Registered: 1282630269 Posts: 3
My sweet girl Cassidy died last Wednesday, Aug 18. She was 14 years old. I was on vacation at the time and my neighbor called with the bad news. Now I am guilt stricken. I wasn't there. I should have known not to leave. I thought she would be ok. She wasn't.
Cassidy was diagnosed with Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in April. We immediately took her for chemotherapy treatments which shrank the tumor to almost nothing. They had to stop giving her treatments in July because her white blood cell count got too high....she needed a break. By the end of July the tumor had grown a little, but not drastically. The beginning of August brought her some asthma flare-ups, which she had always dealt with successfully with medication. She sounded a little bit stuffy in her nasal breathing too. I should have investigated this further. Kicking myself...hard. We had a 10 day vacation with my parents, husband and kids planned for several months. My neighbor was going to come and feed/check on my cats every day. He knew she had cancer. She was doing fine when we left. Eating, drinking, happy, loving.....I had no clue that I would never see her again. 6 days into our vacation our neighbor called with the bad news. "Your fluffy cat didn't make it." Our other cat had led him to her body. I went numb. It didn't seem real. I called my sister to go take care of her remains. My parents asked if we wanted to go home. I said "No, there is nothing I can do for her now." I think I was trying to postpone the grief. My sister called back to report that it appeared that she had passed quickly. Something possibly had ruptured in her head and she had bled out through her nose. I guess the cancer had moved extremely fast the last few days. My sister cleaned up the mess, boxed up her body and put it into cold storage for us until we got home 4 days later. The second I walked into the house I burst into tears and sobbed for hours. We buried her on a hill in the coast range mountains where we have our family pet cemetery called "Seven Cedars". My other 4 cats are buried there, as well as other family members pets. I feel like my life has been turned upside down. I can hardly keep from crying. I can't think right. Cassidy was my source of comfort at the end of a stressful day. She was so sweet. She would sit in my lap or follow me around the house like a dog. She always answered when I talked to her. We had a special bond. I feel horrible that I wasn't there for her. I didn't see her through to the end. I don't know if she felt scared or alone and the scenarios keep running through my head. It is like I am trying to fix it or change the outcome but I know I can't. She is gone... forever... and I can hardly bear the thought. I miss her so badly, I can hardly see to type this. When my 3 year old acted up tonight, I just burst into tears. I didn't have my little kitty to hug and my 3 year old didn't want one. Cassidy was my evening companion....now I am sitting here alone. She understood me, listened to me, gave me unconditional love and I feel like I have failed her. I love my other cat but I just don't have the same bond with him. I have been giving him extra attention as it has effected him too. He has been walking around the house howling since we got home...like he is calling her...or maybe crying. The howls are long, loud and mournful. My house no longer feels the same. I can hardly walk into my bathroom without feeling like it is a death chamber (that is where she died). There are little tufts of her long fur here and there and I cannot vacuum them up. I feel like I am erasing any memory of her. It was even sad to scoop the litter box. It makes me sound crazy. Maybe I am. I walk around the house and look at the places she liked to sit. It's almost like I am looking for her but I know she won't be there. I even called her name last night, I'm not quite sure why. I knew she wouldn't be coming. It is like a bad dream that I cannot wake up from...an alternate reality. I feel like I will never be normal again, but in my heart I know it has only been 5 days and time will heal....it did with the others, although I didn't take them quite this badly. I'm sorry for the rambling post. I just have no one else who really understands and nobody to talk to about this. At best I am feeling dull. I have my kids to take care of and I am not doing a good job. I can't talk to anyone about this without crying and when I cry, I can't talk. Words just won't come out. Here is my favorite pic of my beautiful, sweet girl. Oh how I wish you would come back to me............ and her final resting place........
Registered: 1253558553 Posts: 842
First, I'm very sorry for your loss, and she is such a beauty.
