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The loss of my cat.

(66 Posts)
barzicotto Sun 04-Nov-18 16:36:55

My cat passed away 7 weeks ago and I can't find a way to accept it. I am overwhelmed with feeling of guilt: could i have done more to make him comfortable in his last days? did the vet really knew what was ging on? Did he pass away in pain, struggling for breath? I miss him. All i want to do is talk about him but nobody wants to listen; so called bereavment people have given up.

user1495884620 Sun 04-Nov-18 16:45:08

Sorry for your loss. It's hard losing a much loved pet, especially when they can't tell you what they want or how they feel. I'm sure you made all the right decisions.

maxxxx Mon 05-Nov-18 15:59:32

So sorry for your loss.
Could you call your veterinary practice and speak to a vet or nurse? It may help you in the grieving process if they can answer any questions and (especially the nurses) will be happy to answer questions or offer condolence that may bring closure x

barzicotto Mon 05-Nov-18 17:14:00

I did get the opportunity to speak to the vet that had treated him but not visited him but there were only so many answers she could give me since she was not present when my cat passed away. Everybody has been telling me how much I had done throughout his long life and especially since when he first got ill but I just cannot stop thinking I could have done more. I will probably never get all the answers but that doesn't stop me needing them. On top of all this, I just cannot even being to think how I could possibly get over it. Me and my cat went through so many bad times and he was always there, the only constant, the only ray of sunshine, now it's all dark.

maxxxx Mon 05-Nov-18 17:29:20

Please find someone, be it a friend, relative or coworker etc that you can speak to.
You aren't alone, and it's so difficult to imagine getting through this without your buddy, but I promise it will get easier.
It's one of the horrible parts of having pets, that they don't live as long as us. All you can do is take comfort that you gave them the best life possible and that you were able to look after them, that it's clear you did.
It's so true that they're a part of our world, and we're their entire world. You gave your little buddy everything and I'm sure they know that, so you can take comfort x

Toddlerteaplease Wed 07-Nov-18 21:27:15

The cat protection league have a bereavement help line. They also have a memory board you can post on.

barzicotto Thu 08-Nov-18 18:02:56

This evening I emailed the vet asking more questions about my cat symptoms during the last week of his life. I just cannot get over it all. It''s on my way home from work that gets me..I know the house won't be the same, the evenings won't be the same. I can't remember a time when my cat was not with me...Sometimes i have to pass by the pet food aisle in the supermarket and the first thing i see are the litter bags. My cat oonly used a litter tray when moving home but, after he got ill the first time, a couple of time he urinated indoors so i put a litter tray indoors. This evening instead I actually stopped and looked at the cat treats i used to buy for him....

Tropicana1 Sat 10-Nov-18 19:07:09

@barzicotto I am so sorry for the loss of your pet - let your vet team know you are struggling and ask them your questions, I'm sure they will help answer them as best they can.
Losing a pet is never easy, but you clearly lovely your cat dearly and I have no doubt that you absolutely did do everything that was in your power to try, no one would love their pet as much as you clearly do and not try everything. Please don't feel guilty, or blame yourself. As awful and sad as it is, there always comes a day where they aren't with us anymore, and as much as we want to there isn't anything we can do to stop it happening eventually

If you're feeling depressed or suicidal at all please speak to your doctor, or if you just need someone to talk to please call the Samaritans on 116 123 or call blue cross pet bereavement helpline 0800 096 6606

barzicotto Tue 13-Nov-18 06:13:50

I have very often concluded that people, they being professionals, friends even family, only want to listen for a certain time. I have awlays wanted someone to talk to whenever I needed it, just talk, not needing advice, guidance, I just want to talk about the same thing that causes my soul pain, over and over again, forever. Is there such a person/organisation? No. Hence people kill themselves, withdraw from life, vegetate. Can't people just listen and say " I know, i'm sorry you feel that way, please cry on my shoulder"?

Tropicana1 Thu 15-Nov-18 08:01:56

@barzicotto the pet bereavement people at the blue cross and the Samaritans will all listen - you can call them everyday just to talk if that's what you need, that's what they're there for

LovelyMommy78 Thu 15-Nov-18 13:53:07

Sorry for your loss. Can't think that some day my kitty will go. But mostly pets live a shorter life if compare with their owners, so better to get prepared for that when you decide to have a cat or a dog.
Maybe, you take another one from an animal shelter? They will help eliminate your grief.

barzicotto Sat 17-Nov-18 05:46:33

I had been emailing the blue cross bereavement people but they could only help so much so they suggested i'd ring them or the samaritans. I haven't rang the samaritans yet, i keep thinking they might find it hard to understand what myn cat meant to me, i have had negative response when, in the past, i have mentioned my cat as my only reason to get up in the morning. I have tried to get closer to a cat that has been coming around for a very long time, he used to come try and get inside and eat my cat's food, once he actually came into the room where me and my cat were sleeping. I have been leaving food outside and, few days ago, he came close enough to eat and i was able to touch him while he was eating. I guess he is not sure what to make of me because i used to shoo him away....It would be enough to just establish that kind of rapport, i fee him and he lets me talk to him; i would not get another cat, i cannot betray my cat, i would not be able to love him or her less than i should and i would not waant to find myself going through the pain of losing another pet. It's hard, coming home from work is the hardest part of the day. For nearly 20 years there was this being waiting for me. The house is empty without him. I have left everything as it was, his toys box, his crinkle tunnel and i speak to his ashes. How many people would understand that? I apologise to everyone who has left messages, i haven't said thank you, that's how bad my mind is...

