My cat passed away last night...

(60 Posts)
KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 08:59:20

My amazing 19 year old moggy died just before midnight last night. I'm devastated and feel utterly bereft. She was my best friend and had been since I met her16 years ago.

She'd used lots of her nine lives, having gone missing for 6.5 weeks many years back, but thanks to an extensive search and poster campaign we found her. She then went through two years of chemo and came out the other side but this time she was out of luck.

Trying to be as normal as possible for DS who is 2.5. Not wholly successful...

No idea what we'll say to him when he realises she's not around. Any age appropriate suggestions? Don't want to scare him into thinking if you're unwell then this is what happens, but equally don't want to lie that she's gone to live on a farm etc...

It's shit. I miss her.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 09:04:27

So sorry for your loss - that is very sad sad You must know that 19 is an amazing age for a cat and it sounds like you have always took very good care of her. I would probably keep things matter of fact for DS, don't offer more information than what is asked for. Hes pretty young and as you say, you dont want to scare him. I don't thin he will ask too much at that age.

Will you get another cat, do you think?

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 09:19:55

Thanks, LEM. We have two other cats who we love to bits... just not quite in the same way as I love my girl. She was my first cat after 21 years of wanting one and was a very strong personality.

I'll wait for DS to ask but not sure he'll get the whole death thing. He's also a real questioner so not looking forward to the probing questions today as feeling fragile at best.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Aug-13 11:51:55

So sorry, KittieCat. It's very hard.

I think it's a good idea to only give such information as is asked for. DS is very young so although there is a book available for children (another poster may be able to link you to it) he may not even get the material in that. Hopefully, having the two other cats around will help with any problems.

All the best for you and your family.

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 12:37:20

Thanks, Cozie. We've been out this morning and so avoided her absence thus far...

Good advice about just answering questions. Maybe a simple 'she's gone away' will suffice? I may then be able to distract before he starts the inevitable forensic analysis.

Funny how kind words of strangers on the Internet bring a bit of comfort.

BurnThisDiscoDown Mon 05-Aug-13 12:42:26

So sorry for your loss KittyCat, we lost one of our cats too last weekend. DS, who us just 2, knew he was very poorly (he kept bringing him cat crunchies!), but hasn't seemed to notice he's gone yet. He's not particularly verbal yet though, I don't know if that's making a difference.

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 13:41:12

Thanks, Burn, sorry to hear of your loss, too. It's awful, isn't it?

I assumed DS would notice straightaway that she wasn't in her usual space this morning but maybe their minds just work differently if your DS is also oblivious..? Long may the blissful ignorance continue on both parts.

Dreading him asking where she is.

We need to take our cat to the vet this pm so she can be cremated and fear it is going to be a challenge to stop DS noticing the box etc. Thankfully my parents have offered to come over while we do this last thing for her, so that's a very welcome distraction.

Thanks again all for posting.

SunshineBossaNova Mon 05-Aug-13 14:53:00

I'm so sorry Kittiecat. My boy is 19 and is the love of my life.

allmycats Mon 05-Aug-13 16:01:14

So sorry will be thinking of you today. I know what you feel about a special cat. It is 8 years since 'Miss Kitty' passed and I still miss her.

GetStuffezd Mon 05-Aug-13 16:03:10

So sorry to hear of your loss. xxx

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 16:15:02

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. They are very much appreciated. Stil feeling dreadfully sad.

Sunshine I hope your boy remains healthy and happy with many purrs ahead. Pls give him an ear and under the chin scratch from me.

It's strange allmycats I obviously adore my other cats but my girl was just so special and I'd bring her back in a heartbeat if I could.

Thanks again all.

SunshineBossaNova Mon 05-Aug-13 16:35:56

Thanks for the chin scratch Kittie. We were at the vet again today, he rattles with tablets smile

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 17:05:22

I remember that sunshine, when my girl was having chemo she became totally used to taking pills and going to the vet. The magic of medicine!

