Logo. Puff and Midget under the rainbow

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Posts: 2
Hello, this is my first post so please let me know if I'm doing something wrong (or right LOL). 

Up until about 6 months ago, I was "mom" to 3 furry kittie kids: Mama Kitty who I rescued as a very young (nearly feral) cat and 2 of her 5 kittens born 3/31/2004 (I found homes for the 2 girl kittens & 1 boy kitten only survived just over 2 months. 

Sadly, at 16yrs old, Mama Kitty crossed the rainbow bridge on 6/30/2018; a long-haired grey tabby with beautiful green eyes, she was such a tiny angel. She was so polite & loving and really kept her boys in line which was something to see considering they were 3 times her size!

Then her son, monkey Jake, who was 14yrs old, experienced a sudden decline in health and, on 9/15/2018, he too crossed the rainbow bridge. He was a long-haired dark brown tabby & had such a mischievous personality, you could look into his eyes and see he was thinking what else he could get into (thus the nickname monkey). As a kitten, he was the spitting image of my Samson, a 20yr old kittie I'd had (along with his brother) their entire lives. In fact, the name "Jake" means to fill the place of another (NOT replace), which is why I named him that.

Mama's other son, my very loving Leo, also 14yrs old, is a short-haired brown & white tabby. He's such a sweet kittie & very devoted to me … to the chagrin of my significant other 😉 Leo seems to be doing fine since losing his mom & brother, he's not depressed or lethargic. Other than having hyperthyroidism, he's very healthy.

Which brings me to why I joined this group. I'm a highly sensitive person with a very special, lifetime connection with animals, especially those I'm blessed to call my kids. I know we all second guess ourselves when we've lost a dearly loved animal family member, we feel guilty thinking we should have done this, could have done that, etc. Well, I'm experiencing a sort of "survivors guilt" towards my Leo. In other words, when I leave for work in the morning, I'll tell him I love him & I'll be home later. I did the same thing when I had all three kitties but now I feel like I say it to Leo more often or give him a lot more attention (which I do because he's the only one left) and I can't help but think I didn't say it to Mama or Jake enough so I find myself pulling back when it comes to Leo. Reading this, I find it's really hard to explain so I'm hoping this makes sense here … I feel guilty giving Leo lots of attention because he's all I have now & feel guilty thinking I didn't treat Mama & Jake the same way (but in my mind I know I did).

To make matters worse, I read from numerous animal communicators that, as our pets, our furry family members each have a purpose with regards to their human family. I'm really not sure what that purpose was for monkey Jake … so I can't help feeling that his life wasn't fulfilled because I didn't get it!! And he crossed the rainbow bridge without accomplishing his purpose but I can't say that for sure, maybe he did accomplish it. How can I find out what that purpose was? How can I find out what Leo's purpose is so I don't have to go through this agony again? I miss Mama & Jake so much … losing them both in such a short timeframe has torn my heart apart & continues to do so. Some days are a little better than others but it's still very difficult because I have such a deep relationship with all my furry family members.

Does anyone here understand what I'm trying to say? I know I'm not alone but, because I'm such an emotional person, I TRULY FEEL ALONE in this, trying to keep my head above water but keep getting dragged under & feeling like just giving up … but I cannot because my Leo loves me & needs me in his life as much as I need him. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I truly appreciate it & any comments or advice you feel like sharing. Again, thank you …



Posts: 333
The thoughts which come to mind about our pets individual purposes are very simple.  Their personalities and spirits are so pure and as we know and love them, they change and influence us in ways we may not even be able to define.  But they have changed and influenced us!  Sometimes they teach us joy, sometimes courage, strength, sometimes acceptance.  Sometimes it is just a privilege just to be in the joy of their presence and that is enough purpose for a lifetime, in my mind.  We may not know their purpose until later.  I wouldn't worry about giving your living cat more attention.  I'm sure if your other kitties could talk, they'd reassure you that this was a good thing to do, especially if it was a comfort to you.  I hope I am making sense.

Posts: 2
Thank you very much, Lynda, I truly appreciate your kind words! What you've said, especially about their purpose, makes a lot of sense & I'm very thankful you read my post. Honestly, I wasn't sure anyone would read it as I posted it nearly a week ago

This is Mama Kitty, she was such a sweet little angel! I believe her purpose was to help remind me to just sit down & enjoy their company (I would no sooner sit down then get back up as I remembered something else I had to do) she'd be on the couch & would paw my arm when I sat down, letting me know she wanted to sit in my lap (knowing if she was on my lap, I would stay put for awhile).
And this is monkey Jake, he brought such joy in my life, was quite verbal and readily acknowledged when I successfully communicated with him. He's one of VERY few kitties in my life that didn't pass from old age so I was truly shocked when his health deteriorated so quickly :(

