storkbat
My love, best friend, cat son, orange tabby Rufus died suddrenly on Wednesday, 7/26. He was 7. I had noticed him being more finicky about food and there were hairballs around when I got home from work in the mornings for a few days, so on Tuesday night this past week decided I would take him to the vet on Wednesday for his inappetence. Got him to eat some Temptations and drink some water before I dozed off Tuesday night..

3 hours later I woke up to find him collapsed, open, mouth breathing, unable to walk and crying. I took him to the emergency vet in Kingman, AZ (a small town where I am travel nursing)...The vet said his prognosis was poor and his hematocrit was 11 and to get him to the specialty vet in Las Vegas 2 hours away where they had services for animals in critical condition. I went home, gahtered my belongings for a night's stay and Rufus's brother, my other cat Noel. We got to the vet in LV and they took him back immediately...The vet came back and sad that when they tapped his belly, blood came out and his hematocrit was 9. He said they saw a suspicious area on their little ulatrasound and he believed it to be hemangiosarcoma and that a tumor or vessel had burst inside and that is why Rufus was having severe bleeding. He said it would be difficult to stabilize Rufus for the needed surgery if at all possible and that even then this cancer is so aggressive that he would have a couple months at most if the surgery were successful because by this state it is likely it had metastisized and that if they transfused it would just bleed out how his blood had..The vet was very kind. I was in shock. They pulled me back once to where he was being monitored because he was in shock as his hematocrit dropped to 5 and they thought he was passing.  I talked to my sister and decided to let him go since the odds were so stacked against him and the vet felt that he was too far gone for the interventions to be in Rufus' best interest. I couldn't believe this was happening. He was white, cold and confused. I spent my last moments with him, telling him I loved him and that I was sorry he didn't have more time and that he was my best buddy...his brother Noel was there as wel since we'd planned to spend the night thinking Rufus had a chance. I stayed stroking his body for a long time thinking I'd never be able to do it again...the tears went on and on...

Here is info about the cancer..http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/pet-cancer-understanding-hemangiosarcoma-in-dogs-and-cats

I don't know how to get over the sudden loss. I have sadly had other cats with cancer and their illness went on as I tried chemo, etc. Also had two rescue hens with cancer due to how humans have genetically messed with them so they lay 300 eggs, vs the 15 they would normally lay in nature.
I can not look at happy pics of Rufus...It's hard to think about the good times right now bc it hurts. He was only 7 and his death came out of no where. The house feels empty to Noel and me. I have been sleeping pretty non stop/cuddling with Noel.. seems the only way I find relief, but work the next three nights 12 hours each night...It hurts as you all know to come home and not have him there, to miss our rituals, feeding, cuddling..he used to love to drink water from the shower...
I know sooner than later Noel and I will welcome/adopt another friend in need from the shelter, but not sure how to navigate the grief now...
I just am wondering if anyone has any advice specific to coping with the sudden loss of an animal companion (I will searh forum too)...
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KittyBoy4ever
I'm so sorry for your loss. I also lost my kitty love/best friend very suddenly and tragically. It was exactly a week ago today. And although it hurts like it just happened, it does get a little better. Maybe not better, but tolerable. I'm glad you have Noel and you can comfort one another.( I unfortunately lost the only friend I had.) A friend who had recently lost his beloved companion told me, " You have to keep going. The pain doesn't go away. You just make room for the pain and carry it with you." There's very little solace when you lose someone so dear and close. Discussing my pain on this forum, with like-minded individuals, has helped. Just always hold your baby's sweet memories close to your heart, and take good care of yourself and Noel. She still needs you and is in mourning too. I know how hard it is, but try to be strong. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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storkbat
Thank you so much for responding and I am so, so very sorry for the loss of your dear kitty friend only a week ago..it is heartbreaking...I am glad talking in the forum has helped.

I am trying to be strong and will have to be strong becuase I work the next three nights straight (I am a nurse, so 12 hour shifts)...Like you said there's little solace and right now I am just having a hard time accepting the loss of Rufus even though I know he is gone, if that makes any sense. 

Noel and I have been staying close and cuddling. I know he too is sad and I really feel he is trying to help me in my sorrow...

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers...mine are with you as well...

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JennC
Dear Rufus' human parent,

I am very sorry for your great loss. You did everything you possibly could and always put his and your other cat and hens interest first. As hard as it is to fathom, we can't protect them from everything.

I loved my Hammie and tried to protect him from any possible harm. Always the best food, whatever is needed vet wise and make sure his needs were always addressed. He was my only fur child and the one I cared for above all else. Yet I couldn't plan for a genetic defect that was never caught and the heart attack that took him at the vet unexpectedly.

