Carol
My best kitty boy, Pilikia,was put to sleep this am.  He seemed to be such a healthy cat, but on Friday, he had trouble using his hind legs and cried in extreme pain.  An immediate visit to the vet showed that there was a mass in his abdomen.  After going to a more specialized practice, after many tests, cancer was found that his liver, stomach and lungs had tumors.  There was nothing to be done and the tumors were so frail that a rupture was likely.  I made the decision to let him have peace from any pain.  He was my heart kitty for 14 years.  The loss I feel is so intense, that I don't know how I will bear it.  My husband passed away April 15, 2009 of cancer.  I know they are together and that gives me some peace.  I keep expecting him to jump on our chair or come get me to feed him and then I realize that will never happen again.  I've been crying for days and it seems that there is no end in sight.  I miss him so much....how to cope?
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NTB

Carol,  I am so sorry for your loss.  You loved him with all your heart and gave him a great home for 14 years.  His spirt will alway be there with you.  Someone on this site told me to not focus on the end but instead focus on all the good times that were shared.  Tonight will be one week since my dog Domino left to be in heaven after 12 glorious years.  These days have been tough.  I found comfort last night finally being able to look at pictures through his long life.  He was so playful and happy all the way to the end and brought so much joy and happiness to our family.  Like Pilikia he also had an unknown tumor with his rupturing causing us to loose him suddenly.  I would do anything to push a button and make him come back or roll back time, unfortunately this is not going to happen.  With time healing will come.  Take conformfort that he is now with your husband and that both of them are together and looking out for you. 

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Carol
Thank you NTB for your kind and compassionate words.  I am sorry to read that you suffered the same loss only a week ago.  I wish you well in your journey to living with that loss.  I don't know about you, but the pain is greater than I would expect.  Pilikia was all I had left in this world.  All of my family has already passed.  I seem very alone and at a huge loss for the meaning of my life.  Thank you again for being here for me.
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Susie_Squillions
Dear Carol,

I just replied to the message you left for me in the thread called "Meltdown and a sign." 

My heart aches for you after reading your post about Pilikia.  What a shock it was for you to lose him so quickly.  Bless you for putting his needs ahead of your own.  It's a terribly difficult decision to make to assist them on their final journeys, but we do it with the purest love for them in our hearts.  It's the greatest gift we can give them in the end when they need our help. 

Pilikia is with your husband now, and they are always with you, never more than a whisper from your side.  You have been through so much, and I can't begin to imagine the depth of the sorrow you must feel now.  Please stay with us.

You, your husband, and Angel Pilikia are in my thoughts and prayers.


My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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judy
Hi Carol,
I am so sorry for the loss of your Pilikia.  I have posted another message to you on the thread, "Meltdown".  So sorry about your husband too; I lost my husband 2 years ago, my cat last summer, and now my Teddy.  I believe the grief must have been cumulative for me as I cried for 5 straight days and am still in a daze 9 days later.  Please see the other message. 
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Susie_Squillions
Dear Carol,

I just read your reply to my post to you in my thread, and I wanted to reply to it here, under yours.

It takes time for us to find the path to our own healing.  You did everything you could possibly have done for Pilikia, and you made every decision out of the purest love for him.

I'm so sorry you were met with an intolerant attitude about this very personal and sorrowful time in your life.  People just don't take the time to think of how certain events affect others.  If we did, this world would be a much better place.  Too many of us focus on how we might react if the same thing happened to us, not about how the person it has happened to it is feeling.  What a shame.

There is a laundry list of reasons why losing our furs can be a harder adjustment than losing our human loved ones, and one of those reasons is that it's harder to find understanding and compassion.  That's why this site is so important for so many of us.  I'm sure that when your husband left this life, everyone understood your sorrow and gave you space and time to grieve.  Many of those same people now don't understand the many layers that make up the grief you are experiencing now, or how it in entwined with the loss of your husband.

First of all, it hasn't even been a year since you said goodbye to your husband, and now here you are, facing the loss of someone who was a symbol of your time together.  Someone you loved so much and so well, and who loved you back and stood beside you  for 14 years.  That's a double whammy, and it hurts like nothing else in the world.

Our animals do not judge us.  They accept us as we are, flaws and all.  It's hard to find a person who is as accepting and generous with their love as that, and it's incredibly painful to say goodbye to them. 

We are 100% responsible for their care and for trying to figure out when (and if) something is wrong with them.  They are hard wired to hide signs of weakness in the wild, and they do the same in our homes.  Consequently, we don't realize there's anything wrong until it's too late.  They don't speak our language, and can't tell us "My tummy hurts," or "I don't feel well," and it can be difficult for us and their vets to troubleshoot the vague symptoms at first.  All too often, by the time they've been diagnosed, it's suddenly time to say goodbye, and we haven't had any time to adjust or absorb that information, so it's extremely stressful.

