Registered: 1255923630 Posts: 540
Hi all- I'm finally ready to make a post about my beautiful cat who recently passed away. I've been on here for a couple of weeks..posting and chatting with some of you. I'm so happy I found this place. You all are such wonderful, caring people. I know many of you are currently going through what I'm going through right now. I thank anyone who takes the time to read this. Sorry if it's a bit long..
My beautiful cat, Hershey, (aka..Hershey Girl) had to be put to sleep on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. She was 17 years old. She was a beautiful cream colored cat with a heart shaped nose and beautiful green eyes. (will post a photo soon). She never had an "elderly" moment or day in her life. I am thankful for that. She enjoyed every second of her 17 years on this Earth. About a week before she died she started having problems walking and ended up not being able to walk at all. We took her to the vet three times and a specialist. It turned out that she was in the last stage of cancer. We had NO idea she had cancer...she was never ill...and hide it well. She was not in any pain. She was her usual self up until the week before her passing. So the specialist told us she had a few days left. We tried a few shots...whatever we could to help her. She started to get paralysis and the doctor told us there was nothing we could do. So she stopped eating and drinking and began yelling out in pain during the night. We were able to spend a few days with her...kissing her...petting her...talking and singing to her. We made every moment comfortable for her and she was still purring even though she could no longer move her back legs or get up. She was even holding my hand like she always did. I would hold my hand out and she would put her little paw in my hand and squeeze my hand. So she was declining very, very fast and her breathing was getting bad..there was no hope left. We had to make the very painful and hard decision to free her of her pain and let her go before things got really hard for her. When we took her in they took us in a very nice room...that had the rainbow bridge painted on the wall and little statues of angels and pets all over the room. I kissed her and held her and told her to go to the light and that I would be okay. I told her she would always be number one and that she was the best cat ever. It was heartbreaking. So when she went..I did feel a strange feeling..a lift almost..I could feel her soul leaving and going to the light. She looked so peaceful and beautiful. It was beyond hard and I never dreamed I would ever have to make that decision for any of my furry kids..let alone her. In my eyes she was "Super Cat" because she was tough and always did "her thing" even as she got older. She enjoyed laying out in the sun..she loved the outdoors. I just didn't see this coming. I am thankful that the cancer didn't affect her AT ALL until a few days before she passed. Anyways, 17 years is a long time to have a furry kid. I feel lost without her. She was with me through SO much...always there. Always there to sit on my lap and give me kisses. I MISS her SO much. The pain is unbearable. I know it will take time but it's so hard. I do have other animals..but I just miss her so much. I keep expecting to see her or to see her waiting in the kitchen for her food or running and laying in the yard. I hope in time my pain will go away (and I know it will because I've been through this before with my other furry kids) but it's so so so so hard. I know we talked on here about signs from our furry kids and I know she's still alive but it's difficult to not be able to see her. How did you cope when you went through this with your furry kid? How long did it take for you to feel a little better? Thank you SO much for reading this....... -----Moonlight (Rest In Peace, Hershey Girl). I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!
Registered: 1219887733 Posts: 11,059
Your story is so moving and beautiful. You precious cat had such a wonderful life with you....many years and many wonderful memories. Hershey was fortunate that she was able to live without much pain until the very end. It is so sad watching our pets suffer though....we would change places with them in a heartbeat. I am glad you had time to comfort Hershey and that her final moments were so peaceful. She is now at the bridge, free from her pain and making many new friends.
Mare bunny boy Christoph ~ 15 months at the bridge ~
Registered: 1255923630 Posts: 540
Thanks Mare. It means a lot to me.
Registered: 1255923630 Posts: 540
Hi guys--any words would help..any advice. Thanks. I appreciate it.
Registered: 1256137377 Posts: 97
Hi, Moonlight -
I'm here with you and am sending you a big hug. I don't know how long it takes to feel better - been wondering the same thing myself, even though I know (as you probably do too) that there really is no answer. Each stage of loss hits everyone differently and runs its course as it will, not as we wish it to. I don't know if it's okay to say this, but I'm envious of the time you were able to spend with Hershey in her last few days - is it possible to find any solace in remembering those wonderful moments? I didn't have that with Greta. Sometimes I wish I'd brought her back home so I could, but given her situation (different from yours), I knew it would have been very selfish of me, she was already suffering so. I don't know if it helps any, but here I am, giving you a squeeze and praying you find peace - Lisa
Registered: 1241642195 Posts: 668
The best advice I can offer is to give it time. We all want to rush through the grief because it is so painful, but we have to experience it all in order to heal. It has only been a couple of weeks since you lost your Hershey so you are in the very early part of grief. Be kind to yourself and don't expect to feel much better soon. Today is seven months since I lost my cat, and it still hurts like crazy, but the raw pain is over and now it is mostly sadness. Things will improve slowly, so for now just cry and grieve anyway you need to. Keep talking here and that will help more than anything. We will all support and comfort you.
