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Hardest thing to do ever...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Howard arrived at my house when I was only 7 years old. He was a tiny 3 week old kitten who was abandoned. He was found on a bridge (the Howard Prairie Bridge). Someone must have tryed to dump a litter of kittens off the side for him to have ended where he was... I grew up with him. My younger borther and I where constantly chasing him around the house. But he was never aggessive towards us. He was always the gentlest soul. He loved to snuggle with my father when he came home every evening. His meow sounded as if he where trying to say his name. He hated the vacuum cleaner with a passion. If it moved in the slightest, he was hissing up a storm. He was the boss of the house. Even in his old age he kept everyone in line. No one dared to challenge him.

Sadly, Last night Howard crossed the rainbow bridge. He had cancer in his intestines and it had most likely spread to his brain. We couldn't let him suffer. He wasn't able to have a bowel movement anymore and had a seizure earlier in the week. I decided to stay with him when it was time for him to go. It was the hardest thing ever. I held him in my arms, scratching his ear. He purred the entire time. I watched as she started to give the injection. Half way through it I felt his body start to go limp. I couldn't help but scream, "oh god no." "I'm so sorry Howard. I'm so sorry. Oh god I love you so much" and then he was gone forever. That was the worst thing I had ever been through. I'm glad I stayed for Howards sake. But that memory keeps haunting me. He was my first cat. I have never had to expirance the loss of a cat before... I want to remember the good times... But all I can see is me holding him as he starts to slip away...
And the pain....I have never felt such pain before... I just want it to go away.. I feel like I'm stuck in an aweful nightmare and can't wake up. I keep waiting for someone to tell me it didn't really happen. But nobody does... I just want this aweful pain I feel inside to go away. I can't stand the thought that I will never see him again. I just want him back in my arms....Oh god I wish I had just had one more day with him... I was just suddenly blindsided with this. Things had been weird with him for about 2 weeks... I had this aweful feeling in the pit of my stomach... We did a barium series yesterday and got the horrible news...
I cant stop thinking about him. I have been crying more about losing him then when I lost my grandparents. Maybe its because his last moments keep playing in my head...
I just want Howard back so the pain will stop....
post #2 of 19
I am so sorry for your loss of Howard..What a wonderful life he had with your, and he knew and knows just how much you love him..It is always hard to say goodbye to our best friends, but know that you gave him years of happiness. RIP Howard, play free with all of the other RB from any pain...
post #3 of 19
I'm so sorry, Rest in Peace Howard
post #4 of 19
It is such a tough thing to have to do. I know it is really hard, but what you did for him really is 'the last act of kindness'. It is difficult for you to deal with now, but in time the memories of that moment will become less prominent, and be overtaken in your mind by memories of happier times.

We have such a responsibility towards our animal companions, and doing what is best for them when they are old and tired, or sick, is not always an easy responsibility to bear. I am very sorry for your loss, and you have my sympathy. Letting go is so hard.

post #5 of 19
It is the hardest thing in the world to make the decision to let our special babies rest. We wish we would have waited one more day. In your heart you knew it was time to let Howard go because he was very sick. You did the right thing for him. It hurts so bad to see them in pain and there bodies failing them. Howard knows how much you loved him and that you were with him till the very end. His spirit lives on.

I understand your pain because I have been there with a special cat too. I relived the last days and the last moments at the vet over and over again in my mind for weeks. In time those memories will be replaced with all the cherished moments you had with Howard.

I love Howards picture. He had alot of wonderful years filled with love and joy.
post #6 of 19
I'm so sorry to hear about Howard! You know, you cared for him when nobody else obviously did. He was so lucky to have you.

Play happily over the rainbow bridge Howard!
post #7 of 19
I'm so sorry for your loss. In time your happy memories of Howard will replace the bad ones. RIP Howard.
post #8 of 19
Oh sweetie I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. But don't you see that you did make the pain stop.... for Howard. I know what you are going through. I lost my precious girl yesterday as well to an abdominal tumor. it is never easy to let our babies go. Believe me I am struggling with it myself but in my heart I know that Howard and my Baby are in a better place. Think of it this way. Perhaps they met up on there way over the bridge and made the journey together. Hang tight sweetie and try to take some comfort in the fact that what you did for howard was such an act of love and unselfishness. I pray for us both that each day will get better and we will be left with our wonderful memories. much love and hugs coming you way.
post #9 of 19
Condolences on your sad loss of Howard Being your first cat, he holds a very special place in your family's hearts. He obviously knew that, as he realized that he was the Supreme One of the cat group. It took great courage to let Howard go to a pain-free state. Time is indeed a healer, and this too shall pass. When you feel really badly, just go outside and look up at the sky, whether it's sparkling with stars, or sunbeams giving warmth and light, and realize that somewhere out there, in a much better place, Howard, and all our other TCS kitty-angels are playing happily with those others of our world who have passed on before. And someday we will be reunited with them again, and this time, there will be no good-byes.
post #10 of 19
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, it is so incredibly hard making that decision and staying with them till the end. Please dont let the memory of his passing haunt you - you ended his pain and suffering, and he went in the arms of someone who loved him so very much, and that truly is a wonderful thing. The pain will diminish in time. RIP little one, and big hugs to you.
post #11 of 19
Im so sorry for your loss. my thoughts are with you
post #12 of 19
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. You gave Howard the final gift of love by releasing him from his pain. He knows how much you loved him. Play happily at the Rainbow Bridge, Howard. Hugs to you.
post #13 of 19
aww bless him, he is a handsome boy I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye, of course you did the most loving & respectful thing for him Your memories of Howard may seem painful now, but in time the good times you shared will return and they will surely bring a smile to your time

RIP Sweet Howard, no more pain for you, just happy carefree times with some wonderful kitties over the Bridge

send some special purrs for your moma & papa, they miss & love you so much
post #14 of 19
I am so sorry for your loss, and I am so sorry that you are hurting.

