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Anxiety about losing a future cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello! I'm new here. I lost my beloved cat, Sapphire, on February 21st. We think she was 12. She had low-grade lymphoma that turned high grade and spread to her brain. We did everything we could, until there was nothing more we could do. In the past 1.5 years, I also lost the two cats I rescued in high school, who lived with my parents. They were 15 and 16, so not young, yet their loss was excruciating for me. After losing them to their own horrible diseases, then Sapphire, I really want another cat, yet I'm having major anxiety over adopting a cat that has undetected health issues. It's one thing to have a cat for nine years before they develop health problems, like Sapphire, but what I'm worried about is adopting a cat that will have issues within the first year. We spent around $10,000 on Sapphire's diagnosis and treatment, and it was completely worth every penny, yet I feel like our finances and hearts need to recuperate from having a sick cat. I should also add that my husband and I are dealing with some serious infertility issues, and will hopefully begin IVF (in-vitro fertilization) in the next two months. This is anxiety provoking as IVF can be quite a rough journey, physically-- emotionally, and financially. We've already been through a lot of infertility related challenges, and dealing with Sapphire's health issues at the same time nearly did me in. I think a cat could be a great comfort to me, I could save a life, provide a good, loving home. However, just going to shelters and adoption events makes me sad and anxious. I'm hyper conscious of the old cats, the ones who are sick, and leave feeling heartbroken.

 

So, I rationally should not get a cat. This posting is proof! The problem is that I fell in love with a cat at Petco. He's the sweetest, most lovable guy. I'm one of three applicants who want him. The rescue people say I'm their top applicant. However, being so overly sensitive about potential health issues, I've noticed him doing a weird thing with his mouth. It's hard to describe, but it looks like he's working his jaw, like he's air chewing, or something. The rescue people said he was checked by a vet before he went to Petco and was given a clean bill of health. One said perhaps his teeth are too long. The other said it could be anxiety. I held him for a long time yesterday, and he was clinging to me so tightly that after I put him down my husband noticed spots of blood on my shirt. This makes me feel even sorrier for him. I am so concerned about his health, and have found myself on the internet again, searching for answers, as I did with my other three cats. I've looked up the odd mouth smacking thing he does and it could literally be anything or nothing. The rescue people say they'll have a vet look at him, but, in my experience, it can take many expensive tests and months to find a diagnosis, so I doubt that'll all happen before he's adopted. I could take him for a trial period, and see if my vet can figure it out, but I doubt if I'd be able to give him up. I've consulted my aunt who is a vet, and my vet too, but of course they can't find a diagnosis over the phone. I've cried... I'm crying now. Meanwhile, no one else seems that bothered about him doing the odd mouth thing. And it's not like I'm the only one who wants him. They're a good rescue. He's extremely lovable, friendly, and beautiful-- a very desirable cat. I know he'll get a good home. So why am I freaking out?? Why do I feel like I have to rescue him? I keep hoping they'll say it's something very simple, like an abscessed tooth, that can be fixed. I don't know why I'm driving myself so crazy over this, and I wish I could just walk away. I've shed many tears over this cat, who I barely know, who may be perfectly healthy. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I can rationalize why I'm feeling this way, but it doesn't help me decide what to do.

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Since this post is not entirely about Sapphire, maybe it doesn't belong here. But I don't know where else to put it.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
The mystery has been solved. Apparently, his upper canines were removed, so his lip gets caught on his upper canines. They don't believe it's painful. It's that simple.

Based upon how much anxiety this has caused me, I don't believe I'm ready for another cat. How does a person ever decide to adopt again after they've experienced such heartbreak?

No one is replying so I guess I'll just keep asking then answering my own questions! wink.gif
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapphire34 View Post

No one is replying so I guess I'll just keep asking then answering my own questions! wink.gif

 

I was worrying about you worrying so much, then you made me laugh with that last sentence. 

 

Last September I lost one of my senior brother cats, so I was down to one cat.  On January 7th, I lost my senior Cairn Terrier, so I was down to one dog.  So I was thinking that maybe one surviving senior cat and one surviving dog approaching senior-citizenship were enough for a little while.  But I miss my sweet little Cairn so much, that I started the 6-12 month search for another Cairn in February.

 

Meanwhile we trapped a feral cat who had gotten into the warehouse where I work, and I took her to the shelter to have her spayed and was supposed to release her back outside to the managed feral cat colony she belonged to.  ....but now I am raising a wild kitten.  Because I failed.  I failed at not getting another cat.  I failed at "temporarily" assisting the wild young thing.

 

And you know what?  I love her so much!  She has just brought so much joy into my life!  I am absolutely thrilled to have her even if she's not the "type" of cat I would have chosen had I been actively searching for a new cat.  No matter all the reasons I wasn't ready to get another cat, and tried to convince myself that I didn't need another cat.  I have another cat.

 

It's a good thing.  A very good thing.

