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What helps when your cat dies please

(64 Posts)
FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Mon 07-May-18 12:20:07

My other thread Constipated cat

Our cat was put to sleep suddenly yesterday as she was found to have untreatable cancer throughout her stomach. Her body is still at the vets. I have contacted a local pet crematorium but they're not open today. I think I want to see her first and have her ashes. I couldn't face putting her in the ground plus we have foxes.

Please tell me what has helped you cope. I feel like I'm going mad, dh and ds are also devastated. I woke up during the night and started having a panic attack but managed to stop it. I'm dreading tonight because I won't be able to sleep again. Everything is worse in the night and I have anxiety about death anyway. I sleep alone because dh snores.

Her name was Minnie and she was lovely. We had her for 9 years. She was my dad's cat and when he died she came to live with us. When she'd been living with us for a few weeks she went missing and we were so worried- a few days later we went to check at my dad's house (about a mile away) and she ran down the garden meowing and hungry. After that she stayed very close to home, rarely even leaving our garden.

I can't bear to think I'll never rub her ears and hear her purr again.

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Liza27 Mon 07-May-18 12:25:53

Ah I'm so sorry OP, I don't really have any advice but didn't want to read and run. She was absolutely gorgeous!


Tartyflette Mon 07-May-18 12:26:23

I'm so sorry OP, I too was devastated after our lovely Tartycat died, she was so sweet and gentle.
And your Minnie looks gorgeous. It sounds like she had a really good life with a family that loved and cared for her.
The only thing that helped me is the passage of time -- an old cliché but it's true.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Mon 07-May-18 12:43:04

Thank you. I keep telling myself that she was loved, had a good life, was never abused or neglected. But it doesn't stop my heart from breaking. I am disabled so was home with her all day. I miss her so much.

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wormery Mon 07-May-18 13:01:21

She looks lovely and sounds like she had a wonderful life full of love. Out little cat had the same illness and was pts suddenly, we were heartbroken. We had her cremated and have her ashes here in a specially made wooden box. If you do go and see her cut a piece of her fur off and keep it somewhere special. I made up a memory box with her fur, brush, a couple of favourite toys and one of those little plastic prayer cards you find in card shops., I am sure some people thought I was a bit mad but it helped me. There is a very good book called coping with pet loss by robin grey. I couldn't bear to bring her carry case home so left it at the vet. I also donated the left over food to local cat protection. I am sorry for your loss and send you all my thoughts, I bet you had some wonderful funny times together, cats are so special.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Mon 07-May-18 14:28:44

Thank you so much. DH just emptied her litter tray for the last time and we both cried. I can still smell her in the room where she used to sleep.

I have downloaded some podcasts about pet loss. I will look at that book thank you.

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MasterLeonard Mon 07-May-18 14:43:08

Oh sweetheart, I am so sorry. You did a wonderful thing for her by breaking your own hearts instead of letting her suffer.

One thing that helped me was making a photo album. I bought a little photo printer to use at home, chose pictures from different times in my grand old boy's life. Reminiscing with DH, writing memories on the back of the pictures, was a lovely way to think about him.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Mon 07-May-18 19:30:03

That is a lovely idea of a photo album thank you.

Sorry that we've all had to experience losing our lovely kitties sad

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theunsure Mon 07-May-18 19:44:06

So sorry for your loss, RIP beautiful girl.

I have been there so many times myself and it is never any easier. I also think that grief for animals is no different to people and everyone responds differently.

In our family we always seem to end up with another cat/horse/chicken very quickly after losing one. For me it seems to help the process to throw my love and energy into another. They don't "replace" but I take comfort in giving another a good home. But others would find that abhorrent, there is no right or wrong.

We lost one of our beautiful cats 2 years ago, he was very young and it was incredibly tragic. His sister is still bereft and DH and I still cry regularly. But we have got another that we love.

Want2beme Mon 07-May-18 20:49:47

So sorry for your loss. It's such a sad time. You'll slowly start to feel better, but it does take time. Don't rush yourself and let your feelings of grief come out. All of us here have suffered the loss of our little friends and know what you're going through. With my losses, I manage to judt cope but through lots of tears and huge feelings of sadness. I'm not good at looking at photos, so that wouldn't help me. But everyone copes in different ways. Hope you manage some sleep tonightflowers.

BackToTheFuschia7 Mon 07-May-18 23:49:24

Oh no, I’m so sorry OP flowers

What an awful shock for you all, you’ve done the right thing by putting Minnie first but of course that leaves you completely devastated by her loss.

With the practical side of things, I prefer to take my pets to the crematorium myself. It means you get them back either the same day or the next day usually. There is a chapel of rest for you to spend some time with her. It’s completely up to you, do what is least awful for you in these sad circumstances. Also, I take a locket of fur from my pets, it’s too painful to look at initially but with time I find it comforting.

What has helped me is putting my energy and time into my other pets, and with the passage of time I’m able to think about them with a smile instead of just tears. Be kind to yourself and let your grief happen, she was such a lucky cat to have you, and to be so loved. The only downside to that love is how bereft you’re left feeling when they pass away.

Write a list of all the things you loved about her, and her funny habits while it’s fresh in your mind. I can also highly recommend the book ‘Soul comfort for cat lovers’.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 03:26:36

I woke up and started panicking at 2am and had to wake DH. It feels like I'm falling into a hole where I will never feel better or might even feel worse and I can't be alone. I'm calmer now.

