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Posts: 10

My cat Biscuit died in my arms yesterday after spending 2 days in intensive care. The previous week had seen constant visits to the vet, infected teeth extracted, a biopsy in his mouth, an abscess on his foot and a week of me forcing antibiotics down his mouth in desperate hope that his infection would clear up and life could go on as normal. I wish so much that we had not taken such drastic measures to save him but rather let him die more peacefully at home where he felt safe and before his health had gotten to such a point. I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive myself. Although I was with him when the doctor assisted in helping him pass, he was so sick that I can't even be certain he recognized me. He was gasping for air and bile was spilling from his mouth when I arrived. His skin had yellowed from jaundice and his eyes were wide with fear. I will never be able to get those horrible images out of my mind. They will haunt me for as long as I live. I can only imagine what he must have endured the previous night, probably wondering why he had been abandoned, just wanting to be home, safe and protected. And yet he wasn't. He was there in that cold, strange place with those cold, strange people sticking him with needles and hurting him with each poke and prod. 

He was my best friend. He was my furry little shadow. I work from home, so we were together constantly. I miss him so much. The tears seem to have no end.  The emptiness in me seems bottomless. My heart is shattered.

I've lost other cats over the years and the losses are all so difficult and each time I think that I will never be able to get through this but somehow I do. Yet this time feels different. The loss feels so deep and permanent and that life will never return to normal. 

I just have no desire to go on anymore. How many losses can a person experience in their lives before they are completely broken? Unfixable.

Thank you for reading,
Biscuit's Dad
I will love you forever my dear, precious boy. I hope that you can forgive me.


Posts: 2
I can so relate, even though my pet didn't pass away - we had no choice but to re-home him after he bit our son. 

I, too, feel like there is no end in sight with regard to my sadness. Even when I forget my pain for one second to laugh at something that I find funny, it comes flooding back the minute my laughter has ceased. 

There is a big black cloud where my heart used to be. I hope you are treating yourself with kindness, letting yourself cry, and remembering how much you loved your sweet kitty. Thinking of you. 

Posts: 1
My heart breaks for you and your loss.  Losing a pet is sometimes unbearable.  I rescued  my sweet Ivy about three years ago.  She's and English Pointer, was abandoned and abused. She was so frightened when I got her and it took her months to become more comfortable and trusting.  And we bonded so well.  She has a sweet soul. I got her about three years ago.  Healthy up until about a year ago and the latest was I just found out yesterday that she has metastatic neoplasia....large tumor on around her adrenal gland.  Prognosis is poor.  I am reeling and still in shock.  Not sure of next steps yet.  She's only about 7 or 8 years old.  I can't imagine my life without her.....

Posts: 10
Thank you Melanie and Prenish. I'm so sorry for what you're both going through. The pain is excruciating. Prenish, I hope there is a treatment for Ivy even with her prognosis. The loss and even the expectation of loss is just unbearable.

Once more this morning I woke to a suffocating emptiness and then tears. I finally crawled out of bed and forced myself to face yet another day without my precious boy to share it with. I keep going over and over what I could have done differently. That somehow his death was my fault entirely. I'm sure this is not the case but it's hard to convince myself otherwise right now.

Thank you both for responding. I wish you both the best in these horrible times.

Posts: 3

Hi BiscuitsDad. I'm so sorry you're going through this, I very recently lost a kitty as well. It is impossibly hard.

You did everything you could for Biscuit. And I hope you can take heart in knowing Biscuit knew you loved him. His passing was absolutely not your fault; it sounds like you did everything you could for him. The memories you have of the vet are terrible, but you were truly trying to save him. In hindsight it's tempting sometimes to beat ourselves up over decisions we wish we could have made, but everything you did was to try and help Biscuit and alleviate his suffering.

These losses are so impossible, and the pain you have to bear seems far too high. I really do believe those we loved never truly leave us: Biscuit is still with you, though not in the form you knew him. And he loves you still.

I hope that in time the bad memories will fade, and you are able to remember all the wonderful times you shared with Biscuit. And to all the others in this thread, I hope your pain is eased as well.


