jim
My wife and I decided to get our first family pet for our four kids, 12, 11, 6, and 2.  Our kitty Chloe was born on our wedding anniversary, May 31st, 2010.  She was part of a litter born to a cat rescued by our friend.  My wife and kids picked her out and brought her home on July 15th.  A rambunctious kitty, Chloe never failed to amuse, surprise, annoy, love and be loved.  We all became very attached to her as she settled in and became a fixture in our family over the past two and a half months. 

After she had her shots and was spayed, we'd occasionally let her outside with us to play.  We live on a large lot in a wooded neighborhood.  Chloe was always begging to go outside.  She loved to sneak out the door and play outside, chasing bugs, stalking and pouncing on imaginary prey in the grass and climbing trees. 

Sunday, we lost Chloe very suddenly and we're all pretty wrecked.  Chloe was playing outside Friday afternoon, but never came back in the evening before bed.  I went looking for her the next morning and figured I'd find her waiting for me on the covered front porch or back deck.  I found her laying in the back yard grass in the pouring rain, soaking wet and barely alive.  She appeared to have some severe head trauma, but there was no evidence of a fight.  She may have been hit by a car on a nearby road, or stalked and spooked a doe and her fawns that occasionall bed down in our yard.  We rushed her to the vet, who did everything they could throughout Saturday and Sunday.  With no improvement, we had to let her go.

It's so heartbreaking as a parent to see our kids go through the loss of a deeply loved pet.  My wife and I hurt not only for ourselves and each other, but for our kids too.  We both question ourselves, wondering if we somehow failed poor Chloe by not searching for her Friday evening. 

Our two year old had a special bond with Chloe, and doesn't fully realize she's gone.  Our six year old daughter wants another kitty but keeps asking for Chloe back.  Our eleven year old boy doesn't want another cat because it will just remind him of Chloe.  Our twelve year old boy is hurting but is acting out rather than talking about it.  This just sucks so bad.  You don't expect the loss of a family pet to occur so soon.
Quote 0 0
TootiesGuardian
Hi Jim,

I'm so very sorry for the tragic loss you and your family are enduring.  I know it is so heartbreaking.  I'm so sorry about Chloe.  I lost my girl Tootie, who was 10 years old, early September, and it was very hard on my 5 year old daughter.  She cried very hard.  I told her that Tootie was an Angel Kitty with wings and she was watching over us now.  It had a tremendous calming effect on my daughter.  It has been devastating to me, but it has helped me by being on this forum. 

Again, I'm sorry for the pain and grief your entire family is having to endure.  It's a devastating loss to overcome.  It's quite evident Chloe was so thoroughly loved. 

I'm so glad you have found this site.  We all understand how wrecked you all feel.  There are many wonderful, caring people here that have helped me to heal.  We will be here for you and your family too, Jim.

My heart goes out to you and your family.  Bless your hearts!

Sincerely,

Sherry
Tootie ~ Sep. 1, 2000 - Sep. 4, 2010
Shine on you beautiful diamond!
Blueboy ~ Feb. 14, 1989 - Dec. 31, 1993
Always in my heart!
Quote 0 0
GrievingGinger
Jim, I'm so sorry for you and your family's lost :(  Chloe was a beautiful kitten and she looked very well loved.  Try not to let the guilt get to you.  Sometimes, life simply is not fair, and accidents, even tragic ones, happen :( 

Take some time before getting another cat, you want to make sure it is the right thing for you and your family and any new addition should not have to live in the ghost of a past pet.

Feel free to write and grieve as much as you need too.  There are a lot of sympathetic compassionate people on here who have gone through similar experiences.


Quote 0 0
FreidasMom
Hi Jim, I'm so very sorry to read of your loss. These babies effortlessly steal our hearts and it is a horrible shock when they are gone. 

Prayers for peace going out to you and your family. 

Susan
Quote 0 0
TxGuy

Jim: I am so sorry to hear of your recent loss. Although it is easier said than done, I hope you can release that guilt of not searching. Your family gave Chloe a warm, loving home and took care of her for her short time on earth. I am praying for comfort and peace to you and your family.