Your kind words are helping me so much, I'm re-reading them and feeling so comforted. There are also some lovely websites dealing with pet loss which are helping me see that my feelings are normal. Thank god for the internet and thoughtful people thanks

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ThisIsTheFirstStep Tue 08-May-18 03:31:05

Poor you. Losing a pet is devastating.

As someone else said, only time helps. Let yourself have this time to feel bad and to cry. You won’t feel happy for a while and that’s ok. Accepting your grief will make it easier to deal with.

You gave her a lovely life.

flowers for you

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 03:52:58

Thank you all thanks

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FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 08:42:37

I can't cope with this lack of sleep, every time I wake up it comes crashing back and I realise again she is gone. Then I come out of my room and she's not there to greet me with a meow as she always did, or to ask me for food. It feels enormous. And it also makes me feel massively anxious about losing someone else- everyone seems so vulnerable now. I wish we never had our lovely dog because I will have to do this all over again and I really don't think I can.

I have ordered both the books mentioned above and another called Weep Not For Me. I hope they will help me during the very dark times when everyone is asleep.

We are visiting the crematorium later, it looks a lovely place next to a river. I hope it gives us some comfort.

What did other people do with the ashes? I think I want to keep them on the fireplace in something, as she loved to lie by the fire.

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Flamingoose Tue 08-May-18 08:49:40

Oh OP. I'm so sorry. Your cat is beautiful.

When my darling girl died recently the grief was overwhelming. I sobbed at every reminder of her for two weeks. I thought I was going mad - I've lost pets before, but this hit me so hard it sent me reeling.

I found posting on here about her helped. Mumsnetters were kind.

And time has helped. I am still sad, and I miss her terribly, but I'm also okay.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 09:08:12

That reassures me flaming, because that's exactly how I feel now. I just saw a clump of her fluff on the floor and it was like a punch to the stomach. It's so so hard.

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BackToTheFuschia7 Tue 08-May-18 10:29:54

Yes the awfulness when you wake up is beyond words. I remember for weeks after losing our first cat, I’d wake up with utter shock and disbelief at what had happened. We had to let her go under anaesthetic too, when what was first diagnosed as a minor illness turned out to be metastatic cancer once she was under anaesthetic for investigations. There’s never a good way to lose a pet, but I think the suddenness of this way is particularly cruel.

We have some ashes in a pot with a gorgeous shrub on top. You can also get photo frames with a compartment for the ashes at the back. Place her by the fireplace if that feels right for you. Please just be kind to yourself and know that what you’re feeling is completely normal.

TheTurnOfTheScrew Tue 08-May-18 11:49:44

I am so sorry you lost Minnie flowers. She looks lovely.
We had our cat put to sleep on Friday after she was injured in a car accident. I am still very teary, but clinging on to the fact that she had an amazing life filled with love and adventures (and butter from the dish when she could get her paws on it). I've chosen some photos to frame at the weekend. Seek out Cat People on here or in real life (my colleagues have been brilliant) as they will understand a little.

My primary-aged DC are keen to get another cat in the next few weeks, and while we'll never be able to replace our last cat, who was one in a million, for us a new pet will provide some distraction.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 12:37:23

I am sorry you lost your cat TheTurn.

I'm finding it comes in waves. I'm feeling relatively calm now, but when DH went to work and I was on my own I had a big wobble. I try to concentrate on my breathing because I've been hyperventilating.

I found some very comforting videos on YouTube about pet loss. I can't watch any of our normal tv programs at the moment. When my Dad died I could only tolerate Springwatch so this isn't a surprise. I feel better when I'm outside in the garden, again I was the same with my Dad. Which incidentally was about this time of year and similar weather, and she was originally his cat of course.

My mom is coming over later and I know she will be sympathetic as she loved Minnie and has a cat herself. I find talking about her helps me but it doesn't seem fair to keep doing this with DH and DS as it upsets them too.

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FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 12:37:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 12:37:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 12:38:26

Oh cack, sorry about that it kept saying it failed to post!

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WingsOnMyBoots Tue 08-May-18 12:56:20

I am so sorry you have lost your beautiful little girl OP. I know the pain you are going through. I can tell you it DOES get easier but it does take time. I lost one of my little girls in August 2015 when a car hit her. She was only 3 years old and we had her since she was a kitten. I still think of her every day and yes still do cry as I had a very special bond with her and I call her the 'cat-love of my life'.

We had her privately cremated by a special local pet cremation company because we wanted only her ashes and no other ashes. I still have the ashes and will not scatter them until I am ready even if I may never be ready.

What also helped for me was writing a letter to her. In this letter I made sure I mentioned all the little funny quirky things that only she did. I know was time goes on however much we try we forget things and I didn't want to forget anything. Or you could write her a poem. Obviously I have photos and they really help me.

The other thing that really helped was putting a pet memorial to her online on the 'Blue Cross' website
I have a memorial on there for every pet I have lost and somehow it helps to 'mark' her life and make it 'official' that she ever existed.

I also thing it's nice to have something in your garden if you can, a plant, or tree, or a stone with her name on it. Basically I've found that physical reminders around me have really really helped me. I still think of her as being around even though I can't see her.

Everyone is different and you will find your own way OP. Hugs to you.

FatBallsAndSunflowerSeeds Tue 08-May-18 13:30:57

Those are some wonderful suggestions wings, thank you. That reminds me I have seen pet memorials for the garden on Facebook, I am going to look for some now. I have been writing things down as they come to me and it's very helpful. I can't bear to think I will forget anything about her.

Christ this is so hard.

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