Posts: 3
Another thought that occurred to me after I posted my first reply... you were incredibly brave to stay with your kitty, even though the tough times at the end. I'm sure at least on some level, he knew you were there.

Posts: 10
Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, whatsnext. I'm very sorry to hear about your kitty as well. You're so right, it is impossibly hard. I'm so grateful for the kindness and help on these forums, though I would not wish this pain on anyone. 

Today was only nominally better. I have been thinking about Biscuit non-stop and in a severe state of depression. My coping skills are probably not what they should be. 

I can't thank enough you and everyone else who has replied. Reading your words makes this time a little less difficult to bear.

Posts: 21
Hi BiscuitsDad, 

I went through almost the same thing with me beloved 13 year old dog, Peety, as you did -- he fell ill with pneumonia, we had a few days at home forcing pills down his throat as he was not eating; he ended up in the vet ICU 24/7 with strangers (and he was a dog who was by my side, as close as he could get, as I also work at home and he was that way) and he ended up dying at the ICU, vomiting and choking as a result of a procedure a careless vet did, a vet who had only just met him a few hours ago on the shift change. We were not there, we were home unaware, waiting for visiting hour. 

We were allowed to visit for about an hour twice a day; but I know he was bewildered as to why he was not with us, the last time I saw him he was getting better but trembling while we were there, barely noticeable but I saw it -- I know he wanted to come home. I actually thought he would be home in a day or two and he probably would have if not for what the vet did. Even with our visits at maybe a little over 2 hours a day, that still left 22 hours a day he was there all alone, not feeling good, with strangers who did not love him. Like you said, poking and prodding him etc. I don't even know what they did, how attentive to him were they? It's not like humans where there is accountability... I know he suffered greatly at the end, and he was alone -- then he died. Alone.

I will always be haunted by this, and just to think about what he went through, how he must have felt -- oh my poor baby. He did not deserve that. And I got the nursing notes, he was actually showing signs of great improvement, he ate a little food and drank a lot of water the night before, before he ran into the vet from hell. It makes me cry every time I allow myself to think about it, and it has been 1 year and 4 months now. I will NEVER get over it. 

I am like you also, I have lost other dogs before, but Peety was special. exactly as you said, this loss feels so deep and like life will never be the same for me. I get up every day and keep going, but I am not who I used to be. 

I know this is not much encouragement for you! but just wanted to say you are not alone, and there is nothing wrong with your coping skills. The love of an animal is something extraordinary to experience and the loss is so deep.

Posts: 10
Thank you Sunspark. I so appreciate your reply, it means so much. I'm so sorry you had to go through that horrible experience with your Peety. There are just so many decisions I wish I had made differently. I'm sure you feel the same way. It sounds like we were both so hopeful that in spite of the stress of giving them medicine ourselves, in spite of the "temporary" time at the vet, that we would getting our babies back. I was certain of it. I just knew they would help him. After all, the biopsy was negative. It was just an infected tooth, right? The antibiotics would work. And when that didn't fix him, then the transfusion would work. He would be coming home. 

On my last visit with him the day before, he laid in my lap facing me. He seemed so at peace in that moment, still very sick, but so content to be on my lap. If I had known that was the last time we'd have together when he was "present" enough to understand I was still here for him, I never would have left. I would have brought him home. Let him have one more night where he was loved and safe. But we can't go back as much we would give anything to change it.

I would wish this bottomless, endless pain on no one. My guilt and my regrets will last the rest of my life. I'm just so very tired. I get hungry but I cannot eat. I get sleepy but I cannot sleep.

Everything I have ever truly loved is gone from my life now. So many losses. My precious boy was my breaking point. I am ready to join him I think. 

Posts: 3
BiscuitsDad, I hope this thought will give you some solace: The unbearable amount of grief you feel means that you loved Biscuit so very deeply. You’re not alone, and I hope you can hold onto these thoughts and the sweet memories of Biscuit to keep you going.
Though it might seem impossible now, there is another sweet kitty out there for you, someday when you are ready. And maybe that doesn’t mean adoption for you: fostering or caring for other kitties, maybe in the shelter (if that seems right for you) could feel nice in the future.
I’ve been considering these ideas myself. I know it’s too soon for me to adopt again (I need to heal), but I’m hoping being around kitties will help cheer me up.
I don’t know the right answers for you, but I wanted to reply so you know people are thinking of you.