SunshineBossaNova Mon 05-Aug-13 19:14:59

He's got heart problems, an ongoing uti and epilepsy. I think they should issue frequent flyer miles smile

We lost our ginger tom to cancer 3 years ago. He loved the vets smile

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 19:45:32

Funny creatures, aren't they? A vet your animal likes makes the whole process much easier.

Thankfully our girl passed at home but we've just been to drop her off at the vet's so they can organise cremation. They're lovely people but I so wish we hadn't had to do that last trip.

Hope your old boy keep happy and healthy, sunshine. I'll be thinking of him and sending good health vibes.

everythinghippie29 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:22:00

No practical advice but lost one of my furbabies about two weeks ago and the hurt is incredible.

So sorry for your loss, have a good cry when you need to.

thanks thanks

peppermum Mon 05-Aug-13 20:28:13

I don't know if you like the Mog books by Judith Kerr but there is one called Goodbye Mog which might be a gentle introduction to the subject for your DC.

Sorry for your sad loss flowers

Catmint Mon 05-Aug-13 20:29:18

Very sorry for your loss. X

hugoagogo Mon 05-Aug-13 20:33:26

Oh I am so sorry to hear your news, I lost my cat to cancer about 6 weeks ago and I still miss her so much.

I would back up what everything says- just let it out.

sad

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 20:54:42

Pepper that's a brilliant idea, thank you so much. DS loves Mog books and I hadn't thought of that at all.

Hugo so sorry to hear that. Cancer is an utter bastard. I hope you're able to think of the happy times and it's not so terribly raw now? Sending comforting thoughts.

Hippie, so sorry for your loss, too. You're absolutely spot on, the hurt is just incredible. I just feel so lost and doing the smallest thing is such hard work. It feels like I'm running in treacle. I always thought I was pretty ok in terms of letting my emotions show but because of DS I'm feeling inhibited.

I don't want him to see me crying constantly but sometimes I just can't help it. I love her so much and she's not here. At least when she went wandering and then when she was having chemo there was always a chance. There isn't now. It's just so final.

Also, lots of people in RL don't get it. She was never 'just an animal', she was genuinely my constant companion and best friend. FGS I'd known her longer than DH! He's never known us without each other.

It stil shit but kind words from MN 'vipers' are helping me so much.

Thanks all, your words are much appreciated.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:55:28

I'm very sorry you lost her, you must have taken excellent care of her to get to that age though.

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 21:02:51

Fluffy what a lovely thing to say. I did my best, she was thoroughly spoilt but I was always mindful of what was good for her! She had a rough start, which I think helped shape her 'strong' personality, so I always tried to counter that by treating her the way she should have been treated.

She was my girl and worth every penny and every second spent on her care.

cadidog Mon 05-Aug-13 21:07:19

So sorry to hear your cat passed away. I tell my older tom that he'll need to live forever at least three times a week.

crazynanna Mon 05-Aug-13 21:12:00

So sorry Kittie. I hope my 2yo girl lasts as long as your lady. She was lucky to have such a loving human x

KittieCat Mon 05-Aug-13 22:06:45

Thanks, Cadidog and crazynanna, I also hope your feline friends last as long as (if not longer than) my girl.

I wouldn't swap a second but when the inevitable happens I alway question being an animal owner.

I love animals and having companion animals is very much a part of me abd who I am, but this bit is pretty shitty...

Please, anyone reading this, go now and give your animal friend an extra special hug and tickle.

Nexus6 Mon 05-Aug-13 22:12:04

Sorry for your loss, it's never easy losing a much loved companion. I highly recommend checking out the blue cross website they run a bereavement support line service via email or phone. The website has some activities and tips for parents to help their children come to terms with what's happened to their pet. The support line also can give advice for parents and if you wish they are also trained to speak to children.

All calls are confidential and all the volunteers have been crb checked.

meatloaf Mon 05-Aug-13 22:57:51

so sorry for your loss sad

KittieCat Tue 06-Aug-13 08:37:26

Thanks, Nexus, I hadn't thought of the Blue Cross. I'll pop online and get in touch.

