Registered: 1525081867 Posts: 3
Hi hello, my name is Aida and I am at a complete loss. I have been overcome with grief since yesterday and have been searching for a place to vent and talk - and then I found this message board. I hope me posting here is okay. (Also, excuse any weird sentences as English is not my first language).
Yesterday I found my 19-year-old cat Dibbus deceased when I woke up. He'd been struggling with some mouth injuries for a while now - they started off small and manageable, treatable with some medication, but it eventually got worse and worse. The vet said he needed surgery to have the infections treated and they would have to remove some, if not all, of his teeth. They also told me the surgery would cost around 400 euros. I'm a university student with a very low income and I told them I couldn't pay that immediately. I'd have to save up somehow, and even that would be difficult. So I treated Dibbus with medicine that would ease his pain so he could eat, at the very least. But the medicine stopped working the way I hoped; in the last few days, he started eating and drinking less and less. Eventually, he wouldn't leave the bathroom and stayed in one spot, just lying there not doing anything. Even offering him his favourite food didn't work, he rejected it and stopped eating altogether. He started losing weight extremely fast. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to afford his surgery, I internally made the decision to have him put down. I contacted the vet on Friday and they told me they'd get back to me - this would take a while, as it was a weekend. On Saturday night, before I went to bed, I cuddled his weak body and kissed him and told him, "The pain will be over soon." I just didn't realize how soon it would be. Sunday morning I found him passed away on the bathroom floor, completely frozen and still. I acted rationally, contacted people to have him picked up and sent to be cremated. But as soon as the house was empty, I completely broke down. I've been crying non-stop since 10AM yesterday morning and every link to him in the house, every picture, it reminds me of him and I start bawling. I feel incredibly responsible for him dying because if I'd just had more money, I could've gotten him the surgery and he would still be with me. On top of that I live by myself with no family around me, so the people that knew him from growing up are nowhere near me. I have no one to talk to. For the first time in 19 years, I'm completely alone now. In the 19 years that he was alive, he was never sick, never ill, never needed treatment. I know in the back of my mind that I gave him a good and happy life, but the fact that he was in pain in his last moments and that he died only a few steps away from me while I slept soundly is a thought that's enough to make me vomit. He was my closest buddy, my friend; I raised him since he was five weeks old, no bigger than the palm of my hand. I don't know what to do now. Time moves very slowly and I can't find enough activities to keep me busy. Sleeping makes me cry because Dibbus used to sleep with me and I can't bear to be around others because they don't understand the love you can have for a pet. In fact, the people around me told me to "just get rid of him because he was old" and saw him as an obstacle in my everyday life, because I tended to him a lot as he got older. When does it get easier? How can I cope with how empty the house is? How do I deal with the guilt? I have no idea. I just wanted to talk to someone.
Registered: 1522076608 Posts: 26
Oh Aida, my heart goes out to you. I lost my precious girl Sabrina 69 days ago. She was 15, and I had her for 14 years as she was barely more than a kitten when I adopted her from the SPCA. She was my best friend.
She had had a stroke and it's a long story, but I had to have her euthanized. The decision had to be made quickly for several reasons and it happened so fast that I was left reeling, wondering what just happened. I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I know it's next to impossible right now, but try not to feel guilt. You gave Dibbus 19 wonderful years, and a kitty that old was bound to have health problems at some point. You did everything you could for him, within your means. When you cuddled him on that last night before he slipped away and told him the pain would be over soon, he knew you were letting him go and he felt at peace with dying near you. He didn't have to take another trip to the vet and be poked and prodded, and have a needle injected into him to put him to sleep. I know it sounds weird, but I believe he somehow knew that the expense of that last trip to the clinic would be so difficult for you, and he spared you that. That's how much he loved you Aida. He knew. And he wanted to be near you in his own home so he could die peacefully, and you could be alone with him for a while before having to do anything and have him cremated. HE made the choice to go in peace. That was a gift you gave him. You are not responsible for his death Aida. His age and health problems are the reason he died. It was his time. You have nothing to feel guilty about, but feeling that way is normal. Whatever you are going through right now - whatever that may be - is "normal." Nothing you do is wrong, or weird. People that don't understand do not matter. Do what you need to do to get through this. The pain and love will never go away, it will just somehow get a little easier to bear. Give yourself time. Let yourself grieve. Your house feels empty and cold right now. I know. But his spirit and soul are there Aida. He is with you. Grieving by yourself is important, but try not to totally isolate yourself. There are pet loss hotlines on this website, and other resources to help you when you're ready. It's very healing to reach out and hear the human voice of someone who cares and understands. I wish you strength on your journey with Dibbus. Some day you will meet him at the Rainbow Bridge. Sabrina & Buster's Mom