Making the decision to do what you had to do is one of the hardest things that I or anyone here has had to do also.

I got through this by just remembering that my beloved Sambo wasn't sick anymore, he could see again, he could run around like he used to when he was little.

I am so glad though that you stayed with Howard, I never wanted my animals to go through this by themselves. We had to make the decision to do that twice now. But I never wanted them to be by themselves, one of us had to be there with them.

I am sending you tons of hugs and prayers from Mississippi.

I do hope you feel better soon.
post #15 of 19
I am so very sorry that you lost your beautiful Howard. I do know how you are feeling. It was three months ago today that I had to have my Alley put to sleep and the tears really havent stopped yet. It is so hard to have to let go of one we love. In many ways, they are closer to us than even family. Alley was my soulmate, and I know Howard was yours.

As hard as it is, letting them go is the final, most loving thing we can do for them. I would suffer these last three months over and over and over again, to spare her even a minute of pain. You did what was best for Howard and he knows, and loves you for it. He will be waiting for you and someday you will be together again, across the bridge.
post #16 of 19
I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to Howard. It's always hard to lose a furbaby, often harder when they've been part of our lives for many years, and maybe hardest when you're still young enough that those years were much of your life. (It was heartbreaking for me when I lost Sinbad after nearly 17 years of having her here as my furry shadow, but I'm old enough that was less than a third of my life.)

Please take very good care of yourself, as you always took care of Howard. It's really easy when you're grieving to stop caring about such things as eating, or getting enough sleep. Trying to eat a healthy diet can be especially important, since otherwise low blood sugar can make you feel even worse, make it harder to cope. I've known a lot of people who added that problem to the pain of loss while they were grieving.

Howard had a wonderful, love-filled life here, but our mortal bodies simply wear out. Spirits don't, though, and I believe with all my heart that Howard is now safe and happy and healthy on the other side, scampering around with a kitten's energy, reunited with his feline family and, probably, your grandparents, too, if they also cared for him.

Memories of those last moments, or days or weeks, can be very traumatic. Time will help you heal, will lessen the impact of those memories, but it's also helpful both to look back and look forward.

I started a journal with memories of Sinbad the day she went to the Bridge, and I've known many people who were helped by such journals. Collecting Howard's photos will help, too. You could do a scrapbook tribute for him, or a web page, or both. I don't know if you have your own web page, but there are lots of sites offering free web pages, like Geocities and Bravenet.

Looking forward helps, too, and you can bolster your faith that you will be reunited with Howard someday by reading books and websites with stories about ADCs or after death communications. Scott Smith's The Soul Of Your Pet is a book that might help. (Smith is a journalist who's written for publications including the Christian Science Monitor, the LA Times, and AARP's magazine. He specializes in CEO profiles and has interviewed Bill Gates, among many others. He was initially skeptical, then amazed by all the stories he heard from pet lovers who had had these experiences.) Animal communicator Amelia Kinkade's book Straight From The Horse's Mouth was the first book I read on these subjects after Sinbad went to the Bridge, and that helped me a lot. The After Death Communication Research Foundation's website, , and , the website set up by the authors of Hello From Heaven, a book about ADCs, can also help (their message board often has stories about visits from pets who have crossed over, and their page explaining the types of ADCs -- -- is helpful because there are so many similarities in types of ADCs whether they're from a human loved one, or a pet).

There's also a very easy stress reduction technique developed by therapists to help people coping with PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, a technique that's so simple it can easily be learned by children, but it helps adults as well. It's an EMDR technique, and I started recommending it after I first read about it nearly four years ago, and have been told it helped a lot of people on a board I used to moderate and one I set up last year. Here are links to a web page with a simple explanation of the technique, and photos of children using this technique, which is called the Butterfly Hug:

Some people I've met on those boards had first heard of this from therapists they'd consulted earlier. You can do variations of this which include tapping your knees alternately, for instance. A friend of mine used this technique just the other day before some job interviews, and found that it helped.

I hope some of these links will help. I hope, too, that you'll soon have a comforting dream visit or some reassuring sign from Howard, who I believe will continue watching over you, just as he watched you grow up as he grew old. He's never going to forget you or stop loving you.

post #17 of 19
I'm so sorry that you lost your sweet Howard. He was such a handsome boy and had a long and loving life with you. Bless you for having the courage to let him go! His pain is over, and he's happy and healthy again, playing over the rainbow bridge! Rest peacefully, Howard!
post #18 of 19
I'm so sorry, and i really feel for you right now

Howard is such a handsome little boy, but he's free from anymore suffering at the bridge, and always remember that you havent seen the last of him just yet

post #19 of 19
I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you

RIP Howard
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