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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.

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


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.

stealthsquiggle Thu 08-Aug-13 12:28:28

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).

stealthsquiggle Thu 08-Aug-13 12:52:31

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.

stealthsquiggle Thu 08-Aug-13 21:22:26

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.

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

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