Registered: 1525096139 Posts: 1
I really feel for you. Please do not let the guilt you feel over ride your deep love for your cat. We give our pets the best we can - the love and care you gave was so important to his precious life. I know it's of no comfort at the moment but the grief will subside. Take time to reflect on the good times and moments you had together. You need the time to grieve even though it is so painful. He stayed with you until the end - you were his best friend. I know how you feel as I have my own story and the guilt that goes with it. I only know it gets better as I had another precious little boy put to sleep due to cancer over 20 years ago. I had my baby boy Hamish put to sleep 10 days ago. He was 15. I'd had him since he was 8 weeks old and I miss him so bad it physically hurts. He became ill in January and was on medication but the more time went on I could see he had no sparkle in his eyes and only wanted to sleep. He would eat very little - he looked unwell and unkempt but definitely not unloved. He was so wobbly on his legs and would avoid walking. The medication wasn't working. My vet was lovely and I had discussed all options with her apart from euthanasia. I could see he was in pain and as I did not want him to have any invasive surgery for which his survival rate was so low, I agonised over having him put to sleep. I rang the vet and crying through all the conversation, made an appointment for two days hence to discuss this. I tried not to cry in front of him on our last full day together. I had taken him off his medication and carried him outside so we could sit in the sun for a few hours. He had latterly decided not to sleep on the bed, preferring his basket, but that night he did of his own accord. My vet checked him over and said he had and would continue to have health issues going forward that were lurking in the background as well as his current condition. She also discussed my pain due to his deteriorating health and I made the decision to put him to sleep. The experience was horrible for me but not for him. He passed away very quickly at peace and pain free. I wrapped him up and brought him home. I cried hysterically holding him and saying how much I loved him; I couldn't bear to let him go. Every time I put him down I picked him up again. This went on for hours. I felt so guilty at ending his life. Eventually he was put to rest in a sunny spot in the garden. All I do now is cry as I miss him and am consumed with guilt and feelings of loss. I have about 50 photos of our last time together in the sun and instead of bringing me happiness, I look at his little face and feel so awful. My home feels empty. All his things are gone. There are empty places that bring me feelings of pain. The emptiness of a now non-existent routine of getting up and feeding him whilst the kettle boils; saying hello when I came home or just passing by and giving him a stroke and a cuddle. He loved bird and/or mouse films for cats on You Tube. Sitting together on the sofa at night. It's all gone. He's gone. The vet sent me a lovely card. Everyone at the surgery could see I was heartbroken - I still am. You are a very special person. You gave Dibbus your love and he chose to be with you until the end. You were so lucky to have found each other and had 19 years together. Take care my lovely. Know that you are not alone. xx
Registered: 1515548302 Posts: 123
Hello Aida, Feeling Your loss this day and reaching out to You.. May You find comfort in warm memories and in knowing that Others sympathise with You. Do light a candle to lite the way in 'honour' of Your beloved Dibbus. Dibbus is still the star of Your life--- living on Your heart ! I feel Your sorrow. Warm wishes to You... Sherry/PerryRIP
Registered: 1525081867 Posts: 3
Sorry for the late response, I actually went out yesterday in an attempt to be around people (hoping the distraction would help a little). Thank you first and foremost for your responses.
Sabrina_Buster10, thank you ever so much for your kind words. I actually read your reply on my way to my friends' house yesterday while on public transport and it made me tear up. The guilt is eating me up but it does get better when I get messages like these. The way you talk about Sabrina is really heartwarming and it's very relatable, 14 years is a very very long time. I adopted Dibbus when I was only six years old (I'm 25 now) and he was no bigger than the palm of my hand, so I honestly can't remember a time without him. I think that's also why the house feels so incredibly empty now - I don't have my mom with me and now I also don't have my cat. I'm actually alone now and it's frightening. Thank you so much for your kind words. Karyn, thank you for your stories of Hamish, he sounds like an absolute lovely little animal. I especially relate to what you said about him looking unkempt and unwell but definitely not unloved, that's what Dibbus looked like in his final days. He drooled a lot and his fur would be dirty and would stick together, which would itch. He'd end up pulling his own hair out because it was so itchy, so during the last few weeks of his life I washed and brushed him twice a day to help him out. I think it's beautiful that you have pictures of the two of you together in the sun. Right now it's incredibly painful, but after a while you'll see them and smile I'm sure. Also having routines and no longer having to do them, very relatable. I caught myself still leaving doors open so Dibbus wouldn't be trapped and this morning after I showered, I still filled bottle lids with water because he LOVED water and would play with the filled lids after every shower. Realizing I didn't have to do it anymore brought a surge of sadness again. I hope your days become a little easier in the time to come as well. Always___there, thank you for your sweet words and support, it really