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Just lost 2 of my cats & trouble adjusting to a new pet

Discussion in 'Rainbow Bridge' started by s.k.s, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. s.k.s

    s.k.s PetForums Newbie

    Sep 1, 2020
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    Hi, I know I might get totally bashed for writing this and I do deserve it, but maybe somebody could relate or have some words of wisdom... This is going to be a long one, sorry.

    Me & my SO lost one of our dear cats totally unexpectedly this june and it broke our hearts. She got sick and her health crashed during just one day and there was nothing we or the emergency vet could have done. We still don't know for sure what happened but it was a very traumatic day.
    Earlier this year we had decided to get a rescue dog from another country, but due to covid and the dog's health issues her arrival got postponed for months. We got to know the date of her arrival on the same exact day our cat passed away, and only three weeks after we picked her up. I had started having doubts whether it was too early for a completely new pet and change of life after such a big loss. Anyway we did go through with getting the dog.

    Ever since she came to our home I've had major anxiety. I have a history of anxiety and depression but I haven't had this sort of issues for a few years now so I had no idea this would happen. On the first days with the dog I had such bad anxiety attacks that I was almost hysterical and couldn't get a hold of myself. I learned that there is a thing called puppy blues and also dog adoption blues, but I am starting to doubt if it's just that. Only three weeks after the dog came, we had to euthanize our 15 years old cat due to her kidney disease and other health issues that had been under control for the past two years. I was devastated, and felt like I hadn't given her enough attention and enjoyed her last weeks because I had been so anxious about the dog 24/7. We went from having three cats to only one cat.

    It's now been almost three weeks since our oldest cat's passing, 7 weeks since the dog came and I feel like I can't even grasp the thought that I have just lost two of my cats in such a short time. I am mostly unable to grieve their passing, this current situation with the dog takes up all my headspace and I'm stuck in this limbo of wanting to just grieve and have a breather before even considering any new pets, and having to forcefully accept that we now have a dog. As a disclaimer, I do like dogs in general, have been ok with other people's dogs and I wish her nothing but well, but I have hypersensitivity so having a dog of my own is more stressful for people like me than for average person I guess, and I wish I would've realized this before. Just the sound of her nails against the floor and the way she immediately comes to check me whenever I make a move makes me almost paralyzed with anxiety when I'm alone with her. I feel like I cannot relax and move around normally in my own home. I'm starting to feel this was a huge mistake in general and it's also causing anxiety for my SO and straining our relationship, although he is very supportive for now.

    Right after our old cat's passing we decided it's best to rehome the dog in this situation, since it's only super stressful for all parties and we already contacted the rescue group, but SO then changed his mind which of course was morally the right thing to do and the dog stayed. She is a rather calm and well behaved adult dog and none of this is her fault, she is just being a dog, but I seriously don't know how I can mentally deal with living with a dog. I've never had these feelings after adopting any of my cats. Is there anyone with similar experience of either having serious adoption regret & anxiety or getting a pet too soon after a loss, who maybe have "survived to the other side"? I'm afraid that I will become bitter and depressed if this goes on for years and it's only going to be a burden.. Also I'm afraid this will ruin my otherwise beautiful relationship with my SO, who already feels attached to the dog.
  2. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

    Mar 5, 2014
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    I don’t really have an answer, but did you know that Blue Cross have a pet bereavement free counselling service?

    Maybe it would help if you talked this over with somebody, and perhaps help you decide how to move forward.
  3. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

    Oct 31, 2017
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    I feel so sorry for you @s.k.s
    I imagine you feel like you’ve been running fast on a hamster wheel, for a very long time and you need it to stop, to get off and to have a break.... a break from stress and to catch up with your life and to find time to process everything that is going on and what has gone on, before you can gain control of things again. Things are getting out of your control. I think you need to ask for help from those around you. You say “we” got the dog, so for now you need this other person to help more, especially with the dog. I personally don’t feel the dog needs to go and eventually after a break from your recent nightmare, you will be able to take control of things again and enjoy your new dog. It’s good SO likes the new dog and SO has just had two family losses and may suffer more from another loss, especially around the same time. You need to temporarily pass over some of your worries and responsibilities to others, to take time out for yourself. It might not take as long as you think. You need support to get your head straight and to grieve, but keep busy and don’t dwell too much. You wouldn't want your dear cats back here suffering. It’s as though you haven’t had time to say goodbye properly to them, so after a few days, once you have more help, maybe hold some sort of a ceremony for them? Find your inner strength. Best wishes to you.
    #3 TriTri, Sep 10, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
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