You gave Hershey the gift of a painless passing and I know she loves you for it. When you are more relaxed, I know she will visit you in dreams. I think it is hard for them to get through when we are in such emotional turmoil. Take care. *hugs* Nancy
Registered: 1253123670 Posts: 51
I'm so sorry for your loss. Hershey reminds me a lot of my Mr. Peabody. Such a loving being, and full of life! It's very hard when they go so quickly but I'm so glad that you had those last days with her. You, as I do, I'm sure, will cherish every extra second you had to enjoy her company. She's at Rainbow Bridge now, and hopefully Peabody's already found her, to show her around. :)
You said something that struck a chord with me. I also felt something, for me more of an energy, when Peabody passed, leaving his body. I think for me, even though that was the most painful moment of my life, it was also the biggest blessing for me. I know now that death is not the end for us. I know that Peabody is healthy and no longer dealing with the illness that plagued him most of his life. I also know that one day I will be with him again, and in this knowledge, I find comfort. That's not to say that for first three weeks weren't the hardest weeks of my life. I still cry even to this day. He passed on Sept. 13th. It's not that long ago, and honestly it's been the hardest thing for me to deal with, but I am feeling a bit better now, and looking towards the future, as I know Peabody would want me to.
I'm praying for your healing, and peace. *hugs*
Registered: 1255923630 Posts: 540
lisabe, thanks for your nice words. I am thankful that I got to hold my girl before she passed. I don't know what's easier...finding them passed away...or knowing and saying goodbye. Either way it's heartbreaking. I hope you feel better too. nlb51, thanks for your kind words too. I know it will take time..but it's so hard. I'm really missing her and finding each day to get a little harder..not easier in some ways.. MrPeabodysMomma, thank you too for your sweet words. I know what you mean about the feeling of energy or something lifting when they pass...that's what I felt. I have a family member who said she felt the same lifting feeling when her dog died last year. I know I'll see her again too...but it's SO hard. I just want to see her now and I can't. Feel better too. ---I look forward to hearing from the rest of you guys. Thanks.
Registered: 1255615835 Posts: 54
Moonlight, it does sound like you and Hershey had a great relationship all those years! I feel so happy for you that you were able to be together and for Hershey to be so healthy and strong for almost her entire life!
I, like others, am also a little jealous of the time you had together at the end. I didn't have that opportunity with the Dude, and I SO wish I would have... As far as the pain, it does seem to lessen a little over time...It's only been 3 1/2 weeks since I lost the Dude, but I seem to be dealing with things a little better now than, say, during the first 2 weeks. Those weeks were ABSOLUTE HELL!!! It's still hard now, but the pain is a little more bearable than it was then. Please know that we're all here for you!! We understand many of the feelings you are going through, and we all send you lots of BIG hugs!!! Peggy Dude's momma
Registered: 1253558553 Posts: 842
I know so much how you feel. My husband says I'm getting "better," but often I just remember that Sheeba's not here, and I think, "You know what, this just stinks." There's no other way to put it. I had about a dozen nicknames for her, one of which was just meow-meow. Because she used to talk to me all the time. She had distinct vocalizations for different things, there were about 10 of them at least...hello, let me out on the deck, I'm really happy, where are you, etc. So now I'm just supposed to forget this?
Anyway, it's been a bad day for me. The only thing that has helped me at all has been the people on this Web site. I love reading about everyone's signs, knowing that I'm not alone, and the volunteers who I know do a lot of work. Thank you. Kathy
Registered: 1255002401 Posts: 19
Moonlight. I have been deeply touched by your post. Remember there is no right and wrong way to deal with this, we all deal with it in our own way and you already know on here you will be treated with thte deepest respect. We have all been through it.
