Hi all. 

I lost my cat on March 4, very unexpectedly. I found out in January of 2017 that he was born with a heart defect, after he threw a clot to his little lungs. The vet told me I was very lucky I didn’t lose him at that time & warned me that he may still not pull through. Praise the Lord, he did, but now I’m siting here three years later without him. I had just come home from being gone 10.5 days and as soon as I got home, I noticed he wasn’t okay. When I called the vet, he told me he probably was just upset with me because I had been gone and that he would probably be fine in a few days as our routine got back to normal, but I knew in my heart this wasn’t the case. I had traveled before (and had people come check on them daily, obviously) and he had never reacted that way before. EVERY TIME I came home he would immediately purr and want to be with me non-stop, as I did with him.
That evening after things seemed to worsen I took him to an emergency vet which turned out to be an AWFUL experience. The man that was working there was horribly insensitive and so rude. I left after spending $600 for x-rays.
I took him to our normal vet the next morning and after a few hours he called to tell me it wasn’t good & that I needed to send him to Heaven. I was shocked, I wanted to bring him back home. I wanted him to be okay. I cannot even BEGIN to explain to you what this cat means to me. That afternoon I went in and spent time with him and told him I would see him again. He didn’t feel good. His breathing had become labored bc his lungs were filling with fluid and his heart was enlarged and he had thrown clots to all his limbs. It all happened to fast. I’m still in shock. The vet (very kindly) told me that if I didn’t let him go, and brought him home, he would suffer tremendously over the next 24 hours, if he made it that long.
I am dealing with feelings of guilt, for leaving those 10.5 days, even though he was my sweet, happy boy the day I left. I feel guilt for his hurt. I feel guilt for letting him go - even though I KNOW in my heart I did what was right because he would’ve suffered and I NEVER wanted that. And I am at a total loss. That boy did EVERYTHING with me. He would wake me up in the middle of the night just for extra cuddles. I would set my alarm early to get cuddles before work. I’m a nanny so I worked from home and spent all day with him. If he wasn’t coming to find me throughout the day, I would go find him, just to spend time together. He would come to the workout room with me, he would eat lunch with me, he would take naps with me. We did EVERYTHING together. And now he’s gone. And I can’t sleep in my own room - I can barely walk in there. I can’t stop crying. I’ve just been able to eat again the last couple days. My home makes me sad. Songs make me sad. And the only time I feel remotely okay is when I think of seeing him again in heaven. Because I know he’s okay, more than okay up there. But I AM NOT OKAY without him, I don’t physically know how to live without him. Someone help me. I don’t know what to do. 896E2BBD-7BEB-4BD3-840C-575FDBEF1684.jpeg

Ashley Bryant 
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Oh what a beautiful furbaby. I am so sorry for your loss. Please don't feel guilty about leaving him those 10 days. He was fine when you left and you had no way of knowing this would happen. Try to focus on the fact that you were with him during his difficult time and he appreciated that so much. He knows how much you loved him. You had to do what was best for him because of your deep love for him. Try to take it hour by hour and day by day. It's been 4 mths for me and it does get better but for me prayer and coming on here to write my feelings helps me alot. If you have something of his keep it near you at all times. I have my dogs sweater by me and I sleep with it. The pain we feel is proof of how deeply we loved them as they loved us. Sending you hugs and praying for comfort for you.
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Dear Ashley,

I am so sorry and saddened to learn of your recent loss of your "Sweet Bean." It is so, so obvious how much you cherished, loved and adored your boy, in all of your words and in that wonderful, loving photo you shared with us. Thank you for doing so and for sharing some of your story with us. Now we know about your "Sweet Bean" too and many will read about him and remember him here.

I can totally relate to your feelings, as he sounds like he was your "Spirit Animal" as my boy ( a cat named "Marmalade") was my "Spirit Animal." Marmalade was truly my partner in life. We were best friends and even road companions. He was the son I never had. When everyone in my life turned their back on me, he was the only one who demonstrated love, loyalty and devotion to me, and I would have taken my own life at any time if our paths had not crossed when they did.

