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Posts: 1
My cat died a month ago. She was 20 and I know that it was her time to go. She got very sick, very quickly and we did not want her to suffer. Me and my mom stayed with her until the end and we hope that she was comforted by our presence.

We got her out of an abusive household when she was two and I was seven, so she's been with me almost my entire life. I don't know how to live without her. I still cry several times a day as soon as I'm not distracted anymore. I can't fall asleep at night and when I do sleep I dream about her.

On Sunday I asked my parents if they would go to the shelter with me to look for another older cat that needed a home. On Monday we went to the shelter but didn't find one. We found a family that had to rehome their 7 year old cat and decided to take him. He moved in on Tuesday and I think it was way too soon for me. I regret getting him so much. He is nothing like my old cat and I thought I would be fine but I'm really not.

He's very affectionate and got used to us really quickly but I don't know how to accept him as my cat.

I feel guilty about those feelings. My parents already spent a lot of money on building him an enclosure and have started bonding with him. I don't want to let them down by telling them that it was a mistake to get him.
I also don't want to let his previous owners down. It wasn't an easy choice for them to rehome him and they trusted us to take care of him.

It hurts me so much to even look at him and I cry even more than I did before.

Should I just give it some time and try to love him or should I look into the possibility of giving him back or rehoming him again before he gets too used to us?

We're his third home already and I feel horrible that I can't seem to start loving him. He's a great cat with a lot of personality but I think it was way too soon for me to even consider adopting another one.

I hope someone in a similar situation has some advice.

Thank you.


Posts: 1,191
Hi Olli,
I would say give it time. You are going through a lot of grief right now, and it is possible your heart is not quite ready to be open to another pet so soon. When my Blackie passed away, I adopted Squeeker just two days later. I was not yet ready to let another kitty into my heart, but I also knew Squeeker was just an amazing cat and we were supposed to be together. The place from which I adopted Squeeker had a policy where you could return the pet you adopted within 30 days, no questions asked. That policy was kind of in the back of my mind during those 30 days, but I never really quite thought I would return him.

Once the 30 days passed, I remember looking at Squeeker and telling him that the 30 days were gone, I couldn't return him to the adoption center, and I guess we were stuck with each other. sure enough, shortly after that, I felt my heart start to be open to loving Squeeker. We spent 8 glorious years together before he passed away from cancer a bit over 2 years ago. We had a very special bond, and if I had not given it time to work through the most intense part of my grief over losing Blackie, I never would have opened my heart to Squeeker and developed that wonderful loving bond we had.

So I guess my point is this: Give it time. Cats are smart. They know when we are hurting and they are very smart and good at giving us the space we need and then slowly working their way into the deepest parts of our heart. I am sure the two of you will eventually come to love and cherish each other quite deeply. 

Hugs to you,

- Kelly
Angel Blackie's mom
Angel Squeeker's mom

Posts: 1
Hey. I’m here with you.

I lost my soulcat Olive almost six months ago. I know I have a long life of meaningful friendships with pets ahead of me, but I really believe that the connection I had with Olive was once in a lifetime.

I did the exact same thing as you, I found an older cat that was in the same situation that Olive was in before she came to me, because I thought that would be a good way to honor her memory. I thought I was ready too, but I wasn’t prepared for the ways that having a new cat would make things harder. When I hear cat noises and see cat stuff around the house, my heart still thinks it’s Olive. When I see her checking out one of Olive’s favorite spots, something inside me says “that’s not yours.” When she hears a sound outside and flinches I think about how brave Olive was. She’s sleeping across the room right now and I’m thinking about how Olive used to sleep in my arms.

I should point out that the new cat is, by all indications, a fantastic cat, and I like her a lot. She’s sweet and gentle and seems to be warming to us quickly. There are a whole lot of moments when I’m really happy she’s here, and when I have thoughts comparing her to Olive, I feel terrible...but I’m never going to stop missing Olive.

I know that with time I’ll have something new with this new cat, and I know that there’s room in my heart for both of them, and I’m trying to just trust in that and let it happen naturally, for her and for me. I’m also trying to remember that as much as I’d like to rewrite history Olive and I didn’t have a that incredible connection from day took us years to get to the point where she wanted to sleep in my arms.

I’m sorry I don’t have anything more helpful to say, other than that you aren’t alone.


Posts: 67
Thank you for sharing.

Posts: 19
Thank you for your candid thoughts. I almost adopted a rescue dog just to get my dog Gator to eat. I think it would’ve been unfair for the poor rescue dog. She has had a tough life and deserves better.

