Mary_Jane
I am wondering what to do. My cat Mable's life was turned upside down at the beginning of December, when her sister Molly took ill. Mable spent a lot of time with me staying at my mums. Molly passed away 22nd December. I took Mable in to say goodbye just before the vet arrived to put her to sleep. I am sure she knew Molly was ill, but she did not see her body.
Mable then came away with me for another 5 days, back to my mums house. I did not want to uproot her again, but also didn't think it fair to leave her alone.

Since we got home, she has been looking for her sister. They had never spent a day apart until Molly went to hospital. Mable wandered around the house howling until 3am a couple of days ago. The next morning I found her curled up on Molly's favourite spot under the bed. She wasn't moving and I had a heart-stopping moment when I thought I had lost her too. She was just fast asleep, having tired herself out looking for Molly. She is a little more settled now but is still spending her evenings under the bed.

I don't know what to do for her. I am trying to give her lots of love when she wants it. Maybe it's silly, but I have sat with her and told her what has happened, and that we will have a special flower in the garden so that she can sit with Molly if she wants to. I am trying to be positive around her and not let her see me sad.

The vet rang today. They have Molly's ashes to be collected. I was sad that I couldn't get to them in time today, so will go on Thursday. Should I show them to Mable?

Some people think I should get another cat, others don't. I'm not quite ready yet, although I know there are lots out there who need homes. Mable has always been with her sister, but I don't know if a new cat would be right or wrong for her.

What experiences do others have of helping surviving pets who are grieving?
"If the sky comes falling down, for you, there's nothing in this world I wouldn't do"
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jj
hi Mary Jane
We all know that animals love much deeper and more profoundly than humans are capable of loving, when animals love, its depth humans will never begin to imagine. Their grief I believe is even more powerfully painful than ours. When Wolves mate for life, and one of them dies, the grief the surviving mate feels is so horrific, that he or she will die of a broken heart within 6 months, from the pain of grieving so strong that their bodies literally shut down.

Sadly many people do not understand this and it is a testimony of your love for Mable that your are so sensitive to her grief. I tend to think that it may be healing for her to have another kitty to snuggle with. The new kitty will never take her sister's place but to have someone of your own kind, who can understand your language and feel as deeply as you can be very healing.

Only you know what is right and good

Love to you and Mable
jj
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danzey
Mary Jane..................I think your doing everything right.  Talk to Mable, tell her what happened, not that Molly left because she wanted to but because she had too.  That it really had nothing to do with her.  Hold her tight  (as much as she'll let you.  There's no reason why you should treat her any differently then you would a person.  I lost my Boo a few weeks ago.  I have Kimmy here.  She was his girlfriend.  I could swear he explained things to her before he left, because she seems to be alright (from the very start).  He use to kiss her endlessly, but before he left she was the one doing the non-stop kissing.  She still goes to the bedroom window and sits on the sill like they would together.  Maybe you can treat her extra special, comb and brush her, sit on floor with her and play.  Give her; her favorite dinner and eat your alone with her (on the floor if you have to).  I really don't think there's anything you can do wrong really.  Kiss her like crazy!!!!  Tell her she's beautiful.  As far as getting another cat?????????????  Mable will probably tell you if and when she wants a little sister or brother ..............danzey
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Seamus
You may want to check with your vet before getting another cat, our vet advised us against it because it would stress out our other boy Bandit too much especially as he is not well himself. It is also good for you to talk to Mable I think easier sometimes than humans. I have my boy Smokey ashes with me now actually beside my bed its comforting for me.
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Sandy_T
I would suggest if you have friends with kitties have them come visit and watch how Mable reacts. She will let you know if and when the time is right. My Oscar seems lost sometimes without Punky. He has our 4 dogs. The Kitties were very close with JoeJoe as they were babies when they came to us so Oscar will snuggle Joe in times of grief. I will have another kitty but only when we are all ready.God Bless
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Mistysmama
It is difficult to know what to do to help them. Just keep on doing what you're doing. Giving love and kindness. And yes -tell Mable all about it. They can understand where we are coming from even if they can't understand every single word of English. It doesn't matter. They know you are communicating. Their Spirits hear, anyway, and know the love is there. That is treating them with respect as Souls in their own right, which they are.