means a lot. I did light a candle for Dibbus on Sunday night, and I think I will continue to do so for the coming nights. It brought me a lot of comfort. He certainly lives on in my heart; there are way too many fond memories to choose from. Hopefully, it will become easier with time. Thank you. I don't want to make this post too long, but like I said I went out to see friends yesterday. Sitting at home doing nothing just made me cry a lot and I thought having human interaction would be good. The whole day was a lot of fun and I was distracted for a while. But at night when I returned home to an empty house, I collapsed all over again. I cried and cried and cried when I went to bed, I'm sure I was loud enough to wake my neighbours. Not knowing what to do, I looked up a YouTube video about grief and loss and at some point, the person in the video said something along the lines of, "They live on. Their physical form may be gone, but they always live on." And I don't know why that didn't register with me before, but suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks and I calmed down. Dibbus is still with me. His physical form may be gone, but he hasn't left me. How could he? He wouldn't. I fell asleep eventually, although halfway through I woke up for some reason. And this might sound weird, I don't even know if it makes sense, but I swear I saw a shadow by my bed. In his last few months, Dibbus would often stand beside my bed trying to make up his mind on whether or not he wanted to join me. It would always take forever (jeez, old man), so I would grab hold of his tail and would wiggle it and go, "Come on, old man. Make up your mind already." I kid you not, I could've sworn I saw the shape of a tail yesterday with that shadow by my bed. And sleepily, I think I reached out to it. That's the last thing I remember before I fell asleep. I woke up this morning, not feeling particularly sad or upset. I felt okay. And for the first time since Sunday morning when I found him deceased, the rain stopped and the sun is out. I don't know if I should, but I'm going to believe that he was there with me. I'm sure I'll have tough moments today as well, but I'm honestly choosing to believe. They live on.
Registered: 1515548302 Posts: 123
Hello again Aida... Happy that you read up on SPIRITUALITY. Reading further on my own, two gifted animal communicators and pet psychics, RENOWNED, Laura Snitchfield and Brent Atwater, animal medium and Authority on Pet Afterlife..... Their comments... The loss of a beloved pet is devastating, that we all agree upon. Animals ARE attuned to the Spiritual realm and will readily grasp the reality of the afterlife. As Heaven draws closer, they state, the pet distances themselves to make it easier for Us. They can start seeing loved ones from the other side when they feel they are going to go and will often stare at their owners in an attempt to tell them that they are ready. However, when they are on the other side they are still your pet, but a mind-only pet-- not physical. They reincarnate because they are part of a your souls journey. When they come back it's to help you continue learning lessons and be a part of your Souls journey to move forward. A mind--only pet--non physical is a guardian pet and a pet spiritual guide. who is with you for the rest of your life to guide you. When pets pass... As soon as the pet transitions from physical fur suit to the spiritual energy--the minute they leave the physical-- they are OK, no pain and are with You in spirit immediately when they leave the body. Reincarnation.... If humans reincarnate, pets can also. 30-40% of pets reincarnate. Animals that do have a job to help you, but if they donot come back you can meet up in the Spiritual Dimension. There is so much to this Metaphysical and Spiritual World that we as humans are not aware of, an area of mystery that holds great truths. The reading was informative. May each day going forward evoke warm memories of Dibbus in Happier times. Cherish them. Sherry/PerryRIP
Registered: 1525081867 Posts: 3
Thank you again for the lovely reply Sherry. I am looking more into spirituality and have been reading a book about pets and the afterlife, both really helping me in the grieving process. I'm really still quite sad but that's understandable, given that Dibbus only left me three days ago. I do however feel very strongly that he visited me when I went to sleep last night. I had trouble falling asleep (and as such was wide awake for quite some time tossing and turning) and at one point I felt my mattress dip several times in succession as if Dibbus was walking on it. My mind registered it and initially, I didn't respond to it (still not entirely used to him not being here anymore!), until my brain yelled, "But he's not here anymore physically." That's when I realized what was happening and I put on the biggest smile I could muster. I felt more movement (I kept my eyes closed for fear that the sensation would go away) and then I heard loud purring right by my face, as well as the feeling of a cat very clearly laying down right by my face, his fur touching my cheek. That's exactly how Dibbus used to sleep with me too; absolutely no regard for personal space whatsoever hahaha.
I went to sleep very peacefully and I've been having a good day as a result. I really feel like he's just keeping an eye on me, which is very nice. In my excitement, I ended up telling a friend and she waved it away and said this was just my sorrow and grief conjuring these sensations, basically saying I was making it up as comfort for myself. That hurt me a little, but I realize that not everyone is open to the idea of people or pets contacting you after they pass. I do strongly believe that it's possible and am open to it and I guess that makes all the difference. On the road forward I will try to learn more about these things, choosing to believe that my cat is right there on the road with me.