Posts: 10
Thank you so much, whatsnext. It is so very hard but we muddle through as best we can, even though at times it seems utterly impossible. So often this past week I've wanted to give up. Even the simplest routine things are beyond difficult. But here I am. These forums and replies such as yours along with online grief support chatrooms are all that have kept me going this past week.

The organization I've fostered with previously had a kitty in dire need of a home and asked if I would foster. Ellis was formerly a street kitty, emaciated and starving and then spent 2 months at a vet undergoing full teeth extraction. He is now with me. I just couldn't say no to him. Although I have been emotionally unavailable for him, I try to give him attention and reassure him that he is safe. Soon, I'm sure, we will get closer in time, as I heal over my dear Biscuit.

I do hope you choose to foster or adopt when you are ready. It does help.


Posts: 1,191
Hi BiscuitsDad,

What you wrote about being emotionally unavailable for Ellis struck a chord with me so I wanted to share my experience with you in the hope that it will help a bit. 

When my Blackie passed away, it was a shock - he died in the car as I was rushing him to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. I was just devastated by his passing, and as much as I probably should not have done it, I visited a bunch of different shelters and brought Squeeker home with me just 2 days later. Squeeker was such an amazing kitty - he was so friendly, so loving and just the best kitty imaginable. He made it very clear when I met him at the shelter and when I brought him home with me that he chose me and we were meant to be together. But I can say that, during the first month after I adopted Squeeker, I was definitely emotionally unavailable to him. I saw how wonderful and kind and loving he was, yet I just could not bring myself to open up my heart and let him in. I was still in shock with losing Blackie and I think I was just not ready to totally commit from the heart to loving another kitty so soon.

The place I adopted him from had a policy where you could return the pet within 30 days after adopting them, no questions asked. Even though I had no intention of returning Squeeker, I think I had that policy in the back of my mind for the first 30 days and kind of kept my distance from him emotionally speaking. But on the 31st day after adopting Squeeker, I distinctly remember saying to him something along the lines of "Well, there's no turning back now, Squeeker - I can't return you so it looks as though you and I are together for the rest of our lives. " And with that my heart started to open up and accept Squeeker's love and we soon formed a very deep and special bond that still exists to this day, almost 2 years after he sadly passed away from a long battle with cancer.

I guess what I am saying is that it is so soon after Biscuit's passing that you probably have a wall up around your heart and you are reluctant to let Ellis in and form his own place in your heart. Give it time and I am sure you and Ellis will soon form a very deep bond and you will find yourself feeling the love that is probably there but just not ready to enter the deepest parts of your heart...

Hugs to you,
- Kelly
Angel Blackie's mom
Angel Squeeker's mom

Posts: 10
Hi Kelly,

Thank you so much for telling me your story. I'm so sorry you had to go through two big losses with Blackie and Squeeker. It is just so devastating. 

I'm sure in time my heart will open up and let Ellis in as you did with Squeeker. For now, I cannot give him affection without thinking that I wish he were my precious Biscuit instead. I keep comparing him to Biscuit which is not fair. He is a sweet kitty but there was just something special about Biscuit that I could see from the day he entered my home. The connection was instant. 

Biscuit brought so much life to my home. So much joy. He made me laugh and I talked to him like I would talk to a friend or family member. And he seemed to understand. He was a unique and special kitty.

Every relationship is different. I'm sure in time I will forge a bond with Ellis like you did with Squeeker. It will be different than the bond I had with Biscuit. But the thought of that right this moment simply kills my soul. It crushes my heart to think that I could ever give something else my love when Biscuit should be here instead. 

I'm crying now, so will sign off. But I thank you so much for your insight and your heartbreaking story. As much as I don't wish this pain on anyone, I am grateful there are others who understand. It helps more than you know.

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