 

You have love to offer.  You've found a cat who has stolen your heart.  You know what to do next.  hugs.gif

 

I understand your grief...and your love.

post #5 of 8

We all know the pain of losing those sweet babies, but eventually our hearts heal enough to long for the love and companionship only a cat can provide. 15 or 16 years is a long lifetime for a cat.Sapphire had a wonderful home and all your love, so she was content in life too, she had what she wanted most. If all living things live long enough, they develop something that is going to take them to the end.  Those that live to a very old age and die in their sleep are sadly the exception to the rule.I guess what I'm trying to say is don't be afraid to open your heart again, it is a fact of life that every living thing must die at some point and it is how we live that counts. Don't be afraid to live and love again, it is what makes living worthwhile. Although it breaks your heart to lose them, think what a difference you made in their life. You shared their life's journey for a while and were with them to the end, offering comfort and love, it is all they could want. The bond you form with each and everyone of them will follow you for the rest of your life, it is spiritual and not even death can take it from you. Each new love is special and unique, like a mother has for each of her many children, priceless.  Live your life as you would want for your little ones if you were the first to go, not in grief and tears, but in celebration of knowing them and loving them, secure in knowing you will never lose that bond that ties your souls together, and that the bond will bring you together again in the far future.  Your sweet furangels are at peace now, loving you from afar, they are a part of your past now, a good part, don't let your grief command your heart when what they want is happiness for the one they love above all else. They would never want you to be so sad because of them. Take care and keep us posted!    RIP beautiful Sapphire, you will never be forgotten and will always be held in a loving heart. May you journey to the Rainbow Bridge be swift, and your meeting with those that have gone before you bring happiness and joy!    

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapphire34 View Post

The mystery has been solved. Apparently, his upper canines were removed, so his lip gets caught on his upper canines. They don't believe it's painful. It's that simple.

Based upon how much anxiety this has caused me, I don't believe I'm ready for another cat. How does a person ever decide to adopt again after they've experienced such heartbreak?

No one is replying so I guess I'll just keep asking then answering my own questions! wink.gif


I lost Tiger (female Tabby) February 13th. I have been going back and forth about getting another cat. I have no desire to go anywhere near a shelter because I feel all of those animals will overwhelm me and I can't help them all.

Losing TIger feels like someone ripped my heart out and stomp on it. But also, animals are so easy to love and cats in particular are easy to leave at home while I travel. laughing02.gif

I was fearful at first of getting another animal, but I cant live my life in fear of the unknown it's not moving forward.....its staying stagnate......i rather try to accomplish my goals, desires, etc.....then not do anything at all.

Sorry went on a tangent.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your wonderful replies. I truly appreciate what you said.

I still can't figure out why this is causing me so much anxiety and heartbreak. I've been analyzing myself... perhaps I feel guilt that I couldn't save Sapphire, so now I'm trying to save this other cat. I feel guilt that I haven't adopted him. I feel bad that the reason is because he's older and may have health issues that will cost a lot of money and stress. Money is a reality I can't ignore, especially since we're dealing with our own enormous medical expenses. I know the word infertility makes people uncomfortable but I'm sick of hiding it. I lost my cat during a very hard time. She had her doctors and appointments, while we had ours, and we blew through a lot of money, put off buying a house, are still living in a studio apartment.

That last a paragraph is me explaining myself because I feel guilt about rejecting this cat based on his physical limitations. Who doesn't have them? We all get older if we're lucky. Do people feel guilty getting kittens and not considering older cats? I know he will find a great home. He's a beautiful cat with a lot of people trying to find his forever home. So why can't I just move on? The honest truth is I wish he was younger and didn't have those teeth missing, which make me think he's even older than they say.

Arghhhh. I am so fed up with this.
post #8 of 8

Don’t feel badly.  You are being very thoughtful and thorough with your decision making process.  You are still mourning the loss of your Sapphire and the other kitties, plus the financial pinch of expensive medical costs for Sapphire, and your own medical.  You will make the right decision.

We all hope to get a healthy cat who will live long and die peacefully at home of old age, and some of them do.  But, you know we just can’t predict what will happen.

Sapphire was very fortunate that you and your husband managed the funds to spend so much on her treatment.  I don’t know the numbers, but I would bet that more than half of the cat owners in the country could simply not afford the treatment expense and are faced with the decision (and guilt) of euthanizing the cat if it is diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness. 

I think it is fine if you and your husband decide that there is a financial limit that you can spend on a future cat’s treatment if it becomes seriously sick with something which requires expensive long-term treatment.  That is the reality for the majority of cat owners.

You can consider that there are more homeless cats than there are people who have a desire to give a cat a home.  So when you offer a cat a safe, peaceful, happy home and you give that cat a good diet and fresh water and toys (and mostly…love) then you are contributing really to help all cats, the whole population.  You saved a cat.  You do all you can to keep that one cat healthy during its life, and then in the end, whatever happens in the cat’s genetics,  you can take solace that you saved one cat.

So many healthy cats are euthanized because they cannot find homes.

We love them.  We lose them.  We grieve.  When the time is right, we offer the best life possible to another.  Take your time.  You’ll know when it’s right.

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