The first week post his passing was absolute hell on earth. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It's hard to imagine moving forward and at times you may feel like putting a brave face while inside feeling the worst. He was your child and took a part of your heart w him. Take it easy and slow each day but you will move forward. Because you have.

Everyone grieves differently. For me after a week I started going back to the rescue I adopted him from and helping out. It was the only thing that gave me any purpose to move forward. Again everyone is different and there's no one right thing to do. Yesterday night I took on fostering a 9 mos puppy. ( I am not a puppy person). That helped me to focus on the puppy instead of my grief. And in a way it made me feel better in that I was in a way doing it for Hammie and in his memory. I picked the one that looked least like him and not a boy, that way this is a different journey. Not to replacing him as no one can ever.

Go at your own step. You are an amazing animal parent and all the animals lives that you touched were for their betterment. We can't predict their time on earth but we can try to give them the best life while they are here. U did that and beyond expectation and Rufus had an amazing loving home with you and I bet he wouldn't change it for the world.

Take care of yourself. Rufus would want you to. Hugs.
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storkbat

Thanks Hammie's mom. I am Patricia. 

 Your words brought both comfort and tears. I am sure you understand. My heart breaks for you in your sudden loss of Hammie from the undiagnosed condition that led to his heart attack.

 I feel like I still am in denial a bit, yet I know he is gone. It's an odd place to be and a painful one. I am reading about grief and coping and now at work (I am a nurse that works 7p-7a), I have printed off some grief worksheets that are going to be so hard to fill out, but I feel will help.

 Love that you are fostering. Beautiful. I am sure Hammie would be so glad that you are helping a puppy and that you are helping yourself move through your grief. It is truly a wonderful way to honor Hammie.

 I went to two shelters on Friday. Heartbreaking. Overwhelming. People telling me to adopt an older cat (which the idea I like) because they have less of a chance...when it was a kitten that caught my eye...just too much too soon. I would foster but the shelters where I am don't do FELV/FIV tests until the kitty is adopted and I have another kitty friend, Noel to consider. Perhaps I can go an volunteer though and play with the kitties there.

 You too are an amazing mom to your animal companions and you have so much caring insight to share. I truly appreciate you reaching out even though you are grieving too...

 Rufus had a good life, but in the end gave me more than I could ever give him. I am so glad that we were. I am so sad it was so much shorter than I had expected, but I must accept what is real and when ready bask in all the good memories we shared. Today after talking to some friends I feel more connected with his spirit and like he is around...and a bit better...

 I really hope this is happening or will happen very soon for you as well...Hugs back at you.

 
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JennC
Dear Patricia,

My name is Jenny. I feel you and I have quite a bit in common. I am also in the health care in a way as I am a dental hygienist and is gone 10-12 hrs a day due to long commute. Both of us loved our furbabies beyond words and I think perhaps you can relate in that I felt I did so much good and volunteered w dog rescue and helping others, yet was so shocked and devastated and mad as well when I felt God took away the one I couldn't live without. It almost felt like it was a spiteful punishment and for what I don't know. I was so so angry with everyone and everything. I use to joke with friends and family that in 5-6 years when my Hammie goes I hope God better take me with him cuz I won't survive. Little did I know there was a different plan for both of us.

I think it's so great for you to consider fostering. I wonder if instead of shelters you may be able to find a cat rescues in which you can foster and they can check for the various health condition to ensure there's no health implications for Noel. Also, please choose the right cat for u to foster. It's no one else's business whether u adopt a kitten or cat unless they are doing it themselves. Both deserve to be loved And well care for, and only you know the right bond to foster when u interact w them :)

Yesterday was the two anniversary of my Hammies passing. After spending time w the dogs and puppies that still need help and are here, I felt less sadness each day in realizing he really was a life gift to me and I loved him back. He lived a great life and has inspired me to do more. His life and death was more meaningful to me than a lot of people's and I will continue to do great work in his name. I pray each day and night that God takes great care of him in heaven until I see him and can take this job back.

There will still be days of great pain and sadness and profound loss. You will always miss and love Rufus. That will never changed. But I think in time you will see that he's still with you in your heart and his unconditional love and wanting nothing but happiness and joy for you will propel you forward, even in those days you don't want to.

My foster puppy is nothing like Hammie. But caring for her has been so therapeutic and it makes me feel that Hammie is cheering us on. Everything I do with her even tho she's so different, brings back loving memories of how Hammie was. It made the tears go away and the return of the smiles and giggles.

I wish you the best and I hope you find a great rescue that will work w you to find a suitable foster. U have a lot more love to give and there's a lucky cat or kitten waiting to meet you and be fostered. I am sure Rufus will be so proud of u wanting to volunteer and help out other felines in need.

Hugs

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