You ask how did we cope and when will you feel better? I didnt cope. I fell apart, I still do sometimes. When you have that depth of bond between you its like losing a limb! I just shut myself away for a few days with my other babies as I didnt want to leave them. My main thing was who was looking after Misty now I couldnt? Was he scared? Was he cold and lonely? That still makes me worry and cry now. Misty is in my heart and I'll never forget. Ever. You deal with things how you have to. We're all here for you. Shout, cry, laugh whatever you need to do xx I cannot say when you will feel better. Your grief is personal and you will feel better in your own time. Be kind to yourself. You will heal. You had a long and special friendhip and you were lucky to have each other. When cats love you its amazing. Keep Hershey safe in your heart and much love to you xxxx
Registered: 1252383304 Posts: 225
Moonlight I am so sorry for your loss of Hershey. I cried when I read your story. It reminded me in a way of my beautiful Teila. She passed many years ago at 19yrs. She was a torti colored cat with long beautiful fur. She wasn't sick until the last two years of her life. She became diabetic and needed insulin twice a day also need subcutaneous fluids every other day. Finally they found cancer cells in her blood and she became very ill. We put her to sleep at that time. I cried and cried but in my heart I knew it was my last act of love for her. I gave her no more pain, no more needles, no more a sick aging body. I set her free to go to the rainbow bridge where she could be young and whole again. You also did this for Hershey out of your love for her and please know she thanks you for letting her go. We all want our babies to be with us as long as possible but we need to think of their needs. Someday you will see her again and all your other passed babies. What a beautiful time it will be. You have been giving lots of us encouragement and sending your wishes of sorrow even though your heart was breaking. I want you to know I noticed how hard it must have been. Thank you for sharing your story of Hershey. I wish you peace. Jill
Registered: 1255923630 Posts: 540
Thank you all so much. You all are so wonderful <3
petpassion...thank you so much for your post & kind words.
Registered: 1236028082 Posts: 1,066
Oh Moonlight, Your post was heartbreaking, but it was so healthy to type it out. Every time we vent here to this beautiful compassionate family, it is such a wonderful catharsis. Even with all the pain and all the tears, venting like you did starts the healing process. It's very slow and very very hard. Everyone here knows your pain. The first 2-3 months are the hardest, but then the pain starts to soften. I turned the corner at 3 months. I decided it was time to make a memorial for my Cleo. The staff here are so wonderful. They will make it for you. All you have to do is e-mail them poems, tributes, stories, photos and music choices and they will do the rest. Working on this memorial was so hard. I cried and cried and cried. It was the most wonderful catharsis. At first, I was afraid to look at the photos because it was so painful, but once I got over the initial shock, seeing her photos was actually comforting. I looked into her eyes and felt her presence and I just felt so close to her. Please don't attemt to make a memorial too soon. Give yourself some time because it's difficult. After I completed the project, I felt so much better. It was such a release for me. I was holding so much inside and it needed to come out. After 3 months, something lifted. Something changed. The pain wasn't so raw anymore. You will feel better, but right now, just be good to yourself. Grieving is very draining. Get plenty of rest and nutrition. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. We're here for you. You will be OK. Sleep peacefully, Pam
Registered: 1257188396 Posts: 23
Moonlight, I'm so sorry for your loss. Hershey lived to be 17 because you took such good care of her and provided her with love and a wonderful life. I agree with the others who have posted here that time will lesson the pain...although you may and probably will have moments of sadness and even tears years from now when you think of her, those moments will be fewer and farther apart as time goes on. If time seems to be moving too slowly and the pain seems to be too much, it may help to create some kind of lasting tribute for Hershey. This could be a painting, sketch, or maybe a scrapbook with photos and your written recollections of the years you shared with Hershey...memories of things she liked to do, her little idiosyncrasies, your nicknames for her, etc. Creating a keepsake memorial to Hershey might be very cathartic and a good way to work through your feelings while honoring her; Also, it gives you something tangible to hold on to in her memory. Hope this helps.
