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Please Help- I hope I've done the right thing.

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I hope it's okay here.

 

I posted a while back about my gorgeous cat Henry dying of illness and being put down. It's been a couple of months now and in that time, I have grieved for him constantly- cried endless tears. I'm doing better now but the empty house started to destroy me.

Henry was an amazing cat- and I will never ever lose a place in my heart for him.

 

I feel like I did something bad today, I've been looking online at shelters- because I've been so lonely without a cat. It's not the same without a pet. Today I finally worked up the courage to go out and see some of cats I liked the look of at the local pound.

 

I cried on the way out there because I was worried about seeing all of the beautiful homeless animals. When I got there the people working at the shelter were lovely and so caring and soI felt a bit more at ease.

 

I ended up holding one of the cats I'd been looking at online. He is between 1-2 years old and looks like the cat from the kid's show "Postman Pat" (if you know it). As soon as I saw him in his cage, I felt a strong connection, he was looking at me with interest, wanting me to come over and play. When I was holding him, I felt like part of my heart had healed. He rubbed his little face against my chin and was just the most placid and loving thing I'd seen. Me being me, I ended up crying again.

 

I thought long and hard about the decision all day and finally decided, I wanted to take him home.

 

The only trouble is, I feel so guilty. I loved Henry so so much. I'm scared that when the new cat comes from the vet tomorrow, I won't love him enough or I'll feel like I've replaced Henry more so. I didn't want to feel that way.

I'm scared I got him too soon and I feel awful.

 

I know people might be critical of me and I understand that. I just need some help and advice. I'm real animal lover and I'd hate to destroy a special relationship.

 

Thanks,

 

Erin

post #2 of 33

You have no reason to feel guilty ! You are not "replacing" Henry, but just starting a new relationship with a new cat. Our lost companions are always with us, we don't forget them but only add new memories with new animals. I'm sure you will love this new cat just like the one you lost, but of course, only time will bring you the same level of relationship. Meanwhile, you will do good to a rescued cat and I'm sure he will help soothing your wounds.

post #3 of 33

I lost my Russian Blue (Buddy)  in May, and shortly after his passing I knew I wanted another cat. Problem was that we were set to go on vacation in August so I had to wait as I didn't feel it was fair to my new family addition to bring him/her home and leave then for 2 weeks with someone coming in only occasionally to care for them.

 

Buddy came into my life after many years of fearing cats... yes I know how silly that sounds, but I was attacked by a stray cat when I was 20 and trying to "save" it that left me with 11 stitches in my face - so I developed a fear. When I met Buddy (my husbands cat) he immediately came over plopped himself on my lap at laid there belly up waiting to be pet.

 

In September I brought home Neko and 10 days later we brought home Snooki (his half sister) and although I still feel sad for the loss of my Buddy and nothing could replace the love the bond I felt for that guy. We love our new kitties just the same and I would not give either up for the world dispite their medical problems which I hope are temporary, and the extra work it has been with having kittens (I would love to take a rescue, but I am still a bit uneasy around grown cats).

 

You have nothing to be guilty for! Your beloved pet would not want you to be sad... I think you should bring the rescue cat home and allow yourself to love it just as you loved your previous cat. There is no shame in that what-so-ever! And you shuold not feel guilty at all.

post #4 of 33
With some you feel an instant bond, with others it takes time for the love and trust to grow. Losing a beloved pet is a devastating experience, but you can and will love again.

That little boy Chose you for a reason, and Henry was most likely right by your side, urging you on. Henry loves you still and wants you to be happy. He does not begrudge you the love of another cat.

Bring your new boy home and resist the urge to make comparisons. Henry was your heart cat, but every cat is an individual, and there is room in your heart to love this one, too.

Remember that your new boy may be frightened or shy when he comes home for a day or two or even longer, but in time the two of you will begin to get to know each other and form a deep bond. It won't be the same as your bond with Henry, simply because he is not Henry, but it will be wonderful, still.

Stick with us, we'll help you through the hard parts, and also share your joy and celebrations. heartpump.gif
post #5 of 33
Every cat we lose leaves a hole in our heart exactly the size and shape of the cat. No other cat can perfectly fit that hole, but they can wrap themselves around it and help it to heal.

Your previous cat would want you to be happy, I'm sure.
post #6 of 33

Erin, I'm really sorry to hear of your loss of Henry. hugs.gif You can be sure there are many of us here who know exactly what you are going through. We never get over such a loss, but we do learn to continue on with our lives - some people call it learning to live a "new normal."

 

You said yourself that you cannot replace Henry, and you are not. It seems to me that part of Henry's legacy is that you will be giving a sweet homeless kitty a chance of having a good life now. 