Going back to work today so we'll see if that helps to distract me. DS still hasn't realised. Long may that continue, that said, I hope he doesn't forget her!

cozietoesie Tue 06-Aug-13 08:50:17

He's so very young that I suspect he mainly thinks of 'catness' around the place - and you still have the other two.

Glad you seem to be feeling just a little better. It will likely take a while though.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 06-Aug-13 09:17:48

Sorry for your loss and I maybe a little late, but as a vet and a mum I always advocate telling the truth and using the word dead. Then explaining that she has left her body. Children are often hugely upset for a short while the terribly pragmatic and accepting. Goodbye Dear Mog is an excellent book.

VenusSurprising Tue 06-Aug-13 10:43:37

So sorry KittyCat, 19 is a great age: you must have been looking after her so well.

I always use the words dead to my dcs whenever we see dead birds etc. it's not difficult for them to grasp that creatures die, and it's a natural process. Please don't say "gone to sleep" or that he's "gone to a farm".

Thinking of all the 'vipers' who have lost their shadows. Xxx

Wasapea Tue 06-Aug-13 11:23:02

So sorry KittyCat. Hope you're okay. I love my mogs more than life itself. flowers

KittieCat Tue 06-Aug-13 19:31:05

Thanks all for your thoughts and much appreciated kind words.
Back to work today and it was pretty grim, forgot about it all for a moment and then I'd recall the fact she's gone. Not great crying in the office so kept trotting to the toilets.

Venus I promise there will be none of the 'gone to sleep' or 'gone to live on a farm'. I swear on my MN credentials! I don't want to fib to him but I don't want to scare him either...

Cozie, that makes sense in terms of 'catness' being around. I am feeling a little bit better on the whole and trying to take it day by day. Thanks for coming back to the thread and being so nice.

Thanks, also lonecat I've ordered Goodbye Mog so when and if he notices I'll show him. Also hats off to you and your profession, it was thanks to the skills of her vets that she lived as long as she did.

Wasapea I agree with that! Please give your mogs a behind the ear scratch from me.

It's lonely at home without her but I suppose I'll end up getting used to that. We'll get her ashes back next week so it'll be good to have her home.

cozietoesie Wed 07-Aug-13 12:17:03

How are you all getting on, Kittie ?

moonbells Wed 07-Aug-13 12:37:22

Kittie I feel for you. We lost our 18 yo lady just under 2 years ago and I just burst into tears reading this thread. DS was almost 4 and we didn't shirk anything, but he did add CAT to the shopping list a couple of days later, after asking us how to spell it!

take care

Mumbledore Wed 07-Aug-13 13:32:02

Just wanted to give flowers

Hopefully you are drawing some comfort from the fact that she was at home when she slipped away. I know my boys can't last forever, I just desperately hope they're at home when they go.

Thinking of all of you who've lost your kitties, they are such special animals.

KittieCat Wed 07-Aug-13 16:58:11

Still missing her desperately and keep seeing dark coloured shapes (she was a brindle tortie) out of the corner of my eye and for a split second I think it's her.

I'm at home with DS tomorrow so that's going to be hard. Think we're going to have to have a busy, outdoorsy day.

No tears yet today so that's a positive move and DS still hasn't asked where she is, so I've not yet had to cross that bridge. He is, however, fixated on getting a dog, having spent time at the weekend with a friend's lovely Shih Tzu / Jack Russell cross. The answer is and will remain 'no'...

I love animals but when they go I always forget how unbearable the pain is. As an owner I feel responsible and keep thinking 'what if..', although I am entirely aware that at 19 years old she was at the thin end of her nine lives.

Tomorrow is another day. Thanks again all for visiting the thread and kind words. Cozie your continued thoughts mean a lot - thank you. Moon sorry my thread scratched at your scar, hope you can remember your girl happily for the most part.