Posts: 42

I'm sorry about the loss of your cat. We went through something VERY similar when our dog, Patches, passed away in March 2019. I begged my parents to let me get another dog, and about 1 month later, we adopted a puppy named Jackson. It ended up being a mistake. I realised that I only got him because I was trying to fill that void. I didn't realise it until we brought him home though. Like you, I couldn't stand to look at him. He wasn't MY dog. MY dog was gone and this was a stranger. I fell into an even deeper depression, lost a ton of sleep trying to care for him, and I didn't give myself enough time to properly grieve the loss of my best friend. At the time, it seemed like the right move so I can understand why you jumped into it too. When we got Jackson, I realised that he was my distraction. I didn't want to have to deal with the feelings that came with thinking about the loss of Patches. I read that getting another pet can help the grieving process, but that it won't always work and can end up making things worse. 

We adopted Jackson through a rescue group and went through the entire application process and went to pick him up from transport at 3am. I thought he was the cutest little puppy, but then the reality set in that my best friend was never coming back. I don't want to say that I hated Jackson, but I didn't necessarily like him. I wasn't able to connect with him and I tried everything. I spent hours sitting on the floor talking to him and telling him stories about Patches, but I just couldn't bond with him whatsoever and it was wildy frustrating. My mom caught me crying about 2 days after we brought him home and I broke down even more and ended up coming clean and telling her all of my feelings on how I felt like it was too soon and that I think I made a mistake. We spent a lot of money on the fees, food, vet bills, toys, and a large enclosure to get him comfortable in our house, but at the end of the day it just wasn't working out. 

We took him to the vet for a check up and since Patches had so many health issues and we were always at the office, we became very close to the doctor. We stayed in the room for about an hour just talking about all of our concerns and he reassured us that our feelings were very much valid and that we shouldn't feel guilty for anything. He recommended waiting at least 1 full year before even thinking about getting another pet, so that way we can go through all of the "firsts" without Patches. Like the holidays and anniversaries and all of that stuff. He suggested that we let the rescue group know what was on our minds, so that's exactly what we did. I went home and wrote up a letter to email them that explained absolutely everything. They called me back the next morning and understood everything. I kept in touch with them as I tried to help them find a new home and luckily my cousin's mother in law was looking for a puppy but wasn't having any luck. They're very happy with him and send me updates and always tell me how he's the perfect dog for their family. 

I'd suggest giving it 1-2 weeks, but if you really can't bond with your new cat, I would strongly consider rehoming him. I understand that you've spent a lot of time and money on him and don't want him to go through the stress of settling into another new home, but in all reality he might have a better life if he's with a family that's all in and 100% ready for a new buddy. The time will come for you to get another cat, but it might not be right now and that's perfectly okay. You have to take as much time as you need to get through this grieving process; it isn't a race. I sympathise with you and understand how you want things to go back to "normal." I tried to get back to "normal" by adopting Jackson, but it just messed everything up. It's important for you to take all the time you and your family need in order to get back on track and find that new normal without your best buddy by your side. I believe that when the time is right, your next cat will find you. If you decide to rehome your new cat, at least you can send him to his new home knowing that you gave it your best shot and you're not left wondering "what if?" Maybe it will work out and that'd be great! I've heard a lot of success stories where people have trouble bonding and connecting with their new pets, but over time something just clicks. Don't try and force the relationship though. 

With my situation, I knew that we would be able to give Jackson a great home. I'm sure that that's the same with you and your new cat... But it doesn't mean that you're ready right now. We were able to provide all of the physical necessities, but not the emotional ones. Yes shelter, food, water, and toys are essential to caring for any animal, but at the same time you have to be emotionally ready. If you're not, there will be a severe disconnect which will make their lives more difficult and confusing. They deserve all of the love and attention in the world, but if you're just not there yet, then maybe it'd be a smart move to rehome him. I'm sure that in different circumstances you'd be the perfect fit for him, but maybe now is not the right time. 

I'm sorry that you have to go through this, but I wish you good luck with whatever you decide. 


Posts: 54
hi all in this thread,

i too am struggling with choosing a "foster to adopt" special needs puppy who is 14 weeks old.  He has been with me for 2.5 weeks and he is smart, love-able and we are bonding, but i havent been able to rest well since he arrived, as im constantly worried something will happen to him, plus his is a diaper dog and needs to have his diaper changed every 3 hrs or so, right now. 

I didnt get him to replace my connection with Mossimo (my little man that had to go on 7/15/19), but to help me channel the grief through love and caring. I know its not going to be the same and i am not expecting it to be. its just it feel like it's adding more stress on top of the grieving process.

I just had another long night with the puppy (sleeping 2hr at a time). he was sick last night due to having worms.  i will spare the gross details, but i am doubting if adopting is the best thing now.  it has been good in some ways, therapeutic for sure. But now with a big move to Canada for a new job, im so uncertain its the best thing for all of us.....adding that on top of the grieving process. im just struggling to make a good decision for myself and him.  i feel like a failure all over again.

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