Try to remember that feeling guilty is a natural part of grieving for everyone, and don't let it get to you. It was your little one's time--no one knows when anyone's time is--even doctors can't pinpoint something like that, you had no way of knowing. She was at home where she most comfortable, and with your other cat. There was no way you could possibly have "known" this was her time. I've also read many times that animals (and even people) will prefer to pass when they are alone. Just allow yourself to grieve as you need to. It will take some time. Wishing you peace and healing-- Kathy
Registered: 1282618938 Posts: 15
What a beautiful cat. I'm so very sorry for you loss. And very sorry that you don't have someone to talk to about it. That hurts.
Although I couldn't have said it as eloquently as you have, much of what you wrote is heartbreakingly familiar to me. I, too, am a basketcase. The cat with whom I had a special bond for 13 years, Moose, was put to sleep yesterday, and I'm feeling so many of the emotions and concerns you're feeling. He was my comfort and my joy and the object of all my nurturing. We, too, have another cat who is ... well ... not Moose. She's always been my husband's cat and doesn't really want attention from me. You're not alone in crying all the time - I broke into tears this morning at work. And I dread the thought of going home tonight - as a friend said, losing Moose created a void in my life and that void is most obvious at home. I even felt the same about the litter box when cleaned it last night. It was a sad moment; not crazy at all when you consider how much we love taking care of our sweet pets. And yes, I too feel that I failed my cat. He was afraid when the vet came to put him to sleep and I feel terrible about that. In your case, do try to remember that there is no way you could have known that Cassidy would die while you were gone. None of us are superhuman; we do the best we can not knowing what the future will bring. As you said, you had no clue this would happen. And as Kathy said, Cassidy was in her home and with your other cat - not alone. Again, I'm so sorry. I hope that we will both be able one day to be comforted. Grace
Registered: 1219887733 Posts: 11,059
I am very sorry your precious Cassidy has passed on. I know it is very hard on you since you were not there when she passed. She knew how much she was loved by you and your family and the angels were by her side the whole time when she left for the bridge. Losing a pet is such a tragedy. Life feels so different and it is hard to find much to smile about. Thankfully, time does ease the pain and you will cherish all the days you spent with Cassidy. She is a beautiful girl! You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Mare precious Christoph ~ 2 years at the bridge ~
Registered: 1282630269 Posts: 3
Thank you all so much for the kind words. I know I will heal it just is so hard trying to do so. I have no motivation to do anything other than cry or sleep when I am at home. Being busy away from home does seem to help. It forces me to think about other things instead of missing her.
I would like to share a story about one of my other cats after she passed. Her name was Catlin. Catlin developed diabetes at the age of 11 and we kept her going for 4 years before her kidneys started to shut down. At that point, we had to frequently isolate her to the bathroom, due to her dietary restrictions and incontinence issues. She died at age 15 while she was in the bathroom. I was at home that day but had not checked on her for a couple of hours since I was working. My husband found her. She had climbed in the litter box, of all places, and died. Catlin would scratch on the bathroom door when she wanted out for a bit or wanted some attention. She left a white paw print and streak on the back of the dark colored bathroom door from stepping in wet cat litter (kind of icky, I know), but it was a perfect print with all 5 toes. I wish now that I had taken a picture of it. I COULD NOT bring myself to wipe it off. So there it remained from the day she died in October of 2006 until we decided to sell our house in May 2008. At that point I knew it had to be washed off. No buyer would want to see a "dirty" bathroom door. So I sadly washed it off. It came off easily as it was just made of cat litter clay. Later that night, as I was getting ready for bed. I shut the bathroom door and looked down out of habit, to see where her print had been. IT WAS BACK. Perfectly. Like I had never even washed it off. It was my sign from her and I will never forget it. I had to wash it off again a few days later and the second time it remained washed off. I was actually sad that it did not reappear again but it reinforced by belief that she was letting me know that she was still around. It was hard to leave that house when we sold it. I feel like I left 4 cats behind.... To all who are hurting, look for those signs. It does help. I still have not gotten one from Cassidy but last night I thought I heard her tiny chatter (she rarely meowed). It took a long time to get one from Catlin and I can have patience. Thanks once again.