When you add to that the "just a cat" attitude that friends, family and co-workers take, it's just too much to bear.  After we lost Buddy, one of our friends (who had always been entertained by Buddy's antics) said, "C'mon, Susan ~ he was a cat, for goodness' sake."  I said to him, "Maybe to you, he was just a cat, but to Jim and me, he was a member of the family.  Please try to be patient with us while we grieve our loss."  It was amazing how well that worked.  Once I expressed it to him that way, our friend understood and was much more compassionate with us.  I feel sorry for people who don't get it.  They have never known the true love and acceptance that we have known.  Maybe one day, they will be as lucky as we have been.

Everyone here understands the depth of the sorrow you feel, and how devastating this time is for you.  We come here to lift each other up and to offer a virtual shoulder for each other to cry on or lean on whenever it's needed. 

I hope you will come back and tell us all about life with Pilikia, and all the things that made his such a wonderful part of your family.  It really does help to write those stories down and share them with others who really do get it.

Please stay in touch and let us know how you're doing as you move through this sad process.  It can be far too lonely when we try to make it through alone.  You're never alone as long as you visit this forum.

xoxoxo


My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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judy

As always, Susie, you have such a wonderful way with words.  You can put the feelings into words like no one else I have ever known. Hugs, Judy

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Goobiesbf
I'm so sorry for your loss.  What a great looking cat your Pilikia was.  It's hard to imagine that the big, loving fluffball in the photo was ever much pilikia. You must miss him terribly.

The first days are especially hard after such an unexpected death. You had so little time to adjust emotionally and you've also had to deal with your husband's passing. My heart goes out to you.  Hang on.  It's a wild ride.  Cry when you need to.  The tears will come less and less often as time goes by and the very detailed memories of Pilikia begin to fade.  Do what you need to do to cope, to be more comfortable.  My Goobie adopted a teddy bear I kept on my bed - snuggled it, slept on it, kneaded it.  After he was PTS, nights with no cat on the bed were very difficult for me so one night I took that teddy, held it to me, cried a bunch and then curled up with it like a toddler.  The thought occured to me that if I happened to die in my sleep, I'd be mortified for all eternity but I got a wonderful night's sleep.  You'll find things that work for you.  Don't be surprised if some of the things that give you the most comfort also produce the most tears.

Post here whenever you feel the need.  We've all stood where you're standing now.

Ellen
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Carol
Hi Ellen,
Thank you so much for your kind words.  It gives me hope to know that some of this will become easier with time.  Right now I feel like it is the end of the world.  Every time I think I am calming down, something sets me off and I cry like a baby.  I keep touching Pilikia's toys and haven't been able to put away his bowls or bed.  I haven't slept in my own bed since this happened.  I know he won't be there with me and this is more than I can handle.  I wonder aimlessly around my home, not knowing what to do with myself.  I turn on the TV for company, but really don't watch it.  I have no desire to do housework or yard work.  Then I feel guilty for acting like this. 
I love your story about sleeping with  Goobie's teddy, it makes so much sense to me.  I have a baggie full of Pilikia's fur that I carry with me.  Sounds crazy, but it does give me some comfort.  When did you lose Goobie.  He reminds me so much of my friends kitty.  He was obviously very special to you.  My friend, an animal communicator, says that she see's me with a black & white kitty that has Pilikia's eyes and we will meet when the time is right.  At this point, I can't conceive of another cat.  My heart truly belongs to Pilikia. 

Ellen, again I appreciate you taking time to share with me.  This website has been a God send and I'm not sure how I would get through without finding it.  I believe that I was directed here to get through this.  Thanks to all that you share.   Carol

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judy
Hi Carol,

I responded to your private message.

Referring to your message to Ellen, I must say you summed it up perfectly; that is exactly the way I have been feeling, too.  It seems that life doesn't have much meaning and that it is because our pets were our life, and now they are gone.  It doesn't take much to set the tears flowing; just looking at something that belonged to them; a person saying a kind word; reading some of Susie's poetry; and of course the candlelight service on this site. 

I have also saved some of Teddy's fur.  I have a gold locket that my mother left me when she died; it was just in the drawer.  I took it out the night I came home without Teddy (they kept him til the next day so I could prepare his grave) and immediately put a bit of his fur inside of it.  The only times I have taken it off in the past 10 days is when I took a shower.  Keeping a part of Pilikia close with you will help.

See my private message to you about another kitty.  There are so many that are desperate for homes and the shelters put down countless cats and kittens each year for lack of homes.  When the time is right . . .

I also found myself hugging and holding his harness which still has bits of his fur on it; I have it on my nightstand.