 

My advice for the new kitty: do not expect him/her to be anything like Henry. The new cat is going to have his own personality and temperament, it will take time for him to feel safe enough to even start showing his cute/funny/loving sides to you. Keep in mind this kitty will not like the same things, or behave at all the same as Henry, not at first or years later. (It took my Lily three years to jump on my lap - I never thought she was a lap kitty - what a surprise!) 

 

Years ago, our neighbors lost their beloved dog, so they got another one, same breed and they named him the same name! I think they were expecting a duplicate, and the poor dog never ever lived up to their expectations - how could he? He wasn't the first dog and never would be, and it was sad to me that they never really got to know him for him, you know? They only experienced disappointment when they could have had a new adventure discovering the wonderful qualities of this new family member.

 

Please keep us posted how it goes with the new guy! 

post #7 of 33

Erin, you aren't replacing Henry :)  He will be forever in your heart. Hearts are a wonderous thing.  There is always room for more love without replacing the love you feel for someone/something else.

post #8 of 33
You're not replacing Henry -- he'll always be in your heart. But you will be giving a wonderful life to another deserving pet. And that special bond that you felt is the key. When we lost our BJ, suddenly a little stray appeared at our door --- my little Angel. As soon as we brought her into the house she immediately jumped on the chair where BJ spent the last weeks of his life, sniffed it, curled up and went to sleep. I knew immediately that it was BJ sending us our little Angel. We've lost several other much loved cats in our lives - Boots, Ali, and BJ. And each time we saved a life by giving another kitty the wonderful life that the others had led. Please don't feel guilty. Somewhere at Rainbow Bridge Henry is looking at you and telling you to give another the wonderful life he had.
post #9 of 33

There is no greater way to honor Henry's legacy than to offer your love to another homeless cat. While our Oreo was technically a feral, during the last few months of his very short life he had come to the point where we could have brought him inside if we had landlord permission. He died suddenly in July 2011 of unknown causes, but not two days later a group of kittens shows up at the door. I had seen him watching over these kittens; he was not the primary father of the litter but must have been one of them, as the fathers kitten sit in the colony behind our house. Our Binky, who now lives in our house, was his daughter, and it did take a while to get our landlord's permission, so now we have her son, Cookie, and Oreo's sister's kittens, Carly and Simon, as well. Oreo had lived with his sister until his last breath.

 

I believe that somewhere, the cats we love are waiting for us, and direct the paths of other feline souls our direction. Sometimes they are actually related. Othertimes they are kin at heart. But sometimes, just sometimes, they are cats who may exercise our patience and love. Sometimes, the soul that is directed to us may not even be feline, but canine. They might even be a rodent.

 

The new cat will never take Henry's place, but as you love more than once, love does not divide, it grows.

post #10 of 33
Oh this made me teary. I can relate as I was in a similar situation and felt the same way. It will be OK. hugs.gif As my husband told me it is a testament to Henry and how great he was that you want to have another great relationship with a cat.
post #11 of 33

I know that this is a hard thing to go through. When I think back on the wonderful animals that have come and gone in my life, it makes me sad to think about their death. However, it makes me smile to think about all the years of happiness we all had together, and that their lives were fulfilling and happy. Now, you get to do that for another cat! I know this graphic has a dog on it, but I think the same thing would apply to a cat. smile.gif

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post

Every cat we lose leaves a hole in our heart exactly the size and shape of the cat. No other cat can perfectly fit that hole, but they can wrap themselves around it and help it to heal.
Your previous cat would want you to be happy, I'm sure.

Wow, that's beautiful! I agree 100%.

Get the cat. Get the cat. Get the cat!

post #13 of 33

Honey, we've all been there. When Banshee passed, my heart was broken....there's just no other word for it, my heart was broken. And I honestly wondered if I'd ever get over losing my Queen B.We had five other cats at the time, but that hole was so large, it couldn't be filled again.

 

And then one day, we took one of our other cats to the vet for a check-up. And there was this teeny little girl, about four weeks old. I picked up that little sweetie and she sat in my arms and stared and stared at me. And a few weeks later, Mollipop came home with me. She never replaced Banshee in my heart, but she created a new spot inside my heart, just for her. And she did help me heal. She's my little love. I still think of Banshee, just like you will always think of Henry. But eventually, I was able to think of her with smiles and not with tears. And it was because of Mollipop who knew that I needed her.

 

You're doing the right thing, by taking a new kitty into your life and into your heart. Henry would want you to be happy and Henry would want the new baby to have a wonderful life. With you. I wish you and your new baby all the happiness in the world!

post #14 of 33

I'm sorry for your loss. I agree with everyone here. He will also help you to heal. You have our support here.  hugs.gif

 

Reading this thread, all of you have said such beautiful things. You've touched my heart. This truly is a special group we have here on TCS! 

