I wrote the following on Friday, July 23rd, 2010.
I found this website, "Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss". I have had time to experience each and every one of these symptoms. I hope it means I am healing and accepting. I still don't understand why my cat was taken from me. I search for the reason every day, but receive no answers. I don't get what I am supposed to learn from this. 2. What Can I Expect to Feel? ---- http://www.pet-loss.net/ Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides your sorrow and loss, you may also experience the following emotions: * Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet's death-the "if only I had been more careful" syndrome. It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet's life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief. * Denial makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It's hard to imagine that your pet won't greet you when you come home, or that it doesn't need its evening meal. Some pet owners carry this to extremes, and fear their pet is still alive and suffering somewhere. Others find it hard to get a new pet for fear of being "disloyal" to the old. * Anger may be directed at the illness that killed your pet, the driver of the speeding car, the veterinarian who "failed" to save its life. Sometimes it is justified, but when carried to extremes, it distracts you from the important task of resolving your grief. * Depression is a natural consequence of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. Extreme depression robs you of motivation and energy, causing you to dwell upon your sorrow. ---- 1.GUILT- Probably #1 for me but the extremity varies day to day. I ask myself why I didn't just go with my gut instinct when I said goodbye to Spider? It felt like it was the last time I was going to ever see him, and I was 100% right about that. I talked myself into thinking, "Everything will be fine. He will be chillin' in this closet when we return, just like always. Don't be so overprotective." I wish I would have. Jeff suggested to lock the dog door. I said, "Nah, that's what we trained him to do- allow him his freedom to go in and out all weekend." It's too bad it only lasted Friday. He was dead by Friday night. When we returned home Sunday, I already had that bad feeling when I checked the closet and he wasn't there... when I checked his food dish... and it hadn't been touched hardly at all. I just knew. And I felt horrible that I allowed it to happen. Why didn't we just lock the pet door? 2. DENIAL - Has thus far been the least of my emotions, but I have felt it. Like, "Maybe that wasn't Spider?" But it was. I have finally started to accept it. Doesn't mean I like it any better. In a way, I'm glad it happened the way it did, rather than me come home from hockey late one night and find him lying in the road. At least my last memory of him was a good one of petting him in the closet. It still makes me cry because it was the last time I saw him, but better than seeing a lifeless body. 3. ANGER- Today was the day I finally started to feel this. A week after his death and only 4 days since I've learned about it. A) Mad at myself, as previously stated, for not locking the dog door up and keeping him in. B) I'm mad at the driver, although it certainly wasn't their fault. They probably didn't even see him because he darted out so fast. If they saw him, they didn't have a chance to stop. Unless it is one of those pricks that speeds up to kill cats, then I am really super pissed. (Since writing this, I have learned that the lady that hit him not only slammed on her brakes, she did stop and she was hysterical.) C) A bit mad at Spider, himself, for just being a cat. I had watched him do this in Craig, nearly missing death by the hair on his neck more that once. I've seen the movie Final Destination. One can only dodge death for so long. I'm sure he used up his nine lives-- probably darted out across Lowell more than I truly want to know about. It finally caught up with him. 4. DEPRESSION- I felt my best today; only got teary-eyed a few times. Nothing as painful as yesterday when I managed to have a number of random breakdowns about every fives minutes. But I still feel an overwhelming sadness with the prior emotions all combined. Nothing will change. I will continue to ask why my cat was taken from me; what did I do to deserve it? What did Spider do to deserve an early death or was that truly how his life was always mapped out to be? What am I being prepared for? What lesson is it that I'm supposed to learn here? A second here. A second there. Locking a dog door or not locking it. Maybe locking the dog door wouldn't have mattered? Our old roommates were finishing moving their stuff out and he probably would have gone outside anyway. I am thankful for all of your support in this. You stepped up and talked to me and let me vent and cry and it was everything I have needed to deal with the death of an individual that has been a non-judgmental; always showing unconditional love towards me time and time again no matter what, for the past three years. If only most people could be the same as our pets are. I especially want to thank Jeff for holding me up when all I wanted to do was fall to my knees and cry, and lay on the floor and never get up again. For him keeping me from drowning in my utter grief, letting me cry all over him and comforting me in my biggest time of need. He even put all of Spider's belongings away. That was probably the hardest part of getting past denial- accepting that he truly is gone and no longer will be using his scratching posts, toys, food dishes, or cat boxes. It nearly broke me in half when I put his crinkle tube away and set his crate out of sight in the closet. He loved that tube- played in it nonstop. He really hated his crate, but had finally started lying in it all on his own. It has been tough. It will continue to be tough day by day. But I am improving in baby steps. I would like another kitten, but I don't want to lose another furbaby to the busy street near our house. The pitfalls of the city. So much to learn here. I really just want my cat back. I always will.
R.I.P. Spider 7-16-10
You were very loved and will always, always be missed.