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Posts: 1
I lost my cat of twenty years last Thursday. Her name was Cinnamon.
I’m twenty five years old, so I’ve had her for the majority of my life. I got her for my sixth birthday. I remember so vividly going with my mom to pick out a kitten and how tiny she was.
I grew up with her and she was the sweetest girl ever. She never once in her life bit or scratched me or anybody else. Even when I was young and would chase her around and probably deserved it. She was always there for me when I needed her. I’m truly heartbroken.
She was always a very active cat, she always wanted to be outside and was always running around after mice and birds. She slowed down quite a bit in the last few years and preferred to lounge around indoors but was still doing great.
Maybe around a month ago we noticed she was losing weight. She has always been an extremely small kitty, but was now even smaller and pretty bony, but she was still eating and behaving normally so we attributed it to just old age.
Around a week ago we noticed she was starting to have difficulty jumping up places and was walking a little slow and almost kind of high stepping, but was still acting and eating normally. I had a bad feeling but I didn’t want to believe anything serious was wrong. I know it’s normal for elderly cats to have difficulties.
Last Wednesday I cuddled her for a long time and then fed her afterwards. She ate a lot more than normal and was still acting Mostly like her usual self, just a little lethargic.
At about midnight, she was laying at the bottom of the bed and just started sort of twitching out of nowhere and gasping for air. I realized she was unable to move and I scooped her up and held her like a baby in my arms. She was almost completely paralyzed at this point. She could not stand and couldn’t even hold her head up. My mom was there with me and said she wouldn’t make it to the vet to be euthanized. So we both just held her and tried our best to comfort her.
She seemed calm but would kick her feet slightly every now and then and move her tail a little. I feel like maybe that was her trying to regain control of her body. That horrifies me, the thought of her being scared and not understanding what’s happening to her or why she couldn’t move. I tried my best to comfort her but it was just an awful experience.
As I was holding her, I noticed she was even thinner than I had thought and that she had bald patches in her fur that I hadn’t seen.
Eventually she started gasping for air again and then passed quickly after. The whole thing took about an hour but it felt like much longer. I kept telling my mom “please let’s just drive her to the vet” but she said it would only stress her out more. I just couldn’t stand the thought of her slowly dying and suffering and being scared. I wanted so badly to take her to the vet so they could just end it fast. It was absolutely horrible to see her in this condition. I’ve had pets pass away before but I’ve always found their bodies after they were already gone. I’ve never watched one die in front of my eyes like that. I can’t stop thinking about it and replaying it in my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we were there to comfort her while she went through this, but it was so so so hard to do & knowing there was nothing I could do to help her or save her.
I miss her so much and I hate having to remember her like that. I feel so guilty. I wish we would’ve put her down beforehand. But she was acting like her normal self for the most part, I honestly didn’t think she was at that point yet. I thought she still had time.
I feel so heartbroken and guilty and I can’t stop reliving her death it’s awful. I’ve never lost a pet that I’ve had for this long. The pain is unreal and like nothing else I’ve experienced. I’ve had her since I was a small child, I don’t even have any memories before her. I don’t know how I will get through this and adjust to life without her. I helped dig, but I couldn’t bring myself to bury her, it was too much, I could hardly even watch.
I just hope and pray that my sweet baby is okay and at peace somewhere in the universe and that I’ll see her again one day. I love and miss her so much.

I’m sorry for the length of my post. I just really needed to get my feelings out.

Posts: 3
Sometimes we love our pets so much we can't let go. I can relate.

Posts: 8
I am sending a big hug from California. Reading your post broke my heart. I recently lost my dog of 16 years and grew up with her. From the age of 16-to now 32 I can relate. It’s completely normal when we’re at such a loss for our fur family that we transfer the pain to anger and beat ourself up in the process with wishing we had done something different. It’s been 3 weeks since my baby died and I can assure you that there was no place your kitty would have rather been than in the comfort of your arms, in her house with your mom. Some people don’t even get the chance to be there when our pets pass naturally or it’s an emergency situation at a vet. Not warm and loved and comfy in her home and in your arms. The pain will take time before you start to heal, but try and remember how absolutely blessed and lucky you were to share 20 years together!! That’s remarkable. In time you will remember her good times and not just the death of her. That isn’t what she would want you to remember. Unconditional love from our pets is what they love to give, so please if you can try and honor her the way she loved you and be kind to yourself right now. You thought you were doing what you felt was right and she showed no signs of difference. Our pets do that to not worry us, she wanted to be with you till her last breath. I hope you can get some relief soon from the mental agony we feel when our pets die in any situation. You are not alone I grieve with you hang in there 💕

Posts: 16
My cat Pumpkin died May 30 this year. He would have been 19 this past August, and I first got him as a kitten when I was 7. I came to rely on him for emotional support, and he brought me joy every day, which I looked forward to whenever I was away from him. He had kidney disease for two years, and his decline started slowly. It took almost two months before I made the decision to euthanize. I kept waiting for a sign that he was deteriorating quickly, but that moment never came. He eventually started to have a rattling sound with his breathing, so I made the appointment to have him euthanized at my home. I didn't want him to have to gasp for air, or be short of breath, as you've described. I'm sorry you had to watch Cinnamon go through that. 

I can relate to how the memory of your pet dying can consume you. I couldn't think of anything else, and felt numb for weeks. I had panic attacks. I had no positive or negative emotions towards my peers or family.. just a gaping feeling of nothingness, at least until the pain of grief overwhelmed me again. I'm still struggling with the grief of his loss. Some days are better than others. I've since been able to feel more like myself, but it's been a long road and I'm still on it. Please make time to feel what you're going through. I went through a few stretches where I ignored what I was feeling, and kept myself distracted, but that only made the hard days harder for me. I hope you are able to reach out to friends and family to talk, and if not, then this forum is a good option too. Not everyone understands, or shows support, but I hope you find it here. It's not easy, but our pets loved us so much, we owe it to them to try and be happy again. That's all they wanted for us.

Thank you for sharing your story. Vent everything, and don't worry about apologizing. Grief feels abnormal, but it's unfortunately necessary to go through. Do whatever helps your healing.
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