I can't even think, or talk about when that day should come for my Angel, but when it does, I know you will all be here. Hugs to all of you!!!!! hugs.gif  I think all of us here have "Kitty shaped" hearts!!

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post

Every cat we lose leaves a hole in our heart exactly the size and shape of the cat. No other cat can perfectly fit that hole, but they can wrap themselves around it and help it to heal.
Your previous cat would want you to be happy, I'm sure.

that is beautiful.

 

I agree with everyone here. There's no reason to feel guilty.. I am sure Henry would want you to be happy once again, even with another kitty.

post #16 of 33

You have nothing to feel guilty about.  No one can ever actually replace Henry.  I feel that you are honoring Henry by giving another kitty a chance to get out of the shelter and have a loving home.  Henry will always have a special place in your heart and so will your new kitty.  I too suffered losses and it really helps  me begin the healing process by giving another kitty a home.  I think of it as passing on the love to the next generation.  I also agree that Henry would want to see you be happy again.  Grieving is a process and everyone goes through the process differently.  The new kitty will have their own personality and help you fill the hole in your heart left by Henry's passing.  I have always adopted a new kitty in honor of my babies to honor their memory and pay the love forward.  In 2010 my 15 year old heart kitty had to be put to sleep due to a stroke.  He was my shower kitty.  There are still times when I miss him so much I wind up in tears while I am taking a shower.  One of  my friends used to do private rescue.  I would sometimes hang out and help her socialize kittens.  She had a kitten named Sonny and he really bonded to me during the the time I spent with him.  I was not ready to adopt a kitty at that time.  Sonny was adopted and then he was returned to her.  Sonny came back to her right after I lost Claude and I was still very much grieving for him.  She knew about me losing Claude and knew how attached I was to Sonny when I met him.  She called me to let me know he had come back to her.  She was not calling to tell me I had to adopt him but she thought I should know.  We adopted Sonny less than a week after Claude passed away.  Sonny is not Claude and has his own personality.  Adopting Sonny was not done to replace Claude but it really helped me to fill the hole in my heart and move forward with my life.  This kitty found you for a reason.  

post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 

I just want to thank everyone here so, so much.

 

Your words gave me the courage to give my new cat a home. He will never replace Henry, I realise that now- but in actual fact, he's made me love what Henry and I had even more. Feeling this had made me stronger and allowed me to open my arms to my new kitty.

 My new boy is named Willie and already he's got such a gorgeous personality. I'm so glad I adopted him, I would have been kicking myself forever if I hadn't.

 

Thanks so much everyone.

 

Erin

post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 

PS. You guys are amazing, this whole forum is.

 

Erin.

post #19 of 33
Congratulations to you and Willie! banana1.gif I can hardly wait to hear more about him...and to see pictures! heartpump.gif
post #20 of 33

I'm late to this thread, but I'm so happy you adopted Willie!!  I hope you have many wonderful years together.  Now then, do you have pics yet?  We're very visual here. 
 

post #21 of 33

Aw...I'm so glad you adopted Willie. heartpump.gif Oh my...bawling.gif your story really touched me.

 

When I lost my Tuffy to CKD, I had feelings so similar to what you wrote that they could have been written by me. Tuffy is the reason I've become such a kitty advocate. He's the reason I do what I do to try and help other kitties on different forums. He's with me every step of the way, in every word I type, in every kindness shown to other kitties. Tuffy gave me his ever lasting legacy all wrapped up in a total devotion to help other kitties in his memory. He taught me that I have a huge heart and it should be shared with other kitties--that this love we shared was meant to be shared. In a way, I kinda feel like that is what Henry has done for you. He showed you that you have a huge heart too. hugs.gif

 

Since Tuffy's passing we've welcomed Maxie (Maine Coon) and wee little Miss Izzy (rescue) into our family to join me and Tuffy's litter-mate brother, Abby.

 

I feel that if we hadn't listened to those gentle heart tugs and erred on the side of sending caution to the wind, we would have missed out on so much! You and Willie are so lucky and blessed to have found each other.

 

Just look out--I would bet money that you will see some of the same characteristics that Henry had, in Willie. They're just Henry's way of saying, "I sent Willie to you, Mom!"

post #22 of 33

Hello,

 

Don't worry, you needn't feel guilty--I'm 80, and I've loved and eventually lost quite a number of

beloved cats over my lifetime.  You need to love the new one, and this kitty needs and will gradually love you.  You need each other.  You have to know, cats and dogs don't last all that many years in human terms.

