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New to TCS: Cat biography/tragedies & thoughts on coping with grief

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Aug 1994: Got our first 2 Kittens (M tabby-"Mansize", F/M tortoise maine coon -"Tigger"). We traveled all over the U.S. with them for 11 yrs.

Nov 2006: Discovered Mans had "extremely rare" male bladder cancer. After x-rays, ultrasounds, transfusions, and ultimately surgery, he didn't make it. To give Tigger a pal we decided to get another cat (8 month old Male tabby-"Max").

Nov 2007: Max had too much energy for Tigger so we had to get another kitten (6wk old M tabby-"Pesto") to keep him occupied. It worked perfectly and they became inseparable brothers.

Oct 2008: Adopted stray 2yr old F/M dilute tortoise "Babbiness" that appeared at the house.

Nov 2008: 1yr old Pesto got sick. Turned out to be another "extremely rare" condition (like the bladder cancer was...) called FIP. Our vet treated him for 4 days then we took him home to see if he'd be in the 5-10% that can live with it but ultimately he had to be put to sleep. To get Max another pal we got a rescued kitten (M tabby- "Pestoo"- 1 "o" difference from Pesto)

Nov 2008: The adopted cat "Babbiness" started getting a condition a few days ago that has gotten worse. Basically she has an irritated and bloody nose/upper lip and her front two paws are also affected. We're don't know what it is but some things we've read seem to indicate the possibility of it being: "rodent ulcers/sores", "herpes", "dermatitis conditions", "food allergies", or “Atopyâ€. Any ideas or past experiences would be appreciated.

So this month has been a bad month. Actually, Nov has been a bad month "in general" for us as you can see. We long for the mundane days/months/yrs where the only reason to see the vet was for a check-up. Times like these sometimes make us ask if it's worth going through all the sadness involved with having pets but I know that's just due to our recent experiences... Spending time with the living cats helps and a new kitten really adds a lot of entertainment to help but then I sometimes feel like I'm letting my deceased cat down by "replacing" him. I'm sure everyone else has experienced this difficulty as well and that the old adage "time heals" will ultimately prove true. For me, the key is to think of it as time healing rather than time causing memories to fade...
post #2 of 8
I had an extremely tragic loss of my most special cat back Sept 2004. (pm for details)
I got a rescue cat -Bakker about 6 weeks later. I do not think you are dis-honoring any of your prior cats but saving another.
post #3 of 8
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
I do not think you are dis-honoring any of your prior cats but saving another.
i agree.
oh, one thing you can try [if the problem w/Babbiness is herpes, this'll help] is adding lysine to their diet... & getting some feliway diffusers [how many depends on your square footage]. both of these things help my Pixel, who has feline herpes - & neither will harm any cat[s] that don't have the condition.
post #4 of 8
Hi! Welcome to the Cat Site.

I'm sorry to hear about your losses!
I agree with the others, it's not a bad thing to take in another cat. There are a great many cats who need homes, and you're doing a good thing! I had a cat at my dad's who I wanted to bring to live with me. I was away from home 5 days/week and decided to not bring her with me right away. She disappeared a few weeks before I would have brought her home.

Then, a friend told me about a stray that had wandered up to his house and just camped out. So I went and picked up the stray, and I felt kind of guilty, and almost a year later I can't picture my life without her. My other kitty never reappeared, but I don't feel that I've replaced her at all. I just have lots of love to give