Mumble, you're right it IS good she was home and I hope in time I'll take proper comfort from that fact.

cozietoesie Wed 07-Aug-13 17:20:48

Kittie

She was a very lucky (and clearly much loved and well-cared for) girl to get to 19 in the first place. The trouble is that when they live so long, you deep down can barely imagine a life without them - and the youngsters in the family may never have actually known a life without them.

It's truly hard.

hugoagogo Wed 07-Aug-13 20:15:36

Yes, I had a cat from the age of 5 and when she had to be pts I just couldn't imagine life without her.

The cat that died recently had only been with us about 5 years (rescue cat) and I thought it hadn't been very long, but still dd (11) couldn't properly remember life without her. sad

It does get a bit better with time.

KittieCat Thu 08-Aug-13 00:15:35

You're both entirely right. DH and most of my friends have never known me without my girl and she's been around for the whole of DS's life.

She was with me for just over 16 years so expecting her to be around is going to be a hard habit to break.

I hope it does get easier soon but I guess it is time that will heal the most and make it all less raw.

I just wish losing pets wasn't so damned hard. I've found most people don't really get why I'm so sad. That said i've not wallowed or made the situation into a drama!

poppymagnum Thu 08-Aug-13 01:06:47

You have all my sympathy. I've just got back from emergency vet having had my lovely boy PTS. He was only 6 sad

poppymagnum Thu 08-Aug-13 01:08:11

Sorry, I worded that badly. I mean, I am devastated after only having him for 6 years so I can't imagine how sad you are after so much longer.

The vet is on her way to come and put our 22yo cat to sleep right now. I know it's the right decision. It was my decision FFS. She is deaf and confused and unhappy and has no quality of life left at all. Still can't stop crying though.

SunshineBossaNova Thu 08-Aug-13 12:34:29

kittie I cried for days when we lost our lovely ginger. They're family.

stealth I'm so sorry. Big, big hugs to you and your lovely girl.

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 08-Aug-13 12:46:00

Big hug from me too. Our cat died a couple of months back - it's terribly sad. DS is 5 so a bit of a difference in terms of telling him, but I would say go for the truth in an age appropriate way (had to do it with DS at about 2.5 in connection with human death - it is very hard, but probably better than "gone away" etc). I second the suggestion about the Mog book - it's lovely (though it makes me cry).

I am similarly unsure about whether we have done the right thing with the DC. They are 6 and 10. We told them at the weekend that we had taken the decision, and that it would happen this week. There were lots of tears, but we chose not to tell them that it would be today. I decided that there was no point in them weeping their way through today's holiday clubs (especially DC1, who is at a rugby camp where no-one knows him) but will they feel betrayed when they come home and find her gone?

OP - another vote for Goodbye Mog. You won't be able to read it without crying, though. My DC both read it at school at various stages. I don't need to explain the concept of death, but this is the first time they have had to deal with the death of a pet - DCat is the only cat they have ever known as our other cat died when DC1 was 2 - he doesn't really remember her and we decided not to get another as DCat really doesn't like other cats much.

KittieCat Thu 08-Aug-13 21:16:33

Poppy that awful news. Hope you're doing ok? Six years is a long time, certainly more than long enough for a cat to become entwined in the fabric of your life. Really sorry you've had to go through this.

Likewise, Stealth that's really sad, hope you're doing ok and at peace with your decision. How were your DC?
Sending thoughts to you all, 22 is an amazing age.

Thanks also to all who recommended Goodbye Mog and especially for the warning that it'll upset me, too. Think I'll have to read it alone first. I'm REALLY bad with sad animal tales. Read an interview with Ben Fogle about his late dog, Inca, and wept like a child...

Today was more bearable as I was out and about with DS, so barely had a moment to think, let alone dwell on anything. This evening has been tough once again.

I know I can't have her back but I'm looking forward to the moment that I think of her and am able to smile.

Kittie I hope you can cuddle one of the other cats and feel a little less lonely tonight.

She died purring. We all talked tonight about planting a tree in the garden and scattering her ashes under it. It seems to be what the DC need, and I think I was right not to tell them it would be today.