Posts: 333
Kimberly, I think you get what I was saying about the very simple, and beautiful messages our animals bring.  Over and over again, I am taught the sheer wild joy of the simplest things I would have overlooked.  The thrill of playing with a toy.  The reckless joy of playing in a creek or exploring the local wooded trail.  They taught me I didn't have to travel far to find beauty.  They taught me to be patient when I felt alone, love would come in time.  They taught me to stop being so busy and pet them, tell them I loved them, appreciate how cute they were. They taught me to forgive myself for being stupid and failing them because they forgave me instantly and absolutely.  One dog taught me that one need not be an "alpha" dog or a submissive dog. One just did what the situation required.  If we are required to take charge, we therefore summon the strength and wisdom to do so.  But sometimes we can just be easy going and let others take charge.  I thought that quite intelligent.  One dog taught me to be noble, to let go of my anger and fear, she was there to protect me.  Joy, contentment with simplicity, ability to adapt, spending TIME with our loved ones, the value of playing and laughing, the peace of having a warm body close by  . . . these are lessons we humans need to be taught. 

Posts: 40
Survivors guilt?  Let me tell you about that!  
We got Liberty in August 2015 at 8 weeks old, she was just a tiny wee lump of black fur. Oh so cute and cuddly. The bonding ensued and what a terrific and happy time it was. Some of my prior posts discussed her puppy days so I won't get into that now, lets just say it was wonderful.
Anyway, on Nov 11, that same year, I was heading for bed around midnight, Liberty was about 5 months old and sleeping, when all of a sudden I experienced very severe lower back pain, it felt like a blow torch was searing my skin, I dropped to the floor actually screaming in pain and I am a pretty tough guy, but this was unbelievable. My wife woke up of course and she called 911. The paramedics were there very fast, about 5 minutes I would say but they did not give me any pain relief because they were not sure what was wrong. The last thing I remember seeing before I passed out from the pain was Liberty, standing near me. I couldn't see her face because she was standing close to me and right in front of night table lamp in the bedroom, all I could see was her "halo" or outline of her furry head. It was the last thing I remember seeing until I woke up 5 days later in hospital.

 I had a AAA (abdominal aortic anuresym (sp) ) The local hospital diagnosed it but could not fix it, I was transported to a hospital 50 miles away with a 10% chance of surviving. But I did survive, when I woke up I had a tube in my throat and my arms were tied down, so I wouldn't rip the tube out I guess. Let me just say it was hell trying to recover, I almost wanted to give up. They told me later that I actually died on the table and paddles were used to restart the heart. It is a very messy and not highly successful surgery, but like I said, I beat the odds and made it home early Dec. Liberty was so happy to see me again (so was the wife) but I was pretty weak and needed frequent naps. Doc told me to rest a month and then start walking to keep the legs mobile. Well that's what dogs are for.

So for the next 3 yrs Liberty and I walked every day, sometimes twice a day or even 3 times. I can't express into words how much I adored and admired that little dog. I'm retired so she was my stay at home dog and my play dog 24/7. We did everything together. I think she saved my life, through exercise and love.

Then, Christmas day (2018) she died.  Three and a half yrs old. She was vaccinated Nov 22 and got sick Dec 22. Immune mediated hemolytic anemia, caused by her vaccine. I won't get into that now but the experts at OVC concur it was vaccine induced. The doctors gave her a 10% chance of survival. I thought if I can do it she can too. She tried. I drove almost 100 miles every day for the 4 days she was in ICU. I will never forget her beautiful and scared little eyes looking at me, like saying "help me dad" I spent thousands of dollars and told the doctor to do anything, at any expense. It wasn't working. They called Christmas day at 7 pm and said she wouldn't make it through the night. We got there as fast as possible and at 9 pm we put my wonderful, sweet baby girl down, it was gut wrenching. I will never forget her in her little bed at ICU, her breathing was laboured, she was having a tough time, I was so heartbroken. She was so young still. My God!!!

She was everything to me, and I loved her more than any person or thing in my entire life. Her urn is in the living room on the mantle. I had a 10% chance when I got sick and I made it because of her I think, she had a 10% chance and didn't make it, maybe I didn't do enough, didn't I see she was getting ill, what did I do wrong.
I survived and she died, talk about guilt. If I knew this was going to happen, I almost wished I would of died 3 yrs ago, but then I would not have had those three short glorious years with her. Don't forget, I was the one who placed her on the vets table for that booster shot, I thought I was doing the right thing, spayed, chipped, all shots up to date, man I just killed her, and I didn't even know it then.
So ya, I got a s**t load of guilt on my shoulders and let me tell you, it hurts beyond belief.
I miss her so much, my wife thinks I need to be hospitalized. I am seeing a grief counselor but that's not helping much. Can't eat, can't sleep, can't function at all really. I don't want to see people, don't like anything about the world at all anymore.
The ONLY thing I like to do is tell people how wonderful she was and the only place I can do that is here. This is my only solace.

Anyway Lib, I miss you sweetheart, I miss our games, our playing, I miss everything. I'm so sorry for what happened to you, I didn't know it would kill you. I would do anything to change this, my heart is so broken, it was so unfair for you to die so young. Know you were my world sweetheart, my everything. I love you.  Libertydad
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