It's difficult however, supporting them through their grieving. After my Misty passed, I would go to visit her friend and 'mate' who lived at a neighbouring farm. He and Misty had been close -like a mated pair -for 10 years. He lay down and didn't want to get up, acted very confused and upset. I went to him every day, showing him not everything had changed -that I was still there, that I understood, and still cared about him. I showed him my friendship and support, and love. It took him about one month to come out of it a bit.
He has passed on now, too however. He was nearly 15. But he lived 18 months after Misty went.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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Mary_Jane
Dear JJ, Danzey, Seamus, Sandy_T, and Mistysmama. 

Thank you all so much for your kind words and helpful, sensible advice. Thank you also for sharing your stories with me. It does help to know what you've been through and how you have dealt with it. I am sorry for your losses too, as I know we are all here for the same reason. I have always loved both my girls, but never had a bond with Mable like the one I had with Molly. I could read Molly so well, but Mable is much more difficult. I feel very lucky to have her - she is the only reason I'm keeping going at the moment, and I hate to think of her being unhappy. She has settled a bit and has not been crying again. I found her sleeping on the bed earlier, rather than under it, which is more normal behaviour for her. She is eating well, and I am probably over-feeding her which I know I shouldn't, but I feel like she's been through so much. I am offering her lots of love and trying to make sure this is on her terms, when she wants it. Thank you Danzey for suggesting playing with her - I have started tossing about her favourite toy and she is responding well to this. She's a bit of a crazy cat and always likes a game. 

Seamus - I will certainly take your advice about talking to the vet about having another cat, as Mable is my priority now. I am thinking of taking her for a check up anyway, although I don't want to upset her. She went to hospital with Molly as a blood donor (although sadly couldn't donate in the end) so she was checked over there. I'm just so terrified that because I can't read her as well, what if I don't notice something. Molly died from IMHA, which they said is not genetic and the risk of Mable getting it too is tiny.  

Sandy_T - I had also wondered about "borrowing" a friend's cat, to see how Mable would react to it. At my Mum's, Bertie (my Mum's cat) spent hours looking at Mable under the door. Neither of them seemed bothered, just interested in each other, although it was not in Mable's territory. 

Thank you all for telling me I am doing the right things by her. I talked to her again and explained that Molly didn't leave because she wanted to, but that she was very sick and needed to go to sleep forever. I've told her that it wasn't hers or Molly's fault, and that I love her very much. 

I am undecided about getting another cat at this point, both for me, and for Mable. I could never replace Molly and would not want to. She stole my heart and took a huge piece of it with her when she left. I am afraid that if I took a new cat, I would resent it. I will never bring an animal into my home that I am not willing to love and commit to, but there is a very big hole in my life, and I know I can provide a safe and loving home for a cat. Although Molly was shy and timid, she was always the boss cat. Perhaps Mable will enjoy being in charge now, but I'm not convinced. Molly used to groom her every night, since they were babies. If I get a new one, I think I will have to choose a young one that fits into Mable's territory. I had always thought that if, God forbid, something was to happen to one of them, that Molly would cope better without Mable than the other way around. On the other hand, I've always thought Mable would cope better with a new cat than Molly. I had thought of getting a 3rd cat from a shelter a while ago, but knew Molly would have hated it. 

Anyway, sorry for another long post. I find it so helpful to be able to come here and "talk" to people who understand. I am very thankful for people confirming that pets do feel loss, as so many people just don't seem to connect with animals on that level.

Thank you all xx




"If the sky comes falling down, for you, there's nothing in this world I wouldn't do"
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