 

My next to last cat was Willer; she gave me something no other cat did--we lay on the floor, facing each other and played a mind game I can't explain--and I swear, although she didn't make a sound, that from the look in her eyes, she laughed when I made a point.  She was 17 when she died.  The last one was Catzilla.  When my husband was alive we never had her in our bed.  When he died, I wanted her close, and of course, she loved it.  Unfortunately I have a lung ailment which kept me up all night, coughing from her dander.  I was living in  a 2nd floor apt. then, and when we went out on the balcony, she would cry to get down to talk to the free cat she saw below.  Where my husband & I had lived before, Catzilla had her own cat door, plenty of undeveloped area to roam in.  She and cat friends would sit for hours on the porch, chatting, I'm sure, even though no sounds passed between them. 

 

When I met Catzilla at the shelter, we "recognized" each other.  I involuntarily reached out to touch her, and she licked my hand. 

 

Anyway, I couldn't keep her because of my medical problem, so I gave her to a friend who had taken care of Catzilla, fed her & played with her twice a day during the months I was in hospital and rehab.  So all I have now are cat statues and photos.  But (you don't have to believe this part) I expect to see all of them (as well as God, Jesus, and other human spirits) when I pass over to The Other Side.

 

Love and enjoy as many cats as you can over your lifetime!  God bless you & your kitty!

 

Lexcilla

post #23 of 33
I'm so happy that you have Willie in your life now. Of course he'll never replace Henry -- but will create his own special place. Look forward to seeing you post pictures of your new little baby. I hope you have many years of happiness together!
post #24 of 33
Quote:


 

I posted a while back about my gorgeous cat Henry dying of illness and being put down. It's been a couple of months now and in that time, I have grieved for him constantly- cried endless tears. I'm doing better now but the empty house started to destroy me.

Henry was an amazing cat- and I will never ever lose a place in my heart for him.

 

I'm sorry for your loss hugs.gif It's a hard thing

 

I feel like I did something bad today, I've been looking online at shelters- because I've been so lonely without a cat. It's not the same without a pet. Today I finally worked up the courage to go out and see some of cats I liked the look of at the local pound.

 

Don't feel bad or sad you have done a good thing for him and for you agree.gif

 

 

I ended up holding one of the cats I'd been looking at online. He is between 1-2 years old and looks like the cat from the kid's show "Postman Pat" (if you know it). As soon as I saw him in his cage, I felt a strong connection, he was looking at me with interest, wanting me to come over and play. When I was holding him, I felt like part of my heart had healed. He rubbed his little face against my chin and was just the most placid and loving thing I'd seen. Me being me, I ended up crying again.

 

I thought long and hard about the decision all day and finally decided, I wanted to take him home.

 

The only trouble is, I feel so guilty. I loved Henry so so much. I'm scared that when the new cat comes from the vet tomorrow, I won't love him enough or I'll feel like I've replaced Henry more so. I didn't want to feel that way.

I'm scared I got him too soon and I feel awful.

 

I know people might be critical of me and I understand that. I just need some help and advice. I'm real animal lover and I'd hate to destroy a special relationship.

 

The only advice I can give you is to try not to think to much about it and try not to compare him with Henry I speak from expiriance but haveing said that me and my boys are the best of buddies it was a little rocky to start with for me and my Bazz I felt just like you do now when I went to look for a new kitty but I promise every cuddle helps heal your heart your not replaceing Henry your just starting a new chapter in your life I have a locket with my beloved JJ's fur in it that I wear everyday so he is still close to me I still think of him every day and I still have trouble talking about his passing and it has been 9 years but now when it hurt's I have 2 little guys that curl up on my lap and say it's ok mummy we love you just love him you will never forget Henry and I think your new friend is a lucky little guy to have found such a wounderful mummy to love him and you will love him heart.gif hugs.gif
post #25 of 33

You lost Buddy, but saved a new kitty... Henry is proud of you. :-)

post #26 of 33
Congratulations!! Henry will ALWAYS be part of you. Willie is a new member of your family with his own needs, own personality and in a way, it sounds as if it was meant to be. NEVER feel guilty. You gave part of your heart to Henry and now you can share some with Willie!! Good luck!
post #27 of 33
No pet can replace another, but they can find a place of their own in your heart, which Willie is sure to.
We lost my "heart kitty" March 1, and our house and lives seemed so empty. Eight days later, I brought Mogli home from the shelter, and he's been our "grief counselor", cheering us up with his antics. He's so very different from Jamie and can't take his place, but he's carving out his own.

I agree that giving a home to a needy cat is the best tribute you can make to Henry. Learning to love Willie for his own sake in no way lessens the love you had, and still have, for Henry.
post #28 of 33

Henry wanted you to save this new one don't feel guilty at all i know how you feel this new was meant to be.

post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersmom View Post

You lost Buddy, but saved a new kitty... Henry is proud of you. :-)

I hate when my phone picks and chooses words for me. Buddy was supposed to be Henry. Good grief.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisersmom View Post


I hate when my phone picks and chooses words for me. Buddy was supposed to be Henry. Good grief.

your phone knows what to say hahaha

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