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Help for a grieving kitty

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I recently had to put one of my cats to sleep (2 weeks ago today). It was very sudden, he became sick and in less than 48 hours he made three trips to the vet and the third (and last) being the afternoon of Dec. 10th.

I had a brother and sister pairing. They have been together since birth. Now Tino is gone and Misty is confused. Misty and Tino were close for the first two years and then they began having spats mainly because Misty liked to be left alone and Tino required constant attention. So I am surprised now that Misty seems so out of sorts. I miss Tino with all my heart, I am devastated but I was expecting Misty to be somewhat relieved to not be chased anymore. But for some reason she stills seems to think he's going to jump out from behind a corner and she seems nervous. Also she is meowing A LOT and she has almost immediately since Tino's death, started kneading on everything. On blankets and pillows and on me when I'm sitting with her or in the bed at night. I figured she was feeling nervous and lonely so I comfort her. But I don't know what else to do.

Misty and Tino had there differences like I said but now I am thinking that since they never really fought to the point of hurting one another, that there still was some love between them or at least some comfort in having one another around.

My question is, could Misty be grieving? How can I help her? Will she every feel better? I honestly think she is confused, lonely and nervous about where he might be. Last night she kept looking into the back room of the house which was the last room Tino was in. They have the run of the house but that just happened to be the room he was in when he became worse and I had to take him back to the vet for the last time. Now, Misty was not in the room at that time, she was sleeping in another room but she seems to think that Tino is somewhere in this room. Like she is afraid he's hiding and riding to jump at her. This doesn't happen all day, just a moment here and there. Right now she's sleeping in that room and doesn't seem to have a care in the world. At other times, usually at night, she acts like he is in the room.

I don't know what to do for her. I'm playing with her more, loving her, talking to her. She's getting a lot of attention and love. I noticed at night, she doesn't get off the bed. She always slept with me but she would get up during the night to play with a toy, eat some dry food, etc. I don't think she gets off the bed at all now at night. She waits for me to get up.

Well, just now she jumped up like she would when Tino walked into the room. She jumped up out of a sound sleep and acting like she heard him coming. It's the same way she would act when he was alive because a lot of times he would chase her from where she was sleeping so it's like she expects it. It's like every sound she hears, she thinks it's him.

I feel bad for Misty and I want to be able to help her. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you.
Karen
post #2 of 16
Yes, we've had the same thing happen (even to the point where the cats didn't like each other much) and the remaining cat started calling the other one literallyall day long (driving us crazy). What worked - the only thing that did - was getting another cat. The wailing stopped instantly.. within minutes! They also didn't become fast friends or anything (and certainly the intros were just as messy as usual), but they obviously need another one of their own around (do you blame them?) and it works every time.
post #3 of 16
First let me say how sorry I am for your loss.
I have no doubt that Misty is grieving for her brother.
Tino

My kitties, Dexter & Sadie are litter mates.
Not long ago Dexter was hospitalized with an asthma attack.
Sadie paced & meowed & kept looking for her brother until he returned home.
I was shocked by the intensity of her discomfort.

How old is Misty?
I was thinking that adopting another kitty might help but that may not be the answer.
It might upset her even more.
I don't have an answer but I hope that members will post with suggestions.

I will keep watching your thread with the hope that members have some suggestions for you.
I am now aware that someday, I will probably face the same problem.
Misty
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Misty is 9 years old. I'm not sure if another cat would help her because although she misses Tino, she was easily bullied which at times has prevented her from even using the litter box when she needed to. Misty has had surgery 2 years ago for bladder stones and it is imperative that she use the litter box freely but she would only do so when I was home. I am hoping that she one day will be able to unlearn the habit of waiting for me to be home or awake to use the litter box. I am worried that if I bring another cat in Misty might end up right back where she was taking the back seat to everything.

She misses Tino, or at least the security of what she knew to be normal but I am hoping that she will come out of her shell in time and feel as though she can freely do what she wants without being chased or harrassed. So I don't know if another cat is the answer for her. It's been 2 weeks already and people keep telling me that cats forget other cats and people quickly. I'm having a hard time believing that though.

I'm also wondering if maybe Misty can sense Tino's spirit here or something. I've heard that cats can see and sense things that we don't. It just seems odd that she always seems to act like he's going to chase her when she is in this room where he was last. Cats are complicated that's for sure.

Karen
post #5 of 16
Hi Karen,

I am so sorry for your loss. I really don't have any answer for you but just reading your post made me so sad. I have two boys that are litter mates and they just love each other so I just imagined what it would be like to have only one of them. I am very sorry for your lost and I hope Misty get over it soon as I know it's heart breaking to watch her so upset.

