TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Crossing the Bridge › Cat's gone, I need help.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cat's gone, I need help.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My wonderful cat of 14 years was put down on Friday. He struggled for about four months before we realized he had pancreatic cancer. We tried everything before finally giving up, and it has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life.

 

Now, I'm not very old, and I don't really remember my life before Charlie. One of my first memories is seeing him for the first time, and we've spent almost our whole life together. I have two other very special cats as well, but none have shared my life as long as Charlie has. This is the first time I've lost somebody this close to me. I know he's a cat, but I have a far deeper emotional connection to him than to any human I've ever met. I took a vacation this weekend to spend some time not thinking about it, but I'm back home now and I just feel like garbage. I didn't think I'd be affected this badly. 

 

We put him down early Friday morning, and my mum and I spent the whole time with him, before leaving him be. I don't really know how to deal with feelings of grief. When somebody hears you've lost your cat, they don't think of it like losing a brother or a friend. I didn't either, until I lost a cat. It's so strange how you just don't know how shitty it feels until you feel it. 

 

I hope he does ok. 

post #2 of 10

Oh, my Darlin.  I am so sorry for your loss, and there is no such thing as "just a cat, or a dog."  Love is love, and our animals give us that greatest gift, their love is unconditional.  Of COURSE, you are grieving for your friend and companion.  After so many years, Charlie was probably nearly a brother, a soulfriend.  I wish there were some magic formula, but the only way through it is one step, one day at a time.  Thus it is with all grief.  We don't get over the passing, we get  through  it.  It becomes easier a tiny, tiny bit at a time, until someday, one day, the sweet memories outweigh the sadness.  That sadness doesn't leave entirely, but the sweet covers the sharp edges.

 

There are all sorts of beliefs about animals and what happens when they die, but I, myself, believe that they have souls, and that those souls are innocent, and that whatever awaits us, they will be there to welcome us to it.  Call it heaven, or the Summerlands, or the Rainbow Bridge...it is what comes next, and I deeply feel that they are with us there.

 

Rest you gentle, Charlie, dream you deep.  You walk in someone's heart forever.

post #3 of 10
It plain stinks to lose your cat!! It sounds like Charlie may have been your first cat and he will hold a special place in your heart always. My avatar is of my first cat. I'm not going to mention how old the photo is but it's old. You will have those great memories soon and time will allow them not to hurt when you have them. I'm so sorry you lost him. You were with him and he knew you loved him very much. I have lost several cats throughout my years and it never really gets easy but the hurt will heal it just takes time. I've found giving extra love to the ones still with you helps with the hurt. RIP Charlie.....
post #4 of 10

I can completely relate. Losing a cat falls under something called "disenfranchised grief." I tried to define it but here's a better description from good old Wikipedia: "Disenfranchised grief is a term describing grief that is not acknowledged by society. Examples of events leading to disenfranchised grief are the death of a friend, the loss of a pet, a trauma in the family a generation prior"... etc. When you lose an immediate family member you get bereavement time off work, flowers, a funeral. Yet a cat is a beloved family member for many people, and losing your cat is losing family; it's just that society doesn't recognize it as such. However, I think you will find that many, many, many people are devastated when they lose a furry family member. I had to leave work early because I was crying so much the day before I had to let my cat go. I had to take other days off work when my cat was sick and I was too heartbroken and anxious to go in. It's been almost a month and I still cry a lot about her. I don't know what can help this heartbreak. I guess a little thing that helped me was to get rid of anything related to my cat's illness, such as all her medicine. Framing a photo of her will make me feel better. I'm also working on a special place for her ashes, building a house that's actually a light that will hold her ashes underneath (hard to describe). Most of all, though, what has helped is talking with other people who have lost their pets, because it made me realize how much our pets affect us, and how normal it is to grieve.

post #5 of 10
I am so sorry you are going through this, and it relates so closely to my heart as I just had to let my baby go today.

Much like you, my cat, Kitty, has been with me for half of my life, and 14 years was just not enough. I've had other pets that I've let go with my family, and it was incredibly hard, but with Kitty, it's so much different, I've seen her through her entire life and I remember it all. I was her mom. And I loved her as much as I will love any human in my life, I am convinced of that. And as is only natural, I am grieving her loss just as you are. There is no right or wrong way. And no time frame. Everyone and every situation will be different but just know that whatever you need to do to get through it will be okay.

For me, I know I tried everything to keep my cat around as long as possible, but without allowing her to suffer. She first needed dental work, then became anorectic and wouldn't eat and developed hepatic lipidosis and required a feeding tube. Then it was discovered she had a brain tumor. I was literally sick over making the right decision. I wanted to give her enough time to relax with me and get all the love she deserved in one final huge dose, but I didn't want to keep her around too long, selfishly, until she was suffering from seizures or struggling to breathe. She did get to the point where she couldn't walk much on her own. I knew I couldn't let her go on. She tried to walk; it must have been incredibly frustrating. She was so mentally sound, still my sweet kitty, which was what devastated me the most. And ever though I know better, I still question, does she know I loved her, does she think I did something terrible to her, was she ready to go, did she want to keep trying to live. I know these are questions that can't really be answered but the census I think we would find is that they know more than anything we loved them, and they loved us, and would probably thank us for letting them go. This is just us grieving. I believe our cats are at peace, wherever that might be, and regardless, they knew love. We are suffering more than they did. As someone said above, we don't get enough akowledgemrnt for the profound grief we feel when we lose a pet. She was my baby. Talking about it with others that have been through it helps me a lot, I could stay up all night talking. I hope it helps you too. Know that even though you don't know me, know I am feeling the same pain you are, and I understand. And it will get better. Our sweet memories will move to the forefront. You and your fur baby are in my thoughts..Maybe now our kitties are friends ;-)
post #6 of 10

Losing a dear friend and family member is crushing. Your cat was a member of your family and obviously dearly loved, the pain you are feeling now is normal and understandable. I wish there were words to make you feel better but there is no shortcut to our grieving when our friends leave on their next journey.  RIP sweet Charlie, your family will always love you and remember you

post #7 of 10

I am going to offer some perspective, but first I want to say I understand your grief, I really do.

