Post # 1
What a sad string of days it’s been. On Saturday, DH and I made the difficult decision to put one of our cats to sleep. She was 16, and had what appeared to be aggressive cancer in her abdomen. She went from being perfectly healthy to skin and bones in just a few short weeks, and we decided to let her go before things got worse. She was not in obvious pain, but she also could barely hold down/in anything she tried to eat. At her age, surgery would have been a huge risk, and an expensive one too. We tried prednisone injections, but they only stabilized her for a few days before she began to deteriorate again. I know we made the right decision.
Our cat’s sister, also 16, is happy, healthy and still with us. I am so grateful for that. She is adjusting well to her sister being gone. I actually think she said goodbye well before we did, when our other cat started to get really sick. The surviving cat has never been an only cat, but so far, so good. Chances are, we won’t adopt a new cat while this one is till with us. We don’t want to bombard her with too much change in her twilight years.
In addition to the immense grief I’m feeling, I’m also trying to sort through my feelings towards our surviving cat. I love her, no doubt, but I had really bonded with her sister, who is now gone. I’m not really sure why that happened the way it did. It wasn’t planned. I had always just felt closer and more connected to her. Since we put our kitty down, I have been very attentive toward our surviving cat. She loves the attention – she’s very sweet, kind, and gentle. At the same time, I’m not finding much comfort for my grief in being with her. It actually makes me a bit sadder, because I keep picturing the pair of cats and remembering that one of them is now gone.
I’m wondering if it’s possible that I might be able to bond with our cat and become as close to her as I was to her late sister. I’m trying not to beat myself up over what I’m feeling. There is no risk of me neglecting this cat. I’m just hoping that our relationship can evolve and become something that is comforting to both of us during this time. She seems very happy to just spend time with me, and I welcome it. I am happy to just give it time to see what happens. I’m just curious about whether what I’m feeling is normal.
Grief can do very strange things to us, especially in the early days.
Post # 2
I think that sounds very, very normal. I’m so sorry for your loss! =(
Post # 3
The grief is still extrememly fresh in your mind. I think in a few months you will be able to bond more concretely with your surviving pet. Sorry for you loss.
Its very odd how we bond with our pets. We got our dog 3 years ago and i love him dearly, but he is alot to handle. However we added our cat to the mix last year and i just absolutely adore her. From the first week we had her she put her lil claw in my heart. I have become much more attached to her. Odd.
Post # 4
I am so sorry for you loss. I think how you are feeling is perfectly normal! Give your remaining kitty lots of love and don’t feel bad that you feel differently about the two cats. I have two sibling cats and as they have different personalities I find it is easier for me to connect with one of them as well. Hang in there!
Post # 5
LadyJDAG: Grief and loss is an exceptionally complex feeling, and I think that all the emotion you are feeling is normal. Please don’t feel guilty because you felt closer to your rainbow kitty. It’s not that you love your survivor any less, or will neglect her as a result, just that you had a special bond with her and that will take time to become less raw.
I’m sorry for your family’s loss. Big hugs
Post # 6
You’re feelings are totally normal during this emotional and unfortuante time. Don’t overthink it, just grieve however you need to or feel like. Animals can sense when their human companions have a shift in emotions or “energy” levels, and usually they will provide you with company. (Ie: my dog always lays or sits with me and won’t leave my side whenever I’m crying or sick)
We went through something like this last year, but it was very sudden. Our 3yr old cat went to the vet, had complications and never came home. Then elder cats were fine, but the other younger one went through a mourning period where he would cry at night and search for him. It was heartbreaking to watch, but it passed after time.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Post # 7
I’m sorry for your loss.
Whether or not you have another cat, you would still miss the one you just said goodbye to. Other remaining pets won’t change that.
Once the sharp suddenness is gone, perhaps you’ll find the other cat’s presence therapeutic and comforting but that can’t happen at the moment because you’re still in the throes of immediate grief.
Post # 8
Thank you so much, everyone. The other strange feeling I had was last night – our second night without our rainbow kitty. I was in bed, snuggling with our surviving kitty, and a huge thunderstorm came barrelling through. I found myself crying and feeling terrified, because I suddenly doubted that our rainbow kitty’s soul was at peace. I was picturing her somewhere out in the storm, cold and wet, trying to find her way home. I don’t know why I couldn’t remind or convince myself that she was at the Rainbow Bridge, at peace and out of harm’s way. In the past, when storms have blown through during the night, the thunder would wake me up, and I’d see both of my kitties in bed with me. That visual was enough to keep me calm, and I knew they were both okay – warm and safe in our house.