Quote 0 0
judylinn

I am so sorry about your loss of Chloe. ginger's words really reflect my own thoughts, I just want you to know that we are here for you, and so sorry for your whole family, in this time of pain.  Judy

Quote 0 0
KimK
Jim,
My heart goes out to you and your family.  We lost our dog just one week ago.  She was a rescue and we only had 5 months with her.  My son and I found her on our way out to work/school.  He is only 8 and he was extremely shocked and upset as I was.  All of last week, he wouldn't let me leave him alone anywhere in the house and wouldn't sleep in his room.  My 13 yr old daughter was terribly heartbroken too.  As much as it hurt, I made us talk about our fun times with Rae and her crazy antics.  It helped the kids open up and express their feelings.  My daughter and I talked for over  2 hours after school one day last week.  In the end we all felt much better letting it out.  The heartache is still there, but we are healing one day at a time.  My son slept in his bed last night.

Blessings,
Kim
Quote 0 0
jim
Thank you all for the kind words.  It's so hard to find perspective when you lose a friend before their time.  We all loved and miss Chloe very much.  She gave us all the gift of unconditional love and zest for life while she was here.  Losing her the way we did is a stark reminder that we never really know how long we'll be here.  Any moments taken for granted will be regrets in hindsight.  Truly understanding how temporary life is may be the biggest gift Chloe could give our family.  Thinking about her short life as a gift is a positive spin, but it is so bitter sweet at this point.

We all felt like she was just meant for our family.  We were all ready to have her a part of our family for years and years.  She only got to live one full season, the summer of 2010.  We just moved to our home five days before we picked Chloe up.  Now our house feels so empty without her.

The crazy thing for me is that I wouldn't have ever thought of myself as a cat lover before Chloe.  I love animals of all types, but have been partial to dogs in general.  In her short time, Chloe changed my perspective so much.  Because of this changed perspective, sometimes I feel inspired to get another cat.  Not long after, I feel that no cat could ever replace her.
Quote 0 0
tikibarb
It is an emotional roller coaster for sure.  No one can take the place of your beloved Chloe but you will find room in your heart for another when the time is right.    
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
Quote 0 0
jim
While we're still sad every day, each day seems to be getting a little easier.  Besides not looking for Chloe, my biggest regret is not having her cremated.  We didn't want to bury her in the back yard where I found her, so we had the vet take care of her remains.  I would have liked to spread her ashes in a special place, but I wasn't thinking clearly enough at the time to take care of it.

It's so helpful to know that some people get it and care the same way that we do.  You all here are so compassionate and helpful.  It was heartening to see replies from others who had lost a pet recently.  Thanks for taking a few moments away from your own struggles to offer a few kind words.

My wife and I got a card yesterday from the vet who helped us with Chloe.  The card had a nice handwritten note offering their condolences.  It was a nice touch, especially since it was the first time we had used their services.

A friend of ours also gave us a small wooden carving of an angel holding a cat.  We have it on a mantle with a nice picture of Chloe to remind us where she is now.


Quote 0 0
TootiesGuardian

Jim,

You're welcome!  It makes me feel good go reach out to help others that are grieving as well.  It'll be six weeks this Saturday that I lost my Tootie.  It does get easier, but at times it hurts so bad still.  It's like two steps forward and one step back at times.  It just takes time to heal after such a tragic loss.

That was so nice of the vet's office to send you and your family a sympathy card.  It does feel good knowing that they really do care.  I got a sympathy card from the vet that had to put my girl to sleep and it was the first time she had treated my girl (that morning I had taken Tootie in as she was not well at all).  It was only the second time Tootie had been to that vet clinic.

What a sweet friend ya'll have to give you the carving of the Angel holding a cat.  What a beautiful image you gave me in your description.  Chloe is safe and healthy in the arms of an Angel, of that I have no doubt. 

Thinking of you and your family.

Sherry

P.S.  I wanted to include a picture of a mural that I had taken that's on the wall at my kid's pedatrician's office.  In the pic, Eve is holding a cat in her lap.  I wanted to share the pic with you. :)


Tootie ~ Sep. 1, 2000 - Sep. 4, 2010
Shine on you beautiful diamond!
Blueboy ~ Feb. 14, 1989 - Dec. 31, 1993
Always in my heart!
Quote 0 0
judylinn

its really nice when people acknowledge the loss of our pets. Im glad that someone did for you. Its hard that you dont have Chloe's remains, but the main place she is, is in your heart, that connection is always there. Having that special spot on the Mantle, is a nice memorial for her. I hope you are healing, it just takes some time. Judy

Quote 0 0