 

I've only known two cats that have died.  The first was treated for 16 months for terminal heart disease, and I was very sad after he died.  He was my girlfriend's cat, but I lived with him for seven years and we became close friends, and he was the first cat I had ever had as a pet/friend.  It took about a year, but I "recovered" and realized that I had not done anything wrong -- I had in fact done everything I could to help him and his genetic condition was out of my control.  Moreover, it occurred to me that I always knew he would one day die -- all living creatures die -- so in essence I had always known he would be gone at some point.  One day I will die, you will die, everyone will die.  That helped me put his death in perspective.  He had lived 14 years, not the longest for a cat, but certainly getting into old age, and while I was sad that his last few weeks were not good ones, and his last 24 hours were rather bad, overall I couldn't be upset -- he had a long, wonderful, happy life.  What more could I ask for?

 

On the other hand, I am responsible for the accidental/inadvertent death of a cat who was my best friend.  We had such a bond of friendship, and I failed in my duty to take care of him -- in fact my actions lead to his death, and have lived nearly three years with that guilt.  IT SUCKS.  But, I know that there is nothing I can do to change the past or to bring him back.  I have not forgiven myself and I probably never will; all I can do is try to make up for it -- and I did that by adopting another cat.  It wasn't the easiest thing to do, but if I had never had my prior cat I definitely would have wanted him to have a good home elsewhere and not be killed in some so-called shelter, so I tried to do a good deed and save a life.

 

Where am I going with this?  You didn't do anything wrong, and you gave your feline friend a long, wonderful, happy life, and he gave you 14 years of friendship.  Certainly you'd want more time with him, as I wanted with my cats, but how much?  You would still be sad after an extra day, or an extra week, or an extra month, even an extra year.  You would be sad no matter how much longer he lived because when he eventually died you'd miss him.  Does that mean he can live forever?  You know that isn't possible.  So, it's okay to feel sad, in fact it is quite natural, because your very close friend is gone.  But, since you did nothing wrong, you cannot blame yourself, and you know for a fact that all animals have a life span.  Thus, though sad, you accept what happened because you always knew it would happen.  You will always feel a little bit of emptiness in your heart, but you will also always have great memories.  This is the trade-off we accept when we decide to have a pet.  Or, perhaps I'll end with a question, to which I think the answer will be "no":  Would you prefer to have never had Charlie as your pet?  Because that's the surest way to never experience the grief you're going through now.  It isn't a trade-off I would ever make.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Aw man I hope Kitty's doing well. I bet she and Charlie are having a sick time up by the rainbow bridge being covered in catnip 

post #9 of 10

The feelings of grief for a companion and lifelong friend are deep and consuming. your heart does not know the difference between human and cat.  Fourteen years is a long lifetime for a cat, and for you it was a lifetime of love and friendship. No matter how much we want to, there is no way to change the past, so please don't go over all those should haves, could haves, they only bring heartache and grief. Grief is something that take time to work through, in fact time is the only thing that softens it's sharp edges. You learn to live with the sadness not get rid of it. But there is one thing I want you to remember, Charlie would never want you to be so sad because of him. he loves you too much. He only wants happiness and sunshine in your life, just as you would want for him if you were the first to go. Your love for him is spiritual, so will be with you the rest of your life, nothing, not even death can break that bond that ties you together. You shared your life's journey with him and now, even though he follows a different path, he will follow you until that day his path joins yours again. My heart goes out to you, I know how much this hurts. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Don't bottle up your grief but share it with others who understand, it helps to lessen your burden. Take care of yourself and know that Charlie feels what you do because he is in your heart. Send him your love and he will send his back...........RIP sweet Charlie, you are so dearly missed and will be forever held in a loving heart. Sleep tight, sweet Prince!

post #10 of 10
Ernie boy, I'm sorry for your loss. Your fur-baby was loved and I learned that is the most precious gift we can give our pets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cataan View Post

On the other hand, I am responsible for the accidental/inadvertent death of a cat who was my best friend.  We had such a bond of friendship, and I failed in my duty to take care of him -- in fact my actions lead to his death, and have lived nearly three years with that guilt.  IT SUCKS.  But, I know that there is nothing I can do to change the past or to bring him back.  I have not forgiven myself and I probably never will; all I can do is try to make up for it -- and I did that by adopting another cat.  It wasn't the easiest thing to do, but if I had never had my prior cat I definitely would have wanted him to have a good home elsewhere and not be killed in some so-called shelter, so I tried to do a good deed and save a life.

Cataan, I understand. Parts of me feel that I didn't do anything to even TRY to save my cat. I just gave up. At the time, I was in shocked, confused and scared and I wish I had someone to help me or at the very least this forum. The guilt at times overwhelms me. But I'm learning to forgive myself. I can redeem myself by caring for another animal in need and be wiser and smarter. I say this to you, forgive yourself. You did the best you could at that time.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Crossing the Bridge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Crossing the Bridge › Cat's gone, I need help.