I hope your Babbiness kitty heals up soon. I don't really have any advice, only warm wishes.
post #5 of 8
I know how you feel.
I hate this month and Thanksgiving.
So sorry about your cats.
I lost Patches to arf on Nov 26th 1998 and Stripe almost died the same day from Crf but was saved then.
My Aunt was killed by a doctors mistake on Nov 28th 1981 and I do not forgive them.
Whiskers died Nov 10th 1979 then my brothers kitten died Nov 10th last week.
Then last yea Coco got her bladder infection in Nov.That was the start of a few terrible months.
I got Oreo last Nov then last Dec 4th I found Stormy almost dead.
She had to be pts Dec 5th from kidney failure and maybe cancer.
Then Meeko acted sick so we went to the vet.
She was very upset over Stormy.
Then Yoshi got real bad and he had to he pts Jan 11 from kidney stones and they think fip. After that Meeko got very sick with a very high fever and infection then Coco got it eith severe asthma.
If you ever need to talk pm I know how you feel.
Meeko has the herpes virus and a heart murmur.
Coco has kidney failure.
I got Oreo because she has fcks.
I never knew I would lose Stormy 2 weeks later.
I think getting Oreo helped Meeko after she lost her friend.
she was so sad.
I got Meeko knowing stripe did not have long and Meeko is so much like she was.
I am just telling you my cats story because it might help you.
I have lost alot more then those cats.
post #6 of 8
Aww, sweetie, this is a great place to be because a lot of memebers here have lost loved pets and know how it feels. First of all, you have to remember you gave them all a great life and lots of love. You adopted a rescue cat and gave him a life he probably wouldn't have had otherwise. Besides that, you loved your kitties enough to know when they have had enough and were brave enough to do what was best for them.

I know it hurts, and the memories will never fade, but you will be able to concentrate more on the good times and it's only the bad times that fade.

There is nothing wrong with getting a new kitty. He/she is not a replacement, it is just another spot in your heart that needs filled. It doesn't take anything away from the other one. That spot in your heart is already spoken for, but the heart is a big thing and can give lots of love.

Welcome to TCS, and I hope you find comfort and many friends here!
post #7 of 8
My cat, Thingy, my first pet ever, walked in on me 3 years ago and we became instant companions. She is very old, by the reckoning of other tenants at this complex, at least 18 years old. By the law of averages she hasn't many years left in her and probably far fewer than me. It is a harsh reality of which I have to keep reminding myself. When she dies, I know I shall be desperately upset. I have known other cats in a casual way and was even fond of one but Thingy is such a character, so funny and sweet, that I shall miss her dreadfully when her time comes.

But, at the moment, I'm having to cope within the space of two months with the deaths of two human friends. One I had known for over 25 years. She contracted MS and died at the end of September, aged 55. Although she had had this chronic and degenerative disease for years, her death still came as a dreadful shock. She had been so indomitable, so positive and I had not witnessed her recent deterioration (illness and geography kept us apart) that I wasn't prepared for the news when it came.

I was already trying to give support and love to a neighbour who was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer a year ago. Although she had been deteriorating gradually, she still had her fighting spirit as little as two weeks ago. Then, in the space of 72 hours, the cancer went to her brain, robbing her of her hearing and lucidity. She was rushed to the hospice where, on this Monday morning, she died.

I cannot predict exactly how I shall feel when Thingy dies but, however much I love her and however much I am grateful for her companionship, I don't believe it will have the terrible impact upon me that the death of these two human friends has had and will continue to have. I know, for instance, I will have another cat, when the time comes. Of course, it won't be a replacement because it will be as unique in its character as Thingy is but it will fulfil the same role. Human friends cannot be replaced or substituted in any way so one has to live with that hole in one's existence.
post #8 of 8
Hi, and welcome to TCS!

I think you could not have found a better place to make new friends who share the same furry interests, who understand all the emotions that all animal lovers/ owners face, both positive and negative. Here is one place where you'll never hear those heartless words "It was just a cat."

I'm so sorry to hear about the losses of your kitties and that Babbiness is not feeling too good. Perhaps if you visit the Health & Nutrition section, you'll find some answers for her there! Vibes that you are able to find a cure or some relief for her

I myself have lost a very special little boy to FIP. to you As the rest have said, don't feel bad about taking in new cats, the ones who have lived with us and passed over the Bridge will always live on in our hearts.
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