Hello everyone,

I apologize if this isn't the appropriate place to post this message, but everyone here understands the trauma of losing a beloved pet and I thought this would be the best community to express my feelings to. I apologize in advance for the length! 

My backstory: We said goodbye to our 11 year old cat, Alfie, three months ago today. He was suffering with kidney disease and we decided the most compassionate thing to do was to say goodbye to him before he crashed and suffered more than he was (his condition deteriorated so quickly, within two weeks he lost 4 pounds and stopped eating). Alf was the runt of his litter and to be honest, probably shouldn't have even lived as long as he did, let alone thrive. We were Alfie's second owners. He came to us as a bonded pair 4 years ago with his "brother", Grizzly, who is 12, and who was in the previous owners' home about 8 months before they adopted Alfie. They had to give Alfie and Grizzly up to us because their newborn baby was born with a host of health issues and had severe allergies to the cats. 

When Alfie passed, we worried how Grizzly would react. Although Alfie was the complete dominate cat in the household (from day 1!), Grizzly likes his routines, and we thought any cat who had been with his "brother" for over 11 years would definitely feel the absence. However, Grizzly seems to love being an only cat- which makes us happy and sad at the same time! Happy because he seems more energetic, vocal, playful and affectionate than before, but also kind of sad because Alfie loved him so much (Grizzly didn't really reciprocate the love!) and loved cuddling him, cleaning him, sleeping with him, etc. 

What brings me here today is to ask the question- does anyone else who has lost a pet (from a multipet household) feel a paralyzing fear that something bad health-wise will happen to the surviving pet(s)? I have found myself acting almost like a hypochondriac about Grizzly in the three months since Alfie is gone. Grizzly was diagnosed as diabetic back in February, but he is doing awesome- his weight has stayed almost exactly the same, vet is happy with blood sugar, his insulin dose has actually decreased from the original dosage (he is only on one unit of insulin, once a day). Other than his diabetes, he seems to be in good health (he does have issues with anal glands becoming impacted/ruptured, but we take care of that by having them expressed every month, and it's not life-threatening).

However, any time Grizzly sneezes, spits up, has a hairball, has a loose BM, etc- I find myself intstantly panicking, shaking in fear that there's an underlying issue and that I'm going to lose him too. I find myself obsessing over his litter box, making sure that he's used it not too little, not too much, but just enough; I find myself obsessing if he's drinking more water than normal (which is how we knew something was wrong with Alfie); I constantly check the level of food in his bowl to make sure he's eating. I just absolutely can't relax. It doesn't help that I work from home and that my husband constantly travels for work, so I can't help but obsess. 

I usually call my mom and share my fears with her since she understands pet loss. Her cat, Pepper, passed from cancer 6 years ago and she has not adopted another cat because she just can't go through the loss again. She usually talks me down and convinces me that if he's acting 100% normal, that no, I don't need to run to the emergency vet or even my normal vet if he's sneezed or spit up. It doesn't help that I still sob over Alfie at least once a day. Even though I only had him for four years, I was attached since day 1 and he kept me such company, being at home alone a lot. He chose me as "his" human from the day he came into our house. I just miss him so, so much and it hasn't gotten any better.

Anyway, I just wanted to pose this question to the group. It's ok if no one responds, it felt good typing it out and getting it out of my head.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you for listening.

(photos attached are of Alfie and Grizzly. Alfie is the gray cat, Grizzly is the brown multi cat).

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Hello KT. Firstly, your babies are absolutely beautiful. Now, I can't answer your question with any knowledge of a second pet, but your fear is only natural, and may still be a reaction to your grief. It's a long messy process. I lost my beloved bunny, Timothy, unexpectedly just over two months ago so I feel your pain. I never, ever thought I could feel so bad. Everyone here has their own story, which is individual and personal to them, with all different types of pets, but we all have something in common. We are heartbroken, we are hurting, we are full of grief (and guilt, regardless of their passing), so you will never feel alone. Sometimes, on a bad day, when I am having a good cry, I now realise there must be thousands upon thousands of people doing this right now, for exactly the same reason, and its strangely comforting.

I hope coming here will help you a little too.


"The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal"      C.S. Lewis
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Hello KT:
I lost my kitty Jack just 2 days ago. He was 17 1/2 years old and was diagnosed with kidney disease on September 5th, of this year. I thought he was starting to improve, but then just 2 weeks ago his appetite started to decline, and he continued to worsen. When his vet came to the house to see him, do blood work on Tues 10/31 I got the results that evening that his kidney values had doubled in less than a month's time. I knew then it was time to say my goodbyes. It has been an extremely emotional few days, I feel so lost without him in my life.