Later my friend and take care of yourself,
Judy
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Goobiesbf
Carol - As I read your post I thought "She's living the same life I had in Feb and part of March."  Goobie was PTS on Feb 10 and I went through exactly the same kinds of feelings that you're having.  I was a living, breathing zero.  Except for the periods of intense grief, I was emotionally straight-lining.  Days were nothing but cycles of light and dark and I didn't notice most of them for a week or two.  I work from home (online research and photo editing) and I didn't have an iota of motivation.  Every time I sat at the computer I felt absolutely nothing but more grief because Goobie would always come sit next to my chair, claw my arm to be picked up or go sit in the window behind me and watch whatever was on the patio.  It still feels strange to watch TV shows online without a big, heavy cat draped across my lap and left arm.

I also have Goobie's bowls and mat, his toys, his hair, his bed, etc. but now, after 2 months, they've moved into the background. When I glance at them I miss my fur-guy but I don't fall apart anymore.  The grief was exhausting and it's nice to have some energy for a change.  Oh, it sometimes still bubbles to the surface unannounced but those times are getting to be fewer and fewer. 

Call me superstitious but I also think that if a house looks "cat friendly" it will attract a cat and I know that there's got to be another little orphan out there for me. I haven't been cat-less since I was 2 years old - a long time ago - and not having a purr machine around to annoy and comfort me hurts almost as much as grieving the one I knew so well and loved so much.  Fifteen years ago Goobie came along a month after I'd had to have both my sweet, sweet, old dog, Blackie, and my beloved old cat, Bianca, PTS in the same week.  No one was grieving more than I was then but I've never been able to build a wall around my heart.  I can't imagine not having had Goobie in my life.  It's possible to love and to grieve because they're really the same thing.

Goobie was my watch-cat, my early warning system.  I was his only human and he was very protective of me.  (I used to have to put him in the house when I gave the neighbor's giant Labs a treat or he'd attack them through the fence.)  At night when we have furred, toothed and clawed critters wandering our yards (we're in the foothills), Goobie was on alert and I could always tell if what was making noise outside was something I should pay special attention to by how he acted. He always made me feel protected and safe.  Last October I took a series of photos of him "watch-catting" at the window behind me and made a little GIF animation.  I hope it works.  

It's a bear!


I made this the day after he was PTS for the death announcement I emailed to family and friends. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

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Carol
Goobiesbf, What a wonderful post.  As I read through what most of the contributors
say, I am relieved that we all have so much in common and how our fur children have touched our lives so much.  As I have been dealing with this, I take comfort knowing that what I feel is more normal then I ever believed.  When you talk about your baby climbing on your lap or bugging you while you work, I relate to this.  Pilikia would get "jealous" of my computer and sit in front of the screen or try to stand on the keyboard to get my attention.  There were times that I would move him to my lap and stroke his ears to keep him happy.  He would just sit and purr for a while until he got bored and then he'd jump up on the desk and chase the cursor on the screen.  It was a game for us as I moved it around to give him some fun.  Now this computer is my life line to all of you, but it is also lonely as I wait for my kitty to bug me.  I have been looking down to where he would sit and realize he really isn't there.  Those are some of the things that seem to effect me the most.  I avoid so many areas because of this.  I have to go back to work on Tue. for my last 2 weeks, and I don't know how I will be able to get dressed and go to work, feeling so blue.  That should be an interesting day.  You are so lucky to be able to work at home and have to avoid that. 
I don't know how you got thru PTS two kids in the same time frame.  That must have been devastating.  I believe that I will adopt a new furbaby, but I cannot imagine it now.  I hope that one will come into my life when I am ready to accept it.  You must have been so happy when Goobie found you.  As we all know, no one lives forever, but I always hoped Pilikia would be here so we could grow older together.   I guess you can't always have what you wish for.  Thank you so much for sharing with me.  It really is so helpful in this process.  Tomorrow is the day I pick up my baby's ashes and I dread what it will do to me.  I want them with me, but the idea of going to the pet cemetery to get them makes me physically ill.  I've eaten about 10 crackers and bottles of water for the last 5 days and I still feel sick.  Wish me luck.  Thanks again.  Take care
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Goobiesbf
I already responded to your other post but I have to say that if you're going to be driving all that way, try to eat a bowl of soup or cereal before you leave.  Getting some food into you will give you the energy you need to concentrate on your driving.  It'll help settle the emotions, too.  You'll probably have to force yourself to eat.  This is another thing a lot of us have in common.  Pilikia wouldn't want you to risk your health - or your life - for him.

I felt like I must be the only one in the world who would get so upset over a cat... until I came here.  You're right: it's nice to feel normal and not so alone with our emotions.

And going to work will be difficult the first day back but it'll normalize your life and give it some of the structure you're used to.  I hope your final 2 weeks is your choice and not the source of more stress for you.

btw, a cat, being a cat, will only show up when it's most convenient for them not when it's convenient for the human they've set their sites on;-)

Ellen 
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