KittieCat Thu 08-Aug-13 21:29:16

FWIW I think you were right, too. There was nothing to be gained from them knowing and it playing on their mind all day. It's bad enough for it to play on yours.

Glad to hear she purred. Hope it was as peaceful as it could be.

Planting a tree is a lovely idea. I'm not to be trusted with anything green (other than weeds!) otherwise we'd do similar. I think I'm going to have some of our girl's ashes made into a piece of jewellery or a glass paperweight from Ashes Into Glass.

Maud2011 Fri 09-Aug-13 11:08:07

I had to have my sweet 19 y.o. boy put to sleep a month ago and I think it was the worst thing I have had to do in my life. I've been lucky I suppose in that I haven't met anyone who made "it's just a cat" type comments. He was the being I lived with continually for longer than any other in my life and leaves a huge gap. At first it was very difficult to pull myself together to do anything at all, now life is going on but I miss him every day. It's so hard not being able to cuddle him any more.

I made two calls to the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Service and they were incredibly helpful. I'd recommend them to anyone going through the loss of a much loved companion animal.

http://www.bluecross.org.uk/2083/pet-bereavement-support-service.html

I had my boy cremated and his ashes returned to me in a beautiful black wooden casket shaped like a sleeping cat.

SunshineBossaNova Fri 09-Aug-13 11:37:48

(((Maud)))

I'd also recommend Ease pet bereavement charity for online support. They have been amazing with my boy's death from cancer, and my other boy's illness and my fear of his death.

Maud2011 Fri 09-Aug-13 18:57:43

Thanks SunshineBossaNova.

KittieCat Fri 09-Aug-13 20:18:25

Thanks for the advice Maud and I'm terribly sorry to hear about your boy. That is completely how I feel, doing the simplest thing seems to take me forever, that's after it's already taken me forever to get round to doing it. The worst of it is when we've lost animals before she's alway been around and a massive source of comfort sadly this time she's not here when I need her most.

I think a call to the Blue Cross or Ease (thanks sunshine) might be just what I need to do.

SunshineBossaNova Fri 09-Aug-13 21:07:18

Ease

xx

KittieCat Sat 10-Aug-13 08:31:35

That's great, thanks sunshine.

tabbycat15 Sat 10-Aug-13 13:19:14

So sorry to hear that. We lost Dotty last Nov & we still miss her so much. She was 15 & had pancreatitis.
We had her cremated & made a special box of all our things. Our vets sent us a pet loss pack. There was a lovely poem called Rainbow Bridge. It made me cry reading it but it was a comfort. We got some sunflower seeds to plant, her paw print, some pot pourri & candles. We planted a rose in a pot & called it Dotty's rose. Maybe you could plant something with DS to remember her.

KittieCat Sat 10-Aug-13 15:10:10

Thanks, Tabby. I would like to plant something but I am crap with plants and think it'd probably upset me again when it inevitably dies due to my lack of ability to keep plants alive!

I've seen Rainbow Bridge and the sentiment is lovely.

tabbycat15 Sun 11-Aug-13 07:19:06

We put the rose in a patio pot & got advice from the garden centre. We give it fertilizer for roses & lots of water. I am in Australia & so it gets lots of sunshine. We prune it & so far it's doing fine. We got a white rose flori bunda & we got lots of lovely flowers this year from it.

KittieCat Mon 12-Aug-13 16:11:00

That sounds lovely, Tabby, maybe I can blame the usually crap Britsh weather for my green fingered failures..?

If I thought a dandelion was a fitting tribute for The Best Cat on Earth then I'd be sorted!

Still missing my girl loads but the Ease info was great. DS still hasn't noticed or asked where she is but he has been talking about her. Got Goodbye Mog and wept like a baby. So glad I read it on my own first...

cozietoesie Mon 12-Aug-13 16:16:38

Then he probably has noticed - but being so very young he's likely just registered the fact and thought little more of it. There - not there. Who can really remember what it's like to be that age but they're not necessarily deep thinkers.

Glad you're feeling a little better.

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