I am really surprised at myself, but this experience is teaching me so much about grief. I lost my brother to suicide a year and a half ago, and I guess I imagined that losing a pet would fall somewhere below that experience in terms of how much pain it would bring. The thing is, my brother was not a part of my daily life. His loss shook my world, but I had a place of comfort (with my cats) where I could retreat and sort through my feelings. My rainbow kitty was a HUGE part of making my home feel safe for me during those horrible months. She was a big part of my daily life, so it feels like my “security blanket” is compromised. I know it will get better, and that it will take time and grief work.
Post # 9
I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been through this, and the grief was and is immmense. I, too, was surprised by its intensity. I have lost both people and animals before, but it never hurt so much as when I lost my cat. Surely, I always knew that I would outlive him, and that the day would come for us to say goodbye. But nothing could have prepared me for that moment. He died in my arms, and I cried everyday for the next 2 months or so. I, too, was afraid that he was out there somewhere with nobody to care for him. I had never even believed in the afterlife, but when he passed, I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the concept that I would never see him again. I now think I will see him again, but I will miss him everyday until then.
I think it’s very hard when we lose our babies – and it doesn’t even matter what species they belong to. They are our babies in the sense that we have loved them, cared for them and protected them every day of their lives with us. And so we can’t let go because, as much as it hurts, grieving for them and worrying about them are the only ways we have left to love them.
Don’t worry about whether you are handling this right – for you or for your other cat. There is no way to handle something like this correctly. There will come a time when you can look at your remaining cat without thinking about the one you lost. And there will even come a time when you can think about the one you lost and remember the good, rather than the painful, memories of your time together.
Until then, I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you. I know it hurts so much.
Post # 10
LadyJDAG: Just checking in to see if you are doing OK. I am thinking of you and sending you virtual hugs.
Post # 11
This post is hearbreaking! But like I said in the previous post, I do know how you feel, wiith what was a similar situation happening to me last year. I still get twinges of sadness. But we still have his sister and I even watched her grieve for a bit. We did end up getting another cat (a rescue who had nowhere else to go) because the situation just sort of fell into our laps and we couldn’t let her go to a shelter. It has helped having 2 again, but I wouldn’t recommend that until you believe you are ready for that situation.
It’s still very fresh right now. Don’t be to hard on yourself, it will get better.
Post # 12
First of all, I’m so sorry for your loss. I still get a little teary from thinking about my childhood cat that passed away more than 10 years ago (he became 13 years old), but as so often with grief – it does get better with time. Second, don’t feel bad for not feeling so close with your other cat, that’s just the way it plays out sometimes. We have two cats, both which I love dearly, but I literally feel like my heart beat in unison with the younger one of them. That has nothing to do with the personality of the older cat, he’s totally adorable and kind, but just some sort of deeper connection that I can’t really explain. Except that our breeder told us that you sometimes get a “heart cat”, a cat that you connect to on a totally different level. Perhaps your kitty was your heart cat… if so, that’s an amazing thing to have experienced and I’m sure you’ll carry her memory with you forever! Take the time you need to mourn her, know that your feelings are totally normal and I hope you start to feel a little better soon!
Post # 13
LadyJDAG: I think it must be totally normal. I have had to put a couple dogs to sleep and now I have a 16 yr old dog who won’t be around forever. She and I have a very strong bond. Very. And I know I will be left with the other 3 whom I don’t share the crazy deep bond with. I’m thinking you may not feel towards her as your other cat, they are different after all, but it will probably get deeper as your grief starts to go away. Right now this is all brand new and raw for you. It’s really difficult to lose a pet. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I promise it will get better…
Post # 14
My grandmother who is very wise, has always had a very special bond with her cats. In case of two of her cats at least, who unfortunately got killed by cars (she lives in the countryside), they actually came to her in sleep and showed exactly the place she should go looking for their bodies. It was spot on.
Anyway, she always has said that if you want to have a special bond with your cat, speak to them through your soul. She’d say that cats understand things wonderfully if you just talk to them in your head through visual pictures and put your soul into it. I do not know if it is fluke, but I do actually do it sometimes with my cat who lives back at my parents. Whether it is sending caresses or letting him know I am coming home. And somehow he always seems to know I am coming home that day. I do not know if it is just a coincidence or not but I do find it very comforting. So do talk to your cat, say you miss her and you love her, ask for forgiveness if that is weighing on your heart – it will make you feel better.
And don’t let silly thougths get into your head. Spiritualists would say that cats have souls (humans also have spirit in addition), there is no way they will get caught in an in-between world and be lost. And maybe she will find your way back to you even – just as a different kitty.
Post # 15
I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember a few weeks ago you posted a thread about your cat being sick. I have two senior cats who are getting up there in age, so I constantly think about what I’ll do when it’s their time to pass on. I cannot imagine the devastation and loss you feel!
Lots of hugs and prayers to you in your pain and grief. Please know you are so not alone!