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How to cope with the loss of my 18 year old cat. ?

Discussion in 'Rainbow Bridge' started by Brenda Stewart, May 24, 2019.


  1. Brenda Stewart

    Brenda Stewart PetForums Newbie

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    today I finally put my 18 year old
    Cat to rest. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. I’m still sitting here wondering if I made the right one. But I saw today she had changed completely. She was so depressed she didn’t even put up a fight going to the vet like she usually would. How do I stop second guessing myself? I keep wondering, was it something else? Should I have given her more time? (We gave her a week and a half to tuRn around but she had a bad reaction to the pain meds) I know she was old but I had begun to think she would live till she was twenty because she had been doing so good until this year when she slowed down a lot. The vet assured me we did the right thing. She said even if we waited she wouldn’t live much longer and could have had a stressful ‘natural’ death. The vet offered more pain killers but because she was reacting badly it wouldn’t have helped much. I decided to pull the band aid and do it today. I couldn’t be yhere for the procedure as they weren’t able to get a viable vein for the injection so the vet had to inject her heart directly and she told us it would be incredibly traumatising. She had been sedated for some time at this stage. So I kissed her and tried to hold on to how she felt and smelt. Throwing out her uneaten food was so so painful. I don’t know how to cope with this. I feel this massive void opening up in my life. I was six when I got her. I grew up with her. She was my world. I’ve never experienced a loss like this with a person. So I’m not sure how to handle it. I also feel like I can’t properly grieve as people might think ‘she’s just a cat’. But she was my everything. How do I even begin to cope with this ? I feel like I’m in a nightmare and I don’t know how to get out of it. I keep remembering saying goodbye to her. I keep imagining her lifeless body. I badly wish she was still with me even though it’s selfish. Any tips on how to cope would be really appreciated. I just haven’t stopped crying all day. All week in fact, as I watched her slow down more and more. I haven’t slept
    And have hardly eaten.
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    You poor thing! It's terrible and painful and traumatizing and devastating to lose a beloved pet. All your feelings are normal. I know saying that won't help you really, but you need to know.

    You absolutely did the right thing. She was ready and let you know it and you listened to her and set her free. It's often called the final act of love, or final kindness. It's us, the ones left behind, who suffer.

    You've suffered a deep shock. Please be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to grieve. It can take a long time to get through the worst of it. Only talk about her to people who understand. Don't let people who aren't pet lovers make you feel bad. They are full of sh!t. You are among people who know, here.xx
     
    Sacremist, Jessie Washer and Jackie C like this.
  3. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Cat Slave

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    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss - it is devastating to lose a long time furry companion and I'm sure we all feel for you and understand what you are going through now. As @lorilu has said you gave her the final act of love and took the very hard decision to let her go.

    You might find it beneficial to talk to someone about your loss - https://www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/grief-and-loss. But in the meantime remember that your darling girl is now free from pain and waiting for the time when you will join her at Rainbow Bridge.
     
    Jackie C likes this.
  4. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    I'm very sorry for your loss. Nobody knew your cat better than you, you knew there was a change in her, and it definitely sounds like you made the right decision at the right time. You obviously loved her very much, and I truly believe she loved you too. I do think our cats love us in their own way.
    A cat cannot always tell you when she's in pain or suffering, so we have to make that judgement for them. Even though it breaks out hearts so much, it is the final act of love to let them go at the right time.
    You have shared your life with your lovely girl, your pain is real and natural. She is not truly gone, she will live in your heart forever, she will always have a special place as she was your first cat and your first love.

    Talk to other cat lovers about your girl, they will understand. People who say "she was just a cat" don't have a f*****g clue about the impact these beautiful animals have in our lives. Talk on the forum to us, most of us have lost our loved ones on here and understand. Above all, remember your feelings are real and normal, give yourself the right to grieve. xx
     
  5. Mrs Brown

    Mrs Brown PetForums Junior

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    Very sorry to read your story and hope you start managing to sleep and eat better soon. So sad it has hit you hard and you just have to get through the next few days and weeks for the heartache to calm down a little. I find telling other people is difficult. Phoning family members or friends to let them know is difficult because while they express sympathy they do not feel the emotion so can not be much comfort. Many people can not understand how we can grieve for "just a cat" or "just a dog" but it hurts like hell. We tell them if they call us or we phone them and we try to stay calm and not overdo the tears and croaky voice.

    I have tried to read as few sad posts on this forum as I can because each one is as heartbreaking as the next and I fully understand the grief and sense of loss. Coming home from the vet surgery after saying goodbye to a pet is awful. They no longer sit in the hall when they hear the key in the door. If it was a lone pet then the sound of silence is terrible. Having other pets as I do is a little comfort but in my own case Jack slept on my bed for 12 years each and every night. Now my other cats jump on and stay a while then wander off to find another comfy place but Jack always stayed the whole night through. He is gone now and tomorrow it will be a week since I said goodbye.

    You have my sincere sympathy and please know that I understand exactly how you feel, as I think every other member here will also.
     
    Veronica Chapman likes this.
  6. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    I'm sorry for your loss, Mrs Brown. x
    The people on the forum understand your pain, as most of us have been through it. We know they're not "just a cat" or "just a dog", we understand what our four-legged friends mean to us.
     
    Veronica Chapman likes this.
  7. Mrs Brown

    Mrs Brown PetForums Junior

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    Thank you Jackie! :Cat
     
  8. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a beloved pet is heart wrenching. As others have said, many of us on here have felt your pain so we fully understand how difficult it is to come to terms with that loss. Your beautiful girl is at peace now and you will be together again one day. Hugs!
     
  9. Damaris

    Damaris PetForums Newbie

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    Dear Brenda,

    Reading your story gives me a lump in my throat. I never quite know what to say to make you feel better as I feel few words can really take your pain away. In my experience we all have to go through the grieving and its important to give yourself time for that.

    My first cat died when I was 12. He was 8 when he fell out of our apartment window and so it was a big shock as we didn't see it coming. My mum allowed me and my sister to stay home from school the next day to grieve and although now 14 years later I still cry about him when it crosses my mind, that 1 day off dedicated to grieving him, really helped me. It did not help me to get over it, because I never will, but I believe it helped me to come to terms with his passing quicker.

    I hope you are doing fine. If you ever need to talk to anyone, feel free to reach out!

    X hugs from another cat lover
     
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