Chrisinthemorning Sat 17-Nov-18 05:58:50

flowers Whst a happy life your cat must have had, with such a loving owner.
I’m sorry for your loss.
Soon maybe you might be able to think about giving another cat a happy home too? It might help you heal.

Chrisinthemorning Sat 17-Nov-18 06:00:55

I think your cat would want you to have another feline friend, to stop you being lonely. It isn’t a betrayal. There are so many unwanted cats in the world.

poodlespoodles Sat 17-Nov-18 06:18:04

My dog died almost a year ago. I understand how you are feeling. I still replay the day she died and wonder if I could have changed anything and I still feel a huge amount of grief about her passing.

But we welcomed a new member of our family. And she has healed my broken heart. I feel no guilt about this as I know my dog would want me to feel happy. I still feel sad about losing my old girl but my puppy is a totally different breed and personality. She makes me laugh a lot.

So I'd give adopting another cat some thought. You deserve to be happy and you could give another cat a really good home.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 17-Nov-18 06:36:40

Could you think about it less as betraying your cat and more of the rescue cat deserving to live outside of a rescue centre? There is nothing as good as a cat to sit and listen to your woes. If you have a rescue centre near you they might need volunteers to just go in and sit and play with the cats. See whether any bonds develop. The cat won't know that they aren't loved as much. They will just know that they are safe, cozy and stroked. Over time they might steal a tiny bit of your heart. See them as a cheapish constant therapy. Just don't get one that likes to lie with their bottom in your face moves aside tail to see phone

Tropicana1 Sat 17-Nov-18 11:50:37

@barzicotto that's good that you have been emailing the blue cross - I would definitely encourage you to call them or the Samaritans. I understand that it can be difficult talking about how deeply the loss of your cat is affecting you and I'm so sorry that you have had negative responses from people before when mentioning what a big part of your life your cat was. You are not alone - a lot of people, especially those who struggle with depressive thoughts, find reason to wake up in the morning because of their pets. (I really hope you don't take what I'm saying the wrong way or think I'm making assumptions at all). unfortunately not everyone understands how much a pet can be linked to positive mental health, and how deeply their loss can affect owners.

The Samaritans are all compassionate and trained people, they will not belittle your grief or make light of how you are feeling.

I understand how the thought of getting another cat can bring on conflicting feelings; sometimes letting another one into our hearts can feel like letting go of the one we have lost. But it doesn't mean that at all, letting a new cat into your heart and home will in no way diminish the love you have for your cat, or mean that you are trying to replace her in any way. As a previous poster has said, they all have such different characteristics and personalities that they will never be the same as the ones we have lost.
Talking to and spending time with your cats ashes is not unusual at all - many many pet owners now have individual cremations of their pets for the same reason - they are there with you to love and talk to, an outlet to express your grief. Have you considered having a small amount of your cats ashes made into Jewellery or a trinket? There are companies these days that offer the service, so our lost loved ones are always with us.

It sounds like the cat has been visiting you is in great need of someone to love it and take care of it. Sometimes they find us even when we're not looking for us, but when we need them the most 🐾

barzicotto Sun 18-Nov-18 07:45:11

Thank you all for your supportive messages, it helps knowing that i am not on my own in haing such feeling for a pet. In answer to tropicana, yes, i ordered a pendant straight after the cremation, it's a little golden heart with my cat's name engraved on it and some oh his ashes. I have it on a chain with another heart pendant with a picture of him. I also have an older pendant which broke and i couldn't hang in anymore, it contains a photo of my cat, a bit of fur and a whisker. At home i have a jewellwry box containing his fur, whiskers, claws that he started to lose when he stopped climbing trees, i didn't even know such a thing happened, it was like the new claws were pushing the old ones out. I carry his name tag with my home keys. My cat was not my choice to have. My partner at the time suggested we took in one of the kittens from next door neighbours, i think it was his way of making public relations. But i was always the one looking after the cat. I saw when he was just half hour old and came to live with us when he was 2 months old. He always slept with me, always shared food on the table with me. When the relationship ended, without even thinking about it, it was obvious he was coming with me. he's been a great comfort during my many periods with depression, sadness, suicidal thoughts, unhappiness. I used to apologise to my cat for not having a fun mummy but we did have fun, especially when he was a kitten. His favorite game was me pretending to chase him...In all my life i have never ever had such a fulfilling relationship. We had our language, we "talked". He'd "call" and i'd say "yes?". Many years ago i looked into volunteering at an animal home but then changed my mind because i didn't want my cat smell other animals on me and feel cheated on. I always said that, after his passing, i would work with animals, even volunteering. I felt it would have the safest way for me to feel the love of an animal but without the responsabilties that would break my heart again one day. Having said that, it might happen anyway. I am the kind of person of cannot read about animals in distress. But not yet, i'm not ready. I might never be. Being with another cat, or cats, it would only make me miss mine more. The one that comes around is ok to try and befriend, it's only food so that he knows i'm here but also because he/she used to know my cat....