Hugs to you and Misty
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKaren View Post
I'm also wondering if maybe Misty can sense Tino's spirit here or something. I've heard that cats can see and sense things that we don't. It just seems odd that she always seems to act like he's going to chase her when she is in this room where he was last. Cats are complicated that's for sure.
Karen
Cats are such wonderful beings.
I would not be surprised if Misty senses that Tino's spirit with still with her.
They were together forever in her mind.

I agree with you, at 9 years old and with Misty's health history, another kitty would not be the answer.
I think that if you just continue what you are doing...
love and time will calm your precious girl, although neither of you will ever forget or stop missing Tino.
That is the price we pay for loving.
Please keep us updated about how Misty is doing.
post #7 of 16
Poor dear... no matter what people say about cats forgetting quickly, Misty is definitely grieving. Cats are great lovers of the status quo; and hers just changed drastically.

Cats who love each other do not have to be constantly demonstrative. Cats aren't the socially-oriented animals dogs are; and just sitting in the same room with another cat may be a demonstration of friendship. Watch ferals sometime--you'll see the "friends" near each other, but not even looking at each other or seemingly acknowledging each other--yet they're always together. Usually they are siblings or mom-daughter pairs.

Yeah, Misty's relationship with her brother was kind of dysfunctional; but I wouldn't be surprised if, despite the pouncing, he was a big part of her life. Without that part, her life is now almost unrecognizably different. And cats, as I said, are comfortable and secure only if they can predict their environment. Tino's pouncing, after nine years, had surely become predictable (if annoying) to her... and now that she's gone, she's off-balance, confused, not sure what's going to happen next.

You are already doing all the right things. You, her human friend, are an element of stability in her life, as is the house she lives in. No big changes; just be there for her, be her "momcat". Cats aren't stupid, by any means; and capable of learning as she is, she will adjust to the new environment eventually, once she learns how to predict it.

Grief can lead to depression in cats; if she begins to eat less, slack off on grooming, or becomes lethargic, go to your vet. If there's no physical problem, there are antidepressants available which can help.
post #8 of 16
Condolence to Misty and you. It could be that she does sense Tino's spirit.
If you do get another kitten for her, be sure to offer several litter boxes in various locations, to prevent the infamous "ambush at the litter box". More boxes sounds much harder than it is; my cats have one for pee and one for poo, and it seems to keeps the odors down. If another cat poos in JC's pee box, he gets distressed - he's even put the scoop in the box and the bags of JonnyCat, plus pester me till I figure out what's wrong, and clean the box.
post #9 of 16
My condolences to you also on the loss of your cat. I feel so sad for your Misty...this story just really makes me feel like reaching out and hugging her through cyber space....poor poor creature!

She could be dreaming of him too, my cats do that. They wake up startled when previously they were clearly asleep.

I am very glad the people in this forum have the experience to know this too will pass for her, what a relief. My very best thoughts go out to you both.
post #10 of 16
I am so sorry for your loss - I think lots of love, attention and time will help. Not sure if a new friend will help, and as Callista says, any loss of appetite etc needs an urgent vet visit. Big hugs to you, and hopefully you will both adjust soon.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. Misty is feeling a little better. She is eating and grooming and played a little yesterday so that is a good sign. I, on the other hand, still can't get past the pain of losing Tino so suddenly. It's like being hit in the head with a brick.

Misty's grief seems to be better though. However, she still looks for him at times. It's like she expects to be chased and then wonders why Tino is coming out to get after her. Also, every time she hears a noise in another room, she looks nervous in the same way she did when she thought he was going to jump out at her. I think she thinks he is hiding somewhere like he has done so often.

One strange thing that happened is that Misty acts weird every once in a while when she is in the room where Tino was last when he had his last seizure. Misty wasn't there when that happened, she was in another room but she seems to act like she senses him in that room. She looks up at the ceiling and meows and meows and she sits and stares at the futon which was where he had the seizure. But again, Misty did not witness this so it's weird how she keeps staring at the futon. So I am wondering if somehow she senses her brother here. I sure hope so. I truly hope there is an after life for kitties because I would like him to know how much I love him and miss him. I don't want him to feel like he was thrown away and forgotten. His ashes are in a beautiful urn so I would never throw him away but he was so afraid when I made that decision to put him to sleep and I truly hope he can forgive me.

I'm trying to feel better so I don't transfer my grief to Misty. But it's just so hard.

I appreciate all of the replies here. It helps to know that there are so many others out there who understand the unconditional love we get from our cats.

Thank you.