Registered: 1256376802 Posts: 142
This tribute, these loving and tender moments about Hershey's wonderful life is beautiful, and Thank You for sharing your precious baby. You asked how we cope with the pain of losing one of our babies? I've lost many and I have 4 dogs left and 2 are 20 years old and my sheep dog is not doing well...all of a sudden. I said, oh please not now!!!! It just takes time. But, I can say in all honesty, that I still think about, and everyday, my black lab, Dutchess. I loved them all the same, but she was very special. She died 11 years ago. I miss her dearly. And, I believe that we always miss them and how could we not? They brought so much to our lives, in this one life that we are all blessed to live. Not only was Hershey blessed to have had such a wonderful, loving and caring family but you are also very blessed to have had her. I often watch videos of my babies. That always helps to remember how happy they all were. In fact, I actually watched a video of my Eddy, who died just a week and a half ago...today. I even laughed. He was such a character and he really was THE MAN!!! He ruled over the others here and they all knew it! I'm so sorry, again and just remember the love. Try and think of the funny things Hershey would do to warm your heart. It may be too soon for you but it couldn't hurt to try. They are thinking of us, I believe that with all of my heart. Thank You for sharing your Hershey with us. Her life. The love she brought into your life and the love that you will continue to carry with you, in your heart for the rest of your life. What a gift they are to us! Bless your darling Hershey and Bless you!! My love, Cynthia (missing Eddy so much)
Registered: 1406732525 Posts: 1
i dont know what to put on here really, struggling with the loss of my baby girl patches she was 18 months old and had to have her put to sleep on the 7th of may 2014 , i struggle with the loss of her every day, we had her cremated and she is home one of our other cats lucky and her played all the time and i can tell that he misses her too. but for him it gets worse, we had lucky's mum and she got poisoned when he was 4 months old he struggled with her loss and of course so did I when will i be able to cope with the guilt of having to have her put to sleep, her kidneys had stopped working and she was going down hill,
Registered: 1406849247 Posts: 4
i know moonlights post was from a while ago now, and my story is similar... my cat Minx was almost 16 and always looked like a kitten, she was young acting, still climbing trees and playing with her toys up until a few weeks before her passing. in the last few weeks she stopped eating, lost weight and became lethargic and just not her normal self. The vet gave us a few opinions on her illness and none of them were good. 2 days ago, she had a terrible day at home, after a day of not eating she woke in the morning, she was crying a new type of cry that I had never heard before, she was walking around, trying to make the pain go away, then she fell over and tried to take herself under the bed and she wet herself before getting there...... I felt horrible that i couldn't do anything to help her and decided that it was time to have her go to sleep. Despite having good days where should would eat and be almost normal, she would also have some bad days but this was the worst I had seen.... I got to spend the day loving her and kissing her and telling her mow much she meant to me.. and how much i loved her... i told her stories about when she was a kitten and funny things she used to do....
I hated doing what i did, i wish i felt relief that you guys say you felt, but all i feel is like she trusted me and ive betrayed her.... i feel like a first class jerk... it was my job to protect her and i couldnt do it... i know its self pity, but i just feel like ive let her down. and i hope she can forgive me
Registered: 1488865450 Posts: 1
You did the right thing Ky you helped her pass with dignity and gave her an amazing life.
Registered: 1537999965 Posts: 1
Just this Monday I lost my Elke. This may be a long story but this is my first time posting to one of these sites and I want to share. My wife and I love cats dearly and one day 4 years ago we walked into PetSmart to pick up litter and food, and say hello to the kitties up for adoption. That day there was a whole bunch of kittens and I fell in love with a shy little tortie that seemed to be afraid, but when I picked her up she started climbing all over and seemed much happier. Soon we were filling out the adoption form and went about our way and waited for it to be reviewed to see if we would be able to adopt the little one. Later in the weekend, we were strolling in the farmers market and the foster home called. I could adopt the kitten, but only if her foster mate, a tabby with bright white belly and paws, went with her. Who were we to separate the babies? Soon we had them at home. My Wife took to the tabby and I the tortie that had perked up at my company. We named them Ute and Elke after characters from a show we enjoy. Still we always gave both kittens equal attention and before long, Ute the tortie had bonded more with my wife and Elke the tabby had bonded more with me. So the little kitten we got as a tag along ended up being the sweetest, softest and most loyal friend anyone could have. She loved everyone she met but always found time for her daddy and mommy. She took to our rescued stray kitten, Fred and played games with him. She always had a beautiful soft coat. And most adorably she always carried her favorite toy lobster up to bed. We'd wake up so many mornings and find the lobster in the blankets and smile. On Sunday, she had her breakfast like any other day. Always hungry. That night, she was a bit aloof, so I brought her up to bed. She crept to a corner and cried and I found that she'd wet herself so I took her to the tub and cleaned her up and lay her on a towel closer to the litter if she needed it. She was lethargic, but alert and wagged her tail when I pet her or talked to her. Next morning she seemed the same, well enough, so I gave her a pet and left for work. My wife had laid my favorite shirt on her or warmth so she could smell her daddy and she was still pretty alert. She was going to the hospital when we returned. Only when I got back from work my Elke had gone. I broke down and sobbed with sadness and guilt. I begged her forgiveness for not being there when she had to go, not knowing she was ailing until there was no time left. I hope she was not in too much pain and not too afraid. I feel guilty when I stop crying. I read the rainbow bridge story and broke down again and again The vet said it was probably heart disease that is very hard to detect until it's too late. In less than 24 hours our Elke went from happy and hungry to gone from us. I've lost feline friends before, but only after a good long life. To have Elke gone at the age of four so so quickly is an extremely painful shock and extremely unjust for such a sweet thing. Sometimes I can keep it together, sometimes not. I don't know how long it will take to feel better, but I'm in no hurry. We had Elke cremated along with my favorite shirt, and I have carried her favorite toy lobster with me since. We will always have a part of one another.