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Maxs_Mom

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Posts: 7
 #1 
Our cat, Sally, became ill very suddenly on Friday, December 21st.  She had been fine the day before and on Friday morning when we woke up she was down.  I took her to the emergency vet that afternoon and they stabilized her but weren't able to figure out what was going on other than that her WBC count was dangerously low.  On Saturday morning we transferred her to our regular (much larger vet).  They admitted her, but were still at a loss for answers.  On Sunday they did exploratory surgery to try and find an explanation.  They found an infection in her abdomen due to unknown causes and removed infected tissue and debris that looked to have somehow entered from her digestive tract, but the vet found no sign of any perforations of her intestines or stomach lining. In 30 years of practice, she had never seen anything like this and could't explain it.  The vet said the surgery was her best chance at fighting the infection and assured us that they were doing everything they could to support her, she just had to fight the remaining infection.  The day after the surgery, on Christmas Eve, I visited her and could tell she was suffering.  It almost seemed to distress he more while I was there. 

On Christmas day we decided to let her rest, since my visit the day before seemed like it got her a little worked up.  That afternoon we received the call that she had died.  She was all alone in a cage at the vet.  An intern checking on her found her. We went and visited with her and said our goodbyes.  We brought her home and laid her to rest in our backyard (thank goodness we are experiencing some unseasonably warm weather and the ground isn't frozen yet. 

Our Christmas dinner is in the refrigerator uncooked.  No one was hungry.  I have presents that still haven't even been wrapped.  Cookies unbaked.  All I want to do is take the tree down and forget Christmas this year, but I can't even function enough to do anything productive.  I am so angry with myself that we weren't with her when she passed.  I saw her on Christmas Eve and she was struggling.  That is my last memory of her.  She was a social cat that never left her human's sides.  She slept with us every night.  We left her to die all alone.  I'm filled with feelings of guilt.  Did I miss signs that she was sick in the days before?  Why didn't I spend more time with her in those last days?  The worst was a fleeting thought I had that I wished it had been our other cat instead of her.  I feel awful for thinking that.  I've had many cats in my 40 years and I've loved them all.  Sally was special though.  The kind of pet that just has that extra special something.  I'm struggling to understand why this happened to her and why she gone. I'm so very sad and I'm afraid that Christmas won't ever be the same.  Just memories of sadness and loss.
Trishataz78

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Posts: 39
 #2 
I’m so sorry for your loss my baby of 14 years died in my arms at home on Sunday after I made the decision to bring him home fearing his heart wouldn’t be able to handle surgery. I’m racked with guilt about whether my decision was right. I hope and pray you will not let guilt torture you the bond between a pet and their humans is so special and unlike our bond with other humans. Take care read every topic you can online it’s helpful.🙏❤️😪
Hixi927

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Posts: 1
 #3 
Max’s Mom. I’m so sorry for your loss. I had to put down my Yorkie who was only 7 on Christmas Eve. He had only had is wellness check a week before but apparently the anti-inflammatories the vet gave him caused his intestine to rupture. They tried surgery but he didn’t recover.

I’m completely devastated- my buddy died a week after my partner of four years told me he didn’t want to marry me and moved out. What’s worse is that because he seemed ok after surgery I decided to be with my family for Christmas because the house was empty of the two loves of my life and I couldn’t stand to be alone in it. As a result when my dog had a stroke I had to talk to him and watch the end via FaceTime because there was no way to make it back. I’m wracked with guilt and hate the holidays and never want to celebrate Christmas again. I feel like the universe gave me back to back black eyes and I don’t even know how to begin to recover.
Maxs_Mom

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #4 
Trisha, I'm so sorry for your loss.  I think you really did try to make the best decision for your furbaby.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post yesterday.  Your kind words and acknowledgement meant a lot.  I was feeling pretty alone when I posted.

I'm so sorry Hixi.  You really did get a double whammy.  We were not with our girl when she passed away either.  She was all alone and found sometime after she passed.  It is the worst thought in the world to think of our my furbaby all alone when they passed.  My Sally never left our side.  She never wanted to be alone.  In some ways she was more like a dog than a cat.  I used to jokingly call her "catdog'.  She was always there for me and I wasn't there for at the end of her life.  The guilt and grief are just consuming right now.  I hope that you find some peace duringthis very hard time in your life.  Lots and lots of changes.  

I really pray some peace comes to us all with time.  I keep trying to think, if I hadn't of loved my Sally so deeply this wouldn't hurt so badly.  I know that death is a part of life and I guess it's worth it to get to experience the innocence and unconditional love of a furbaby.  
Trishataz78

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #5 
Max’s mom thank you for being so kind while in your own grief. It’s a process and after only 4 days I’m hopeful to find some peace. I’ve read several posts from a psychology point of view religious views too and some are helpful others just seem like words washing over me that don’t really touch on the sadness and pain. So I say to you and anyone else interested that this ONE horribly sad day should not be the defining day we had with our loved ones. Think about how many days you had with your special baby and visualize them inside a box like a box of photos and go through each of those memories and push aside the box with the photo of the ONE sad day. Praying for your peace and giving you hugs and love ❤️ 🙏🐾
Maxs_Mom

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #6 
Will either of you be participating in the candle ceremony this evening?  I have added my Sally to the tribute list and I will be there.  I thought it might be a small, but helpful, step in moving on and gaining some closure.  
Martha2

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #7 
Hi Maxs_Mom,

I read your post, and felt it was really important for me to say this to you: you did not leave her to die. You gave Sally the very best chance by taking her to hospital - where she would have pain relief and treatment. She could not have had those things at home.

I understand your guilt: but it is misplaced. You did the right thing, the best thing, the kindest thing - and the most responsible thing.

Also, animals usually want to be alone when they feel ill - you said yourself, your visit distressed her.

It's very obvious how much you loved Sally, and the lengths you went to, to try and make her better. I will be posting my own thread about my cat who died earlier in the month, but I feel the same as you in many ways - about how he was special, and was always by his humans' side.

There's nothing I can say to make anything better, but I really want you to realise that you did the very best for her, and you shouldn't feel guilty. At all. 
Maxs_Mom

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #8 
Martha, thank you so much for your kind words.  It really does mean a lot to me that you relate and took the time to make me feel better.  I know that I will begin to accept this at some point.  6 days out now, I'm beginning to feel a little better.  I didn't wake up and immediately cry today.  I went to the grocery store and didn't feel like I was going to break down in the store.  I know there will come a day when I can think of her and feel like crying every time.  I know there will come a day when I can think of memories other than her last days and her death.  Happy memories.  

I'm also so sorry for your loss.  Please do post about your kitty soon.  It really does help.  
Martha2

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #9 
You're more than welcome: I recognised that sense of guilt, and felt it was important you recognise that you did the best thing for her.

I have been told by friends that one day, you get to a point where your beloved animal becomes a lovely memory. Right now, I feel like I'll never feel happy again.

6 days means it's still very raw: like you I cried so much during the first few days. I didn't get up for three days, if I'm honest.

For the first few days, I endlessly rehashed his death, questionning what I could/should have done differently. I know logistically we followed the recommendations of our vet, and my mind is starting to accept that now. I hope you too can stop going over Sally's death sooner rather than later.

You know...it just sucks. There are no answers, no words to make it better. But it hurts because we loved them so much. Not everyone gets to enjoy that special relationship with an animal. And not every animal gets a loving, kind human to look after them. You and Sally were both very lucky.
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