suffer when they pass.  It is truly heart-breaking.  Please know we understand your pain and sadness and we are here for you.
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Williver, I am so very sorry to hear about what you went through. You gave these two beautiful cats a loving home and gave them lots of attention and care. Sometimes these horrible twists of fate just happen and there is nothing you could have done to prevent it...not that it makes it any easier to comprehend. Please try to focus on the happy times and not on those last images. Oliver would want to be remembered with a smile looking back on happy memories. However, it may take some time to get to the point where you can do that and that is normal. I am thinking of you.

"If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever." ~ The Crow

"We don't "get over" our losses and just move on, we learn to live differently."
~ http://www.angelbluemist.com/frames/guilt.html
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I too, am so terribly sorry Oliver is no longer with you. Everything you feel is OK. I'm glad you found the RBB forum. Share as you can. We are here to listen. LIsten those who have replied to you. They offer you much wisdom.

I will keep you in my thoughts.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Tuffy, My Puppy Love
June 20, 2005-July 26, 2010

Becky Leigh, Queen of my Heart
December 2010-November 10, 2015
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Dear Williver, I am so sad for your loss.  I too lost my sweet kitty on Jan 5th suddenly when he was hit by a car outside our home.  I understand how the shock and grief of what you are going through is so painful.  Let it flow and do whatever you must to honor your cat.  Don't get consumed by guilt because that would only serve to hurt rather than heal your soul right now.  We give our animals all the love we can because of their unconditional devotion and love for us and I just know they want us to go on and not feel this awful for so long.  Just keep telling yourself it's going to get better and know that others here have wounded hearts just like yours and are sending you love.  Take care and I wish you the most gentle of mourning periods possible.

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