As you know throwing a clot can lead to some of the most severe and painful a cat (or dog) can experience. Clots can lead to blindness, coma and a catanonic state (staring straight ahead without reaction or emotion) and horrific seizures. You spared your boy the possibility of going through any of that by being willing to let him go when you did. And you helped him through the first time he experienced a blood clot episode, which as you know was truly a miracle that he survived and recovered from.

I often thought about what my cat was thinking when I would go out on a run for groceries, supplies or business (I'm self employed). Where must he thought that I went the times that I did? As we know feral and stray cats can live in colonies together. Almost like a pack. So when we adopt them, we become part of their pack. And because we are bigger and usually smarter than them, we become the Alpha (leaders) of the pack. Our cats are smart as you know. They see us bringing back food for them from the grocery store when we leave and return. They know the look and sound of a grocery bag. To them they do not envision a grocery store and us checking out, they must just assume that we went out hunting to bring back food for them ( as us / their pack.) And cats are also wanderers by instinct when stray or feral. So to them they probably just assume that we are out wandering, as they would do if they were free to do so. So while you were away for that period of time, your boy probably just assumed you were out on a "Walk-about" as the Australian's dubbed it. As far as he knew you would be returning at any time. As you had before.

As we know, cats life expectancy is only around 2 to 5 years in the wild or on the street. That is all they are biologically designed and engineered for. We automatically extend their life by providing them with shelter (from natural predators and the weather), regular food and fresh water, the occassional trip to the Vet (for examination, treatment and medication etc.), and most of all love and affection. And a feeling of family. Of belonging. Which can help maintain health and prolong life. You helped save your boys life that first clot and then you extended his life by providing him with all that you did. Including most of all...."Purpose." All those moments you shared with him that you described, meant as much to your "Sweet Bean" as they did to you. You gave him a full, meaningful life.

They say that: 

"When we end our pets pain and suffering, we agree to take on all of their pain and suffering onto ourselves. To absorb it and process it through our greif. That is the bargain that we make."

This is what you are experiencing currently. The trade you made. To take on your boys pain and suffering onto yourself in order to save him from experiencing it himself.

They also say that: "The depth of the grief you feel is the depth of the love you shared."

I am evidence of the fact that "This too shall pass." I am 10 months in now on my journey of grief and doing better. I'm healing each day and night. All we can do is continue to travel through time and allow our inner healing mechanism to do what it was designed to do. Which is each of our birthright. 

Please know that you are not alone Ashley. We are with you in spirit and comradeship as is your "Sweet Bean." Your great love for him lead you here to this forum as it has so many of us here. So he is still looking after you right now as I write you.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
(Papa of "Marmalade")
(& now "KID" the rescue kitten)
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Dear Ashley, I'm just seeing your post for the first time. I'm so, so sorry for what you're going through. I really do know exactly what you're feeling, because your experience is very similar to mine... from the bond and routines I shared with my cat Buddy, to what happened to him re: throwing a clot, to the bottomless sadness you're feeling. Gmr and James have eloquently expressed (better than I can right now) good advice, comforting thoughts, and truth. It may be hard to embrace right now, but please know that you did everything possible, everything right - especially giving your Sweet Bean so much love and attention.

I encourage you to read this older post: https://forums.rainbowsbridge.com/post/coping-with-grief-10108748. Another currently grieving pet parent reposted it recently, and I just read it tonight. It's wonderfully written and very helpful. Please come back and keep sharing here; I've found it very helpful knowing there's such a caring community of people who truly understand. Sending you hugs...
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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Thank you Gmr, Memoriesofmarmalade & Buddysmama. My heart is so heavy with his loss and I feel such a deep seed of emptiness, but it does help to hear from you all and it helps to know you guys keep putting one foot in front of the other. I wish I could fast forward time and feel something other than sadness again, but I know in time (hopefully) that will pass, I appreciate you all. 
Ashley Bryant 
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