I lost his sister Jill 12/28/2010, almost 7 years ago, to a brain tumor. After I had to say goodbye to her, I watched Jack like a hawk. Every little odd movement or behavior had me running him to the vet or at the very least sending his doctor an email with my paranoia's. I was absolutely terrified something would happen to him also. He took her loss very difficult too, so he and I bonded more so from all that. For a good year after her passing, he was very clingy. He's always been very loving anyway. 

So I completely understand your paralyzing fear of anything happening to your other baby. Enjoy everyday you have with Grizzly. He's a very handsome guy indeed. Your Alfie was also a handsome guy. They give us unconditional love, and some much joy.

Now that I have no more kitties in my home, I feel the loss greatly. Sometimes to the point of panic. So many years my life practically revolved around them. I am at a loss of what to do now. I have no plans for another kitty at this time. Maybe some day, but now I'm afraid of getting too attached to another. Maybe a dog next time. For now, I still have to deal with the loss, get through this pain. I try to stay busy and remember all the good times with my guy.

Blessings to you and your little guy!

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Your babies are so beautiful. I can understand your fears. How can you not worry. Mayb as you continue to grieve this feeling will lessen?

I can relate in a way. I lost my baby boy William. Now a friend has asked me to sit for their pet in my home as opposed to putting them up in a kennel. This is my fear what if something happens to someone else’s pet under my care? I think I might go over the edge. My dog didn’t die from an accident he had an illness. But all the what if’s of having that responsibility scare me to death.
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I have always worried about losing pets in quick succession. When my 14 1/2 cat Puffy passed from what we believe was a stroke 9/13/16, my remaining cat, Allison, seemed to not only be ok, but to thrive being the only cat. She is about 8 months younger. Then, my 8 1/2 year old Doberman, Dobie, passed suddenly from a heart arrhythmia this July. I worried very much about my 12 1/2 year old female Doberman, Paris. She started showing her age once he was gone, and we realized only in October that she was suffering from degenerative myelopathy. We had to euthanize her on Oct 29th. I never expected this to be such a tough year, but worrying about it did me no good. We just tried to give Paris the best life we could right up until the end. Which we did. She never suffered. It just is what it is, and animals can sense our anxiety, so I find it best to protect them from that. Allison is still with us, and we got a new kitten before Dobie passed, as well as adopted an adult male that showed up at our house around the same time. Allison is ok with the new boys, but she doesn't have the bond she and Puffy had. I am always afraid of losing her, she does have respiratory issues and takes antibiotics every day, but as with Paris, we just enjoy every day together, because the future is out of our control, and worrying will only upset everyone unnecessarily. Your kitties are adorable, giving them the happiest life you can and loving them while you are together is the most important thing. I also panic and run to the vet, or call at 2 am for probably non emergency issues, and my credit card bill reflects that! I actually spend so much time there that the girls that work there offered to have a small baby shower for me! And I bawled when the 20 year old office cat passed away. It will get easier, I know It doesn't feel like it now, but it really will.
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Yes! I've done this too after losing my girl Raven to kidney failure and a tumor on her liver just before Easter. Just last night I took my 9yo Roswell to the emergency vet after she had a spate or diarrhea and vomiting. She's ok now but I'm so freaked out all the time with my others. Turned out it was a new canned food is what they're vet thinks caused it. She's never done that before so it gave me a coronary lol. So ni,you're not alone and, in my book, better safe than sorry!
Blessings 🐱🐺
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Thank you to everyone who responded and gave me some comfort knowing that I'm not alone with my anxiety about Grizzly! I'm sorry I'm just replying- I've tried to take a break from being online (except for work reasons) to try to decompress and disconnect a little bit (I've felt more anxious than normal since Alfie passed, especially working from home with a husband that travels all the time- not many distractions!).

Thank you all for making me feel "normal" about my anxiety concerning Grizzly. I'm really trying to relax and enjoy the fact that he is happy, playful, normal and (for the most part) healthy. I am going to try to really enjoy and cherish our time together, which will hopefully be for a long time, instead of nitpicking and spending my days worrying about every little thing. Easier said than done, though! :-)

I hope everyone has a great day!

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No problem Kristin! It's just like with human kids, we worry. It's what makes us, well, us! And you're right to cherish every second you get with Grizzly (who is adorable btw, as is Alfie!) These precious souls are entrusted to us, and we have every right to worry about them and love them until we burst!
Blessings and nothing but happy days for you and Grizzly 🐱❤🍁
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