Karen
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I think Misty is feeling better. She is playing more and is starting to act like she owns the house. I think this must mean that she knows her brother won't be chasing her from any of the places she liked to sleep. It's sad though. She seems more confident now and that's a wonderful thing and I think it will add years to her life for which I am very happy, but at the same time I feel bad that she is feeling this now because her brother is gone. I guess it's going to hurt me longer than it will hurt Misty. I still grieve for Tino every day. And I just want him back home where he belongs. Unfortunately, I can't have that.

Thank you all for your replies.

Karen
post #13 of 16
Karen, I am so sorry about Tino. My Monster has seizures also and has to take phenobarbital everynight to help control them. I don't know the whole story but it sounds like Tino's seizures were sudden rather than expected. I do know that when Monster has a seizure she loses control of her bladder and spits alot, so Misty might be still smelling Tino in the room she had her last seizure.

I'm glad Misty is doing better, but you have to grieve too. My heart goes out to you...I can't imagine how I would deal with losing one of my kids.
post #14 of 16
I am glad she is seeming better, I hope the two of you help each other through this hard time.
post #15 of 16
Reading this has brought tears to my eyes Karen, I am really sorry for your loss of Tino. From what you've said, you made the right decision in having him put to sleep and he will know this. Yesterday I had to watch my kitten in lots of pain while the vet tried to help her, it was horrible but it was for her own benefit. I'm sure Tino knows you made the right decision.

I hope you are doing well and Misty is coping with things.

Karen x
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKaren View Post
Hi everyone,

I recently had to put one of my cats to sleep (2 weeks ago today). It was very sudden, he became sick and in less than 48 hours he made three trips to the vet and the third (and last) being the afternoon of Dec. 10th.

I had a brother and sister pairing. They have been together since birth. Now Tino is gone and Misty is confused. Misty and Tino were close for the first two years and then they began having spats mainly because Misty liked to be left alone and Tino required constant attention. So I am surprised now that Misty seems so out of sorts. I miss Tino with all my heart, I am devastated but I was expecting Misty to be somewhat relieved to not be chased anymore. But for some reason she stills seems to think he's going to jump out from behind a corner and she seems nervous. Also she is meowing A LOT and she has almost immediately since Tino's death, started kneading on everything. On blankets and pillows and on me when I'm sitting with her or in the bed at night. I figured she was feeling nervous and lonely so I comfort her. But I don't know what else to do.

Misty and Tino had there differences like I said but now I am thinking that since they never really fought to the point of hurting one another, that there still was some love between them or at least some comfort in having one another around.

My question is, could Misty be grieving? How can I help her? Will she every feel better? I honestly think she is confused, lonely and nervous about where he might be. Last night she kept looking into the back room of the house which was the last room Tino was in. They have the run of the house but that just happened to be the room he was in when he became worse and I had to take him back to the vet for the last time. Now, Misty was not in the room at that time, she was sleeping in another room but she seems to think that Tino is somewhere in this room. Like she is afraid he's hiding and riding to jump at her. This doesn't happen all day, just a moment here and there. Right now she's sleeping in that room and doesn't seem to have a care in the world. At other times, usually at night, she acts like he is in the room.

I don't know what to do for her. I'm playing with her more, loving her, talking to her. She's getting a lot of attention and love. I noticed at night, she doesn't get off the bed. She always slept with me but she would get up during the night to play with a toy, eat some dry food, etc. I don't think she gets off the bed at all now at night. She waits for me to get up.

Well, just now she jumped up like she would when Tino walked into the room. She jumped up out of a sound sleep and acting like she heard him coming. It's the same way she would act when he was alive because a lot of times he would chase her from where she was sleeping so it's like she expects it. It's like every sound she hears, she thinks it's him.

I feel bad for Misty and I want to be able to help her. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you.
Karen
Hi Karen,

I am sorry for your loss. I can empathize with both your and your remaining kitty's loss. A year ago my Siamese cat, SuLing developed diabetes and we were unable to get her sugar regulated and right around Halloween she died.
It took me a year before I was able to be happy about anything because I had raised SuLing from 6 weeks of age and she was 17 when she died.

Her sister, Lady, not a litter mate but adopted when SuLing was 7 years of age started grieving as well. Cats do grieve, and her behavior changed as well. We also thought that maybe SuLing's spirit was in the room because sometimes Lady would look over at the recliner where SuLing used to sit as though she were looking at her.

I can't tell you what to do, but here is what we did. We did not get another cat until a year had passed. Then we adopted two boy kittens who were litter mates because we heard that females accept male kittens better than females. We did the same thing you are doing, giving Misty lots of attention and her behavior probably will change because she has all that time she spent running from her brother left and it is a big void in her life. Give her time, a year later Lady was still looking for her sister until we got the new additions to our family, Deacon and Douglas.

Helene
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