barzicotto Mon 19-Nov-18 21:02:06

Some days, moments, are harder than others and i find myself tonight hurting a lot thinking about my cat. I have looked up the contacts for the samaritan but what are they ever going to think? what can they say? I need to be told that, yes, i am at fault, i should have done more but nobody says that, why? and if i am not at fault, how do i stop feeling guilty? but should i really stop feeling guilty? The et neer replied to my email asking more questions. Any other vet i'd talk to would never admit that another vet might have done wrong. My family, my friend, my work collegue all say that it is done, there's nothing to do anymore, i did so much for my cat , etc, etc, then why does it hurt so much? Nobody was here to see what was going on, maybe some of them gave me wrong advice, i had never had a pet before, i didn't know what to make of things.

barzicotto Tue 20-Nov-18 05:42:54

Late last night I decided to ring the samaritans. I talked to a person who didn't make me feel silly to hurt so much about the loss of my cat. I didn't sleep much, i feel like i want to hide away. I don't want to go to work where there is unnecessary stress to deal with every day on top of my feelings. I want to sleep, ideally forever.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 20-Nov-18 06:33:13

flowers barzicotto do ring them again whenever you need to. You might also get more traffic on The litter tray board. There are lots of cat owners there who have lost cats.

It is so hard at this stage. The other thing you might consider is going to your GP. They might be able to help. It is possible that as well as the loss of your cat it is triggering feelings around the loss of the relationship etc. If you feel that you can't tell them then write it down. Some more real life support could really help you.

LEMtheoriginal Tue 20-Nov-18 06:55:29

Very well done for cAlling the Samaritans. That was very brave of you. I hope that talking to someone has helped you.

I do think it would be an idea for you to see your GP. They will be able to refer you for counselling and possibly prescribe sone medication to help.

I am a vet nurse and i totally understand your grief. I see a whole range of reactions to the loss of pets and it is heart breaking. Everyone is different, everybody grieves differently. Some people (myself included) get another pet soon after the loss of a pet wheras others leave it longer. I would say most do get a new pet at some stage. It absolutely is NOT a replacement for an old pet and not a betrayal. You gave your cat a wonderful life and she new she was loved. She would not want for you to be lonely and sad. Maybe one day you could adopt a rescue cat, a cat that really needs love and the care you so clearly have to offer. I say that with trepidation as you might not be ready yet - but you iwe it to yoursrlf to not rule it out.

Please go to your Dr and get some counselling. Your grief is real and you need to process it.


shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 23-Nov-18 21:44:01

How are things going?

barzicotto Sat 24-Nov-18 07:01:51

Since the night I rang the samaritans, ahve been feeling quite subdued. Work has distracted me, it's been ery busy, but, once out of there, on my way home, the feelings of emptiness, sadness, even numbness, were back. What's made it worse is that i had a irtual cionersation with my sister and i had to admit that i had scrapped the idea of going back home for few days. I actually knew it was unlikely i was going to make it but, actually putting it into words, was distressing, for many reasons. I had to explain that i just want to stay at my cat's home, because my home is his not mine, like the bed was his, not mine, like my life was "my cat and I". Although my sister, like the rest of my fanily, loves me, and she understands how much my cat meant to me, i felt like she was "telling me off" by pointing out that, if that's how i feel, i will never go back again. She rightly pointed out how we are all getting older and are not well, i might lose more siblings without seeing them for years. But I want to stay home, the thoughts of being away from home make me feel like i am abandoning the life i had there with my cat. I know, it goes beyond anything a person can do, either for the loss of a person or a pet but this is how i feel. And now i feel under pressure to go and see my family on top of my feelings about the loss of my cat. I know for certain i will not be able to "have fun" if i go and i would long for my home. But maybe this pressure is my punishment for not realising my cat needed extra care during his last days.

LEMtheoriginal Sat 24-Nov-18 07:14:20

I am sorry you are still struggling. It is so sad when we lose a much loved pet and people really don't understand the grief. We all cope differently and people expect us to move on. In truth we have to, you must move on. Your cat would not want this for you. He would want you to remember him with fond memories and always have love for him but he would want you to live your life.

I think you need to discuss this with your gp and get a referral for some counselling with a trained/qualified counsellor. Someone who can give you strategies to cope with how you are feeling or just someone tobounce your feelings off.

Sadly there is scanttraining within the veterinary profession for dealing with griefso i do think your gp is the best person to approach.

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